2 The Congress of Vienna and Post-Napoleonic Europe: -- Part 3
diplomatic jockeying of the old-fashioned sort came into play as war clouds loom.
If Prussia were given some of the territories of Saxony along Prussia's southern border, the country of Prussia would be willing to consent to Alexander's proposal.
Klemens von Metternich, the Austrian representative and key figure at the congress, was alarmed at the prospect of either Prussian or Russian expansion in the area; he refused to accept cutting up Saxony because he believed it would make Prussia too strong in German-speaking areas.
The notion of a balance of power is volatile and unpredictable.
Even if Napoleon's conquests had temporarily made those leaders inclined to declarations of international, the leaders of Europe's states still hadckless appetites.
This restless search for aggrandizement remained a fundamental characteristic of the European state system for the next century, and stubborn suspicion of the motives of others continued to linger in the spirits of the delegates to the Congress.
Alexander did not cause the others to lower their defenses.
They didn't know if he was genuine or a ploy.
They all spoke of the need for a balance of power, but since they were scheming for ways to gain advantage from the balance, they only expected him to do the same.
All of this was European, constantly courting danger.
Russia, Prussia, and Austria were not interested in giving back the Polish territories they had earlier absorbed, or in reestablishing Poland.
The compromise was finally worked out because of the scheming of the representative of France, who had been a somewhat isolated figure at the Congress.
He exploited the divisions of the great powers over Poland, reestablishing France as a bargaining partner, by allying with Britain and Austria against Russia and Prussia.
The point is that power was more important than sweet reasonableness in leading to the compromise.
He was a survivor.
He had served the Bourbons before the Revolution.
He was an adviser to Napoleon after he held various positions in the revolutionary governments of the 1790s.
After the revolution of 1830, he would be an adviser to the Orleanist King Louis-Philippe.
The compromise he helped to construct trimmed Napoleon's Duchy of Poland to about two-thirds of its original size and made it a kingdom with Alexander as its king.
Prussia was allowed to expand southward because the king of Saxony was in a vulnerable position because of his alliance with Napoleon.
Prussia retained Posen, the westernmost part of pre-partition Poland, and Russia retained the Kingdom of Poland, territories that were retained by Austria, Prussia, and Russia.
The territories of Austria, Prussia, and Russia did not gain the status of formally separate areas as the Kingdom of Poland did.
Although they had once been part of the Polish Commonwealth, most of the people in them were not ethnic Poles.
The way in which the Congress of Vienna dealt with other territorial settlements was similar to the way in which Poland was dealt with: Provinces were allocated and borders were redrawn according to the interests of the great powers.
The practical limits to what could be restored to pre-1789 borders were grudgingly acknowledged by them.
Napoleon allowed a number of the kingdoms that he put in place to survive.
The German-speaking areas of western and central Europe were organized under the umbrella of the German Confederation.
There was no single state that claimed to represent all of Germany when the term "Germany" was used.
It was impractical for those at Vienna to ignore the ways in which the French revolutionaries and Napoleon had redrawn the map of Europe.
The German states east of the Rhine were united into the Confederation of the Rhine.
The German Confederation was created by the Congress of Vienna and extended to Danzig on the Baltic Sea.
The boundaries were drawn in a southwesterly direction, and then in a southeasterly direction, and then in a relatively straight line, passing close to Vienna, all the way to the Adriatic Sea.
The new German Confederation did not mean a unification of all Germans into something resembling a centralized nation-state.
The Confederation had large populations of non-Germanic Slavic-speakers, notably Czechs and South Slavs, as well as Italians.
Most of the German member states of the new Confederation jealously guarded their independence and emphasized their historic difference.
Their rulers did not care about German political unity or a more tightly integrated organization of German states.
A new perspective on the German Question was provided by the new Confederation.
The pre-1789 map of Italy was extensively redrawn by the French revolutionary regimes.
Napoleon placed his favorite generals at the head of other Italian states further down the peninsula.
At the Congress of Vienna, the great powers reorganized the Italian north into two large kingdoms, one of which is the richest and most strategically important area of Italy.
The way that Alexander was made king of Poland was similar to how the Habsburg emperor was placed under Austrian domination.
The Papal States were to the south of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, headed by Ferdinand I, a Bourbon.
Italy and Germany were both linguistic and cultural concepts at this point.
Few people thought it was possible to unify the entire peninsula into a single Italian nationstate.
Metternich had initially proposed to create a loose Italian confederation similar to the new German confederation, but his proposal found little support in part because there was already simmering resentment among Italians in northern Italy about having "foreigners" as their new rulers.
Many Italians thought Napoleon was less foreign because he had treated them better.
The boundaries of central, eastern, and southern Europe were redrawn with an eye to containing France.
The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was installed on France's northern and southeastern borders.
France's natural frontiers were uncertain and the armies of the Revolution had marched through these areas in the past.
Prussia gained control of large areas along the east of the Rhine in order to rule large areas bordering on the French province of Lorraine.