• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is it true to say that the great powers were more interested in their own national interests than maintaining the peace of Europe between 1815-30?

Extracts from this document...


Nicole Leung F.6U (20) To what extent is it true to say that the great powers were more interested in their own national interests than maintaining the peace of Europe between 1815-30? At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the 'Concert of Europe' came into existence. It meant that the Great Powers, namely Austria, Russia, Britain, Prussia and France would, through a series of periodical congresses, discuss issues of common concerns. The original objective of the 'Concert of Europe' was to seek ways to safeguard peace in Europe since all great powers suffered immensely during the Napoleonic Era. The spirit of Concert of Europe was very low by 1830, and the major reason which explained this was that all powers responded to different matters with naked self-interests, rather than a genuine desire for peace. Hence, I agree to the given statement to a large extent. At the beginning, the Great Powers did put much emphasis on peace rather than their own national interests but the situation changed as soon as the turmoil brought by the Napoleonic Wars was gradually settled. ...read more.


In the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818, Russia proposed to station an allied standing army in Belgium. She also proposed later an international fleet in the Mediterranean regions so as to stamp out the piracy problems. However, her proposals were not primarily based on her concern of overall peace but that she wanted to extend her influence to Belgium and more importantly to the Mediterranean. Similarly, in the same congress, Castlereagh suggested that a naval force be appointed by the powers to search vessels for slaves. Yet, it was actually just Britain's excuse to gain more control in the commerce of other countries. Another significant example to demonstrate the Great Powers' exploitation of the Congress System was the formation of the Troppau Protocol in 1820. By that time, a lot of revolts had sprung up all over Europe, including the Italian states, the German States and Spain. The autocratic leaders, especially Metternich, were alarmed since they feared that these revolutionary sentiments would disseminate to their own countries and that their throne would be at risk. ...read more.


Britain who previously adopted the splendid isolation policy also actively took part in the intervention. That was because she was suspicious of Russia and realized that the best way to check against her was to work alongside with her. France, similarly, out of suspicion and the interest to come close to Britain, joined in the suppression of Greek revolt too. These countries' reactions in the Greek revolt were distinctively different to their proclaimed policies, thus showing what directed them in the congresses was not the desire to maintain peace, but their own self-interests. All in all, the fact that the Great Powers were more interested in their own interests instead of the maintenance of peace from 1815-1830 could be seen from their shifting alliances and policies. It was also because of these countries' unwillingness to give up their interests that ultimately led to the break up of the Congress System. The fact that the Congress System only lasted for 15 years best demonstrated how the countries were more concerned of safeguarding their national interests rather than working together for the maintenance of peace. Hence, the statement was true to a large extent. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Assess the view that the failures of the Congress of Vienna outweighed the successes.

    overthrown, the interests of the nations were forgotten and only the interests of the princes were addressed.'45 It is clear that the Great Powers had nationalistic aims, and the attitude of the statesmen is summed up by Francis, the Emperor of Austria, in reply to a request for independence from

  2. To what extent were technological changes the biggest feature in the changing nature of ...

    militarists efforts and old tactics were again not efficient, this resulted in such devastating losses because of the new tactics and leadership couldn't keep up with the pace of changing military weapons. Tanks are another feature of technological warfare even though their impact on casualties and fighting was extremely limited.

  1. "Italy Unified Itself". To what extent is this statement true?

    previous pope by being a liberal and eager for reforms: a man of the people. Through him, the Italians found a leader who would sympathize with their discontent, and regardless of the failures in the 1820s revolutions, more insurrections arose in 1848.

  2. To What Extent was Napoleon Master of Europe

    They did not hurry to make it an established religion, as Britain had done. In doing so, the Concordat also allowed protestants and Jews to practice their religion and retain their civil rights and freedoms. This settled the argument between the religions and once again, people of different backgrounds were

  1. To what extent did Metternich contribute to the maintenance of peace in Europe in ...

    Uprisings in Naples and Piedmont were crushed by Austria and that in Spain by France. From the point of view of the union of kings, the Congress System under Metternich's manipulations ensured domestic stability in the European states. In fact, in the long run, repression only increased the tension between

  2. To what extent did the increase in the persecution of witches in Europe from ...

    craze? is why I do not believe that it was simply an attack on women. (Sibai) One could also argue that the Protestant Reformation, which challenged Catholicism, also played a role in the increase in witch persecutions. The changes within these religious institutions threatened the social structure, causing people to be more insecure and vulnerable.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work