Its merits outweighed its defects



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It may also be argued that the Vienna Settlement was progressive because it did not take the idea of nationalism into consideration Seaman suggests that many areas like the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Switzerland, Spain and Italy were removed from the menace of conscription into the armies of foreign despot. As he says "there were fewer people being ruled and dispelled by foreigners by the end of 1815, than these were at the end of 1810." However this insufficient to say that the settlement was progressive beaux the nationalism Seaman talks above is that of the traditional concept. David Thomson points out that nationalism is traditionally measures was merely the sense of belonging in a common homeland. But rationalism in its new contact deft the French Revolution started to mean much more. It was unity, evidence of a ration, it stressed an loyalty to ones nation and not ones monarchs. Therefore, freeing the states from Napoleon's domination still did not make it progressive because it was merely satisfying something of the old generation and not the new one.
Certainly the Vienna Settlement was moderate towards the big powers but only it the expense of the smaller powers. And it was not progressive even when viewed from the 1815 time contest. It was as Knapton said "a semister league of the Monarch against the liberties and nationalism of the people." It was only the fear of revolution and economic exhaustion of the Continent that prevented any recurrence of war. The only comfort for advocates of progressives is that the Vienna Settlement did attempt the abolition of slave trade and promoted international trade by declaring the freedom of navigation in international waters.
5. To what extent was the old order restored by the decision taken at the Vienna Settlement in 1815?
In 1815, a year after the defeat of Napoleon, the Vienna Treaty restored the old order in Europe to a certain extent.
Before 1789, all countries in Europe, except England, were under absolute monarchic rule. During the French Revolution, the Bourbon King, Louis XVI was deposed. France changed to a Republic until 1804 when it became an Empire under Emperor Napoleon. Similarly Napoleon reorganised Italy into three kingdom, replaced the House of Orange in Holland by his brother, Louis Bonaparte and dethroned the Bourbon King in Spain in 1808. By the 1815 Treaty of Vienna, all the dynastic sovereigns who had ruled in their respective countries before they were overturned by Napoleon, were restored. This meant legitimacy, one of the principles the Congress acted upon. As a result, Spain and Naples reverted to the Bourbon kings, Holland to the House of Orange, and Sardinia and Piedmont to the House of Savoy; the German princes were restored to the German states, the Austrian princes to the central Italian States and the Pope to the Papal States.
Nationalism, hitherto confined to the countries on the Atlantic seaboard, received fresh from the French Revolution, and found its way into the central and eastern Europe. The success of the French army from 1792 onward was partly due to the patriotism of the soldiers. In establishing the Kingdom of Italy, the Confederation of the Rhine and the grand Duchy of Warsaw, Napoleon roused the national feelings of the Italians, Germans and the Poles. Along with the spread of the spirit of the spirit of nationalism, a new Europe arose. In order to form a strong ring around France regarded by the contemporaries as the main source of disturbance, the 1815 peace-makers however cut up territories and joined nations. They united Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) and Holland, left Germany divided into thirty-nine states under the presidency of Austria and Italy into several states and put Poles under Russian control. They disregarded the new spirit, thinking that Europe was still in the eighteenth century. The Congress of Vienna refused to lead Europe forward.
Obviously, the Vienna peace-makers saw in French as well as the Germans and Italian nationalism, a new political force, the threat to European peace. On the other hand, the ancient regime survived the Revolutionary War. The Romanov of Russia, the Hohenzollern of Prussia and the Hapsburg of Austria had not been overthrown, but had weathered the storm. These monarchical institutions still rested on the support of the church and the landed aristocracy. The old dynastic monarchies were still the focus of loyalty for all those on the side of conservatism the anchor of political stability within a state. Thus, the Congress of Vienna preferred no change from the monarchical system of government as a pre-requisite of peace.
But since 1805 there had arisen a new Europe. Napoleonic conquests had destroyed many of old boundaries roused the consciousness of nationality, and communicated revolutionary ideas and practices of the French type to a large part of Europe. Moreover, it was by a strict balance maintained within the Allies- the 1813 treaty of Chaumont- that the Napoleonic Empire was finally brought down.
Despite the restoration of the dynastic monarchies, the new elements in Europe were not uprooted by the Allies. The 1815 territorial arrangement was determined by the concern with the maintenance of the existing balance rather than by the principles of legitimacy or restoration. They drew new boundaries, and caused some states to come into existence and some into growing power chiefly to prevent any single power from becoming too powerful as to start aggression. Accordingly, Austria though recovered Lombardy and Venetia, was not given back into Austrian Netherlands which was then joined to Holland to form the new state, the United Netherlands. Switzerland which was only a geographical expression in 1789 became an independent state. In central Europe, Prussia in 1815 gained Westphalia, the Rhine Province and part of Saxony, and so, she was much enlarged. Though Austria, held the presidency of the German Confederation, Prussia was to share with Austria the leadership in the German affairs for she was entrusted with mission of safeguarding the Rhine frontier against recurrence of French aggression. During Napoleonic conquests, the Holy Roman Empire was abolished; the Allies in the Congress did not have it restored. The Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine was enlarged and there were now 30 German States. The enlarged states, Bavaria, Baden and Wuttermburg were not reduced; the lands they obtained from Austria under the Napoleonic treaty of Pressburg (1805) were not given back to Austria. Thus Germany not only was not restored to the old division of hundreds of petty states, but gained accidentally a step towards unification which was impossible in 1789.
The Allies also redivided Italy. The Papal States, the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, Parma, Tuscany and Modena were all restored, though not the hundreds of the petty states which had existed before the Napoleonic conquests. Despite these, the new kingdom of Sardinia acquired Genoa, Savoy and Piedmont, and so challenged Austrian supremacy in Italy. Hence, at the Vienna Congress, the Austria predominance in Central Europe which she had before 1789 was not restored. Restoration was not to interfere with the European balance.
In re-affirming the balance as reached in 1805 and not going back to the pre-1789 Europe, the Congress of Vienna believed that any significant departure from the existing balance would endanger peace wherein lay the general welfare of Europe.

Furthermore, the Allies in their restoration of legitimate monarchs did not signify the return of despotism. The constitutional monarchy of Louis XVIII in France was re-affirmed. The Vienna Congress made the recommendation that all the German princes were to grant constitution to their people if they so desired. The Allies did not restore the feudal practices in the German and Italian states which Napoleonic regimes had abolished. They even guaranteed a liberal constitution to the Poles from Russia. Hence, the Congress of Vienna did not make any reactionary decision. Nor did it try to impose in the European countries the pre-1789 divine absolutism, which may mean frustration of the wishes of those who had already had a taste of liberty and democracy. The Congress preferred no changed from the new Europe which had arisen since 1805.


By welfare, the Congress of Vienna took it to mean the general well-being of the European peoples which, it was taken for granted, would be taken care of naturally by peace and prosperity. It would not be appropriate for any international conference to deal with welfare of the people in a particular country in a direct way.
Thus, the Congress of Vienna did not redirect European development into the channels back to pre-1789. Neither did it lead Europe to look forward. Toward the issue between the old regime and the revolution stand and between autocracy and liberal democracy the Congress took a neutral concern was the maintenance of the balance reached in 1805. for any departure from it would bring recurrence of disastrous war. Thus there should be no change. Certainly the Congress of Vienna ignored the existence of the nationalistic. In 1815, whether nor not nationalism was a force sufficiently powerful to compel its recognition by an international conference, is, however, controversial. Indeed, whether or not the conference system of national states is a pre-requisite for well-being of the European is another debatable topic; they would, as the conservative were convinced, live more happily under monarchical states. Nevertheless, rather beyond the expectation of the 1815 peace-makers, the decisions taken for Prussia and Sardinia, Piedmont to serve as the bulwarks against recurrence of French aggression, respectively on the Rhine and to southeast of the Alps subsequently led them to take up the leadership in the German and Italian national movement and to found national states by 1871.
6. "The Vienna Settlement is a compromise between the new and old order." Discuss.
The Vienna Settlement was the peace settlement of the Napoleonic War, which had marked a great era of change in Europe. The main purpose of the Vienna Settlement was to maintain peace. The new ideology and change brought about by Napoleon I was regarded as something terrible for the excess of 1789 revolution. Hence it was commonly held that the pre-war conditions should be restored as far as possible. However, the statesmen of the Vienna Congress were suitable enough that changes could not be wined away completely and it was impossible to put the clock back again. Therefore, they did accept some concession to the new order. Before analysing the old and new ingredients of the Vienna Settlement, we must first understand what is the meaning of new order and old order at the time of the Settlement.
The old order referred to the traditional European political structure that is the institutions of monarchy, the union of state and church, the landed aristocracy dominating the political structure, while the new order referred to the new revolutionary ideas inspired by the Napoleonic Wars--- nationalism, liberalism, democracy, and socialism. As mentioned above, the main purpose of the Vienna Settlement was to maintain peace. After long years of chaos and confusion, all the people in Europe were tired of war, and longed for peace and stability. The excess of 1789 revolution had discredited the new ideas of liberalism, nationalism, republicanism, and socialism. These ideas seemed to represent something terrible to the existing order. Hence, after 1815 there was the revival of the old order.
Moreover, as the old order was deeply rooted in the continent, it was impossible to be uprooted completely. The Vienna Settlement had restored the institutions of monarchy. The principle of legitimacy was accepted as the principle of the peace settlement. Louis XVIII, the Bourbon King, was restored to France. The legitimate ruler of Spain and Nepal had also been restored. The Pope became the ruler of Papal State again. Though the institution of monarchy was the order in 1815; however, the Settlement did also accept that the principle of divine right of king had been discredited. The Settlement did not state that the restored emperors should have absolute power. On the contrary, the power was stated to give constitution to the people. Louis XVIII was to rule with a character, the German states had also given constitution to the people according to Vienna Settlement. Though Belgium and Holland was to group together to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it was also stated it should give a constitution and religious freedom to Belgium. Thus, in short, though the settlement generally favoured the traditional institutions of monarchy, it had also given the concession to the new idea of liberalism. Moreover, the principle of legitimacy was not carried out consistently as Seaman observed, "the formulae of legitimacy loomed much larger in the conversation of Talleyrand than in the clause of Treaty of Vienna."
But the Holy Roman Empire was not restored. Instead, a German Confederation of 39 states was created. Italy had been put under the influence of Austria. Many Italian states were restored, Venetia and Lombardy were to put under the direct rule of Austria, while Tuscany, Parma, Modena were put under the control of Austria. Belgium and Holland were to combine together to form the kingdom of Netherlands. Norway was transferred from Denmark to Sweden. However, it was the above mentioned examples that were widely used as evidence of reactionary character of the Vienna Settlement. While, examining these examples, we must first understand the element of time in the development of history. Though the new idea of nationalism, liberalism, democracy had been brought about by the Napoleonic revolution, they did not have exactly equivalent meaning of today. At that time these terms were only newly discovered and the ideas they represented were only in the embryo stage. Moreover, we must not forget that peace and stability were the hope of majority after years of war. Referring to the case of German Confederation, it was claimed that the decision was against the idea of nationalism, which advocated the unity of the country. We must not forget that the number of states had greatly reduced in Germany. Hence the country was brought a step forward to unification already.
Moreover, even themselves, the German had no concept or rather was against the idea of unification. It was absurd to demand the Vienna Settlement to give unification to Germany, which needed years of war and hard work. Hence, these condemnation of neglected nationalism was not valid.
For the case of the Belgium and Italy, we must bear in mind that peace was the watchword of the Settlement. Both Italy and Belgium were not strong enough to stand up by themselves against the ambitious neighbour--- France. Hence it was the good of peace that they were put under foreign control. Moreover, as mentioned above the Settlement had stated that Belgium be given a constitution and religious freedom. The failure to get these rights was the fault of the Dutch government rather than the Vienna Settlement. And for Italy, just as the German States, was not prepared for unification at that time. It was even valid to say that Italian unification was immature in 1815.
However, once again the Vienna Settlement was not against the idea of nationalism and liberalism. It was only the condition that was the determining force. As for Norway, it was transferred to Sweden after consulting their own opinion. Moreover, Norway had long been under foreign rule before 1815 and this combination was maintained up to 1905, indicating that Norway was quite satisfied with its own condition.
Last of all, though the allied army fighting Napoleon was the army of royal general, it had actually liberated many countries from foreign rule--- France. This just coincided with the principle of nationalism and liberalism. Though 1815 was followed by a period of reaction, the principle of union of state and church such as France and Italian states, great political power was given back to the land-owing class. Some emperors even intended to restore absolute power and the three Eastern reactionary powers intended to join together to suppress any revolutionary ideas. But all these were the work of the rulers of various powers, but not the intention of the Vienna Settlement.
As conclusion, the Vienna Settlement had accepted that the clock could not be put back and limited concession was necessary, though the statesmen of the Vienna Congress had no confidence in the new order and hoped to restore the pre-war condition as far as possible. Hence for the peace and stability, the statesmen was sensible enough to create the Settlement which was "a compromise between the old and new order in 1815."
7. Would it be true to say that the Vienna Settlement was wise and moderate? Give reasons to support your answer.
After the defeat of Napoleon, the most important task of the European powers was to establish peace and stability. It was also the principle of the Vienna Settlement. However, at that moment, it was never an easy task to establish peace and maintain it because of the conflicting national interests among the powers and the problems left behind by the Napoleonic Era. Nevertheless, the Vienna Settlement was wise to work out a compromise between the conflicting national interests and strive a balance between the powers. Furthermore, it neither involved any major injustice to any one of the powers, not even to the defeated, nor had been too timid to let any one of them become excessively powerful but kept strictly between the two extremes. Thus, it may be the best agreement that could be reached in the contemporary Europe and so it was acceptable to all. So to a large extent, the Vienna Settlement was wise and moderate.
Though Napoleon, the common foe of the European powers was defeated, it did not mean that from then on the 'Concert of Europe' could be easily established. On the contrary, the defeat of Napoleon exposed further the conflicting national interests of the European powers, which was a potential threat to the peace of Europe. If a compromise could not be reached about it, any form of peace settlement would be delicate. The Vienna Settlement was wise because it did work to achieve this fatal compromise.
Firstly, we should look clearly at the situation of Europe; the Russian wanted a westward expansion that could be obtained served in her claim to Poland; however, it was of the British and Austrian concern to keep Russia as far as possible from intervening the European affairs. Then, to the Prussians, it was her interest to increase her influence across her south-west border, that can be observed clearly in her agreement to support Russia claim in Poland in exchange for Russian support to her claim in Saxony; however, it was one of the main interests of Austria to stop Prussia from becoming too influential in the German states. Furthermore, to France, the defeated power her immediate national wants were of course to restore her prestige and influence; however, it was the common interest of all European states to ensure that there should not be a 'Master of Europe' anymore. Under these circumstances, establishing peace was never an easy task. However, the Vienna Settlement did achieve a series of compromise between the powers wisely. The three powers, Britain, France and Austria finally abandoned the risk of war and let Russia get what she wanted in Poland. To Prussia, it was her pleasure to gain two fifth of Saxony. However, in the newly created German Confederation, Austria gained an upper hand as she could preside the Diet of Confederation. Thus, once again, a compromise was reached. To France, though she could not re-established her power behind her border, she did not suffer from any major injustice too. By the end, a series of compromises between the conflicting national interest of the five big powers was reached. The five big: Britain, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia were all satisfied and their being satisfied in fact meant any major conflict in Europe less possible and thus peace could be maintained and settlement was a success.
The Vienna Settlement was wise also because she did not only reach a series of compromise between conflicting national interest, but also actively prevented was by establishing a balance of power in the Europe Continent. To the understanding of Metternich and Castlereagh, the preservation of peace depended on a common front by the victors. Both wanted a 'just equilibrium' to exist among European states in terms of territory, population and resources. They were less concerned with obtaining power for their own states than preventing other states from becoming too strong as it would only encourage future unilateral aggression. So when Russia had made gains in Poland, Austria received compensation at once by re-establishing her influence in the northern part of Italy and in the German states. While, France was not being unduly weakened as both a counter-weight to Austria and Russia. So, as the result, of the Vienna Settlement, Russian ambition in the Eastern Europe was checked by Britain and Austria, Prussia and Austria were incorporated into the German Confederation, Bourbon princes were reinstated as well as Hapsburg's. The aim was to find and keep a balance among themselves which would prevent any one of them dominating too large an area of Europe and thus peace would be preserved.
From the above analysis, one may raise a question about the treatment of France in the Settlement. At that time, France was indeed too major a power to be ignored. Without her participation, a real balance of power in Europe could never be achieved. Dealing with this delicate issue, the general spirit of the settlement was moderate and lenient. Or we may say that it was wise for them to be moderate to France. Though it was impossible for the powers to let France to re-establish her power across the boundary, the powers at the same time did not want to weaken France unduly too. Furthermore, it was also the power's concern not to humiliate France. Though the Vienna Settlement was concerned with the European Continent as a whole, it did not provide any article against the First Treaty of Paris by which France could keep her boundary of 1789 and was not required to pay an indemnity or reparation. Though the Second Treaty of Paris was more harsh to further reduce French territory into what she was in 1790, impose an indemnity of 200 million francs, send an army of occupation for five years and asked for the return of art treasure; the terms were still moderate when compared with the panic resulted by the 'Hundred Days'. The powers were wise to be moderate to France because it may make it easy for the restoration of the Bourbon rule which would make France a feeling, the powers wanted to let the Bonapartism die naturally.
On the other hand, leniency to France did not mean that she was left unchecked. Though the powers were moderate to France in order not to create a lasting sense of grievance, the Vienna Settlement at the same time was wise to set up barriers around France to prevent the revival of a 'master of Europe'. Adjacent to the south-west border of France. Piedmont, which was given Nice and Genoa, was established as a buffer against her and Austria too received Lombardy and Venetia in order to gain a strong position acting as a check to French expansion. Adjacent to the northwest border of France, the German Confederation was formed to get ride of Napoleonic influence and an attempt was made to revive the Holy Roman Empire who was proved to be ineffective to check France. To the east of France, Belgium was united with Holland in order to strengthen Holland's border. With regard to the Swiss Confederation, she was strengthened by the addition of three cantons, making twenty-two in all. Her neutrality was guaranteed by a declaration of the major powers. Thus, by the arrangement of the Vienna Settlement France was surrounded by many states, which were determined to curb any French expansion.
Another point that illustrated the wisdom and moderation of the Vienna Settlement was her acceptance of new changes as long as they did not act against the general principle of the settlement, and of course, the national interests of the powers. As a result, many changes brought about Napoleon in Europe was recognised particularly in the German states. The German Confederation learnt a lot from the Confederation of Rhine, and the Holy Roman Empire was not restored and many small states were re-established. They wanted stability and peace so it was wise for them to accept the inevitable.
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