Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Restoring Europe :: essays research papers
After Austria was crushed by Napoleon in 1809, Metternich was created Austria's Foreign Minister, and replaced Johann Philipp von Stadion. He pursued a pro-French policy, going so far as to manage the marriage of Napoleon to Marie-Louise, Emperor FrancisÃ¢â¬â¢s daughter. Following Napoleon's defeat in Russia in 1812, Metternich turned to a policy of neutrality, and attempted to make peace between Napoleon and his Russian and Prussian enemies. In June 1813 he famously met with Napoleon at Dresden , and by his own account came away telling the intolerant Emperor that he was lost. Soon after, mediation having failed, Metternich brought Austria into the war against France. As the war came towards its conclusion in the spring of 1814, Metternich quickly came to the conclusion that no peace with Napoleon was possible, and abandoning ideas of a Bonapartist regency under Marie Louise, came to support a Bourbon restoration, which brought him closer to Castlereagh, the British Foreign Secretary. Metternich was one of the principal negotiators at the Congress of Vienna. During this period, Metternich came to have a bitter personal hate with Tsar Alexander I of Russia, whose Polish plans Metternich deeply feared, and who competed with the womanizing Metternich for the affections of the beautiful Wilhelmina von Sagan. Metternich's attempts to form a united front with Viscount Castlereagh and Hardenberg, the Prussian chancellor, to oppose Alexander's plans for a constitutional Kingdom of Poland under his own rule, came to nothing due to Prussia's unwillingness to stand up to Alexander. Metternich then shocked the Prussians by signing an alliance with Castlereagh and Tallyrand, the French ambassador, on January 3, 1815, to prevent Prussian takeover of Saxony, which was to be Prussia's payment for giving up Polish land to Alexander. While this was successful in saving the King of Saxony, Alexander managed to get most of what he wanted in Poland. At the same time, Metternich worked hard in negotiations with Prussia, Hanover, Bavaria, and Wurttemberg to resolve the organization of Germany, and the Germanic Confederation that resulted bore much of the stamp of Metternich's ideas. Metternich's most notable achievement in the years that followed the Congress was his conversion of the Tsar, who had seen himself as a protector of liberalism, to the protection of the old order, which culminated by the Tsar's decision at the Congress of Troppau in 1820, when the Tsar agreed to Metternich's termination of a Neapolitan rebellion and refused to aid Greek rebels against the Ottoman Empire.