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Aims Of The Congress Of Vienna (815)

2722 words - 11 pages

Many historians have come to regard the Congress of Vienna as a gathering of diplomats dancing and enjoying a great time in Austria. The famous quote "The Congress danced" is know by every historian. However the fruits of their actions taken in the Congress differ from this theory, as history teaches us.The congress of Vienna was the result of the end of the Napoleonic Wars and all the violence and conflict they had brought with it. It reflected the deep changes that Europe was going though when Napoleon's downfall was finally achieved by the alliance of the major powers in the Battle of Waterloo. Not only did the defeat of Napoleon represent a victory for the allies, but a defeat of the French Revolution and the entire ideological basis from which the rest of Europe blamed for igniting the revolution. Restoration of the order in Europe was crucial and could only be accomplished by a meeting of all the states in Europe. There was the general knowledge that the guarantee for collective security was at stake.The Congress of Vienna opened in September 1814, and its deliberations closed in November of 1815. The representatives of the main states saw their primary duty to be the reconstruction of a stable order and peace by means of restoring the rights of the states dissolved or in crisis after the war. There are some doubts whether they actually follow these rules and as many historians point out they did not, however there are mitigating causes for them to not do so.Another pertinent issue that the Congress was ready to deal with it was to contain France from trying to run amuck all over Europe again. These two main issues were come to be the two main aims of the Congress: the containment of France and the restoration of order and peace. The fundamental changes in the international system are seen by how these issues were dealt in the Congress; and if it did in fact re-establish order and peace in Europe after the Congress was dissolved.Three principles dictated the proceeding in Vienna: compensation, legitimacy and restoration . However, the principles of compensation and legitimacy were not compatible in the way that a small state was annexed to a major power for the loss of another territory to another great power (in the case of Western Germany, in Poland, Saxony, Norway, the Austrian Netherlands and Northern Italy). The doctrine of legitimacy was supposedly the underlying foundation from which the diplomats based their redistribution of territories in this new Europe. But as it is proven the rights of the small state were overlooked for the overall aim of peace and to achieve that a point of equilibrium between all states were going to be needed. It is crucial to understand the causes for the reasoning by the main powers to have acted this way.Much has been said of the importance of balance of power that directed the wills of the statesmen present in the Congress of Vienna to try to achieve peace and order throughout Europe. On the other hand,...

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