unification of germany

Essay by zakiyaCollege, Undergraduate September 2014

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Zakiyah Khan

To what extent do you agree with the view that the provisions of the Vienna settlement remained unchanged in the years to 1849? (May 2011)

It can be argued that by 1849 the provisions of the Vienna settlement remained unchanged to a certain extent. In 1815 Napoleonic France was defeated by the other Great Powers of Europe. Britain, Prussia, Austria decided the fate of Europe, including Italy at the congress of Vienna. The key provisions of the Vienna settlement were that Italy had to abandon the reforms and changes that the French had introduced during their occupation of Italy between the years 1796-1815. The French during their rule, reformed the state system by creating a four state system, they changed the political system by reducing the power and privileges of the landed aristocracy and the church and by allowing the middle classes a role in politics by introducing parliaments.

The Vienna settlement reversed these changes. After 1815 the Vienna settlement restored the absolutist rules, the power of the Roman Catholic Church and the privileges of the landed aristocracy. It closed down the elected parliaments the French introduced; restored the old state system except for in Lombardy and Venetia which were incorporated into the Austrian empire. Furthermore Austria replaced France as the dominating power in the Italian peninsula. However by 1849 it can be argued the Vienna settlement may have had suffered some changes.

Between the years 1820-21 there were revolutions which aimed to challenge the provisions of the Vienna settlement. One of the main causes behind these revolutions was that opposition to absolutist rule arose and the liberals demanded a constitutional government and liberty. In Naples the carbonari, liberals and middle classes demanded an end to absolutism and they wanted the formation of a constitutional monarchy which guaranteed...