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How far do you agree with the statement that the security not revenge of Europe was the main concern at the congress of Vienna?

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Introduction

How far do you agree with the statement that the security not revenge of Europe was the main concern at the congress of Vienna? The delegates at the Congress of Vienna were motivated to a large degree by the desire to benefit Europe as a whole, and this is reflected in their purpose in calling the Congress together and the settlement they reached. National interest was modified for the sake of the general interest of Europe. Their primary and main concern was the safety of Europe and to insure peace. The Congress of Vienna was held in order to draw up a plan to alter Europe politically and territorially so as to prevent the expansion of any one great power, which Napoleon had been doing during the Napoleonic wars. Creating a balance of power among the powerful nations of Europe was also one of the main interests, as was reinstating monarchical regimes, containing France and reaching an agreement to cooperate with each other if the terms of the treaty were broken or violated in any way. Although the separate ambitions of the victors at the Congress to gain territory were mostly driven by self- interest, they were forced to compromise in order to establish a balance of power, which was accepted and wanted by all major powers. ...read more.

Middle

However they chose not to take this path but instead contain France by making the surrounding countries stronger and more united. Part of this decision was made because the allies generally feared France and wanted to avoid any future conflicts with her. The British paid the Dutch compensation for certain colonies and insisted that this money be used for boarder fortresses on the boarder between France and the kingdom of the Netherlands, which had also been earlier united with Belgium to ensure a strong northern buffer. Colonies had also been taken from France and given to Britain to strengthen British naval superiority even more. One thing that needed assurance was the security of Germany and Italy. The allies decided that it was necessary to break the strong French influence that napoleon had imposed on Italy. Italy was then divided up in a similar way to that in which it had been before the French conquests. Austria took the northern and eastern Italian states of Lombardy and Venetia to make up for their loss of the Austrian Netherlands. Furthermore the Holy Roman Empire was not re-established. ...read more.

Conclusion

I disagree that the revenge on France was the main concern to the congress because they did very little to France in terms of revenge. The only punishment received by France was the taking away of her colonies. Other than that the allies were seen to have been lenient by allowing France the boarders she had in 1879. All other decisions were made to ensure peace and security in Europe; however these decisions were made in a way that they didn't directly affect France. They didn't use their original idea of punishing France to an extent so that she was too weak to ever attack anyone, as the treaty of Versailles had done after the First World War. It is because of this peace was ensured for the amount of time it was, due to the fact that they gave the French population nothing to what revenge for. This is the difference between Vienna and Versailles. The politicians would foresee this back at the congress of Vienna and knew that punishing France too harshly would almost certainly lead to future conflict, which was the leader's main aim to prevent, especially Britain who hoped to stay out of European affairs unless directly threatened. Daniel Bradley ...read more.

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