Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna by Adam ZamoyskiIn the wake of Napoleons disastrous Russian campaign of 1812, the French emperors imperious grip on Europe began to weaken, raising the question of how the continent was to be reconstructed after his defeat. While the Treaty of Paris that followed Napoleons exile in 1814 put an end to a quarter century of revolution and war in Europe, it left the future of the continent hanging in the balance.
Eager to negotiate a workable and lasting peace, the major powers—Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia—along with a host of lesser nations, began a series of committee sessions in Vienna: an eight-month-long carnival that combined political negotiations with balls, dinners, artistic performances, hunts, tournaments, picnics, and other sundry forms of entertainment for the thousands of aristocrats who had gathered in the Austrian capital. Although the Congress of Vienna resulted in an unprecedented level of stability in Europe, the price of peace would be high. Many of the crucial questions were decided on the battlefield or in squalid roadside cottages amid the vagaries of war. And the proceedings in Vienna itself were not as decorous as is usually represented.
Internationally bestselling author Adam Zamoyski draws on a wide range of original sources, which include not only official documents, private letters, diaries, and firsthand accounts, but also the reports of police spies and informers, to reveal the steamy atmosphere of greed and lust in which the new Europe was forged. Meticulously researched, masterfully told, and featuring a cast of some of the most influential and powerful figures in history, including Tsar Alexander, Metternich, Talleyrand, and the Duke of Wellington, Rites of Peace tells the story of these extraordinary events and their profound historical consequences.
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna. Convened to reorder Europe after the defeat of Napoleon, it was also meant to be a grand ending of sorts—the rulers and diplomats from all over Europe were looking to close the book on the strife and upheavals of the Napoleonic Wars and begin a new chapter of world peace. In many ways, it was the precursor to the United Nations. Scroll your cursor over the bottom of the picture to see the caption. Some of the major issues had to do with East Europe—what to do with the various pieces of Poland that had been carved up during the wars; how to deal with Saxony and Prussia; how to keep Russia from becoming too powerful. And then there was the rising nationalism in the Italian peninsula and the Balkans to consider.
Alexander I was the Emperor of Russia (Tsar) between and He was the eldest son of.
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The Congress of Vienna
Alexander was the first king of Congress Poland , reigning from to , as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland , reigning from to Over the course of a number of diplomatic congresses, the victorious Alexander played an impressive role in determining the political restructuring of post-Napoleonic Europe. He ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars.
Alexander I was born in St. Petersburg on 23 December, and died at Taganrog on 1 December, He was handsome — he had the classic profile of his grandmother — and intelligent. From his childhood he was torn between two people who hated each other: his father whom he feared and his grandmother whom he admired, he also remained hidden and was secretive. Deeply shocked by the despotic rule of his father, he befriended Polish prisoners such as Prince Adam Czartoryski, as well as a group of young Russians, including Stroganov, Novosiltsev and Kochubei. They all hoped for the establishment of a liberal constitution in Russia and were passionate about the social contract and the French constitution of Alexander's powers of persuasion came from an innate personal charm.