Congress of Vienna Notes I. Congress of Vienna

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Ms. McKenna

World History, Part 1

Congress of Vienna Notes

I. Congress of Vienna:

  • Attended by many of the great powers of Europe: Austria, Prussia, Britain, Russia, France, and some smaller countries

  • The four goals of the Congress of Vienna:

1. Bring peace to the European continent after the Napoleonic


2. Undo any changes brought about by the French Revolution,

especially changes to government (the leaders at the Congress wanted to restore the monarchy system and place the former ruling families back on their thrones = principle of legitimacy)

3. Restore the balance of power on the continent

4. Take away any freedoms the people had gained (the

monarchs of Europe were afraid of losing power – the conference aimed at keeping the bourgeoisie under control)

  • The mood of this congress was one of conservatism = a desire to preserve the traditional ways supported by the aristocracy or upper classes who didn't want to lose their privileges (social stability)

1. Stresses individual freedom (democratic ideals):

(a). Freedom of thought

(b). Freedom of religion

(c). Equality under the law

  • Prince Klemens Von Metternich

    • Conservative who disliked the ideas of liberalism; he thought that liberal ideas led to wars

    • Disliked the idea of nationalism = proud loyalty and devotion to a nation

    • Believed in the principle of legitimacy = lawful monarchs from the royal families that had ruled before Napoleon would be restored to power

    • From Austria: the Austrian Empire contained many different peoples; a strong belief in Nationalism could break the empire apart

    • Tried to keep all nations at about the same strength; he believed that if all nations were close in size and weapons, wars would be less likely if a Balance of Power was maintained

II. Alliances:

  • The major powers of Europe formed an alliance to try and maintain the balance of power and to squash the ideas of liberalism

  • The meetings of these members kept peace in Europe and became known as the Concert of Europe

III. Results of the Congress of Vienna:

  • Concert of Europe – group of leading nations which periodically met to discuss issues regarding stability

  • Temporary suppression of liberal (democratic) and nationalistic ideals

  • The Principle of Intervention: the great powers of Europe had the right to send armies into countries where there were revolutions in order to restore legitimate monarchs to power; Great Britain did not agree with this policy

  • International peace – no general war in Europe until World War I (100 years later)

    • Crimean War (1854-1856)

    • Austro-Prussian War (1866)

    • Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)

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