2 The Congress of Vienna and Post-Napoleonic Europe: -- Part 2
The Congress was concerned about how to contain France, the trouble-maker of the past generation.
To reestablish a balance of power between Europe's major powers was a concern.
Russia's armies swept into much of Europe in their victory over Napoleon.
The armies of Prussia, Austria, and Russia forced Napoleon to retreat from the Battle of the Nations in October 1813.
British forces in Spain were moving towards the French border.
The etching is 18.9 x 22.7 cm and was published in 1814.
The delegates to the Congress of Vienna gathered in the late summer and autumn of 1814 at a leisurely pace.
The Old Regime, of haughty nobles, powdered wigs, and elegantly gowned ladies, returned to Austria's capital city in style.
They were making regular appearances at balls.
There were some nasty episodes over issues of precedence, rank, and procedures.
By September, serious negotiations about the peace agreements began.
A half-year passed without final agreements being reached on many issues.
After landing in France, he began to rebuild his army.
The Bourbon dynasty's restoration efforts were not going well and that was the reason for Napoleon's enthusiastic reception.
Louis XII, a younger brother of the hapless and eventually headless Louis XVI, emerged as the most acceptable candidate, but that prominence did not mean that there was much genuine enthusiasm for him.
He seemed less angry than many other returning exiles.
The peace treaty he was offered by the victorious alliance was generous, helping to generate popular acquiescence to the restoration of the Bourbons.
France was allowed to keep its military conquests up to the year 1792, when Louis XVI was still on the throne, and even to keep the works of art that France's revolutionary armies had plundered throughout Europe.
At first, gestures of conciliation and realism prevailed in internal policies.
Louis agreed to retain a significant number of the high officials who had served under Napoleon, mostly out of necessity, after being persuaded to grant an amnesty to those associated with the guillotining of his brother.
He insisted on his divine right as king, even though he did not try to overturn the legal reforms introduced since 1789.
The Count of Artois, Louis's younger brother, would become King Charles X in 1824 because of Louis's conciliatory initiatives.
The reactionaries were dubbed "Ultras" at the time and succeeded in alienating a lot of France's population.
Since Napoleon promised a more liberal rule and forswore more military adventures, his appeal was all the greater.
If his new regime were to survive, a decisive victory in battle would be necessary.
He rebuilt his army and went to face the enemy armies.
It was obvious that Napoleon's old magic was gone.
He was defeated at Waterloo in a battle that was synonymous with grand defeat.
On June 22, Napoleon abdicated for a second time and was exiled to St.Helena, an isolated island in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
The peace treaty presented for Louis XVIII's signature was less generous than the one offered the year before.
It was still conciliatory, since the great powers did not want to burden him with a deeply vengeful peace.
The northern borders of France were redrawn and an army was stationed in the country.
The Ultra camp exacted a vengeance on those who had supported Napoleon.
A number of his leading supporters were murdered, and Catholic mobs rampaged through Protestant areas that were more favorable to Napoleon.
Hard-core reactionaries dominated the new Chamber of Deputies, which was elected by 100,000 voters.
The situation in France was tense throughout the year.
It was the case in the rest of Europe.
It was not known if the lid would blow off.
The dele gates in Vienna continued to wrestle with unresolved issues after Napoleon's escape.
Poland, a country that could plausibly claim the title of "the Christ among nations" for its suffering, was one of the most vexing issues.
Poland's borders on all sides were still unresolved and there were few natural markers.
Poland ceased to be an independent state after a series of invasions by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in the 17th and 18th century.
After the 1795 partition, Napoleon restored Poland as a grand duchy, though with only a fraction of the territory that had been in the earlier Commonwealth.
There were differences of opinion among the delegates to Vienna about how to correct the "crime" of Poland's partition.
The great powers were brought to the edge of war because of the differences.
Alexander wanted Poland to be reconstituted as a kingdom with the tsar of Russia as its king.
The other powers were suspicious that this proposal would give Russia too much power in central Europe.