Coffin and Stacey, Western Civilizations.  text chapters 19-23.


The dominant individuals of 19th century European diplomacy are Foreign Minister Prince Clemens Metternich of Austria and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Germany.

Metternich, along with Viscount Castlereagh of Great Britain, were the architects of the Congress of Vienna settlement which closed out the Napoleonic era. With Castlereagh=s premature death, the years of 1815-1848 are dominated by Metternich=s vision for Europe. But with continuing revolution in the 1820's, in 1830, and again in 1848, Metternich=s hoped for balance of power remained unstable.

The Congress of Vienna began after the first abdication of Napoleon I.  With the Emperor presumably quietly off to exile as emperor of Elba, the allied coalition hoped to create a peace which would prevent another outburst of European war and revolutionary thought that had arisen from the French Revolution.

The diplomatic leaders at Vienna were Prince Metternich of Austria, Lord Castlereagh and the Duke Wellington of Great Britain, Prince Hardenburg of Prussia, and from Russia, Tsar Alexander I, Nesselrode, and John Capo D'Istria. 

When Napoleon escaped from Elba and successfully returned to Paris, leaving Louis XVIII to flee to the protection of the allied coalition, the European powers declared at the Treaty of Chaumont that Napoleon was an outlaw, subject to immediate arrest, and the coalition would put forces into the field to remove him from power.  On June 18, 1815, an allied army led by Wellington and Marshal Blucher of Prussia completely destroyed Napoleon forces at the climactic battle of Waterloo.  Napoleon abdicated a second time, and turned himself over to the British Navy for protection.  He was soon taken to the rather inhospitable island of St. Helena's in the South Atlantic, where he spent his remaining days until his death in 1821.  The coalition resumed its deliberations at Vienna, and went about creating a settlement which would insure European peace.

By November of 1815, a settlement was created which managed to keep a general European peace which lasted until the outbreak of the Great War (World War I) in 1914.  European conflict remained, and wars broke out of the 99 year period, but there was no general European war which reach the intensity of the French Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars.

One of the important features of the Vienna settlement which made it successful was its inclusion of smaller European nations.  Though their role in the negotiations may have been modest, smaller nations such as the Saxons, Bavarians, and Swedes, who had opposed Napoleon, had a vested interest in a successful Congress.  By including them in the conference, the powers suggested that all Europeans would be a part of the process of keeping the peace.

Another nation included as a power at Vienna was France.  Normally, a defeated nation would be brought to a peace conference to merely sign the instrument of settlement, and would have had no input into its creation.  After all, why should a losing nation be given any privileges, especially since the French were presumably the ones who had created the conditions for war?  French Foreign Minister Talleyrand, who had served under Napoleon and now represented the recently re-installed Bourbon king, Louis XVIII, successfully intrigued to convince the powers that France was not an outsider.  Since the powers had themselves considered Napoleon himself the usurper, why not involve France in the negotiations for a settlement.  Sooner or later France was going to be restored to its status as a power.  If she were part of the negotiations, all concerned could say the settlement was not directed directly at France, but rather for a general peace, of which the French would eventually be a major power in maintaining.  This important concession is a  major underlying factor in the 99 year period of peace.

The only ones left out of the settlement seemed to be the Poles.  The Kingdom of Poland had been finally partitioned out of existence in 1795 by the Russians, Austrians and Prussians, who carved up the kingdom three times until it ceased to exist, and kept the parts for themselves.  Napoleon had recreated a rump Polish state called the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, who remained loyal to the emperor for his efforts.  The Poles paid the price for this loyalty and once again disappeared from the map of Europe, not to return until 1919 in the aftermath of World War I.

The Vienna Principles of Settlement

The Congress of Vienna developed its settlement out of a series of principles, which, when taken together, helped top give Europe a lengthy period of peace.

1.  Legitimacy-- restoration of the rightful rulers who had been ousted by the French Revolutionary Wars.

2. Collective Security--Europe should work together to prevent recurrence of revolutionary outbursts.

3. Territorial adjustments--transfer of territory form one ruler to another could help insure peace.

4.  Occupation of France--a multinational military force under the command of the Duke of Wellington would remain in France for a period of time to quell any surges of Napoleonic power, and give the Bourbons time to reform France within the wishes of the coalition.

5. Congress System--the powers agreed that in the future conferences (congresses), though not regularly scheduled, would be held when any threats to peace appeared.

Recurring Revolutions

In spite of the efforts of those in attendance at Vienna, Europe would face renewed revolutions in the 1820s (Spain), 1830 (France and Belgium), and in 1848 (France, German areas, and Austrian Empire).  In the Troppau Protocol, Austria, Prussia, and Russia declared war on all revolutionary movements

Spain--In the 1820s, the Bourbons were overthrown by liberals who had been exposed to the ideas of the French Revolution.  Spain lost most of her colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere, and the revolution was crushed by French troops.

France (1830)--Charles X, youngest brother of Louis XVI, had assumed power in 1824 upon the death of Louis XVIII.  He attempted to restore Bourbon power to levels that existed in the Old Regime.  The clumsy attempt at press censorship in 1830 led to a short revolution which ousted the Bourbons forever and sent Charles X into exile.  He was replaced by Louis-Philippe of the Orleans family in a regime known as the July Monarchy (for the month of the revolution), with Louis-Philippe accepting the title of "King of the French."

Belgium (1830)--Though the Kingdom of the Netherlands was an economic success, the Belgians were unhappy with the Congress of Vienna creation of the kingdom, primarily over three issues, religion, language, and under-representation in the Dutch legislature.  When the Dutch king planned to strike back in 1831, French troops marched to protect the Belgians.  The kingdom split, and in 1839 all European parties agreed that Belgium would be a neutral nation, not to be allied with any other nation.


"The large scale application of fossil fuel energy and machines to do work previously performed by human or animal power."

Long term significance--the revolution cumulatively has meant a better world and lifestyle over the past 250 years

Short term significance--the revolution created new hurdles for the working class (who Karl Marx called the proletariat) to overcome to enjoy a better life, and created a new middle class businessman (called the bourgeoisie by Marx) whose lifestyle improved rapidly.

The Industrial Revolution was not a quick and profound change normally signified by the use of the word "revolution" but rather it was a gradual change with a magnitude worthy of the word.

Factors of growth

These factors must be available for a nation to undergo the Industrial Revolution 1)natural resources 2)transportation system 3)labor supply 4)capital 5)technology 6)entrpreneurs 7)government supportive response


Karl Marx (1818-1883) was born in Germany but spent much of his years in London, where he could observe the Industrial Revolution in its origins.  His idea of Scientific Socialism proved to be the biggest ideological movement to arise out of industrial growth, and the most critical it.  Marx saw all history as the history of economics, that history was a war between the haves and the have-nots.  He called dialectic materialism the struggle between what exists, the haves or the "thesis,"  and what could be, the have-nots or the "antithesis."  This struggle ended with a "synthesis" which then became the new "thesis", which was opposed by a new "antithesis," and another "synthesis" followed.  This struggle repeated itself throughout history.  In Rome there had been the struggle between the patricians and the plebians.  The French Revolution had been a struggle between the haves, the nobility, and the have-nots, the peasantry.  Now the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat was the last great final struggle, and when the working man won out, paradise would  finally be founded.


Otto von Bismarck, became prime minister of Prussia in1861 with a mandate from King William I to insure proper financial support for his beloved Prussian Army.  Bismarck proved to be the replacement coachman of Europe, replacing Metternich as the dominant politician on the European Continent.  Bismarck carefully crafted plans for a united Germany under Prussian leadership, and without Austrian participation.  A series of three wars, the Danish War of 1862 over Schleswig-Holstein, the Seven Weeks War against Austria in 1866, and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, led to the creation of the Second German Reich (empire), announced at Versailles, with King William I as Kaiser.

Bismarck, in the aftermath of German unification, planned for European stability in order to protect Germany. Pronouncing the Reich a satisfied power, the chancellor turned to deal with internal politics. Eventually, he moved to protect Germany by isolating France. Knowing that France desired a return of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, lost in the Franco-Prussian War, it was essential to for Germany to seek arrangements with other nations to limit France=s options, because France alone had found itself unable to defeat the Prussian military machine in 1870. As long as France remained alone, she had no chance top regain the lost provinces.

Bismarck=s diplomatic offensive led Germany into the Dual Alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1879). He also created the so called League of the Three Emperors (1872 through 1889 between the Houses of Hohenzollern, Hapsburg, and Romanovs), and secretly arranged the Reinsurance Treaty (1887) between Russia and Germany. The Dual Alliance was expanded to the Triple Alliance (1882) with the inclusion of Italy, and with Great Britain seemingly having more concern with its empire than with the continent, France was effectively isolated. The Reich was not only satisfied, it seemed well protected, and only Asome damn fool thing in the Balkans@ threatened peace.

Unfortunately, when Kaiser Wilhelm II assumed power in 1888, he had little use for the aging German hero. The Kaiser seemed intent on removing Bismarck, and taking a more active role for himself in future German diplomatic offensives. Bismarck urged the young Kaiser to avoid expanding the German naval surface fleet or getting the nation involved in imperial conquests, for those would only raise the suspicions of Britain as to the future intent of Germany. In 1890, the old man was retired, and those who followed were never up to his level of leadership.

The new Kaiser soon allowed the Reinsurance Treaty with the Russians to lapse. The Russians, facing the Triple Alliance, found friendship with the French, just as Bismarck feared. Later Britain, observing German adventurism, also sought closer friendship with France and Russia, via the rival to the Triple Alliance, the Triple Entente (an informal understanding, 1904 and 1907). The seeds for the next war were now sown; just as Bismarck feared, the new found and hard fought German unity was threatened.


The British Government was long divided on the future of Ireland.  Ireland had been conquered in the 12th century, shortly after the Norman conquest of Britain.  Through the reigns of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Oliver Cromwell, the Irish had been systematically oppressed, and the island populated with Scot and English Protestants, who seized the land and property of the Irish.  The Irish rose to support James II after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and they were beaten again by the British at the Battle of the Boyne in 1689.  In the 1840's the Irish population was decimated by the potato famine.   A million may have died as a result of the blight; another two million or more emigrated to North America.

The Liberal Party, led by William Gladstone, favored creating a system of "Irish Home Rule" whereby the Irish would govern their own domestic affairs, but would swear allegiance to the British crown, and allow the British Government to conduct foreign affairs and military policy.  Presumably, this would eventually lead to an independent Ireland in the British Commonwealth, along the lines of Canada and Australia.  The opposing viewpoint to home rule, pushed largely by Protestants living in Ireland, held that Ireland should remain forever part of the United Kingdom.  Minority Irish Protestants had long been harsh on the majority Irish Catholics; a self-governing Ireland would be dominated by Catholics, and Protestants feared a backlash after centuries of oppressive rule.  The Home Rule plan cost the Liberals repeatedly at the polling booth.

World War I interrupted the plans which would have led to Irish independence, and the violent Catholic uprising during the Easter Rebellion of 1916 hurt the Irish cause.  In the postwar period, Britain created the Irish Free State, which eventually became independent, but the government, under pressure from Irish Protestants, created Northern Ireland out of six counties (of the nine counties) of the ancient province of Ulster.  This enclave would remain part of the United Kingdom.  Northern Ireland had a bare Protestant majority because it included two primarily Catholic counties (Tyrone and Fermanagh) added to the four heavily Protestant counties of Down, Armagh, Antrim, and Londonderry.  The Northern Ireland enclave did not include the other three counties of Ulster, the counties of Donegal, Cavan, and Monaghan because, with their heavily Catholic populations, Catholics would numerically control Northern Ireland and seek to join a united Irish nation.

The Irish Problem continues to plague the British Government today.  Sectarian violence between Protestant and Catholic (primarily the Irish Republican Army) paramilitary units continues in Northern Ireland, and only a strong military presence by the British Army maintains order in spilt cities such as Londonderry and Belfast.  The British and Irish Governments have worked jointly to seek a permanent peaceful settlement, which would probably lead to a re-united Ireland, with protections for the minority Protestants


Imperialism is the extension of authority or control, directly or indirectly of one nation over another. It normally is restricted to describing the period between 1870 and 1914, when Europe controlled much of the world=s finance, commerce, military power and intellectual life. To achieve imperial power status, a nation requires advanced technology, military power, naval power, and financial advantage.

Motives for Imperialism

1. Commercial advantage

2. National pride

3. Social Darwinism

4. Idealism-Christian missionaries

5. Adventure

6. Military advantage

Great Britain took the role of imperial leader because:
It already had an established colonial empire.
It has a large navy and merchant marine fleet.
Having undergone the Industrial Revolution, Britain had a need for raw materials and markets.
British imperial holdings included:  India (to include modern day Pakistan), Hong Kong (a sphere of influence in China), Egypt, Rhodesia, Malaya, Somalia

Other examples of European imperial conquests:
France:  Indochina (including Vietnam), Algeria, Tunisia
Italy: Somalia, Libya, Ethiopia
Germany: German East Africa, German Southwest Africa, Cameroon
Portugal: Macao (sphere of influence in China), Angola, Mozambique
Belgium :Belgian Congo



Liberalism;  Nationalism;   Carlsbad Decrees;
Charles X and the French Revolution of 1830 - Charles X,  younger brother of both Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, upon assumption of throne in 1824, seemed committed to a restoration of the Bourbons without limitations, to the Old Order (the Ultras).  Overthrown in 1830.
Louis Philippe (July Monarchy) - Replaced Charles X with Orleans family in 1830; overthrown during 1848 revolutions
Belgian Revolution of 1830- Belgians considered themselves oppressed by the Dutch king since establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815.  Though the kingdom was an economic success, it was divided along religious and language lines, and by underrepresentation for Belgians in Dutch parliament.  French Army supported Belgian desire for independence.  Belgium declared a neutral nation by the European powers in 1839
Revolutions of 1848; 
Zollverein -
Customs Union which removed internal tariffs among German states, and created a uniform tariff on imports.  First used by Prussia amongst its scattered territories in 1818.  By 1844 all German states except Austria had joined the Zollverein. By removing burden of local tolls and taxes, the union cleared the way for future economic growth and suggested Prussia would lead the way for later political unification of Germany
Troppau Protocol (November, 1820) - Agreement committing Prussia, Austria, and Russia to the destruction of revolutionary fervor in aftermath of Napoleonic Wars. "States which have changed governments due to revolution, and the result threatens other states, cease to be members of the European alliance, and remain excluded until their situation guarantees order and stability.  If these states and situations threaten other states, the powers bind themselves to restore stability, by force if necessary."


Bourgeoisie;  Proletariat;  Economics-the Dismal Science;  Thomas Malthus - Essay on Population;  David Ricardo -  The Iron Law of Wages

Karl Marx; Marxism; Scientific Socialism; Communist Manifesto; Dialectic Materialism; Class Struggle;  1st International;  Welfare Capitalism;  Christian Socialists

BRITAIN 1815-1914

Rotten Boroughs - election districts which were over-represented in Parliament, normally rural areas which had far fewer residents per district than election districts from the growing manufacturing cities such as London, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds
Peterloo Massacre

Chartist movement - movement for parliamentary election reforms 1) secret ballot; 2)paid terms for members of Parliament (MP); 6)annual elections for Parliament
Catholic Emancipation
Reform Bills (1832, 1867, 1880, 1884, 1885)
Parliamentary Act of 1911 - after the rejection of the so-called "people's budget of 1909, the House of Commons threatened to dilute the House of Lords with new membership named by the King.  To avoid this dilution of membership, the Lords agreed that they would lose their power of veto over Commons legislation, and agreed that they can only delay such legislation for thirty days.  In effect, the House of Commons became the entire government.
House of Lords - upper house of Parliament
House of Commons - lower house of Parliament
"The responsible working class" - skilled workers who earned the right to vote via the Reform Bill of 1867. William William Gladstone - leading member of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister in second half of 19th century.
Benjamin Disraeli - leading member of the Conservative (Tory) Party and Prime Minister in second half of 19th. century.

Two Party System and Loyal Opposition-Liberal Party and Conservative Party

Rise of the Labour Party
Irish Home Rule - pushed by Gladstone (at great political cost) to allow the Irish to govern their own domestics affairs, while remaining loyal to the Royal Family, and following London's lead in military matters and foreign affairs
Ulster (Northern Ireland) - one of four of Ireland's traditional provinces with nine counties; upon the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, Britain retained control over six of those counties, calling this area either Northern Ireland or Ulster, where Protestants outnumbered Catholics.

FRANCE 1848-1914

French Revolution of 1848; 2nd Republic; Napoleon III ("Napoleon the Little"); the Second Empire; the Liberal Empire; Franco-Prussian War;
The lost provinces of Alsace-Lorraine - Two French provinces in eastern France, seized by Germany at end of Franco-Prussian War and incorporated into the 2nd Reich
3rd Republic (1875-1940) - created in aftermath of the lost Franco-Prussian War and end of the 2nd Empire, remained the French government until France was defeated by Nazis in World War II
Dreyfus Affair - Alfred Dreyfus, French Army Captain and Jew who was falsely accused of treason for trading military secrets to Germany in 1894 while serving on the Army General Staff.  Convicted, Dreyfus was sent to Devil's Island for life imprisonment. Entire French nation was called out by writer Emile Zola ("I Accuse") for its anti-semitism. Eventually, Dreyfus was exonerated, but only after France was forced to take a close look at itself and what it stood for.
Indochina - French imperial holding in Southeast Asia, later better known for the Vietnam War

ITALY (1848-1914)

Count Camillo Cavour; Guiseppe Garibaldi and the ARed Shirts@; Victor Emmanuel II; House of Savoy (Kingdom of Piedmont); Battle of Solferino; Papal States; the Vatican; Battle of Adowa

GERMANY (1848-1914)

North German Confederation - created 1866 after defeat of Austria, dominated by Prussia
Otto von Bismarck ("The Iron Chancellor")- Prussian Prime Minister, later German Chancellor, who engineered the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership via three wars; later pronounced Germany a 'satisfied power'.
German Wars of Unification

    1864 - Danish War (Schleswig-Holstein)
    1866 - Seven Weeks War, against Austria
    1870 - Franco-Prussian War led to the creation of the 2nd German Reich (Empire) under Kaiser Wilhelm I
The Kaisers:

    Kaiser William (Wilhelm) I (ruled 1870-1888)
    Kaiser Frederick III (1888)
    Kaiser William (Wilhelm) II (1888-1918)
Kulturkampf -
Bismarck's "culture struggle" against German Catholics, a major mistake on Bismarck's part
Alfred von Tirpitz and the Navy League

Ems Dispatch - Press release which suggested King William I had rebuffed a French diplomat, used by Bismarck to embarrass France, and caused Napoleon III to seek war with Prussia in 1870
Reinsurance Treaty - secret non aggression pact between Bismarck and Russia, designed to reassure Russia of Bismarck's peaceful intentions, and further isolate France, later rejected by Wilhelm II.
Dual (later Triple) Alliance - Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary, later joined by Italy, designed  by Bismarck to diplomatically isolate France
Realpolitik - expansionist national policy having as its sole principle the advancement of national interst


Emperor Franz Joseph I - Became emperor after Revolutions of 1848, remained as emperor until his death in 1916 during the Great War, seemingly the one person who kept the Austrian Empire intact because he was beloved by all.
Augsleich -
The Compromise which created the Dual Monarchy and gave the Hungarians (Magyars) control over domestic issues over the southern and eastern half of the old Austrian Empire.
Ethnic Groups in the Austrian Empire
: Germans (23%), Hungarians (Magyars) (14%), Czechs (11%) , Slovaks, Polish, Ruthenians (Ukrainians), Italians, Croats (Croatians), Slovenes, Serbs, Rumanians, Jews

RUSSIA (1815-1914)

The Tsars (Czars): Alexander I (died 1825); Nicholas I (d. 1855); Alexander II (assassinated 1881); Alexander III (assassinated 1894); Nicholas II (overthrown 1917, later executed by Communists)

Decembrist Revolt;  AAutocracy, Orthodoxy, Nationalism@ Intelligentsia Slavophiles

Duma - Hoped for Russian parliament
End of Serfdom (1861);  Mirs Zemstvos

Russification; Trans-Siberian Railroad; Russo-Japanese War 1904-05; 1905 Revolution; Peter Stolypin;  Rasputin;   Political Parties: Constitutional Democrats (Kadets); Social Revolutionaries (peasant socialists) (SR): Social Democrats (Marxist)-Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

IMPERIALISM (1870-1914)

Existing Old Empires (Age of Exploration or prior to 1870):
Portuguese-Angola, Mozambique
Dutch-Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
Britain-India; France-Algeria
New Empires (Age of Imperialism 1870-1914):

Germany-East Africa, Southwest Africa, Cameroons
Britain-British East Africa (Kenya), Rhodesia, Sudan Egypt
France-Indochina, French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa
Italy-Somalia, Libya, Eritrea
United States-Philippine Islands
Spheres of Influence
- European zones of economic control in China; example: Hong Kong (Britain)
Battle of Adowa - battle where Italians, trying to extend their ownership out of Italian Somaliland, were embarrassingly defeated by Ethiopians in 1896.
Motives for Imperialism
: Commercial/economic; National pride; Social Darwinism "White Mans Burden"; Idealism/Missionary; Adventurism; Military advantage


AThe Iron Law of Wages@ A)Ricardo B)Wellington C)Malthus D)Cromwell E)Adam Smith

According to Marx, the history of the world was explained by a succession of struggles between A)economic classes B)nations C)religions D)ethnic groups

In the area of foreign policy, after its unification, Germany: A)sought to gain control of the Turkish Straits B)tried to bring Austria into the German Reich C)pronounced itself a satisfied power D)annexed Schleswig-Holstein.

The 2d French Republic: A)was dominated by the Communists B)surrendered to Prussia during the Franco-Prussian War C)crushed the Belgian Revolution D)freely chose a Bonaparte to be president.

Direct cause of Franco-Prussian War A)Zimmermann Telegram B)Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand C)Ems Dispatch D)Schleswig-Holstein Succession question.

Kulturkampf describes A)Bismarck's attacks against Catholics B)Bismarck's attacks against Socialists C)The Franco-Prussian War D)the Kaiser's plans for Austria-Hungary.

British Liberal Party leader A)Disraeli  B)Gladstone  C)Wellington  D)Lord Grey

Recommended Reading

Rene Albrecht-Carrie, A Diplomatic History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna