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The apparent division of the Great Powers after 1830 into two opposing ideological camps, the Liberal Alliance and the Holy Alliance, contained a potential threat to the working of the Concert of Europe

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Course Essay The Congress System, which took the form of a series of congresses and diplomatic meetings held between 1818 and 1822, can be regarded as a practical expression of the rather general concept of the Concert of Europe. The Concert of Europe was an attempt to regularize the conflicting ambitions of the Great Powers in the interests of Europe as a whole. As such, its effectiveness was dependant on the willingness of all five Great Powers to show moderation in the pursuit of their individual interests. Without this, it would be impossible to reach a consensus on important issues. Although The Concert's main aim was to maintain peace, revolts in different areas of Europe such as Spain, Portugal, Belgium and France, made its peace making facilities harder to obtain due to the delicate circumstances. The struggles between constitutionalists and absolutists in Spain during the 1820's continued during the following two decades. When British troops were withdrawn from Portugal in 1827, the result was the triumph of the absolutists, who were backed by Spain, allowing Miguel to become King. In the 1830's Spain would endure a dispute, as a result of Ferdinand's death in September 1833 and his brother Don Carlos claiming the throne. ...read more.


The French Revolution of 1830 was also a threat to the Concert of Europe. The Revolution ended the rule of the Bourbon monarch Charles X., bringing power to Louis-Philippe. This change of regime had a significant impact on international relations for at least a decade. The outbreak of revolution was a threat because it alarmed the three eastern powers who renewed their pledges to sustain the 1815 treaties and even though they had made preparations for war, they had to accept the situation and merely warned France against any attempt to disturb the European status quo. The Concert feared that France's revolution would influence revolts throughout Europe and therefore disturbing the balance of power which was their main aim. France was still regarded as the main danger in Europe, as it was feared that the new regime might wish to expand as the old revolutionary France had done. However, even though Metternich wanted to intervene, the other European powers would not agree to send troops to France causing frictions between the powers and fear of break up within or even Metternich taking the problem into his own hands. The Belgian Revolt of 1830 was a result of the discontent with Dutch rule that arose in the late 1820's, encouraged by French agents, and was mainly due to grievances over religion, taxation and the predominance of the Dutch language and Dutch officials. ...read more.


This brought about friction with the powers as they had different views on how to react to the situation, and even though some wanted to help Poland out, such as Britain, as they did not want to challenge Russia and its right to rule over Poland which was founded on the treaties of 1815, one of whose objectives was to keep France in control. The apparent division of the Great Powers after 1830 into two opposing ideological camps, the Liberal Alliance and the Holy Alliance, contained a potential threat to the working of the Concert of Europe. The success of the Concert depended, after all, on a degree of consensuses amongst the five Great Powers and a willingness to resolve problems of common concern by negotiation. But in the 1830's and 1840's a remarkable degree of flexibility developed in the alignment of the powers in some issues, despite their ideological differences, which contributed to the continuing strength of the Concert of Europe. Although these revolts and revolutions were seen as a threat to the Concert of Europe, if we are to analyse them, they were not a major issues as they never put the Concert in a situation of break-up or dysfunction. The Concert of Europe survived these tribulations and was in existence well into the 19th century, proving that these revolts did not pose a serious threat to its continuation. ...read more.

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