The Congress of Vienna and the Recovery of what Napoleon Left Behind

The institution of war is as almost as old as humanity itself. Wars can come in many forms, from revolutions demanding change to power grabs over territory and resources. How to prevent wars from starting or escalating has been the goal of diplomats for centuries, and Europe believed they had figured out the solution with the Peace of Westphalia, but the Napoleonic Conquests all of their efforts looked to have failed. Looking to reestablish the limitations of war, world leaders in the 19th century met after the fall of Napoleon at the Congress of Vienna, their actions would shape governments, international relations, and the balance of power for decades to come.

“The Congress of Vienna was held from September of 1814 to June of 1815. After the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte, this international conference was called to create a balance among the European powers in such a way so as to prevent future wars and maintain peace and stability on the European continent” (2016).

This means that the congress was started to reconstruct what napoleon had done and they were trying to stabilize the international order by trying to prevent conflicts with war. In addition, they decided to maintain peace throughout the continent of europe. In states:

“In order to heal its wounds, Europe needed peace. Hence the first priority was to preserve it from two of its chronic problems: hegemonic adventures (so there would never again be a Napoleonic empire) and internecine wars (so there would be no reasons to fight each other)” (2018).

This evidence suggest that europe had wound to be covered and what the congress of vienna did was to seek peace for them by solving the problems that they needed to solve to be peaceful. In addition, this was the part where they needed to reconstruct international order of what napoleon did. In brief, the congress of vienna started for a good reasons to fix the scars that Napoleon did when he was a ruler.

The congress of Vienna is a critical turning point because it is what would shape international relations for the next 100 years and create the nation of Belgium as a neutral power.

“There are authors who argue that the concept of ‘balance of power’ – as one of the old ‘formulas’ for ensuring stability in international relations initiated and promoted theoretically by the theory of Realism in International Relations – was not very stable and reliable” (2018).

This evidence suggest that the international relations were unstable and what the congress of vienna did is to balance the relation because Napoleon made the international relations become unstable. In addition, they shaped the international relations to be stabilized for the further future. In the book titled “World Order” page 66 states:

“In this event, a London conference of European powers developed a new an approach, recognizing Belgian independence while declaring the new nation ‘neutral,’ a heretofore-unknown concept in the relations of major powers, except as a unilateral declaration of intent” (2018).

This evidence suggest that the congress of vienna made the belgium nation become neutral independent. In addition, this makes the belgium be independent and become have a major power. In result, the congress of vienna is a turning point because they shaped international relations and created the Belgian nation to become neutral.

Restored International order and created a new permanent system of professional diplomats who could help keep peace. In states, “The peace treaties contained the major conditions of peace, including the new borders of France. It was left to the Congress to lay out the conditions of the general political and legal order of Europe for the future’ (Lesaffer, 2018). This evidence proved that the congress of Vienna restored international order by putting peace as a condition. Putting peace as a condition meant a good sign for the future for Europe. In states,’The most important aspects were the restoration of the absolutism based on the principle of legitimacy, intervention on behalf of the defense of this principle and establish new frontiers in the distribution of the French Empire based on the principle of balance’ (2018). This evidence suggest that the congress of Vienna reconstructed how the system of power was by balancing it out so the countries weren’t be complaining no more. In addition, this was one of the system that Napoleon left behind and wasn’t in a good condition. In result, the congress of Vienna created the system so the whole world would be on the same page and as well restoring the international order so the nations would be in peace.

The balance of power system was restored and the Holy Alliance worked to stop revolutions, keep religious order and monarchy in place. In the Congress’s final act, Prince Metternich, who in his function as chairman described himself as the ‘coachman of Europe’, saw his goal made into reality, namely, the restoration of the balance of power between the five great powers of Europe: Russia, Great Britain, Austria, Prussia and France’ (Gruber, 2018).

This evidence suggest that balance of power was a goal for Metternich and that what he wanted is to see peace in his nation. In addition, the balance of power meant power and stabilizing what Napoleon had left behind.

“The Holy Alliance certainly came short of that purpose, since it was merely a declaration of intentions. It was nevertheless a multilateral compact, not for making peace in Europe, but for maintaining peace among sovereign European states” (Ghervas, 2014). This evidence suggest that the holy Alliance helped maintain peace and the nations being balanced of everything they had. In addition, maintain peace meant no wars for a long time because of how the holy alliance was stabilizing the relation between the people of those nations. In brief, Balance of power was priority for the congress to fix because it will affect of the rest of the nation.

The congress restored international order by reconstructing what Napoleon left behind. In states, ‘The Act gave extra land to Russia and Prussia, while France lost all of the extra territories it had conquered or annexed in the wars since 1795′(2018). This evidence suggest that Napoleon had left France with so much land and other nations with not so much land. So, what the Congress of Vienna did was takeaway nations that France had conquer and give land to the other nation that France was going to have so the nation would be in peace. In states, ‘But, in confronting today’s growing disorder and escalating violence, the leaders we have would do well to draw some inspiration from their forebears, who 200 years ago this week opened the way to nearly a century of peace’ (2018). This evidence was referring to the congress of Vienna because they lead to peace for the future which is today. In addition, the international order had impact for the further future by hoe the congress of Vienna mobilized it. In brief, restoring International order for the congress made the future be different and affected in a way that prevented war.

The other factor that accomplished the congress was the balance of power. In The European Balance-of-Power System and Its End states, “The period between 1815 and the turn of the century was modern Europe’s most peaceful, and the decades immediately following the Congress of Vienna were characterized by an extraordinary balance between legitimacy and power” (Kissinger, pg 61). The other thing that made the congress of Vienna important today in history is because they made the balance of power have an impact. In addition, the balance of power will have an impact by how is being used toward the future. In states, ‘It redrew the map of Europe in order to establish a balance of power among the major powers in order to preserve the peace’ (2017). This evidence means that when the balance of power was being stabilized they edited the map too so when people would have seen the map they would know what state they were in. This would have an impact in the further future by the future kings having a limit on what they are going to conquer. In brief, Balance of power had an accomplishment throughout history and made the congress of Vienna be important.

In conclusion, the congress of Vienna was looking to reestablish war, in the 19th century met again after the fall of Napoleon at the congress of Vienna, what they did shaped the government, international order, and reshaped the balance of power for the further future. In result, there are different types of war that can be started by having freedom or for human rights.

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The congress of vienna and the recovery of what napoleon left behind. (2021, Jun 02). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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