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The Congress of Vienna
WHY IT MATTERS NOW
POWER AND AUTHORITY After
exiling Napoleon, European
leaders at the Congress of
Vienna tried to restore order
and reestablish peace.
International bodies such as the
United Nations play an active
role in trying to maintain world
peace and stability today.
TERMS & NAMES
• Congress of
• Klemens von
• balance of power
SETTING THE STAGE European heads of government were looking to
establish long-lasting peace and stability on the continent after the defeat of
Napoleon. They had a goal of the new European order—one of collective security and stability for the entire continent. A series of meetings in Vienna, known
as the Congress of Vienna, were called to set up policies to achieve this goal.
Originally, the Congress of Vienna was scheduled to last for four weeks. Instead,
it went on for eight months.
Use a chart to show
w the three goals
of Metternich’s plan at
the Congress of Vienna
solved a political
Metternich’s Plan for Europe
Most of the decisions made in Vienna during the winter of 1814–1815 were
made in secret among representatives of the five “great powers”—Russia,
Prussia, Austria, Great Britain, and France. By far the most influential of these
representatives was the foreign minister of Austria, Prince Klemens von
Metternich distrusted the democratic ideals of the French Revolution. Like
most other European aristocrats, he felt that Napoleon’s behavior had been a natural outcome of experiments with democracy. Metternich wanted to keep things
as they were and remarked, “The first and greatest concern for the immense
majority of every nation is the stability of laws—never their change.” Metternich
had three goals at the Congress of Vienna. First, he wanted to prevent future
French aggression by...