Congress of Vienna (short)

22.11.2013 10:57

What is the Congress of Vienna?

Meeting of leaders of major nations in Europe following defeat of Napoleon

General goals

1. Restore Europe to its pre-revolution/Napoleon conditions
2. Prevent future wars and revolutions in Europe
3. Combat tide of rising nationalism and liberalism spreading throughout Europe

5 major powers

1. Austria
2. Russia
3. Prussia
4. Britain
5. France

Rulers of 5 major powers

1. Austria- Metternich (Prime Minister)
2. Russia- Alexander I (Czar)
3. Prussia- Hardenberg (PM)
4. Britain- Castlereagh (PM)
5. France- Talleyrand (PM)


1. Prevent future French aggression by surrounding it with powerful neighbors (containment)
2. Create a balance-of-power- a system in which none of the great powers was stronger than the others.
a. system of alliances
b. redraw map of Europe to make some nations/regions stronger and weaken others
3. Restore former monarchs to their thrones -legitimacy- governments will be ran by their legitimate dynasties and rulers


1. Redrew map of Europe
2. Weakened but did not punish France
3. Created system of alliances between powers
4. Restored legitimate rulers to nations invaded by Napoleon

1. Redrew map of Europe

-granted Switzerland independence
-reorganized German Confederation into 39 states dominated by Austria and Prussia
-goals: create a Germany that is:
a. consolidated enough to keep France from attempting to expand borders
b. too weak to unify completely and upset balance of power
-created kingdom of the Netherlands (Austrian Netherlands+Dutch republic)
-gave more territory to the Italian kingdom of Sardinia (added Genoa)
-many Italian states left under Austrian domination

3. Created system of alliances between powers

-Holy Alliance (Russia, Prussia, Austria)- formed by czar Alexander I
-agreement to aid each other in event of revolutions in order to maintain monarchies (divine rt.)
-Quadruple Alliance (Brit., Prus., Rus., Aust.)- military alliance to prevent trouble from France

4. Restored legitimate rulers to nations invaded by Napoleon

-France (Louis XVIII- Bourbon)- constitutional monarchy
-all other monarchies removed by Napoleon also restored

Factors hindering unity in Germanic Confederation

1. Divided into 39 city states by Congress of Vienna
2. Some regions dominated by either Prussia and some by Austria
3. Intense rivalry between Prussia and Austria
4. Nationalistic ambitious of other subject nationalities within Austrian empire

Ideas spread by the French Revolution that worked against the Congress

1. Democracy (Liberalism)- Rule by the people through suffrage
2. Nationalism- love and devotion to one's own culture and nationality

1. Democracy (liberalism)- -original ideal of French Revolution- spread across Europe by Napoleon's troops
-liberalism- reforms based on Enlightenment ideas of equality, freedom, democracy.

2. Nationalism

-nation state- nation with its own shared culture and ethnicity

Origin and spread of nationalism

-originated in France because foreign invasions during the French revolution
-spread throughout Europe as France occupied other nations during Napoleon's wars
-ex. Peninsular (guerrilla) wars in Spain during French occupation