The Treaty of Versailles vs. The Treaty of Vienna. Both the Congress of Vienna, headed by Klemens von Metternich of Austria after the Napoleonic Wars, and the Paris Peace Conference, which was held after the Great War, resulted in treaties that were aimed

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One Song and Two Different Singers

        During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, several major conferences among world’s powers were held with the intention of preserving peace. Both the Congress of Vienna, headed by Klemens von Metternich of Austria after the Napoleonic Wars, and the Paris Peace Conference, which was held after the Great War, resulted in treaties that were aimed to keep the peace, but they were ineffective to a comparable extent. The Treaty of Vienna was more successful than the Treaty of Versailles because it did a better job in avoiding a major war about a century, which was five times longer than the other treaty; created equal power amongst the European countries, and prevented the French belligerence in a peaceful manner rather than a destructive one unlike the Treaty of Versailles. The initial goals of both treaties were to suppress French and German aggressions, respectively. The Treaty of Vienna substantiated the “balance of power” throughout Europe and it had a success stopping the French aggression because of its friendly attitude towards France. The Treaty of Versailles, however, did not quite establish the true peace within European nations; but carried a sense of peace for a short period of time. Though its initial goal was stopping German aggression it failed to achieve it. Humiliating and isolating Germany from international politics will turn into a greater German belligerence and eventually a great war in the future.

        Under the control of Napoleon Bonaparte, the leader of France between 1799 and 1815, French army had conquered many lands and created tension in Europe. The European powers found the remedy in uniting their powers, in other words making an alliance, against France. The Napoleonic Wars were series of wars fought between France and alliances involving England, Prussia, Russia, and Austria at different times. [] Napoleon was a military genius and he gained initial success in the Napoleonic Wars. However, the alliance of European powers would cease his power and success. As an old Turkish proverb says, “Every declivity has an acclivity and every acclivity has a declivity.” [] This proverb exactly demonstrates Napoleon’s situation when he was approaching to his decline. After Napoleon’s decline representatives of the victorious powers met to solve the problems arose from the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The primary aim of the leaders was to design a new political map for Europe in order to make most stable territorial arrangements and secure Europe. [3] According to their plan, “No country was to receive territory without giving up something in return, and no one country was to receive enough territory to make it a present or future threat to the peace of Europe.” [3] By doing so the victorious powers had expected balance of power and lasting peace in Europe. Since France was seen guilty for the Napoleonic Wars, the leaders were distributing French lands among each other and in this way they were punishing France. However, that was not the only punishment for France. France also had to pay money for war indemnities. The leaders’ idea was a brilliant one, because they would weaken France by taking some parts of its territory and making her paying money so France would not be able to start a war again; in other words present French belligerence was prevented and there was peace. As a result, the actual purpose of redrawing of the European territorial map was achieved as it guaranteed peace. However it was left to a system of alliances to preserve that peace. [3] The European powers were able to defeat Napoleon by uniting their strength and even after the war they kept their alliance. They signed the Quadruple Alliance in 1815 whose purpose was to protect Europe against future French aggression and to preserve the status quo. [3] Forming of an alliance, however, should not be misunderstood. The representatives wanted to restore the old regime in Europe and they worked as fairly as possible. In 1818, France had completed the payment of war indemnities and joined the alliance, and it became Quintuple Alliance. The involvement of France in the alliance was the most obvious evidence that have probed the powers’ desire not to hurt France. Otherwise, France would be destroyed harshly and this would encourage the French to bear a grudge against them. Finally, the delegates settled the issues which arose after the Napoleonic Era; the delegates were so successful that no one got angry or hateful to the other side, and they established peace throughout Europe until the beginning of the Great War.

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        In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the European powers signed many alliances depending on their interests and goals. Triple Entente, consisting of Great Britain, France and Russia; and Triple Alliance, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy were the most important alliances. Later on they would, more or less, form the Allied Powers and the Central Powers, respectively; with some additional countries when they were entering into World War One (WWI) in 1914. Although in the beginning there were only European countries fighting; it was called world war, because there would be involvement of countries outside of Europe such ...

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