The Congress of Vienna

19 Oct, 2017 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the conference convened by the victorious powers of the Napoleonic Wars and the earlier French Revolutionary Wars, which had devastated so much of Europe over the last 25 years. The powers aimed to create a long lasting peace, partly by redrawing the map to restore old boundaries and partly by balancing the powers so that none would risk war again. It has since been seen as a very conservative outcome, reasserting the old monarchical and imperial orders over the growth of liberalism and national independence movements, and yet also largely successful in its goal of preventing war in Europe on such a scale for another 100 years. Delegates to Vienna were entertained at night with lavish balls, and the image above is from a French cartoon showing Russia, Prussia, and Austria dancing to the bidding of Castlereagh, the British delegate.

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  • Kathleen Burk 11 episodes
    Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary History at University College London
  • Tim Blanning 9 episodes
    Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge
  • John Bew No other episodes
    Professor in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King's College London

Reading list

  • The Congress of Vienna and Its Legacy: War and Great Power Diplomacy After Napoleon
    Mark Jarrett (I.B.Tauris, 2014) Google Books →
  • Vienna 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna
    David King (Broadway Books, 1993) Google Books →
  • A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812-22
    Henry Kissinger (Echo Point Books & Media, 2013) Google Books →
  • The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity 1812-1822
    Harold Nicolson (Grove Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Transformation of European Politics: 1763-1848
    Paul W. Schroeder (Clarendon Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon
    Brian E. Vick (Harvard University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna
    Adam Zamoyski (Harper Perennial, 2008) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 940.27 (Europe–History–1789-1815)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1814, the great European powers met in Vienna to try to establish a new and lasting order after over 20 years of bloody, catastrophic wars.