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"The breakdown of the Concert of Europe was largely due to the increasing differences among the Powers over the issue of how peace could be maintained" - Elaborate on this statement.

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Introduction

1998 Q7 "The breakdown of the Concert of Europe was largely due to the increasing differences among the Powers over the issue of how peace could be maintained". Elaborate on this statement. The Concert of Europe was started in the 19th Century. It means a spirit, in which the Powers were willing to solve their conflicts, maintaining international peace and status quo by peaceful means, such as by negotiations, periodic meetings, compromises. It was ended at about 1848. There were many different reasons for the breakdown of it, but the different ideology among the Powers was the main reason for the downfall. For the Concert of Europe, there was no definite organization to enforce it. It was just a spirit to maintain peace and balance of power. Without the cooperation among the Powers, this spirit will definitely fall. There were basic differences between the liberal Britain and the conservative Powers. Britain was a liberal country, which tried to combine monarchical rights and popular sovereignty. ...read more.

Middle

She would used the policy if intervention, in order to stop the spread of revolutionary ideas. Russia was a conservative and autocratic power. She wanted a warm seaport most, therefore, policy of expansion was practiced. She has interested in the Mediterranean Region where the Ottoman Empire was in declined. She has received Poland as reward in helping the defeated of Napoleon. Her ambition was being checked by Britain and Austria, as they saw Russia as a threat to European peace. France was a liberal country, and wanted recovery after the Vienna settlement. By the Concert of Europe, she was being treated leniently. But was isolated by the Principle of Encirclement, therefore She would tried to establish friendship with Britain, who was ideologically similar to Her. Prussia was at the side of Russia and Austria and was conservative and autocratic also. She wanted expansion and have interested in Saxony. But she was weak and small, therefore she would not acted alone without the companion of other powers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Britain objected it because she thought they should not intervene in countries internal problems. At last, Castlereagh declared a State paper saying that England was committed only to preventing the return of Napoleon or his dynasty to France, and to remain the territorial arrangement of Vienna by armed force for 20 years. The Congress had split the powers into 2 groups, the liberal power and the conservative powers. Alexander I has introduced the Holy Alliance, which was based on Christian ideals of Justice and Peace. In 1815 Russia, Austria and Prussia signed the Alliance. It was known as a force of conservatism. Britain was a liberal country and carried out the isolation policy, therefore, She hasn't joint it. Castlereagh thought that it was a piece of sublime mysticism and nonsense. Without Britain support, this Alliance definitely became an alliance among the reactionary Powers and split the European Powers into 2 camps. Secondly, there was the Quadruple Alliance in 1815, which Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria were the members. It was signed in order to maintain the status quo defined by the Vienna Settlement and hold periodic meetings to solve problems menacing peace in Europe. ...read more.

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