• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

    Tim Chapman suggests that 'if France was animated instead by a spirit of anger and revenge it might seek again to break out of its borders and the balance could not last.'35 Compared to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the Congress of Vienna can be looked upon more favourably, opposing the view that the failures outweighed the successes.

  2. "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.

  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 were technological changes the biggest feature in the changing nature of ...

    It was a massive importance in technological change and was the cause of mass casualty in all the wars it was present. 'Artillery was the killer; artillery was the terrifier'1. This further proves my point that throughout the period military technology was by far the most significant change.

  1. To What Extent was Napoleon Master of Europe

    Religion was a huge factor in France's daily troubles. Therefore Napoleon decided to reconcile the differences between the religions. The main reason for such a rivalry between the religions was that, during the revolution, France was "de-Christianised." Millions of Catholic's were outraged at such a move.

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

    leaders to curb the hostilities such rivalries caused within the social communities and that witch persecutions were used as a means of controlling the people and frightening them back into quiet obedience and subservience. Robin Briggs estimates that ?some 40,000, to 50,000 people were executed as witches in Europe between

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