2 The Congress of Vienna and Post-Napoleonic Europe: -- Part 5
The German states of these years had economic and political issues that became nationalist agitation.
The German wars of liberation were accompanied by a clamor to rid German lands of French cultural influence.
The internationalist nobility were portrayed as "frenchified" and "un-German" by the elevation of those closest to the soil.
Their members gathered in evening torch-lit rallies to listen to speeches about Germanic virtues, to sing folk songs, and to dress up as peasants.
In a few instances, they burned reactionary books and in one instance, a student assassinated a reactionary playwright.
These developments were not acceptable for Metternich, and he used the assassination to introduce stringent measures against the students.
A set of resolutions he had prepared were adopted at a regular meeting of the German Confederation after he had convened a conference of the largest German states.
The Six Acts following Peterloo became powerful symbols of the struggle between liberal values and government oppression.
Metternich established an extensive network of spies and agents.
He was both a determined opponent of the ideals of the French Revolution and a typical representative of the frenchified ruling classes of the Old Regime.
Well-educated and multilingual, elegant in manner, and remarkably lacking in self-doubt, Metternich believed European civilization could find lasting peace only if its traditional ruling orders were protected.
That meant to him that the unrealistic notions of liberals and nationalists had to be quashed.
At the age of nineteen, he and his family were forced to abandon their home in the Rhineland by the French armies.
He joined the diplomatic service of the Habsburgs.
Metternich believed that nationalist ideas were destructive to civil peace and would inevitably lead to bloodshed.
He concluded that by extending the franchise or allowing Dissenting elements to publish their ideas freely, a box of unending strife would be opened up.
It would be difficult to argue that Mnichetter's apprehensions were justified.
His repressive measures were futile, even though he could be described as prophetic, because the forces for change, especially nationalism and liberalism, had an power that no single individual could hope to reverse.