Congress of Vienna and its significance
Beginning of the Congress of Vienna
After the failure of the Napoleonic army in Europe, there were a number of significant changes concerning the distribution of political forces. In connection with this, in September 1814, the so-called Congress of Vienna was launched, the name of which came from the city of its holding - the Austrian capital. Here came the top officials of the victorious countries of Napoleon’s army. The congress was initiated by the local emperor Franz I, and its official residence, the State Department building, became the venue. Most historians say that everything was organized at the highest level. The letters of contemporaries once again prove that the whole European political elite, which was responsible for the key decisions of that era, gathered in Vienna then.
Objectives of the congress
According to the plans of the organizers, the Congress of Vienna and its decisions were to ensure the settlement (politically) of a large number of problems that had arisen at that time in Europe.The overwhelming majority of them were caused not so much by the French Revolution as by the abdication of Napoleon. In connection with these events, the problem of the redistribution of borders between European states arose. This is what the representatives of the countries had to agree on in the first place. In spite of everything, absolutely everyone cannot win, so it is not surprising that the result of positive decisions for some states was the infringement of the interests of others, in terms of population and territory losses. June 9, 1815 the Congress of Vienna was completed.
Many decisions made as a result of long-term discussions were quite radical. In particular, it was decided to divide the territory of Poland between Prussia and Russia. Many small states of the collapsed Roman Empire, which at that time numbered about three hundred, merged into larger ones in terms of population and size. Now they are ten times smaller. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 restored the power of the Roman pontiff over the Vatican and the Papal States. Many experts call this event the beginning of a long period of Germany’s capacity expansion. This is due to the creation of the Confederation on the basis of Prussia and the Austrian Empire.They were also joined by Saxony, Bavaria, Hannover, and Württemberg. Another important decision was the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France, which was then headed by Louis XIII. The current Belgium became part of the United Kingdom with the Netherlands. The Congress of Vienna took Norway from the power of Denmark and gave it to Sweden. In turn, Austria received Parma, Tyrol, Tuscany, as well as the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venice.
Evaluation of the Congress of Vienna
Now there are many opinions of experts regarding the decisions of the congress. Critics insist that politicians did not take into account the ethnic composition of the population when changing boundaries. This is especially true of Poland. Their opponents claim that the Congress of Vienna allowed for a long time to prevent military conflicts in Europe. At the same time, everyone agrees with the fact that after 1815 the political strength and influence of the monarchy states, by the joint efforts of which the Napoleonic army was defeated, was significantly strengthened.