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HOME   -   HISTORIC DOCUMENTS   -   FINAL ACT OF THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA 1815

 
   


Final Act of the Congress of Vienna 1815
Congress of Vienna 1815


Final Act of the Congress of Vienna 1815

The Congress of Vienna convened from September 18, 1814 - June 9, 1815.

Image Above

Delegates at the
Congress of Vienna.

Standing in front:
Prince Metternich

Engraving by Jean Godefroy.

BPD


The Final Act of the Congress of Vienna (German: Wiener Schlussakte) was signed on June 9, 1815.

 

Who Attended the Congress of Vienna?

All in all, approx. 200 different delegations gathered at the Congress of Vienna, in Austria.

The main European powers were represented by


Klemens von Metternich 1773-1859
Klemens von Metternich
for Austria (host country)


Robert Stewart Castlereagh
Robert Stewart Castlereagh
for Great Britain


Alexander I 1777 - 1825
Czar Alexander I himself
for Russia


Karl August von Hardenberg   Wilhelm von Humboldt
Karl August von Hardenberg

and Wilhelm von Humboldt
for Prussia


Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand 1754-1838
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand
for France



Some delegates arrived after September 18, 1814. Talleyrand and his posse, for example, entered Vienna on September 23, 1814.

 

What Was the Purpose of the Congress of Vienna?

The First Treaty of Paris had been signed on May 30, 1814. In this treaty, a gathering at Vienna had been decided upon.

The congress was a meeting of all European leaders (except the Ottoman Empire) who had survived the Napoleonic Wars and were ready to adjust the European map, now that  Napoleon had been exiled.

Or so they thought.

On March 1, 1815, Napoleon was back on the European mainland and ready to take back control. After some eventful Hundred Days, Napoleon was once more taken care of and the Congress was able to conclude its assembly with the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna (German: Wiener Schlussakte) signed on June 9, 1815.

On June 18, 1815, the Battle of Waterloo was fought and that was the end of Napoleon's power.

This time for real.

 

What Was the Outcome of the Congress of Vienna?

Some of the adjustments that were made by the Congress of Vienna were

  • the partition of Poland between Prussia and Russia
     

  • the restoration of the Bourbons in France (Louis XVIII once more after Napoleon's Hundred Days)
     

  • Prussia gained the Rhine province, Westphalia, and half of the Kingdom of Saxony
     

  • Austria gained Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Salzburg, the Innviertel, Illyria, Lombardy and Venetia
     

  • forming of the German Confederation.



And this is the map of Europe after the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

Congress of Vienna 1815
1815 Congress of Vienna


More specifically with regards to Switzerland and its added territories, see this map:

Switzerland 1803
Map of Switzerland: Territories added by the Congress of Vienna


 
    
How Effective Was the Congress of Vienna?

With one or two exceptions, the map that was agreed upon at the Congress of Vienna was kept for the next 40 years, which went by relatively peacefully.

But it must be said that, although the Final Act was created with the goal to achieve a balance of power in Europe, it was inspired by monarchist principles.

People's rights and revolutionary ideas had been ignored. As case in point serves the toothless treatment of the abolition of slavery.

 

Meanwhile in Ghent . . .

Great Britain and the United States had their respective delegates meet at Ghent, Belgium, from August 8 to December 24, 1814.

The outcome was the Treaty of Ghent that ended the War of 1812.

 

 

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