Vienna Congress: the division of Europe in the 19th century
In the last days of March 1814 the Allied forcestriumphantly entered Paris. This meant the complete defeat of Napoleonic France and the final cessation of long-standing European wars. Napoleon himself soon renounced power and was exiled to Elba, and the victorious allies sat down at the negotiating table to remake the map of European countries.
To this end, the Vienna Congress was convened, which was held in Austria in 1814-1815. It was attended by representatives of Russia, England, Austria, Prussia, France and Portugal.
As main issues were consideredthe following: the redistribution of Europe in favor of the victorious countries, the restoration of monarchical power in Europe and the prevention of any possibility of Napoleon's return to power.
In France, were restored in the rightsrepresentatives of the Bourbon dynasty, and the throne was occupied by Louis XVIII, the closest heir to the executed Louis XVI. In addition, the winners wanted to restore the old system - the feudal nobility-absolutist. Of course, after all the political achievements of the French Revolution, this goal was utopian, but nevertheless, for many years, Europe has entered a regime of conservatism and reaction.
The main problem was the redistribution of land, especiallyPoland and Saxony. The Russian emperor Alexander I wanted to annex the Polish lands to the territory of Russia, and to give Saxony to the power of Prussia. But the representatives of Austria, Britain and France in every way prevented such a decision. They even signed a secret cooperation agreement against the territorial aspirations of Prussia and Russia, so at the first stage such redistribution did not take place.
In general, the Congress of Vienna showed that the main superiority of forces was observed in Russia, Prussia, England and Austria. Bargaining and enmity among themselves, the representatives of these countries carried out the main redistribution of Europe.
In the spring of 1815, Napoleon managed to escape fromElbe, he landed in France and began a new military campaign. However, soon his soldiers were completely defeated at Waterloo, and the Vienna Congress of 1815 began to work in an accelerated mode. Now its participants have tried as quickly as possible to make final decisions about the territorial structure of Europe.
In early July, 1815, a general was signedAct of Congress, according to which France was deprived of all the lands conquered earlier. The Warsaw duchy, which was now called the Kingdom of Poland, was taken to Russia. The Rhineland, Poznan, Westphalia and much of Saxony were transferred to Prussia. Austria annexed Lombardy, Galicia and Venice to its territory, and in the alliance of the Northern German Principalities (the German Union) this country was the most influential. Of course, this affected the interests of the Prussian state.
In Italy, the Sardinian Kingdom was restored,adding to it Savoy and Nice, while confirming the rights of the Savoy dynasty. Tuscany, Modena and Parma passed under the authority of the Austrian representatives of the Habsburg dynasty. Rome again passed under the authority of the Pope, to whom all previous rights were returned. In Naples, the throne of the Bourbons was seated. The Netherlands Kingdom was formed from Holland and Belgium.
The small German states that abolishedNapoleon, most of them have not been restored. Their total number has decreased almost tenfold. Nevertheless, the fragmentation of Germany, which now has 38 states, has remained the same.
Towards England crossed the colonial land, which shetook away from Spain, France and Holland. The islands of Malta and Ceylon, Cape of Good Hope, Guyana, the Ionian Islands are now finally entrenched in the British kingdom.
A confederation of nineteen Swiss cantons was formed, which proclaimed "eternal neutrality". Norway was handed over to Sweden, withdrawing it from Denmark.
But at the same time, all European states without exception were afraid of excessive strengthening of Russia, since it was this country that belonged to the winner of the Napoleonic troops.
The Vienna Conference ended this, butin the autumn of 1815, Alexander I decided to consolidate the new European order and establish the dominant role of Russia and England. On his initiative, an agreement was signed on the creation of the Holy Alliance, which included Austria, Prussia and the Russian Empire. According to the agreements, these states promised to help each other in case of revolutions or popular uprisings.
The Congress of Vienna and its decisions had a decisive influence on the entire European system. Only after 1917, when the First World War will end, the European territory will again be redrawn.