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Congress of Vienna - Winning & Losing Nations

Congress of Vienna - Winning & Losing Nations

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Published by soadquake981
An essay answering the question: "Who were the winning and losing nations as a result of the Vienna Settlement?"
An essay answering the question: "Who were the winning and losing nations as a result of the Vienna Settlement?"

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Published by: soadquake981 on Oct 30, 2008
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12/21/2012

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Garg 1Rishi GargIB European History, 2
nd
PeriodMr. Swan / Mr. Duran30 October 2008Who were the winning and losing nations as a result of the Vienna Settlement?The purpose of the Vienna Settlement was to establish an international framework forcontinental cooperation and the maintenance of the balance of power. Each nation thatparticipated in the Settlement, including Britain, Austria, France, Prussia, and Austria, had itsown goals and aims. One can only classify a nation as
winning
or
losing
by comparing thenation
s goals with the results of the Settlement. By analyzing these two important factors, allparticipating nations except France
won
overall as a result of the Final Act of June 1815, albeitthey all conceded something.Britain was represented at first by Viscount Castlereigh, and later by the duke of Wellington. Its main goals were to secure Britain
s maritime and commercial interests on thecontinent, to prevent the resurgence of France, and to make Prussia a formidable power incentral Europe. Britain had no interest in land on the continent, because any territorycontrolled by it would be too difficult to manage, largely due to the fact that Britain was andstill is an isolated island. Because of Britain
s disinterest in continental land, it served as anonpartisan mediator between other countries. As a result of the Vienna Settlement, trade wasofficially restored between Britain and the continent, and Britain lost many of its colonialconquests. However, the restoration of trade was one of Britain
s most important goals, so onecan conclude that Britain gained much more than it lost.
 
Garg 2Russia was represented by Tsar Alexander I personally. In fact, Russia was the onlycountry to be represented by its political leader. Its main goals were to establish dominance indrawing up peace, to create a Polish kingdom under Russian rule, and to keep monarchy alive inEurope. As a result of the Vienna Settlement, a new Polish independent kingdom was createdunder Russia
s rule. In addition, Spain
s monarchy was restored, and Russia was allowed tokeep its claim to Finland. Comparing the results to the goals, it is no exaggeration to say thatRussia lost almost nothing as a result of the Settlement.Austria was represented by the clever Prince Klemens von Metternich. His goals forAustria were to preserve its dominance over central Europe and to prevent the resurgence of France. As a result of the Vienna Settlement, Austria received Galicia, Lombardy, Venetia, theIllyrian provinces, Salzburg, and Tyrol. Austria did lose the Netherlands, however. A newGermanic Confederation was created to replace the defunct Holy Roman Empire. ThisConfederation included 39 states, including four free cities. The rule of this new Confederationwas placed in Austria
s power. It is interesting to note that Austria
s goal to preservedominance over central Europe and Britain
s goal of making Prussia a formidable power incentral Europe are opposing goals. In the end, Austria received considerably more territories incentral Europe than Prussia, which leads one to believe that Austria succeeded in its goal butBritain did not. In this manner, Austria lost very little overall but won many things.Prussia was represented by Prince Karl August von Hardenberg, who was of minimalhelp to the country, due in part to his deafness and in part to the fact that Prussia
s king waspolitically subservient to Russia
s Alexander I. As a result of this unfortunate combination of factors, Prussia had neither solid goals at the beginning of the Settlement nor solid gains and
 
Garg 3achievements by the end. The only goal of Prussia that comes to mind is to gain as much land aspossible. As a result of the Vienna Settlement, Prussia received two-fifths of Saxony, Posen, anda few territories in Germany. Logically speaking, although Prussia did not gain much at all, it didnot lose much either, so one may be tempted to say that Prussia emerged a winner.Other nations that were affected heavily by the Vienna Settlement were the Kingdom of Sardinia and the newly formed Germanic Confederation. As a result of the Settlement, Sardiniareceived Piedmont, Genoa, Nice, and part of Savoy. These territorial gains greatly increased theamount of land Sardinia possessed. The Germanic Confederation was a winner because of thenewly formed relations between the included states; many of the people in the Confederationwere of the same ethnicity and the states had fair and profitable trade agreements amongstthemselves. In addition to these two nations being winners, all of the nations of Europe wonsomething due to the fact that France was weakened by the Vienna Settlement and twodefensive barriers were placed around it. The first barrier was composed of the Netherlands,Low Countries, German states, Switzerland, Sardinia, and Spain, and the second includedPrussia, Austria, and the remaining German states. In this manner, the European nations hopedthat France would never be able to dominate Europe again.France was represented at the Vienna Settlement by Prince Talleyrand, whose maingoals for France were to retain as much land and power as possible. As a result of theSettlement, France
s borders were moved back to the borders it had had in 1790. In addition,the monarchy was restored in France with the introduction of Louis XVIII as king. In thismanner, France lost Napoleon
s military genius and strong desire to help the French people

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