Conservatism At The Congress Of Vienna

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The Cause and Effects of Conservatism at the Congress of Vienna by Bobby Laman The first fall of Napoleon marked the end of French domination of Europe. The general will of European nations was to prevent such continental power from ever being attained again, especially by France. This common goal of Europe to control France's power caused political conservatism to arise among powerful nations. Led by Austria and Great Britain, European powers assembled in 1814 to from the Congress of Vienna. Although self-interest fueled these assemblies, it was agreed upon that certain conservative measures were to be taken to secure the future of Europe. These measures worked for nearly twenty years until the changing social and political climates of the Western world caused revolutions to occur because of repressive government practices and conflicting ideologies within nations.

The nations that attended the Congress of Vienna all had their own agendas, but they could all agree upon the strong British sentiment expressed by Viscount Castlereagh concerning France.

Castlereagh signed the Treaty of Chaumont just prior to attending the Congress. The treaty restored the Bourbon Monarchy under Louis XVIII and contracted France to its frontiers prior to Napoleon's expansion. Britain's main concern was the territorial demands of France and Russia. A balance of power needed to be maintained in order for there to be favorable trading conditions. Strengthening central Europe would counteract any significant territorial expansions by foreign nations that would impede upon Britain's economic affairs.

Prince Metternich represented the conservative drive behind the Congress of Vienna. When reorganizing the German states, Metternich arranged the political structure with Conservatism in mind. He kept the small German monarchies that Napoleon had established, such as Bavaria and Saxony. All 39 German states were considered loosely joined as a confederation while remaining individually sovereign. This German...