Western Civilization Class

The Congress Of Vienna

The Congress of Vienna, which lasted from September 1814 to June 1815, sought to bring about peace to Europe after the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. There were three governing principles that guided the diplomats at the Congress: legitimacy, the balance of power, and compensation. Legitimacy was the belief in the right of the royal heir to ascend and/or be returned to the throne. The diplomats also wanted the powers in Europe to have roughly equal power so that no one nation could conquer other nations. Compensation meant two things. First, the great powers (Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria) were to be recompensed for there trouble with the Napoleonic Wars. Second, if one country got new territory, then the other great powers should also get new territory so that the balance of power could be maintained.

The Congress of Vienna also tried to make sure that France would not be taken advantage of, but rather that it would be welcomed back into the nations of Europe. They did not want France to have animosity or ill feelings to the other nations. What the great powers did not want most of all was for more revolutions to break out and in the Congress of Vienna they tried to safeguard against future revolutions.

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