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The Congress of Vienna

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Introduction

The Congress of Vienna What was the Congress System? To what extent did it demonstrate that the great powers share common aims and principles between 1815-1822? Lauren Young 950 Words Miss Mosher Jan. 19/07 The Congress System, created in 1815, was a series of meetings between the great powers of Europe fallowing the reign of Napoleon. The four main countries of this system were Austria, Prussia, Russia and Britain, also known as the Quadruple Alliance. Also called the Concert of Europe, the Congress System was set to enforce the ideas and principles of the Congress of Vienna. However, the failure of this system was that these great powers were unable to come to a single goal for the benefit of Europe. Instead they focused too much upon their own aims. "Its (the Congress of Vienna) purpose was to redraw the continent's political map after the defeat of Napoleonic France the previous spring. The discussions continued despite the ex-Emperor Napoleon I's return from exile and resumption of power in France in March of 1815."1 The Congress System participated in four other Congresses apart from Vienna, Aix-la-Chapelle, Troppeau, Laibach and Veronna. ...read more.

Middle

However, each had separate goals for the benefit of their own country. Thoughts of political power and security strongly influenced their behavior. In general they had a great desire for stability within their domestic and foreign affairs, hope for peace and European cooperation. However, their agreements and common goals only extended so far. They all agreed to fallow the aims of the Congress of Vienna but they did not agree for the same reasons. Lord Castlereagh representing Britain, believed strongly in the protection of Europe by creating a balance of power so that no single nation could contemplate a successful war. Britain had little desire for territory in the Continent. "Castlereagh wished to safeguard the particular security of Great Britain by defending the independence of the Low Countries against any threat of renewed French aggression."2 Czar Alexander I of Russia had wanted to place all of Poland, already occupied by his soldiers, under his rule. He believed he was doing this for the good of the Poles, to unite their country. He also supported Prussia's claims on land in Saxony, to compensate for the Polish provinces he wanted. ...read more.

Conclusion

One large problem was Britain's disagreement with suppressing liberalism. Britain did not agree with foreign countries interfering with the revolutions within one country. They would only interfere if foreign countries attacked another country. This was a large problem for Britain and eventually resulted in them leaving the Congress, hurting the alliance. This is just an example of the some of the differences between the powers of the Congress. Their agreements were limited. The Congress System was successful in the sense that it was able to suppress many of the revolts attempting to start a revolution. However, what they failed to realize is that no matter how much they try to suppress or prevent revolutions, they cannot try to stop something the people wanted and fought for. There was no common goal. Each country had their own goal that did not result in success for all of Europe. If these powers were able to work together and thinking together not just their own country, the Congress System may have been able to realize what was truly best for their people and for all of Europe. ...read more.

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