Congress of Vienna

Vienna Congress of September 19, 1814 - June 06, 1815. Assembly agreed upon in the peace of Paris on May 5, 1814, attended by monarchs and representatives of the most important countries to reorganise the political map of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. The representatives of the four main allies were: Tsar Alexander I and Count K. W. Nesselrode (Russia), King Friedrich Wilhelm III and Chancellor K. A. Prince of Hardenberg (Prussia), Viscount Castlereagh and the Duke of Wellington (England), Emperor Franz I and the chairman of the Congress C. W. Prince Metternich (Austria); The French representative C. M. de Talleyrand had ensured Frances participation as the 5th decisive power.

Small states tried to intervene and the negotiations were characterised by tensions (secret alliance between Austria, England and France against Russia and Prussia on January 03, 1815), but were accelerated by Napoleons return from Elba (March 01, 1815). As a result Austria was handed back parts of its former possessions including Western Carinthia, Carniola, Istria and Dalmatia (Vorarlberg, Tirol, Salzburg, the Hausruckviertel and Innviertel regions were returned in a barter agreement with Bavaria in 1816), the borough of Tarnopol in Galicia (but not New Galicia) and the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom in Northern Italy, which secured Austrias dominant position in Italy. The Habsburg secundogenitures Tuscany (Ferdinand III, the brother of Emperor Franz I) and Modena (Franz IV of Austria-Este) were re-established.

Marie Louise kept Parma and Piacenza, but Austria surrendered the Vorlande with the Breisgau region and the Austrian Netherlands. The Deutscher Bund under the presidency of Austria replaced the Holy Roman Empire, which had been dissolved in 1806; the Act of the German Federation was integrated into the final act of the Congress. Further results of the Congress: Switzerland was enlarged and given a guarantee for its neutrality; Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria remained in existence; Krakiw became a Free City and Poland joined Russia. Furthermore, the droit de legation was codified ("Räglement de Vienne") as well as the freedom of international river traffic and the outlawry of the slave trade. At the Congress of Vienna Austria once more succeeded in asserting its position in Europe and prolonging its supremacy in Germany and Italy. The further course of the 19th century was characterised by a competitive relationship with Prussia, to which Austria had to yield again and again. The Congress of Vienna was accompanied by many social gatherings and put Austria to great expense; The Prince of Ligne coined the phrase "the Congress dances, but it does not get anywhere" ("Le congres danse beaucoup, mais il ne marche pas").

Elements of the Treaty

Russia was given most of the Duchy of Warsaw (Poland) and was allowed to keep Finland (which it had annexed from Sweden in 1809 and held until 1917).

Prussia was given two fifths of Saxony, parts of the Duchy of Warsaw (the Grand Duchy of Posen), Danzig, and the Rhineland/Westphalia.

A German Confederation of 38 states was created from the previous 300, under the presidency of the Austrian Emperor. Only portions of the territory of Austria and Prussia were included in the Confederation.

The Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands (approx. modern-day Belgium) were united in a constitutional monarchy, with the House of Orange-Nassau providing the king.

To compensate for the Orange-Nassau's loss of the Nassau lands to Prussia, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg were to form a personal union under the House of Orange-Nassau, with Luxembourg (but not the Netherlands) inside the German Confederation.

The Dano-Norwegian union was dissolved and Norway transferred to Sweden (in personal union).

Sweden ceded Swedish Pomerania to Prussia.

The neutrality of Switzerland was guaranteed.

Hanover gave up the Duchy of Lauenburg to Denmark, but was enlarged by the addition of former territories of the Bishop of Münster and by the formerly Prussian East Frisia, and made a kingdom.

Most of the territorial gains of Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Nassau under the mediatizations of 1801-1806 were recognized. Bavaria also gained control of the Rhenish Palatinate and parts of the Napoleonic Duchy of Würzburg and Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Hesse-Darmstadt, in exchange for giving up the Duchy of Westphalia to Prussia, was granted the city of Mainz.

Austria regained control of the Tirol and Salzburg; of the former Illyrian Provinces, and received Lombardy-Venetia in Italy and Ragusa in Dalmatia. Former Austrian territory in Southwest Germany remained under the control of Württemberg and Baden, and the Austrian Netherlands were also not recovered.

Habsburg princes were returned to control of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Modena.

The Papal States were under the rule of the pope and restored to their former extent, with the exception of Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin, which remained part of France.

The United Kingdom was confirmed in control of Cape Colony, South Africa; Tobago; Ceylon; and various other colonies in Africa and Asia. Other colonies, most notably the Dutch East Indies and Martinique, were restored to their previous owners.

The King of Sardinia was restored in Piedmont, Nice, and Savoy, and was given control of Genoa (putting an end to the brief proclamation of a restored Republic).

The Duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla were given to Marie Louise, Napoleon's wife.

The Duchy of Lucca was created for the House of Bourbon-Parma, which would have reversionary rights to Parma after the death of Marie Louise.

The Bourbon Ferdinand IV, King of Sicily was restored to control of the Kingdom of Naples, but only after Joachim Murat, the king installed by Bonaparte, rose up and supported Napoleon in the Hundred Days, triggering the Neapolitan War.

The slave trade was condemned.

Freedom of navigation was guaranteed for many rivers, including the Rhine.


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