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CONGRESS OF VIENNA (1814-1815). The fall of Napoleon was only achieved by the creation of a special alliance between Great Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia. By the Treaty of Chaumont of March 1 o, 1814, these four powers bound themselves together in a bond which was not to be dissolved when peace was concluded. When Napoleon had been beaten, France conceded to these allies by a secret article of the first Treaty of Paris of May 30, 1814, the disposition of all countries which Napoleon's fall had freed from French suzerainty. This stupendous task was reserved for a general congress, and it was agreed to meet at Vienna. The visit of the allied sovereigns to England and the pressing engagements of the emperor Alexander and Lord Castlereagh delayed the congress until the autumn, when all Europe sent its representatives to accept the hospitality of the impoverished but magnificent Austrian court.

Metternich, though he had not yet completely established his position, acted as chief Austrian representative, and he was naturally in his capacity as host the president of the congress. Friedrich v. Gentz acted as secretary both to him and the congress and did much of the routine work. Alexander of Russia directed his own diplomacy, and round him he had gathered a brilliant body of men who could express but not control their master's desires. Of these the chief were foreigners, according to the traditions of Russian diplomacy. Capo d'Istria, Nesselrode, Stein, Pozzo di Borgo were perhaps the best men in Europe to manage the Russian policy, while Czartoriski represented at the imperial court the hope of Polish nationality. Frederick William III. of Prussia was a weaker character and, as will be seen, his policy was largely determined by his ally. Prince von Hardenberg, who by no means shared all the views of his master but was incapacitated by his growing infirmities, was first Prussian plenipotentiary, and assisting him was Baron von Humboldt. Great Britain was...
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