'metternich Only Failed Because He Was In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time'. How Far Do You Agree With This Statement

670 words - 3 pages

Clemens Metternich was an Austrian statesman in post-Napoleonic Europe. Metternich played a great role in European history between the years of 1809 and 1848 where he acted as foreign minister of Austria. Although Francis I weakened his role in Austrian affairs Metternich took great strides towards the maintenance of monarchy in Austria and much of Europe during his years as foreign minister. Due to the fact that he came to power in an age of new ideas (These ideas included the feelings of Nationalism, the Industrial Revolution, and also a rise in both social problems and the desire for popular government participation), he knew that sooner or later he would fail. So there was a certain fatalism about him. Generally he showed little understanding for the new emerging Europe (after the French Revolution, which brought about these new ideas) and was a firm believer in the ...view middle of the document...

He banned the freedom of press and he made no concessions to the principle of popular sovereignty. Metternich thought once the idea of the sovereignty of the people was accepted, the life of the state, the working of the society, would be disadvantaged by disputes. This would lead to chaos and anarchy. Distinctive to the psyche of a conservative.Metternich's support for the monarchial system is very important towards ones understanding of his existence. Like the emperor Francis I he was a firm monarchist, a fan of the old way of life. Thus, his laws and policies received great appraisal from the emperor and were accepted without much deliberation. That being said it seems he was in fact in a good position, in the right place, at the right time.However, in an era of change and new ideology his policies were futile. Therefore, through Metternich's inability to react to the feelings and ideas of the time, and his unwillingness to adapt to the new ideas showing up around him, he eventually lost his position as foreign minister. Napoleon's conquests stimulated liberalism and nationalism throughout Europe. In earlier years people were use to monarchy. That was the way of life in Europe. Civilization knew nothing more, freethinking political ideas had not yet received widespread attention. That is primarily why if Metternich were to have began his reign as Austrian foreign minister in earlier times, 17th or 18th century perhaps, he would have succeeded as a European diplomat and his thoughts would have been prevalent.Conclusively, it is clear that Metternich's failure greatly reflected the simple truth that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This was due specifically to new ways of thought introduced after the French revolution, which he failed to acknowledge and tried greatly to evaporate. Reasons for his being in the right place at the right time are heavily foreshadowed by the immense amount of those for his being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thus, his failure was inevitable.

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