This is a request from Colin F. way back in October 2005. Colin asked, “…I was wondering if you had done anything on the Vienna Conference of 1815…”. So here you go Colin. First, see the timeline below, which will hopefully help you align all the events.
The congress was held to agree on a plan for Europe politically and territorially. This was done to prevent any one group from obtaining too much power, or what you could today call a monopoly. This group of people had a very altruistic attitude. The leader of the talks was an Austrian named Metternich. Their goal was to create a balance of power in order to prevent widespread conflict in the future.
The conference worked, because even though they were all there for themselves and were greedy, they were forced to concede and come to a compromise by the other members of the congress, no one person willing to give up too much. For Example, Alexander I of Russia wanted all of Poland and Prussia wanted Saxony, but Russia had to share Poland with Austria and Prussia. Only half of Saxony went to Prussia and some smaller parts of the Rhineland.
After much deliberation they came to a final settlement. In the end, the conference helped Europe has a whole, while creating a balance of power. It was the first group of international members gathered to discuss and handle European affairs. In doing so, they protected themselves from being overthrown when one member became too powerful.
The below is the best video I could find on the Internet. The speaker goes over everything really well. Some of the commenters were kind of mean so if you have time give her some props she deserves it!
Learn more with these books:
|The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity: 1812-1822||Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna||Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna|