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Unit 5

Congress of Vienna

32 min videojanuary 10, 2019


After Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo and ensuing exile, ambassadors from the Quadruple Alliance met to arrange a peace settlement. The meeting, called the Congress of Vienna, was largely dominated by the Austrian foreign minister Klemens von Metternich. Metternich had three main goals: first, he wanted to prevent future French aggression by surrounding France with strong countries. This led to the creation of the German Confederation, which replaced Napoleon’s Confederation of the Rhine. Second, he wanted to restore the balance of power within Europe. Third, he wanted to restore royal dynasties to countries like France, where the government had become a republic. The Congress of Vienna had far-reaching effects that affected Europe long past the meeting itself; while the Congress of Vienna was a victory for conservatism, it ultimately failed to prevent the forces of nationalism and liberalism from taking hold in the latter half of the 19th century.

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