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What was the Congress of Vienna and its purpose?

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The purpose of the Congress of Vienna in 1814–1815 was to restore order in Europe after the reign of the Emperor Napoleon I. Many European countries were represented, most significantly the four great powers of Austria, Britain, Russia, and Prussia, as well as France. The result was a significant redistribution of European territory, mainly in favor of the great powers.

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The purpose of the Congress of Vienna was to restore peace and order in Europe after the fall of the French Emperor Napoleon I. The Congress took place from November 1814 to June 1815, and was chaired by the Austrian diplomat and statesman Klemens von Metternich.

The major participants in the Congress were the representatives of the four great powers in Europe at the time. Prince Metternich himself spoke for Austria. Great Britain was represented first by Lord Castlereagh, the Foreign Secretary, and then by the Duke of Wellington. Count von Nesselrode, a Russian-German minister, represented Russia, while Prince Karl August von Hardenberg was the Prussian spokesman. Other nations were also represented, including France, which sent the famous diplomat and wit Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand. Talleyrand proved a disruptive influence, and it is likely that without his skillful negotiations, France would have fared much worse.

All the decisions reached by the Congress of Vienna were incorporated in the Final Act, signed by all parties on June 9, 1815. Russia and Prussia made particularly large territorial gains, while the mass of tiny states that had formed the Holy Roman Empire were consolidated into the German Confederation. The Austrian Empire was also much expanded, and Britain received various possessions in the Caribbean. The Final Act has been criticized for its reactionary bias in favor of the four great powers.

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