Between 1814 and 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte escaped Elba while representatives of Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia met as the Congress of Vienna to reestablish political order in Europe. Napoleon Bonaparte was later defeated at Waterloo, but he the man that resulted in the Congress of Vienna. This meeting was to agree over what to do with France and its inflated territories. The outcomes of this were that the French monarchy was reestablished, and France’s 1792 borders were recognized.
The Congress restored the French monarch. Since the French Revolution and Napoleon’s imperial ambitions had threatened the survival of Europe’s old order, the Congress of Vienna agreed that by reestablishing the French monarch, it would provide a strong and stable France, which was the best guarantee of future peace. Ideals that were put forth by French revolutionaries and the rights established under France’s short-lived republic was ignored.
Furthermore, France’s borders were cut back to their pre-Napoleonic dimensions. It was agreed on that France was not punished militarily or economically. Prince Klemens von Metternich, Austrian’s foreign minister, sought to offset French strength with a balance of power leading to territorial gains by most of the continental European powers. In addition, Austria, Russia and Prussia formed the “Holy Alliance” to actively confront the revolutionary and nationalist energies that the French Revolution had unleashed. The Alliance repressed republican and nationalist ideas in universities and the press; they defeated liberal revolutions in Spain and Italy. They also attempted to meet the potential challenge posed by subversive ideas. In the end, the Congress rearranged some of the European boundaries and created new kingdoms in Poland, Spain, Holland, and many Italian states.
The Congress of Vienna ignored many of the ideals put forth by French revolutionaries and the rights established under France’s short-lived republic. They insisted...