Agreements Made By The Congress Of Vienna
Technically, the “Vienna Congress” was not a real congress: it never met in plenary. Instead, most of the discussions took place in informal and personal meetings between the major powers austria, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and sometimes Prussia, with other delegates who participated only in a limited or non-existent manner. On the other hand, The Congress was the first time in history that national representatives met at the continental level to draft treaties, rather than relying primarily on messages between different capitals. The Vienn Settlers` Congress was the framework for European international politics until the beginning of the First World War in 1914. At previous peace conferences, the main mission was to agree on the conditions for ending the war and restoring peace. While this involved discussions on the future order of Europe, the main interest was to settle the claims that were at the origin of the war, and the focus was therefore largely demoted. In the case of Vienna, peace had already been concluded between France and its key allies prior to the conference meeting. Peace had been officially achieved by the First Peace of Paris on 30 May 1814. This peace had taken the traditional form of a number of bilateral peace agreements between the various warring parties; In that case, there were six peace agreements between France on the one hand and Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Prussia, Sweden and Portugal, on the other. These contracts were identical, but for some additional and secret items. Professor Parry published the treaty between France and Great Britain and these separate articles (63 CTS 17).
On 20 July 1814, France concluded a seventh peace treaty with Spain (63 CTS 297). Article 32 of the identical treaties provided that a general congress in Vienna would “complete the provisions of this treaty.” The peace treaties contained the main conditions for peace, including France`s new borders. It is up to Congress to define the conditions of Europe`s general political and legal order for the future. Even Napoleon`s return from Elba and the outbreak of a new war did not distract Congress from its forward-looking agenda. The Congress was not suspended and no new peace agreement was reached in Vienna. After Napoleon`s defeat at Waterloo and the second re-establishment of the Bourbons to the French throne, a new series of peace agreements was concluded between France and each of the four major powers of the coalition, as part of the Second Peace of Paris on November 20, 1815 (65 CTS 251). Many other powers then joined the peace. Other conferences of the 19th century benefited from procedural innovations made at the Vienna Congress. They have learned from their successes and failures. The construction of The Congress sought to compensate for inclusion and exclusion in order to limit the number of decision-makers by exclusion, which would avoid too much complexity.
The great powers were kept on board, avoiding the risk of adopting a final act that would not survive Congress for more than a few years. The procedures ensured a European political constellation that would last until the 19th century. They have contributed to the establishment of a forward-looking state system. But the content was mainly reactionary and retrograde, which underestimates the effectiveness of looking forward. While the construction of Vienna favoured institutionalization for the future, the content undermined it.