Prince Metternich

Last Updated: 23 Mar 2023
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Samantha Meyers 01/20/13 Wld Hist. HN Pd. 2 Prince Metternich Prince Metternich was born in Coblenz on May 15, 1773. He owed most of his early education to his mother because his father showed no interest in his education. In 1788, Metternich enrolled in Strasbourg University He served as foreign minister of the Austrian Empire from 1809 to 1848 and restored Austria to its former power after the devastating Napoleonic Wars. He held continuous office in European affairs for almost 40 years.

One of his first tasks was to set up a detente with France that included the marriage of Napoleon to the Austrian Arch-Duchess Marie Louise. Soon after that he engineered Austria’s entry into the War of the Sixth Coalition on the Allied side, he signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau that sent Napoleon into exile. In recognition of his service to the Austrian Empire, he was raised to the title of Prince in October 1813. Prince Metternich lead the Congress of Vienna.

He helped restore balance of power to all of Europe and proposed a peacekeeping organization called the Concert of Europe. He attempted to restore hereditary monarchs that lost power but only ended up making the people favor nationalism. Under his guidance, the "Metternich system" of international congresses continued for another decade as Austria aligned herself with Russia and Prussia. This marked the high point of Austria's diplomatic importance, but soon Metternich slowly slipped back into the periphery of international diplomacy.

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At home, Metternich also held the post of Chancellor of State from 1821 until 1848, under both Francis II of Austria and his son Ferdinand I of Austria. After a brief period of exile in London, Brighton and Brussels that lasted until 1851, he returned once more to the Viennese court, this time to offer only advice to Ferdinand's successor, Franz Josef. Having outlived his generation of politicians, Metternich died at the age of 86 in 1859. Metternich was one of the most capable diplomats of his time.

He was responsible for the stability of European governments. In the end, however, Metternich failed because his basic strategy was to support autocracy when the political development in Europe moved rapidly towards democracy. Bibliography: "Prince Metternich. " World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2013. World History Notes on “19th Century Nationalism” "Conservative, Sophisticated, Skilled Diplomat. " Emersonkent. com. Emerson Kent, n. d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013. <http://www. emersonkent. com/history_notes/klemens_von_metternich. htm>.

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