Congress of Vienna

Congress of Vienna

Overview
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich
Klemens Wenzel von Metternich
Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich was a German-born Austrian politician and statesman and was one of the most important diplomats of his era...

, and held in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

, the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. This objective resulted in the redrawing of the continent's political map, establishing the boundaries of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, the states of the Rhine, the German province of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, and various Italian territories
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and the creation of spheres of influence through which Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, France and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 brokered local and regional problems. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe
Concert of Europe
The Concert of Europe , also known as the Congress System after the Congress of Vienna, was the balance of power that existed in Europe from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the outbreak of World War I , albeit with major alterations after the revolutions of 1848...

, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power
Balance of power
Balance of power may refer to:* Balance of power , distribution of power between a central government and its subnational governments...

 in Europe, and served as a model for later organizations such as the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 and United Nations.

The immediate background was Napoleonic France's
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 defeat and surrender in May 1814
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

, which brought an end to twenty-five years of nearly continuous war.
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Encyclopedia
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich
Klemens Wenzel von Metternich
Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich was a German-born Austrian politician and statesman and was one of the most important diplomats of his era...

, and held in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

, the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. This objective resulted in the redrawing of the continent's political map, establishing the boundaries of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, the states of the Rhine, the German province of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, and various Italian territories
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and the creation of spheres of influence through which Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, France and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 brokered local and regional problems. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe
Concert of Europe
The Concert of Europe , also known as the Congress System after the Congress of Vienna, was the balance of power that existed in Europe from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the outbreak of World War I , albeit with major alterations after the revolutions of 1848...

, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power
Balance of power
Balance of power may refer to:* Balance of power , distribution of power between a central government and its subnational governments...

 in Europe, and served as a model for later organizations such as the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 and United Nations.

The immediate background was Napoleonic France's
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 defeat and surrender in May 1814
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

, which brought an end to twenty-five years of nearly continuous war. Negotiations continued despite the outbreak of fighting triggered by Napoleon's
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 dramatic return from exile and resumption of power in France during the Hundred Days
Hundred Days
The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

 of March–July, 1815. The Congress's "Final Act" was signed nine days before his final defeat at Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 on 18 June 1815.

In a technical sense, the "Congress of Vienna" was not properly a Congress: it never met in plenary session
Plenary session
Plenary session is a term often used in conferences to define the part of the conference when all members of all parties are to attend.These sessions may contain a broad range of content from keynotes to panel discussions and are not necessarily related to a specific style of delivery.The term has...

, and most of the discussions occurred in informal, face-to-face, sessions among the Great Powers
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

 of Austria, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and sometimes Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, with limited or no participation by other delegates. On the other hand, the Congress was the first occasion in history where, on a continental scale, national representatives came together to formulate treaties, instead of relying mostly on messengers and messages between the several capitals. The Congress of Vienna settlement, despite later changes, formed the framework for European international politics until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

Preliminaries


Partial settlements had already occurred at the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

 between France and the Sixth Coalition, and the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

 which covered issues raised regarding Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

. The Treaty of Paris had determined that a "general congress" should be held in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, and that invitations would be issued to "all the Powers engaged on either side in the present war." The opening was scheduled for July 1814.

Participants



The Four Great Powers and Bourbon France
The Four Great Powers had previously formed the core of the Sixth Coalition. In the verge of Napoleon's defeat they had outlined their common position in the Treaty of Chaumont
Treaty of Chaumont
The Treaty of Chaumont was a rejected cease-fire offered by the Allies of the Sixth Coalition to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814.Following discussions in late February 1814, representatives of Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain reconvened a meeting at Chaumont, Haute-Marne on 1 March 1814...

 (March 1814), and negotiated the Treaty of Paris (1814)
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

 with the Bourbons during their restoration
Bourbon Restoration
The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

:
  • Austria
    Austrian Empire
    The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

     was represented by Prince Metternich, the Foreign Minister, and by his deputy, Baron Johann von Wessenberg
    Baron Johann von Wessenberg-Ampringen
    Baron Johann von Wessenberg-Ampringen was an Austrian diplomat statesman.Wessenberg was born in Dresden, where his father worked as a tutor to the princes of the electoral House of Wettin. Johann's younger brother Ignaz Heinrich von Wessenberg later chose an ecclesiastical career and in 1801 was...

    . Given the Congress's sessions were in Vienna, Emperor Francis
    Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Empire after the disastrous defeat of the Third Coalition by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz...

     was kept closely informed.
  • The United Kingdom
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

     was represented first by its Foreign Secretary, Viscount Castlereagh
    Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
    Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, KG, GCH, PC, PC , usually known as Lord CastlereaghThe name Castlereagh derives from the baronies of Castlereagh and Ards, in which the manors of Newtownards and Comber were located...

    ; then by the Duke of Wellington
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

    , after Castlereagh's return to England in February 1815; and in the last weeks, by the Earl of Clancarty, after Wellington left to face Napoleon during the Hundred Days
    Hundred Days
    The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

    .
  • Although Russia
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

    's official delegation was led by the foreign minister, Count Karl Robert Nesselrode, Tsar
    Tsar
    Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

     Alexander I
    Alexander I of Russia
    Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

     was also in Vienna and regarded himself – in fact as well as in name – its own sole plenipotentiary
    Plenipotentiary
    The word plenipotentiary has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent his government as a prerogative...

    .
  • Prussia
    Kingdom of Prussia
    The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

     was represented by Prince Karl August von Hardenberg
    Karl August von Hardenberg
    Karl August Fürst von Hardenberg was a Prussian statesman and Prime Minister of Prussia. While during his late career he acquiesced to reactionary policies, earlier in his career he implemented a variety of Liberal reforms...

    , the Chancellor, and the diplomat and scholar Wilhelm von Humboldt
    Wilhelm von Humboldt
    Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt was a German philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of Humboldt Universität. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice...

    . King Frederick William III of Prussia
    Frederick William III of Prussia
    Frederick William III was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel .-Early life:...

     was also in Vienna, playing his role behind the scenes.
  • France
    Bourbon Restoration
    The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

    , the "fifth" power, was represented by her foreign minister, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord as well as the Minister Plenipotentiary the Duke of Dalberg. Talleyrand had already negotiated the Treaty of Paris (1814)
    Treaty of Paris (1814)
    The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

     for Louis XVIII of France
    Louis XVIII of France
    Louis XVIII , known as "the Unavoidable", was King of France and of Navarre from 1814 to 1824, omitting the Hundred Days in 1815...

    ; the king, however, distrusted him and was also secretly negotiating with Metternich, by mail.


The four other signatories of the Treaty of Paris, 1814
These parties had not been part of the Chaumont agreement
Treaty of Chaumont
The Treaty of Chaumont was a rejected cease-fire offered by the Allies of the Sixth Coalition to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814.Following discussions in late February 1814, representatives of Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain reconvened a meeting at Chaumont, Haute-Marne on 1 March 1814...

, but had joined the Treaty of Paris (1814)
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

:
  • Spain – Marquis Pedro Gómez de Labrador
    Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador
    Don Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador was a Spanish diplomat and nobleman who served as Spain's representative at the Congress of Vienna . Labrador did not successfully advance his country's diplomatic goals at the conference...

  • United Kingdon of Portugal,Brazil and Algarves
    Kingdom of Portugal
    The Kingdom of Portugal was Portugal's general designation under the monarchy. The kingdom was located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and existed from 1139 to 1910...

     – Plenipotentiaries: Pedro de Sousa Holstein
    Pedro de Sousa Holstein
    Dom Pedro de Sousa Holstein, 1st Count, 1st Marquess and 1st Duke of Palmela was one of the most important Portuguese diplomats and statesmen in the first half of the 19th century. He also served as the country's first Prime Minister...

    , Count of Palmella; António de Saldanha da Gama; Joaquim Lobo da Silveira.
  • Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

     and Norway
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

     – Count Carl Löwenhielm
    Carl Löwenhielm
    Count Carl Löwenhielm was a Swedish military officer, diplomat, and politician; he was a member of the Swedish cabinet between 1822–1839...

  • Republic of Genoa
    Republic of Genoa
    The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

     – Marquise Agostino Pareto, Senator of the Republic


Others
  • Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

     – Count Niels Rosenkrantz, foreign minister. King Frederick VI
    Frederick VI of Denmark
    Frederick VI reigned as King of Denmark , and as king of Norway .-Regent of Denmark:Frederick's parents were King Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Wales...

     was also present in Vienna.
  • The Netherlands – Earl of Clancarty, the British Ambassador at the Dutch court, and Baron Hans von Gagern
    Hans Christoph Ernst von Gagern
    Hans Christoph Ernst Freiherr von Gagern , German statesman and political writer, was born at Kleinniedesheim, near Worms...

  • Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     – Every canton
    Cantons of Switzerland
    The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

     had its own delegation. Charles Pictet de Rochemont
    Charles Pictet de Rochemont
    Charles Pictet de Rochemont was a statesman and diplomat who prepared the declaration of Switzerland's permanent neutrality ratified by the great powers in 1815....

     from Geneva
    Geneva
    Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

     played a prominent role.
  • The Papal States
    Papal States
    The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

     – Cardinal
    Cardinal (Catholicism)
    A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

     Ercole Consalvi
  • On German issues,
    • Bavaria
      Kingdom of Bavaria
      The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

       – Maximilian Graf von Montgelas
      Maximilian von Montgelas
      Maximilian Josef Garnerin, Count von Montgelas was a Bavarian statesman, from a noble family in Savoy. His father John Sigmund Garnerin, Baron Montgelas, entered the military service of Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria, and married the Countess Ursula von Trauner...

    • Württemberg
      Kingdom of Württemberg
      The Kingdom of Württemberg was a state that existed from 1806 to 1918, located in present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was a continuation of the Duchy of Württemberg, which came into existence in 1495...

       – Georg Ernst Levin Graf von Wintzingerode
    • Hanover, then in a personal union with the British crown – Georg Graf zu Münster. (King George III
      George III of the United Kingdom
      George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

       had refused to recognize the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
      Holy Roman Empire
      The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

       in 1806 and maintained a separate diplomatic staff as Elector of Hanover to conduct the affairs of the family estate, the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, until the results of the Congress were concluded establishing the Kingdom of Hanover
      Kingdom of Hanover
      The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg , and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German...

      .)
    • Mecklenburg-Schwerin
      Mecklenburg-Schwerin
      Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a duchy in northern Germany created in 1348, when Albert II of Mecklenburg and his younger brother John were raised to Dukes of Mecklenburg by King Charles IV...

       – Leopold von Plessen


Virtually every state in Europe had a delegation in Vienna – more than 200 states and princely houses were represented at the Congress. In addition, there were representatives of cities, corporations, religious organizations (for instance, abbeys) and special interest groups e.g. a delegation representing German publishers, demanding a copyright law and freedom of the press. The Congress was noted for its lavish entertainment: according to a famous joke it did not move, but danced.

Course of the Congress



Initially, the representatives of the four victorious powers hoped to exclude the French from serious participation in the negotiations, but Talleyrand managed to skillfully insert himself into "her inner councils" in the first weeks of negotiations. He allied himself to a Committee of Eight lesser powers (including Spain, Sweden, and Portugal) to control the negotiations. Once Talleyrand was able to use this committee to make himself a part of the inner negotiations, he then left this committee, once again abandoning his allies.

The major Allies' indecision on how to conduct their affairs without provoking a united protest from the lesser powers led to the calling of a preliminary conference on protocol, to which Talleyrand and the Marquis of Labrador
Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador
Don Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador was a Spanish diplomat and nobleman who served as Spain's representative at the Congress of Vienna . Labrador did not successfully advance his country's diplomatic goals at the conference...

, Spain's
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 representative, were invited on 30 September 1814.

Congress Secretary Friedrich von Gentz
Friedrich von Gentz
Friedrich von Gentz was a German publicist and statesman.-Early years:Gentz was born at Breslau.His father was an official, his mother distantly related to the Prussian minister Friedrich Ancillon...

 reported, "The intervention of Talleyrand and Labrador has hopelessly upset all our plans. Talleyrand protested against the procedure we have adopted and soundly [be]rated us for two hours. It was a scene I shall never forget." The embarrassed representatives of the Allies replied that the document concerning the protocol they had arranged actually meant nothing. "If it means so little, why did you sign it?" snapped Labrador.

Talleyrand's policy, directed as much by national as personal ambitions, demanded the close but by no means amicable relationship he had with Labrador, whom Talleyrand regarded with disdain. Labrador later remarked of Talleyrand: "that cripple, unfortunately, is going to Vienna." Talleyrand skirted additional articles suggested by Labrador: he had no intention of handing over the 12,000 afrancesados – Spanish fugitives, sympathetic to France, who had sworn fealty to Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily , and later King of Spain...

 (with whom he had unscrupulous business connections) – nor the bulk of the documents, paintings, pieces of fine art, and works of hydrography
Hydrography
Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

 and natural history
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 that had been looted from the archives, palaces, churches and cathedrals of Spain.

Final Act



The Final Act, embodying all the separate treaties, was signed on 9 June 1815, (a few days before the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

). Its provisions included:
  • Russia was given most of the Duchy of Warsaw (Poland) and was allowed to keep Finland
    Grand Duchy of Finland
    The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

     (which it had annexed from Sweden in 1809 and held until 1917).
  • Prussia was given two fifths of Saxony
    Kingdom of Saxony
    The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...

    , parts of the Duchy of Warsaw (the Grand Duchy of Posen), Danzig, and the Rhineland
    Rhineland
    Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

    /Westphalia
    Westphalia
    Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

    .
  • A German Confederation
    German Confederation
    The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

     of 38 states was created from the previous 360 of the Holy Roman Empire, under the presidency of the Austrian Emperor. Only portions of the territory of Austria and Prussia were included in the Confederation.
  • The Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands
    Southern Netherlands
    Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

     (approx. modern-day Belgium) were united in a constitutional monarchy, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
    United Kingdom of the Netherlands
    United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...

    , with the House of Orange-Nassau
    House of Orange-Nassau
    The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

     providing the king (the Eight Articles of London
    Eight Articles of London
    The Eight Articles of London, also known as the London Protocol of June 21, 1814, were a secret convention between the Great Powers: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Prussia, Austria, and Russia to award the territory of current Belgium and The Netherlands to William I of the...

    ).
  • To compensate for the Orange-Nassau's loss of the Nassau lands to Prussia, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
    United Kingdom of the Netherlands
    United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...

     and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg were to form a personal union
    Personal union
    A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

     under the House of Orange-Nassau, with Luxembourg (but not the Netherlands) inside the German Confederation
    German Confederation
    The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

    .
  • Swedish Pomerania
    Swedish Pomerania
    Swedish Pomerania was a Dominion under the Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815, situated on what is now the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish War and the Thirty Years' War, Sweden held extensive control over the lands on the southern Baltic coast, including Pomerania and parts...

    , ceded to Denmark a year earlier, was ceded to Prussia.
  • The neutrality of Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     was guaranteed.
  • Hanover
    Kingdom of Hanover
    The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg , and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German...

     gave up the Duchy of Lauenburg to Denmark, but was enlarged by the addition of former territories of the Bishop of Münster and by the formerly Prussian East Frisia
    East Frisia
    East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony....

    , and made a kingdom.
  • Most of the territorial gains of Bavaria
    Bavaria
    Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

    , Württemberg
    Württemberg
    Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

    , Baden
    Baden
    Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

    , Hesse-Darmstadt
    Grand Duchy of Hesse
    The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine , or, between 1806 and 1816, Grand Duchy of Hesse —as it was also known after 1816—was a member state of the German Confederation from 1806, when the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was elevated to a Grand Duchy, until 1918, when all the German...

    , and Nassau under the mediatization
    Mediatization
    Mediatisation is the loss of imperial immediacy. Broadly defined it is the subsumption of one monarchy into another monarchy in such a way that the ruler of the annexed state keeps his sovereign title and, sometimes, a measure of local power...

    s of 1801–1806 were recognized. Bavaria also gained control of the Rhenish Palatinate and parts of the Napoleonic Duchy of Würzburg and Grand Duchy of Frankfurt
    Grand Duchy of Frankfurt
    The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt was a German satellite state of Napoleonic creation. It came into existence in 1810 through the combination of the former territories of the Archbishops of Mainz along with the Free Imperial City of Frankfurt itself....

    . Hesse-Darmstadt, in exchange for giving up the Duchy of Westphalia to Prussia, was granted the city.
  • Austria regained control of the Tirol
    County of Tyrol
    The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

     and Salzburg
    Salzburg
    -Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

    ; of the former Illyrian Provinces
    Illyrian provinces
    The Illyrian Provinces was an autonomous province of the Napoleonic French Empire on the north and east coasts of the Adriatic Sea between 1809 and 1816. Its capital was established at Laybach...

    ; of Tarnopol district (from Russia); received Lombardy-Venetia in Italy and Dubrovnik
    Republic of Ragusa
    The Republic of Ragusa or Republic of Dubrovnik was a maritime republic centered on the city of Dubrovnik in Dalmatia , that existed from 1358 to 1808...

     in Dalmatia
    Dalmatia
    Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

    . Former Austrian territory in Southwest Germany remained under the control of Württemberg and Baden, and the Austrian Netherlands
    Southern Netherlands
    Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

     were also not recovered.
  • Habsburg princes were returned to control of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
    Grand Duchy of Tuscany
    The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence...

     and the Duchy of Modena.
  • The Papal States
    Papal States
    The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

     were under the rule of the pope and restored to their former extent, with the exception of Avignon
    Avignon
    Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

     and the Comtat Venaissin
    Comtat Venaissin
    The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short , is the former name of the region around the city of Avignon in what is now the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with a small exclave located to the...

    , which remained part of France.
  • The United Kingdom was confirmed in control of the Cape Colony
    Cape Colony
    The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

     in Southern Africa; Tobago
    Tobago
    Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the island of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada. The island lies outside the hurricane belt...

    ; Ceylon; and various other colonies in Africa and Asia. Other colonies, most notably the Dutch East Indies
    Dutch East Indies
    The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

     and Martinique
    Martinique
    Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

    , were restored to their previous owners.
  • The King of Sardinia
    Kingdom of Sardinia
    The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

     was restored in Piedmont
    Piedmont
    Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

    , Nice, and Savoy
    Savoy
    Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

    , and was given control of Genoa
    Genoa
    Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

     (putting an end to the brief proclamation of a restored Republic
    Republic of Genoa
    The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

    ).
  • The Duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla
    Duchy of Parma
    The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

     were given to Marie Louise
    Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
    Marie Louise of Austria was the second wife of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French and later Duchess of Parma...

    , Napoleon's wife.
  • The Duchy of Lucca was created for the House of Bourbon-Parma
    House of Bourbon-Parma
    The House of Bourbon-Parma is an Italian cadet branch of the House of Bourbon. It is thus descended from the Capetian dynasty in male line. The name of Bourbon-Parma comes from the main name and the other from the title of Duke of Parma....

    , which would have reversionary rights to Parma after the death of Marie Louise
    Marie Louise
    Marie Louise or Marie-Louise may refer to:People* Princess Marie Louise * Marie-Louise Coidavid , Queen of the Kingdom of Haiti* Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans , la Grande Mademoiselle...

    .
  • The Bourbon Ferdinand IV
    Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
    Ferdinand I reigned variously over Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies from 1759 until his death. He was the third son of King Charles III of Spain by his wife Maria Amalia of Saxony. On 10 August 1759, Charles succeeded his elder brother, Ferdinand VI, as King Charles III of Spain...

    , King of Sicily was restored to control of the Kingdom of Naples
    Kingdom of Naples
    The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

     after Joachim Murat
    Joachim Murat
    Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

    , the king installed by Bonaparte, supported Napoleon in the Hundred Days
    Hundred Days
    The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

     and started the Neapolitan War
    Neapolitan War
    The Neapolitan War was a conflict between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire. It started on 15 March 1815 when Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza...

     by attacking Austria.
  • The slave trade was condemned.
  • Freedom of navigation was guaranteed for many rivers, notably the Rhine
    Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
    The Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine is an international organization whose function is to encourage European prosperity by guaranteeing a high level of security for navigation of the Rhine and environs...

     and the Danube.

Polish-Saxon crisis


The most controversial subject at the Congress was the so-called Polish-Saxon Crisis. The Russians and Prussians proposed a deal in which much of the Prussian and Austrian shares of the partitions of Poland would go to Russia, which would create a Polish Kingdom in personal union with Russia and Alexander as king. In compensation, the Prussians would receive all of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, whose King was considered to have forfeited his throne as he had not abandoned Napoleon soon enough. The Austrians, French, and British did not approve of this plan, and, at the inspiration of Talleyrand, signed a secret treaty on 3 January 1815, agreeing to go to war, if necessary, to prevent the Russo-Prussian plan from coming to fruition.

Though none of the three powers was ready for war, the Russians did not call the bluff, and an amicable settlement was set on 24 October 1815, by which Russia received most of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw as a "Kingdom of Poland" – called Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

 – but did not receive the district of Poznań
Poznan
Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...

, Grand Duchy of Poznań
Grand Duchy of Poznan
The Grand Duchy of Posen, or the Grand Duchy of Poznań was part of the Kingdom of Prussia, created from territories annexed by Prussia after the Partitions of Poland, and formally established following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Per agreements derived at the Congress of Vienna it was to have...

, which was given to Prussia, nor Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, which became a free city
Free City of Kraków
The Free, Independent, and Strictly Neutral City of Kraków with its Territory , more commonly known as either the Free City of Kraków or Republic of Kraków , was a city-state created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and controlled by its three neighbours until 1846, when in the aftermath of the...

. Prussia received 40% of Saxony – later known as the Province of Saxony
Province of Saxony
The Province of Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.-History:The province was created in 1816 out of the following territories:...

, with the remainder returned to King Frederick Augustus I
Frederick Augustus I of Saxony
Frederick Augustus I was King of Saxony from the House of Wettin. He was also Elector Frederick Augustus III of Saxony and Duke Frederick Augustus I of Warsaw...

 – Kingdom of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...

.

Other changes


The Congress's principal results, apart from its confirmation of France's loss of the territories annexed between 1795–1810, which had already been settled by the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

, were the enlargement of Russia, (which gained most of the Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony...

) and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, which acquired Westphalia
Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

 and the northern Rhineland. The consolidation of Germany from the nearly 300 states of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 (dissolved in 1806) into a much more manageable thirty-nine states (4 of which were free cities) was confirmed. These states were formed into a loose German Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

 under the leadership of Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

.

Representatives at the Congress agreed to numerous other territorial changes. By the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

, Norway had been ceded by the king of Denmark-Norway to the king of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. This sparked the nationalist movement which led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Norway on May 17, 1814
Norway in 1814
1814 was a pivotal year in the history of Norway. It started with Norway in a union with the Kingdom of Denmark subject to a naval blockade being ceded to the king of Sweden. In May a constitutional convention declared Norway an independent kingdom. By the end of the year the Norwegian parliament...

 and the subsequent personal Union
Union between Sweden and Norway
The Union between Sweden and Norway , officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, consisted of present-day Sweden and Norway between 1814 and 1905, when they were united under one monarch in a personal union....

 with Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. Austria gained Lombardy-Venetia in Northern Italy, while much of the rest of North-Central Italy went to Habsburg dynasties (the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence...

, the Duchy of Modena, and the Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

). The Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

 were restored to the Pope. The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was restored to its mainland possessions, and also gained control of the Republic of Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

. In Southern Italy, Napoleon's brother-in-law, Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

, was originally allowed to retain his Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

, but his support of Napoleon in the Hundred Days
Hundred Days
The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

 led to the restoration of the Bourbon Ferdinand IV to the throne.

A large United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...

 was created for the Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange is a title of nobility, originally associated with the Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. In French it is la Principauté d'Orange....

, including both the old United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and the formerly Austrian-ruled territories in the Southern Netherlands. There were other, less important territorial adjustments, including significant territorial gains for the German Kingdoms of Hanover
Kingdom of Hanover
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg , and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German...

 (which gained East Frisia
East Frisia
East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony....

 from Prussia and various other territories in Northwest Germany) and Bavaria
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

 (which gained the Rhenish Palatinate and territories in Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

). The Duchy of Lauenburg was transferred from Hanover to Denmark, and Swedish Pomerania
Swedish Pomerania
Swedish Pomerania was a Dominion under the Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815, situated on what is now the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish War and the Thirty Years' War, Sweden held extensive control over the lands on the southern Baltic coast, including Pomerania and parts...

 was annexed by Prussia. Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 was enlarged, and Swiss neutrality was established.
Swiss mercenaries had played a significant role in European Wars for a couple of hundred years,
and the intention was to put a stop to these actívities permanently.

During the wars, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 had lost its town of Olivença
Olivenza
Olivenza or Olivença is a town in the autonomous community of Extremadura, situated on a disputed section of the border between Portugal and Spain...

 to Spain and moved to have it restored. Portugal is historically the oldest ally of the United Kingdom, and with its support succeeded in having the re-incorporation of Olivença
Olivenza
Olivenza or Olivença is a town in the autonomous community of Extremadura, situated on a disputed section of the border between Portugal and Spain...

 decreed in Article 105 of the Final Act, which stated that the Congress "understood the occupation of Olivença
Olivenza
Olivenza or Olivença is a town in the autonomous community of Extremadura, situated on a disputed section of the border between Portugal and Spain...

 to be illegal and recognized Portugal's rights". Portugal ratified the Final Act in 1815 but Spain would not sign and this became the most important hold-out against the Congress of Vienna. Deciding in the end that it was better to become part of Europe than stand alone, Spain finally accepted the Treaty on 7 May 1817; however, Olivença
Olivenza
Olivenza or Olivença is a town in the autonomous community of Extremadura, situated on a disputed section of the border between Portugal and Spain...

 and its surroundings were never returned to Portuguese control and this question remains unresolved. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 received parts of the West Indies at the expense of the Netherlands and Spain and kept the former Dutch colonies of Ceylon and the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 as well as Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 and Heligoland
Heligoland
Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea.Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands are located in the Heligoland Bight in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea...

. Under the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1815)
Treaty of Paris of 1815, was signed on 20 November 1815 following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. In February, Napoleon had escaped from his exile on Elba; he entered Paris on 20 March, beginning the Hundred Days of his restored rule. Four days after France's defeat in the...

, Britain obtained the protectorate over the United States of the Ionian Islands
United States of the Ionian Islands
The United States of the Ionian Islands was a state and amical protectorate of the United Kingdom between 1815 and 1864. It was the successor state of the Septinsular Republic...

 and the Seychelles
Seychelles
Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....

.

Later criticism


The Congress of Vienna was frequently criticized by nineteenth-century and more recent historians for ignoring national and liberal impulses, and for imposing a stifling reaction
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 on the Continent. It was an integral part in what became known as the Conservative Order
Conservative Order
The Conservative Order is a term applied to European political history after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. From 1815 to 1830 a conscious program by conservative statesmen, including Metternich and Castlereagh, was put in place to contain revolution and revolutionary forces by restoring old...

, in which the liberties and civil rights associated with the American
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

s were de-emphasized, so that a fair balance of power, peace and stability, might be achieved.

In the 20th century, however, many historians have come to admire the statesmen at the Congress, whose work prevented another widespread European war for nearly a hundred years (1815–1914). Among these is Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, who wrote his doctoral dissertation, A World Restored (1957)
A World Restored
A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace 1812-1822 is a book by Henry Kissinger published in 1954. "A World Restored, Metternich, Castlereagh and the conservative politics in a revolutionary world" is an important seminal work on European diplomacy...

, on it. Prior to the opening of the Paris peace conference of 1918, the British Foreign Office commissioned a history of the Congress of Vienna to serve as an example to its own delegates of how to achieve an equally successful peace. Besides, the main decisions of the Congress were made by the Four Great Powers and not all the countries of Europe could extend their rights at the Congress. The Italian peninsula became a mere "geographical expression" as divided into eight parts: Lombardy
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

, Modena
Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....

, Naples-Sicily, Parma
Parma
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

, Piedmont-Sardinia
Piedmont-Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia or Sardinia, also Piedmont-Sardinia, Sardinia-Piedmont or Piemonte, refers to the states of the House of Savoy from 1720 or 1723 onwards, following the award of the crown of Sardinia to King Victor Amadeus II of Savoy under the Treaty of The Hague...

, Tuscany, Venetia
Venetia
Venetia is a name used mostly in a historical context for the area of Northeast Italy, corresponding approximately to the present-day Italian administrative regions of the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia...

 and the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

 under the control of different powers. Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 was under the influence of Russia after the Congress. The arrangements made by the Four Great Powers sought to ensure future disputes would be settled in a manner that would avoid the terrible wars of the previous twenty years. Although, the Congress of Vienna preserved the balance of power in Europe, it could not check the spread of revolutionary movements across the continent some 30 years later.

External links