The Congress of Vienna (German: Wiener Kongress), also called Vienna Congress, was a meeting of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, and held in Vienna from November 1814 to June 1815, though the delegates had arrived and were already negotiating by late September 1814. The objective of the Congress was to provide a long-term peace plan for Europe by settling critical issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. The goal was not simply to restore old boundaries but to resize the main powers so they could balance each other and remain at peace. The leaders were conservatives with little use for republicanism or revolution, both of which threatened to upset the status quo in Europe. France lost all its recent conquests while Prussia, Austria and Russia made major territorial gains. Prussia added smaller German states in the west, Swedish Pomerania and 60% of the Kingdom of Saxony; Austria gained Venice and much of northern Italy. Russia gained parts of Poland. The new Kingdom of the Netherlands had been created just months before, and included formerly Austrian territory that in 1830 became Belgium.
The immediate background was Napoleonic France's defeat and surrender in May 1814, which brought an end to 25 years of nearly continuous war. Negotiations continued despite the outbreak of fighting triggered by Napoleon's dramatic return from exile and resumption of power in France during the Hundred Days of March to July 1815. The Congress's "final act" was signed nine days before his final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815.
The Congress has often been criticized for causing the subsequent suppression of the emerging national and liberal movements, and it has been seen as a reactionary movement for the benefit of traditional monarchs. However, others praise it for having created relatively long-term stability and peaceful conditions in most of Europe.
In a technical sense, the "Congress of Vienna" was not properly a congress: it never met in plenary session, and most of the discussions occurred in informal, face-to-face sessions among the Great Powers of Austria, Britain, France, Russia, and sometimes Prussia, with limited or no participation by other delegates. On the other hand, the congress was the first occasion in history where, on a continental scale, national representatives came together to formulate treaties instead of relying mostly on messages among the several capitals. The Congress of Vienna settlement, despite later changes, formed the framework for European international politics until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
The Treaty of Chaumont in 1814 had reaffirmed decisions that had been made already and that would be ratified by the more important Congress of Vienna of 1814-15. They included the establishment of a confederated Germany, the division of Italy into independent states, the restoration of the Bourbon kings of Spain, and the enlargement of the Netherlands to include what in 1830 became modern Belgium. The Treaty of Chaumont became the cornerstone of the European Alliance that formed the balance of power for decades. Other partial settlements had already occurred at the Treaty of Paris between France and the Sixth Coalition, and the Treaty of Kiel that covered issues raised regarding Scandinavia. The Treaty of Paris had determined that a "general congress" should be held in Vienna and that invitations would be issued to "all the Powers engaged on either side in the present war". The opening was scheduled for July 1814.
The Congress functioned through formal meetings such as working groups and official diplomatic functions; however, a large portion of the Congress was conducted informally at salons, banquets, and balls.
The Four Great Powers had previously formed the core of the Sixth Coalition. On the verge of Napoleon's defeat they had outlined their common position in the Treaty of Chaumont (March 1814), and negotiated the Treaty of Paris (1814) with the Bourbons during their restoration:
Virtually every state in Europe had a delegation in Vienna – more than 200 states and princely houses were represented at the Congress. In addition, there were representatives of cities, corporations, religious organizations (for instance, abbeys) and special interest groups – e.g., a delegation representing German publishers, demanding a copyright law and freedom of the press. The Congress was noted for its lavish entertainment: according to a famous joke it did not move, but danced.
Initially, the representatives of the four victorious powers hoped to exclude the French from serious participation in the negotiations, but Talleyrand skillfully managed to insert himself into "her inner councils" in the first weeks of negotiations. He allied himself to a Committee of Eight lesser powers (including Spain, Sweden, and Portugal) to control the negotiations. Once Talleyrand was able to use this committee to make himself a part of the inner negotiations, he then left it, once again abandoning his allies.
The major Allies' indecision on how to conduct their affairs without provoking a united protest from the lesser powers led to the calling of a preliminary conference on protocol, to which Talleyrand and the Marquis of Labrador, Spain's representative, were invited on 30 September 1814.
Congress Secretary Friedrich von Gentz reported, "The intervention of Talleyrand and Labrador has hopelessly upset all our plans. Talleyrand protested against the procedure we have adopted and soundly [be]rated us for two hours. It was a scene I shall never forget." The embarrassed representatives of the Allies replied that the document concerning the protocol they had arranged actually meant nothing. "If it means so little, why did you sign it?" snapped Labrador.
Talleyrand's policy, directed as much by national as personal ambitions, demanded the close but by no means amicable relationship he had with Labrador, whom Talleyrand regarded with disdain. Labrador later remarked of Talleyrand: "that cripple, unfortunately, is going to Vienna." Talleyrand skirted additional articles suggested by Labrador: he had no intention of handing over the 12,000 afrancesados – Spanish fugitives, sympathetic to France, who had sworn fealty to Joseph Bonaparte, nor the bulk of the documents, paintings, pieces of fine art, and books that had been looted from the archives, palaces, churches and cathedrals of Spain.
The most dangerous topic at the Congress was the so-called Polish-Saxon Crisis. Russia wanted most of Poland, and Prussia wanted all of Saxony, whose king had allied with Napoleon. The tsar would become king of Poland. Austria was fearful this would make Russia much too powerful, a view which was supported by Britain. The result was deadlock, for which Talleyrand proposed a solution: Admit France to the inner circle, and France would support Austria and Britain. The three nations signed a secret treaty on 3 January 1815, agreeing to go to war against Russia and Prussia, if necessary, to prevent the Russo-Prussian plan from coming to fruition.
When the tsar heard of the secret treaty he agreed to a compromise that satisfied all parties on 24 October 1815. Russia received most of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw as a "Kingdom of Poland" – called Congress Poland, with the tsar as king ruling it independently of Russia. Russia, however, did not receive the province of Posen (Poznań), which was given to Prussia as the Grand Duchy of Posen, nor Kraków, which became a free city. Furthermore, the tsar was unable to unite the new domain with the parts of Poland that had been incorporated into Russia in the 1790s. Prussia received 60 percent of Saxony-later known as the Province of Saxony, with the remainder returned to King Frederick Augustus I as his Kingdom of Saxony.
The Final Act, embodying all the separate treaties, was signed on 9 June 1815 (a few days before the Battle of Waterloo). Its provisions included:
The Congress's principal results, apart from its confirmation of France's loss of the territories annexed between 1795–1810, which had already been settled by the Treaty of Paris, were the enlargement of Russia, (which gained most of the Duchy of Warsaw) and Prussia, which acquired the district of Poznań, Swedish Pomerania, Westphalia and the northern Rhineland. The consolidation of Germany from the nearly 300 states of the Holy Roman Empire (dissolved in 1806) into a much less complex system of thirty-nine states (4 of which were free cities) was confirmed. These states formed a loose German Confederation under the leadership of Austria and Prussia.
Representatives at the Congress agreed to numerous other territorial changes. By the Treaty of Kiel, Norway had been ceded by the king of Denmark-Norway to the king of Sweden. This sparked the nationalist movement which led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Norway on May 17, 1814 and the subsequent personal Union with Sweden. Austria gained Lombardy-Venetia in Northern Italy, while much of the rest of North-Central Italy went to Habsburg dynasties (the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy of Modena, and the Duchy of Parma).
The Papal States were restored to the Pope. The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was restored to its mainland possessions, and also gained control of the Republic of Genoa. In Southern Italy, Napoleon's brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, was originally allowed to retain his Kingdom of Naples, but his support of Napoleon in the Hundred Days led to the restoration of the Bourbon Ferdinand IV to the throne.
A large United Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed for the Prince of Orange, including both the old United Provinces and the formerly Austrian-ruled territories in the Southern Netherlands. Other, less important, territorial adjustments included significant territorial gains for the German Kingdoms of Hanover (which gained East Frisia from Prussia and various other territories in Northwest Germany) and Bavaria (which gained the Rhenish Palatinate and territories in Franconia). The Duchy of Lauenburg was transferred from Hanover to Denmark, and Prussia annexed Swedish Pomerania. Switzerland was enlarged, and Swiss neutrality was established. Swiss mercenaries had played a significant role in European wars for a couple of hundred years: the Congress intended to put a stop to these activities permanently.
During the wars, Portugal had lost its town of Olivença to Spain and moved to have it restored. Portugal is historically Britain's oldest ally, and with British support succeeded in having the re-incorporation of Olivença decreed in Article 105 of the Final Act, which stated that the Congress "understood the occupation of Olivença to be illegal and recognized Portugal's rights". Portugal ratified the Final Act in 1815 but Spain would not sign, and this became the most important hold-out against the Congress of Vienna. Deciding in the end that it was better to become part of Europe than to stand alone, Spain finally accepted the Treaty on 7 May 1817; however, Olivença and its surroundings were never returned to Portuguese control and this question remains unresolved. Great Britain received parts of the West Indies at the expense of the Netherlands and Spain and kept the former Dutch colonies of Ceylon and the Cape Colony as well as Malta and Heligoland. Under the Treaty of Paris, Britain obtained a protectorate over the United States of the Ionian Islands and the Seychelles.
The Congress of Vienna has frequently been criticized by 19th century and more recent historians for ignoring national and liberal impulses, and for imposing a stifling reaction on the Continent. It was an integral part in what became known as the Conservative Order, in which the liberties and civil rights associated with the American and French Revolutions were de-emphasized, so that a fair balance of power, peace and stability, might be achieved.
In the 20th century, however, many historians came to admire the statesmen at the Congress, whose work prevented another widespread European war for nearly 100 years (1815–1914). Among these is Henry Kissinger, who in 1954 wrote his doctoral dissertation, A World Restored, on it. Historian Mark Jarrett argues that the Congress of Vienna and the Congress System marked "the true beginning of our modern era". He says the Congress System was deliberate conflict management, and was the first genuine attempt to create an international order based upon consensus rather than conflict. "Europe was ready," Jarrett states, "to accept an unprecedented degree of international cooperation in response to the French Revolution." Historian Paul Schroeder argues that the old formulae for "balance of power" were in fact highly destabilizing and predatory. He says the Congress of Vienna avoided them and instead set up rules that produced a stable and benign equilibrium. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power in Europe. It served as a model for later organizations such as the League of Nations in 1919 and the United Nations in 1945.
Before the opening of the Paris peace conference of 1918, the British Foreign Office commissioned a history of the Congress of Vienna to serve as an example to its own delegates of how to achieve an equally successful peace. Besides, the main decisions of the Congress were made by the Four Great Powers and not all the countries of Europe could extend their rights at the Congress. The Italian peninsula became a mere "geographical expression" as divided into seven parts: Lombardy–Venetia, Modena, Naples–Sicily, Parma, Piedmont–Sardinia, Tuscany, and the Papal States under the control of different powers. Poland remained partitioned between Russia, Prussia and Austria, with the largest part, the newly created Kingdom of Poland, remaining under Russian control.
The arrangements made by the Four Great Powers sought to ensure future disputes would be settled in a manner that would avoid the terrible wars of the previous 20 years. Although the Congress of Vienna preserved the balance of power in Europe, it could not check the spread of revolutionary movements across the continent some 30 years later.
The Battle of Tolentino was fought from 2–3 May 1815 near Tolentino, Kingdom of Naples in what is now Marche, Italy: it was the decisive battle in the Neapolitan War, fought by the Napoleonic King of Naples Joachim Murat to keep the throne after the Congress of Vienna. The battle was similar to the Battle of Waterloo. Both occurred during the Hundred Days following Napoleon's return from exile and resulted in a decisive victory for the Seventh Coalition, leading to the restoration of a Bourbon king.Concert of Europe
The Concert of Europe, also known as the Congress System or the Vienna System after the Congress of Vienna (1814-15), was a system of dispute resolution adopted by the major powers of Europe to avoid future conflicts escalating into war, and to solidify and maintain their power in their respective controlled regions.
The more conservative members of the Concert of Europe, who were also members of the Holy Alliance, used this system to oppose revolutionary movements, weaken the forces of nationalism, and uphold the balance of power. Historians date its operation from the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) to the early 1820s, although some see it playing a role until the Crimean War (1853–1856).Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland, informally known as Congress Poland or Russian Poland, was created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna as a sovereign state of the Russian partition of Poland. Connected until 1832 by personal union with the Russian Empire under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland, it was gradually thereafter integrated politically into Russia over the course of the 19th century, made an official part of the Russian Empire in 1867, and finally replaced during World War I by the Central Powers in 1915 with the nominal Regency Kingdom of Poland.Though officially the Kingdom of Poland was a state enjoying considerable political autonomy guaranteed by a liberal constitution, its rulers, the Russian Emperors, generally disregarded any restrictions on their power. Thus it was in effect little more than a puppet state of the Russian Empire. The autonomy was severely curtailed following uprisings in 1830–31 and 1863, as the country became governed by namiestniks, and later divided into guberniya (provinces). Thus from the start, Polish autonomy remained little more than fiction.The territory of the Kingdom of Poland roughly corresponds to the Kalisz Region and the Lublin, Łódź, Masovian, Podlaskie and Świętokrzyskie Voivodeships of Poland, southwestern Lithuania and part of Grodno District of Belarus.Convention of Mantua
The Convention of Mantua was an agreement signed by Eugène de Beauharnais and Heinrich Graf von Bellegarde on 24 April 1814 that returned the territories of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy to provisional Austrian rule.
Napoleon created himself King of Italy on 17 March 1805, and he was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan on 26 May 1805. He made his stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy on 5 June 1805, and later his heir presumptive to the Italian crown.
After being defeated by the Sixth Coalition in 1813-14, Napoleon abdicated in favour of his son, the King of Rome, on 6 April 1814. He signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on 11 April, under which he abdicated again, unconditionally, and was exiled to Elba. Eugène found himself surrounded by hostile forces, with the main Austrian force advancing from the east, the British, Sicilians and more Austrians attacking from Genoa, and forces from the Kingdom of Naples commanded by its king, Joachim Murat, advancing from the south. The Agreement of Schiarino-Rizzino was agreed on 16 April outside Mantua, which enabled Eugène to keep control of his territory. Eugène attempted to have himself crowned as the new King of Italy, but he was opposed by the Senate of the Kingdom, and an insurrection in Milan on 20 April ended his hopes of taking the Italian crown.
Eugène signed the Convention of Mantua on 24 April, allowing the Austrian commander, Bellegarde, to cross the River Minco and occupy Milan, and northern Italy returned to Austrian rule on 27 April. Eugène retired to Munich, the capital of his father-in-law, Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria.
Austrian control of Lombardy and Venetia was confirmed by the Congress of Vienna, and the territories were joined as the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia on 7 April 1815. The Papal States were returned to the Pope.Duchy of Lucca
The Duchy of Lucca was a small Italian state existing from 1815 to 1847. It was centered on the city of Lucca. By the Congress of Vienna of 1815 the Duchy was to revert to Tuscany on the end of its Bourbon line of rulers, which happened in 1847. Tuscany was annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont) in 1860.
The Duchy was formed in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, out of the former Republic of Lucca and the Principality of Lucca and Piombino, which had been ruled by Elisa Bonaparte. It was created to compensate the House of Bourbon-Parma for the loss of the Duchy of Parma, which had been given to Marie Louise of Austria.
In 1817, Maria Luisa of Spain, the former Infanta of Spain and Queen of Etruria, assumed the government of Lucca. She was also the mother of Charles Louis of Parma, the Bourbon heir to Parma. This followed the Treaty of Paris (1815), which confirmed both her sovereign status in Lucca, and her son's status as heir to Parma in succession to Marie Louise.
After Maria Luisa's death in 1824, Charles Louis assumed the government of the Duchy. In 1847 Charles succeeded to the Duchy of Parma, and left Lucca, which was annexed by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.From 1815 to 1818, the flag of Lucca was yellow and red horizontal stripes. From 7 November 1818, to 1847 the flag was white, with Maria Luisa's coat of arms and the yellow–red flag in the canton.Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw (Polish: Księstwo Warszawskie, French: Duché de Varsovie, German: Herzogtum Warschau) was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. Following Napoleon's failed invasion of Russia, the duchy was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops until 1815, when it was formally partitioned between the two countries at the Congress of Vienna. It covered the central and eastern part of present Poland and minor parts of present Lithuania and Belarus.First Congress of Vienna
The First Congress of Vienna was held in 1515, attended by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, and the Jagiellonian brothers, Vladislaus II, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia, and Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Previously, Vladislaus and Maximilian had agreed on a Habsburg-Jagiellon mutual-succession treaty in 1506. It became a turning point in the history of central Europe. After the death of Vladislaus, and later his son and heir, the childless King Louis II at the Battle of Mohács against the Ottomans in 1526, the Habsburg-Jagellion mutual succession treaty ultimately increased the power of the Habsburgs and diminished that of the Jagiellonians.
Maximilian had been supporting Vasili III of the Grand Duchy of Moscow against the Jagiellonian rulers of Lithuania, Poland, Hungary and Bohemia, to advance the Habsburg claims to the succession in Hungary and Bohemia. The Jagiellonians had been facing simultaneous threats on all fronts, from the Emperor, the Russians, the Teutonic Order under Albert of Prussia, and the Crimean Tatars. The city of Smolensk fell to the Russians in 1514, and Maximilian planned a congress to cement his claims in central Europe. However, Lithuanian and Polish forces decisively defeated the Russian army at the Battle of Orsha on 8 September 1514, changing the balance of power.
The Congress opened at the Emperor's border, at Bratislava (Pressburg or Pozsony) in Hungary, where Maximilian's representative met Vladislaus and Sigismund, and concluded after they travelled together to Austria where the two kings met the emperor and went on to Vienna. The Emperor promised to cease his support of Moscow against Lithuania and Poland, and to arbitrate in disputes between the Teutonic Order and Poland under the Second Treaty of Thorn. Maximilan and Vladislaus decided in the congress: their mutual succession treaty was further confirmed by a double wedding. Accordingly, Vladislaus's only son, Louis, married the Emperor's granddaughter Mary; and her brother, Archduke Ferdinand, married Vladislaus' daughter, Anna. The Habsburg claims to the succession in Hungary and Bohemia were advanced substantially by the marriages. A woodcut by Albrecht Dürer commemorates the double wedding on 22 July 1515.
Vladislaus died on 13 March 1516, and Maximilian died on 12 January 1519, but his designs were ultimately successful: on Louis's death in 1526, he was succeeded as King of Bohemia by Maximilian's grandson, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor.Frederick Augustus I of Saxony
Frederick Augustus I (full name: Frederick Augustus Joseph Maria Anthony John Nepomuk Aloysius Xavier; German: Friedrich August Josef Maria Anton Johann Nepomuk Aloys Xaver; Polish: Fryderyk August Józef Maria Antoni Jan Nepomucen Alojzy Ksawery Wettyn; 23 December 1750 – 5 May 1827) was a member of the House of Wettin who reigned as Elector of Saxony from 1763 to 1806 (as Frederick Augustus III) and as King of Saxony from 1806 to 1827. He also served as Duke of Warsaw from 1807 to 1813.
Succeeding his father in 1763 as the elector Frederick Augustus III, he brought order and efficiency to his country's finances and administration. In foreign policy, he was neutralist but drifted towards Prussia, whose side he took in the Bavarian succession dispute (1778–79), when it prevented Bavaria's cession to Austria. For his cooperation he received substantial financial compensation from Prussia. In 1785, Frederick Augustus joined the Prussian-sponsored Fürstenbund (League of Princes), but remained neutral during the Austro-Prussian dispute in 1790. Offered the Polish crown in 1791, he declined as he feared that his "risky" politics may cause further damage to the Polish state, which was already weak and eventually stopped existing in 1795. The next year Saxony reluctantly joined the coalition against Revolutionary France but was defeated by 1796. Again entering the struggle on Prussia's side in 1806, after the decisive defeat at Jena in the same year, Frederick Augustus made peace with Napoleon, which secured the title of king of Saxony for him. A year later, Napoleon secured the Duchy of Warsaw for him. Frederick Augustus remained a loyal ally to France even after the disastrous Russian campaign (1812–13). Although he had started half-hearted negotiations with Austria, he broke them off after the French victory at Lützen (May 1813). In the Battle of Leipzig (October 1813), however, his troops went over to Prussia and he was taken as prisoner to Berlin. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Frederick Augustus lost three-fifths of his territory to Prussia. He spent the rest of his life attempting to rehabilitate his truncated state.Throughout his political career Frederick Augustus tried to rehabilitate and recreate the Polish state that was torn apart and stopped existing after the final partition of Poland in 1795, however he did not succeed - for this he would blame himself for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, his efforts for reestablishing an independent Polish nation did endear him to the Polish people.
The Augustusplatz in Leipzig is named after him.Hundred Days
The Hundred Days (French: les Cent-Jours IPA: [le sɑ̃ ʒuʁ]) marked the period between Napoleon's return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815 (a period of 111 days). This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign, the Neapolitan War as well as several other minor campaigns. The phrase les Cent Jours (the hundred days) was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 July.Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was sitting. On 13 March, seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw, and on 25 March Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule. This set the stage for the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the second restoration of the French kingdom, and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821.International organization
An international organization is an organization with an international membership, scope, or presence. There are two main types:
International nongovernmental organizations (INGOs): non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate internationally. These include international non-profit organizations and worldwide companies such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement, International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières.
Intergovernmental organizations, also known as international governmental organizations (IGOs): the type of organization most closely associated with the term 'international organization', these are organizations that are made up primarily of sovereign states (referred to as member states). Notable examples include the United Nations (UN), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe (COE), International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Police Organization (INTERPOL). The UN has used the term "intergovernmental organization" instead of "international organization" for clarity.The first and oldest intergovernmental organization is the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna.
The role of international organizations is helping to set the international agenda, mediating political bargaining, providing a place for political initiatives and acting as catalysts for coalition- formation. International organizations also define the salient issues and decide which issues can be grouped together, thus help governmental priority determination or other governmental arrangements.
Not all international organizations seek economic, political and social cooperation and integration.King of Hanover
The King of Hanover (German: König von Hannover) was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the Kingdom of Hanover, beginning with the proclamation of the King of the United Kingdom George III, as "King of Hanover" during the Congress of Vienna, on 12 October 1814 at Vienna, and ending with the kingdom's annexation by Prussia on 20 September 1866.Kingdom of Hanover
The Kingdom of Hanover (German: Königreich Hannover) was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (known informally as the Electorate of Hanover), and joined 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation in June 1815. The kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, a cadet branch of the House of Welf, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1837. Since its monarch resided in London, a viceroy (usually a younger member of the British Royal Family) handled the administration of the Kingdom of Hanover.
The personal union with the United Kingdom ended in 1837 upon the accession of Queen Victoria because females could not inherit the Hanoverian throne, so her uncle became the ruler of Hanover. Hanover backed the losing side in the Austro-Prussian War and was conquered by Prussia in 1866, subsequently becoming a Prussian province. Along with the rest of Prussia, Hanover became part of the German Empire upon unification in January 1871. Briefly revived as the State of Hanover in 1946, the state was subsequently merged with some smaller states to form the current state of Lower Saxony in West Germany, later Germany.Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia (Italian: Regno Lombardo-Veneto, German: Königreich Lombardo–Venetien; Latin: Regnum Langobardiae et Venetiae), commonly called the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom, was a constituent land (crown land) of the Austrian Empire. It was created in 1815 by resolution of the Congress of Vienna in recognition of the Austrian House of Habsburg-Lorraine's rights to Lombardy and the former Republic of Venice after the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1805, had collapsed. It was finally dissolved in 1866 when its remaining territory was incorporated into the recently proclaimed Kingdom of Italy.Kingdom of Naples (Napoleonic)
The Kingdom of Naples (Italian: Regno di Napoli) was a French client state in southern Italy created in 1806 when the Bourbon Ferdinand IV & VII of Naples and Sicily sided with the Third Coalition against Napoleon and was in return ousted from his kingdom by a French invasion. Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon I, was installed in his stead and when Joseph became King of Spain in 1808, Napoleon appointed his brother-in-law Joachim Murat to take his place. Murat was later deposed by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after striking at Austria in the Neapolitan War, in which he was decisively defeated at the Battle of Tolentino.
Although the Napoleonic kings were officially styled King of Naples and Sicily, British domination of the Mediterranean made it impossible for the French to gain control of Sicily, where Ferdinand had fled, and their power was confined to the mainland kingdom of Naples alone while Ferdinand continued to reside in and rule the Kingdom of Sicily.
In the modernising spirit of the French Revolution, the regimes of Joseph and Murat implemented a programme of sweeping reforms to the organisation and structure of the ancient feudal kingdom. On 2 August 1806 Feudalism was abolished and all the rights and privileges of the nobility suppressed. The practice of tax-farming was also ended and the collection of all taxes slowly brought under direct central control as the government brought-out the contractors and compensated those who had lost their feudal tax-collecting privileges with bonds. The first public street-lighting system, modelled on that of Paris, was also installed in the city of Naples during Joseph's reign.
Continuing the anti-clerical sentiment of the Revolution, Church property was confiscated en masse and auctioned off as Biens nationaux (in compensation for the loss of feudal privileges, the nobles received a certificate which could be exchanged for such properties). However, not all church land was sold immediately, with some retained to support charitable and educational foundations. Most monastic orders were also suppressed and their funds transferred to the royal treasury, however, although both the Benedictines and Jesuits were dissolved, Joseph preserved the Franciscans.In 1808 Joachim Murat, husband of Napoleon's sister Caroline, was granted the crown of Naples by the Emperor after Joseph had reluctantly accepted the throne of Spain. Murat joined Napoleon in the disastrous campaign of 1812 and, as Napoleon's downfall unfolded, increasingly sought to save his own kingdom. Opening communications with the Austrians and British, Murat signed a treaty with the Austrians on January 11, 1814 in which, in return for renouncing his claims to Sicily and providing military support to the Allies in the war against his former Emperor, Austria would guarantee his continued possession of Naples. Marching his troops north, Murat's Neapolitans joined the Austrians against Napoleon's stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais, Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy. After initially opening secret communications with Eugene to explore his options of switching sides again, Murat finally committed to the allied side and attacked Piacenza. Upon Napoleon's abdication on 11 April 1814 and Eugene's armistice, Murat returned to Naples, however his new allies trusted him little and he became convinced that they were about to depose him. Upon Napoleon's return in 1815, Murat struck out from Rimini at the Austrian forces in northern Italy, in what he considered a pre-emptive attack. The powers at the Congress of Vienna assumed he was in concert with Napoleon, but this was in fact the opposite of the truth, as Napoleon was then seeking to secure recognition of his return to France through promises of peace, not war. On 2 April Murat entered Bologna without a fight, but soon he was in headlong retreat as the Austrians crossed the Po at Occhiobello and his Neapolitan forces disintegrated at the first sign of a skirmish. Murat withdrew to Cesena, then Ancona, then Tolentino. At the Battle of Tolentino on 3 May 1815 the Neapolitan army was swept aside and, though Murat escaped to Naples, his position was irrecoverable and he soon continued his flight, leaving Naples for France. Ferdinand IV & VI was soon restored and the Napoleonic kingdom came to an end. The Congress of Vienna confirmed Ferdinand in possession of both his ancient kingdoms, Naples and Sicily, but under the new unified title of King of the Two Sicilies, which would survive until 1861.Plenary session
A plenary session is a session of a conference which all members of all parties are to attend. Such a session may include a broad range of content, from keynotes to panel discussions, and is not necessarily related to a specific style of presentation or deliberative process.
The term has been used in the teaching profession to describe when information is summarized. This often encourages class participation.
The Congress of Vienna is an example of a congress that did not meet in plenary sessions.Principality of Leyen
The Principality of Leyen was a Napoleonic German state which existed 1806–14 in Hohengeroldseck, in the west of modern Baden-Württemberg. The House of Leyen had acquired many districts in western Germany, and eventually these were inherited by the Leyen line of counts at Adendorf. In 1797, France defeated the Holy Roman Empire and all lands west of the Rhine were lost. Following the defeat of Austria in 1806, Count Philip Francis of Adendorf was raised to a Prince, and his lands were renamed to the 'Principality of Leyen'. The territory formed an enclave surrounded by Baden. Prince Philip Francis, like many other members of the Confederation of the Rhine became largely a French puppet, so following Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, the Congress of Vienna opted to mediatise his realm and give it to Austria. In 1819, Austria traded it to Baden.Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, (18 June 1769 – 12 August 1822), usually known as Lord Castlereagh, which is derived from the courtesy title Viscount Castlereagh (UK: KAH-səl-ray) by which he was styled from 1796 to 1821, was an Irish/British statesman. As British Foreign Secretary, from 1812 he was central to the management of the coalition that defeated Napoleon and was the principal British diplomat at the Congress of Vienna. Castlereagh was also leader of the British House of Commons in the Liverpool government from 1812 until his suicide. Early in his career, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, he was involved in putting down the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and was instrumental in securing the passage of the Irish Act of Union of 1800.
Castlereagh's challenge at the foreign office was to organise and finance an alliance to destroy Napoleon. He successfully brought Napoleon's enemies together at the Treaty of Chaumont in 1814. Thereafter he worked with Europe's leaders at the Congress of Vienna to provide a peace consistent with the conservative mood of the day. At Vienna he was largely successful in his primary goal of creating a peace settlement that would endure for years. He saw that a harsh treaty based on vengeance and retaliation against France would fail, and anyway the conservative Bourbons were back in power. He employed his diplomatic skills to block harsh terms. He held the Chaumont allies together, most notably in their determination to finally end Napoleon's 100 Days in 1815. He had a vision of long-term peace in Europe that united efforts of the great powers. At the same time he was watchful of Britain's mercantile and imperial interests. He purchased the Cape Colony and Ceylon from the Netherlands. France's colonies were returned, but France had to give up all its gains in Europe after 1791. He also worked to abolish the international slave trade. He was unsuccessful in avoiding the War of 1812 with the United States; it ended in a stalemate in 1815, with no boundary changes. After 1815 Castlereagh was the leader in imposing repressive measures at home. He was hated for his harsh attacks on liberty and reform. However, in 1919 diplomatic historians recommended his wise policies of 1814–1815 to the British delegation to the peace conferences that ended the First World War. Historian Charles Webster underscores the paradox:
There probably never was a statesman whose ideas were so right and whose attitude to public opinion was so wrong. Such disparity between the grasp of ends and the understanding of means amounts to a failure in statesmanship.Territorial evolution of Switzerland
The territorial evolution of Switzerland occurred primarily with the acquisition of territory by the historical cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy and its close associates. This gradual expansion took place in two phases, the growth from the medieval Founding Cantions to the "Eight Cantons" during 1332–1353, and the expansion to the "Thirteen Cantons" of the Reformation period during 1481–1513.
The Helvetic Republic (formed 1798) as revised in the Act of Mediation (1803) added further territories of former Associates of the Swiss Confederacy, notably those of the Abbey of St. Gall and the Three Leagues. The territories of the Valais, the Swiss Jura and Geneva were added to the "restored" Confederacy following the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
The restored Confederacy remained a union of nominally independent states until the formation of Switzerland as a federal state in 1848. Some territorial disputes remained, and were resolved in the 1850s and 1860s. Since then, the territory of Switzerland has remained fixed (with the exception of minor border corrections) by 1863.
There have since been a number of unsuccessful suggestions for further enlargement. The most realistic of these was the possible accession of Vorarlberg following a referendum held there in 1919, in which 81% of the people of Vorarlberg voted to join Switzerland; but Vorarlberg was instead incorporated into the First Austrian Republic. There was a brief and unsuccessful revival of Alemannic separatism after World War II, and in the later half of the 20th century, there were no serious political scenarios of any further enlargement of Switzerland. Since 2008, similar proposals have once again been discussed, at least as hypotheticals, as expressions of Euroscepticism, reflecting the wish of territories within European Union member states to leave the European Union.
Since there is currently no legal framework governing the admission of new cantons, any enlargement would, as a matter of Swiss law, require an amendment of the Swiss federal constitution and therefore a national popular referendum. A corresponding proposal was submitted by Jurassian representative Dominique Baettig in 2010, but was dropped after Baettig was not re-elected in 2011.Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 April between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies. The treaty set the borders for France under the House of Bourbon and restored territories to other nations. It is sometimes called the First Peace of Paris, as another one followed in 1815.