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With the Reference to the meetings between 1818-22, explain what you understand by the Congress System and explain it's Achievements.

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Introduction

With the Reference to the meetings between 1818-22, explain what you understand by the Congress System and explain it's Achievements. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of 7 conferences held by the power players of the European continent. Originally Metternich's idea, this system for diplomatic relations and decision making processes which lasted until the year 1822. It was disbanded due to rivalry and disagreement among its remaining members. The Congress System has consisted of several alliances, based on the theories proposed by Talleyrand, Metternich and other leaders. In creating peaceful Europe, Talleyrand proposed a theory of "legitimacy". His theory was greatly supported by Metternich, which stated that those who were to lead the nations reorganized by the Congress of Vienna should and must be the legitimate heirs to their respective thrones. This was proposed in order to return stability and equilibrium to the European continent by returning to the governmental institutions of pre-Napoleonic times An alliance consisting of the four major powers (also known as the Quadruple Alliance) whose primary goal was to bring about the defeat of Napoleon. And later to control the reorganization of the European continent, in such a manner that would increase the lifespan of their respective "Autocratic Monarchical Systems". ...read more.

Middle

Metternich, however, frightened of a Franco-Russian alliance, tried to maintain good relations with Russia. Russia, suspicious of Anglo-Austrian cooperation and resentful at Britain's attempt to keep a check on Russian power whilst advancing her own naval supremacy, looked increasingly towards France to help break their control of the alliance. France, desperate to end her period of isolation, saw an opportunity to link the two greatest European military forces that could in turn be directed against Britain. Even at this early stage it proved near impossible to achieve a commonality of interest between the Great Powers, and in later years, it was to be the conflict between national interests and the peace of Europe that was to tear the alliance apart. The conflict of interest between the powers continued at the conferences of Troppau in 1820. In the years 1818-20, nationalist and liberalist revolutions had compounded Metternich's problems in Europe. An uprising in Spain triggered mutiny among the army. Attempts were made to re-instate the liberal constitution of 1812. The rebellion proved successful and news of the success inspired other uprisings in areas such as Piedmont, Naples and Portugal. Metternich, at the head of an empire made up of diverse national groupings saw the revolutions as a threat to the security of the Habsburg monarchy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Russia caused further problems when revolution in Spain developed into civil war. Alexander proposed sending Russian troops to the Iberian Peninsula and the prospect of a Russian army marching through Europe appealed neither to Castlereagh nor Metternich. The Congress of Verona was called in 1922 to discuss these issues. It was here that the Congress system disintegrated. Canning, who had replaced Castlereagh as foreign secretary, told Duke of Wellington that Britain would not condone intervention in Spain in the name of the alliance. This policy left little room for negotiation and marked Britain's withdrawal from the Congress system. French intervention in Spain and Russian intervention in Greece was the end result. Metternich's system of European diplomacy had failed. After the above congresses held in the period 1818-1822, the Congress System finally ended, mostly because of the disagreement between the Allies. With the collapse of this system, the powers then carried out their own policies independently. The Congress System was short-lived and only an informal system. However, it set up a good tradition of using international conferences to settle disputes. Therefore it represented the first attempt to promote international co-operation. Most importantly, the rivalries also made a "balance of power" between the great powers possible. There was relative peace and stability in Europe until the First World War in 1914. ...read more.

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