The Congress of Vienna (German: Wiener Kongress) was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from November 1814 to June 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
This objective resulted in the redrawing of the continent's political map, establishing the boundaries of France, the Duchy of Warsaw, the Netherlands, the states of the Rhine, the German province of Saxony, and various Italian territories, and the creation of spheres of influence through which Austria, Britain, France and Russia brokered local and regional problems. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power in Europe, and served as a model for later organizations such as the League of Nations andUnited Nations.
The immediate background was Napoleonic France's defeat and surrender in May 1814, which brought an end to twenty-five years of nearly continuous war. Negotiations continued despite the outbreak of fighting triggered by Napoleon's dramatic return from exile and resumption of power in France during the Hundred Days of March–July, 1815. The Congress's "Final Act" was signed nine days before his final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. In a technical sense, the "Congress of Vienna" was not properly a Congress: it never met in plenary session, and most of the discussions occurred in informal, face-to-face, sessions among the Great Powers of Austria, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and sometimes Prussia, with limited or no participation by other delegates. On the other hand, the Congress was the first occasion in history where, on a continental scale, national representatives came together to formulate treaties, instead of relying...
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