Castlereagh Essay

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Explain why Castlereagh opposed harsh treatment of France at the Congress of Vienna (12) Castlereagh, the foreign secretary in the Liverpool government, played the role of conciliator at the Congress of Vienna. His main objective was to maintain a peaceful relationship with France so that trade could continue after being disrupted by the Napoleonic war; he did this through the introduction of the congress system in which the idea of balancing power between the powers was put forward. Firstly, Castlereagh wanted lasting peace not only with France but with the other powers. However, his main concern lay with France as too much violence towards them may have caused revenge attacks. They achieved this by penalizing France with indemnities; however, they didn’t embitter France to want to fight for revenge. Castlereagh approved of this because peace meant that trade could continue with one of Britain’s most important trading partners. It was also decided that France should take part in the future Congresses, consequently the Quadruple Alliance was transformed into the Quintuple Alliance; this was supported by Castlereagh which shows how he wanted to maintain peace with France. Castlereagh opposed harsh treatment towards France because of the consequences that would arise from a negative relationship. However, to maintain the peace with France and of course other powers, the congress balanced the powers by the introduction and reappointment of other states such as the grouping of Belgium and Holland to act as a buffer against France. This meant that all powers had an equal right to exist. The idea was to prevent violence and consequently wars between countries. Castlereagh and other representatives supported the idea of the balancing of powers, Castlereagh especially as he, again, wanted to maintain their peaceful relations. As stated in the previous paragraph
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