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The Congress of Vienna and Its Legacy: War and Great Power Diplomacy After Napoleon

The Congress of Vienna and Its Legacy: War and Great Power Diplomacy After Napoleon
Mark Jarrett

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Two centuries ago, Europe emerged from one of the greatest crises in its history. In September 1814, the rulers of Europe and their ministers descended upon Vienna to reconstruct Europe after two decades of revolution and war, with the major decisions made by the statesmen of the great powers. The territorial reconstruction of Europe, however, is only a part of this story. It was followed, in the years 1815 to 1822, by a bold experiment in international cooperation and counter-revolution, known as the 'Congress System'. The Congress of Vienna and subsequent Congresses constituted a major turning point - the first genuine attempt to forge an 'international order', to bring long-term peace to a troubled Europe, and to control the pace of political change through international supervision and intervention. In this book, Mark Jarrett argues that the decade of the European Congresses in fact marked the beginning of our modern era, with a profound impact upon the course of subsequent developments. Based upon extensive research, this book provides a fresh look at a pivotal but often neglected period.

Table of Contents


Part One: War

The European State System of the Eighteenth Century                                              
The Challenge of the French Revolution                                                                  
The Rise of Napoleon                                                                                                 
The Birth of the Napoleonic Empire and the War of the Third Coalition                
The Napoleonic Empire at its Height                                                                        
The Plans of Czartoryski and Pitt for the Reconstruction of Europe                  

THE COLLAPSE OF THE NAPOLEONIC EMPIRE, 1812-1814                     
Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia and the Fourth Coalition                                        
Castlereagh’s Mission to the Continent                                                                    
Negotiations at Châtillon                                                                                           
The Treaty of Chaumont                                                                                            
The Bourbon Restoration                                                                                           
The First Peace of Paris                                                                                            

Part Two: Peace

THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA, 1814-1815                                                     
The Decision to Convene a Congress                                                                        
Preliminary Negotiations in Paris and London                                                        
The Characters of the Statesmen                                                                               
Diplomatic Aims on the Eve of the Congress                                                            
The Procedural Question                                                                                           
The Social Life of the Congress                                                                                 
The Polish Question and Alexander’s Diplomatic Triumph                                     
The Saxon Question and the Secret Treaty of 3 January 1815                              
The Other Questions at the Congress                                                                     
The Question of a General Guarantee                                                                    
Assessments of the Settlement                                                                                  

The Hundred Days                                                                                                   
The Second Peace of Paris and the Quadruple Alliance                                        
The Holy Alliance                                                                                                     
The Allied Occupation of France                                                                             
The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle                                                                             

Part Three: Diplomacy

THE ALLIANCE IN OPERATION, 1819-1820                                           
Central Europe and the Carlsbad Decrees                                                        
Peterloo and the Six Acts                                                                                         
The Revolution in Spain and Castlereagh’s State Paper of 5 May 1820               
The Neapolitan Revolution and Metternich’s Dilemma                                          

RIFT AND REUNION, 1820-1822                                                            
The Congress of Troppau and the Principles of Intervention                            
The Congress of Laibach and the Piedmontese Insurrection                                 
The Greek Revolution, the Hanover Interview and the Threat of a Russo-Turkish War

The Congress of Verona                                                                                     
The French Expedition to Spain                                                                         
The End of the Congress System                                                                        


Author Info

Mark Jarrett holds a PhD in History from Stanford University. He has taught at Hofstra University and Stanford University.


'The system established by the Congress of Vienna is of great interest to both historians and political scientists, and Mark Jarrett's is one of the rare treatments that will appeal to both groups. His narrative gives a clear guidance through the complexities of the era and his analysis engages the central arguments about the period. It is a model treatment.'
Robert Jervis, Professor of International and Public Affairs and Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of Political Science, Columbia University

'The Congress of Vienna and its Legacy successfully combines well-balanced historical research, with fresh and vivid history-telling in the best sense of the word, truly enjoyable for all kinds of readers. This is one of the most comprehensively documented and captivating books on the history of the Congress System published in years.'
Stella Ghervas, Institut d’études avancées, Paris and author of Réinventer la tradition. Alexandre Stourdza et l’Europe de la Sainte-Alliance (winner of the Guizot Prize of the Académie Française, 2009)

'Mark Jarrett’s beautifully written book deploys a great deal of information without ever getting lost in detail. It weaves together personality and policy, providing a clear analysis of political structures as well as a vivid portrait of  personalities.'
James J. Sheehan, Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Modern European History emeritus, Stanford University

'This will become the definitive work on the Congress of Vienna with all its personalities, intrigues, and significance for the nation-state and how we think of diplomacy today.'
James Warlick, former US Ambassador to Bulgaria

'Mastering all the relevant primary sources as well as the secondary literature, encompassing all the latest research and analyses of international historians as well as the theories of international relations specialists, Mark Jarrett illuminates a vital two decades in European history that have long been neglected. His is indeed a wonderful book—clearly written, extremely well-researched, open to a whole variety of explanations from historians and political scientists, well-balanced, fair in its judgements of historical characters and contemporary academic opinion and seminal in its allusions to present-day events. I have little doubt that this book will become the standard work on the Congress System.'
Alan Sked, Professor of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, from the foreword to this book

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: International Library of Historical Studies

ISBN: 9781780761169
Publication Date: 30 Sep 2013
Number of Pages: 522
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 10 b/w integrated, 34 colour in 2 x 8pp plates

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