Beginnings and early Middle Ages[ edit ] Roman ruins at Michaelerplatz The name Vindobona derives from a Celtic languagesuggesting that the region must have been inhabited before Roman times. The Romans created a military camp occupied by Legio X Gemina during the 1st century on the site of the city centre of present-day Vienna.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. A peace settlement with defeated France had been reached before the congress convened see Paris, Treaty of, but France was represented by Charles Maurice de Talleyrandwho, by skillfully exploiting differences among the allies, soon obtained an equal voice with the four great victorious powers.
All other European states, large and petty, that had legally existed before the Napoleonic upheaval were represented by an army of delegates and agents, but the important work was carried out in committees under the tutelage of the major powers.
Issues The problems confronting the congress were extremely thorny and complex, for the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars had swept away the entire structure of Europe. Although the principle of legitimacy—restoration of the pre-Revolutionary dynastic and territorial states—was often ceremoniously invoked, it was the determination to achieve a balance of power for the preservation of peace that guided congress decisions.
The principle of national self-determination, although invoked in certain cases, was neglected in practice. The congress opened with a round of magnificent balls and entertainments, while its serious business was stalled by intrigues and rivalries.
Territorial Adjustments Major territorial changes were unavoidable, partly because of previous secret agreements reached among individual allies and partly because of the pressure of power politics.
Major points of friction were the settlement of the Polish question, the conflicting claims of Sweden, Denmark, and Russia, and the adjustment of the borders of the German states.
The shock of this crisis and of the return of Napoleon I from Elba so upset the delegates that the congress began to find solutions for its many difficulties. In place of the defunct Holy Roman Empire or its several hundred princes, the German Confederation was created.
Italy was dealt with as a geographic rather than a political entity, and its hopes for unity were dashed. Naples and Sicily were reunited under Bourbon rule; the Papal States were restored; the duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla were awarded to French Empress Marie Louise for her lifetime; Tuscany and Modena were restored to the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine; the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom was set up under Austrian rule to compensate Austria for its loss of the Austrian Netherlands; and the formerly Venetian part of Dalmatia also went to Austria.
Since Austria received Italian territories to compensate for Russian gains, Prussia was awarded much of Saxony as well as important parts of Westphalia and Rhine Province.
Great Britainmore interested in acquiring strategic colonial territories, retained the former Dutch colonies of Ceylon Sri Lanka and Cape Colony, received parts of the West Indies at the expense of the Netherlands and Spain, kept Malta and Helgoland, and obtained a protectorate over the Ionian islands.
The former Austrian Netherlands was united with the former United Provinces as the kingdom of the Netherlands, under the house of Orange.
Russia retained the formerly Swedish Finland.
The congress confirmed the transfer of Norway from the Danish to the Swedish crown; W Pomerania, the claim to which Sweden had ceded to Denmark in the Treaty of Kielwas given to Prussia, which compensated Denmark with the duchy of Lauenburg.
Switzerland was enlarged, and Swiss neutrality was guaranteed. As regards France, a new peace settlement was reached on Nov.
The Final Act of Vienna was subsequently ratified by the powers concerned, but several separate treaties were required to complete the settlement. Consequences Although the territorial changes brought about by the Congress of Vienna did not endure long in entirety, they represented a practical if not always equitable solution and an attempt at dealing with Europe as an organic whole.
The Quadruple Alliance and the Holy Alliancedesigned to uphold the decisions of Vienna and to settle disputes and problems by means of conferences, were an important step toward European cooperation.
The Concert of Europewhich functioned—even though imperfectly—through the 19th cent. An auxiliary accomplishment of the Congress was the adoption of standard rules of diplomacy.
Serious defects, however, included the disregard of the growing national aspirations and the social changes that brought about the revolutions ofand the failure to include the Ottoman Empire in the settlement and to deal satisfactorily with the Eastern Question.
Nicolson, The Congress of Viennarepr. Kissinger, A World Restoredrepr. An Eyewitness Account Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.The Congress of Vienna (), part of the broader Concert of Europe, was a meeting in Vienna of various rulers and their representatives plus the European nobility.
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and held in Vienna from November to June , though the delegates had arrived and were already negotiating by late September The Congress of Vienna was seen as the first of a series of Congresses which have been labelled as the "Congress System" although it was never a system.
Diplomats felt that they should 'stick together' in peacetime to preserve the peace. The Congress of Vienna was a prime example of balance of power diplomacy. The first piece of the settlement to collapse was the union of Belgium and Holland, which disintegrated in The first piece of the settlement to collapse was the union of Belgium and Holland, which disintegrated in Congress of Vienna, assembly in –15 that reorganized Europe after the Napoleonic Wars.
It began in September , five months after Napoleon I’s first abdication and completed its “Final Act” in June , shortly before the Waterloo campaign and the final defeat of Napoleon. The ‘long 19th century’ was a period of relative peace that began arguably with the Congress of Vienna in September and lasted until the outbreak of the First World War in July