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Klemens von Metternich (Metternich Klemens)

( Austrian statesman.)

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Biography Klemens von Metternich (Metternich Klemens)
Born May 15, 1773 in Koblenz. Received a private education, and in 1788 was enrolled in the University of Strasbourg. Witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. His parents withdrew him from France and sent to Mainz, where he occasionally attended lectures at the local university.
In 1793 Mainz captured the French army, then the family possessions were confiscated by Metternich, located on the left bank of the Rhine. In 1794 the French invaded the Netherlands, and the father of Metternich was forced to leave the service in Brussels and move to Vienna. Through marriage with Maria Eleonore Kaunitz, granddaughter and heir to the Austrian chancellor Count Wenzel von Kaunitz, Metternich went into the upper strata of Viennese society. In 1801 he was appointed ambassador to Dresden in 1802 - in Berlin, and in 1806 took the place of Ambassador in Paris.

In October 1809 Metternich was replaced by Philip Stadion as Minister for Foreign Affairs. I was convinced that Austria could save only submissive to Napoleon, so in 1810 arranged marriage of the Hapsburg princess Marie Louise and the French emperor. When in 1812 Napoleon was preparing to invade Russia, Metternich was negotiating an alliance with France. In the spring of 1813 Metternich proposed mediation Powers antagonists. Napoleon rejected his conditions at a meeting in Dresden (June 26, 1813), and Austria joined the anti-French coalition, which soon won the battle of Leipzig. The war lasted for as long as the allied forces did not take Paris, and Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba.

Congress of Vienna, 1814-1815. Following the defeat of Napoleon by the representatives of leading European powers met in Vienna under the chairmanship of Metternich, to discuss the new shape of Europe. France had offered a very reasonable conditions. Prussia was not allowed to annex Saxony, and had to settle land in the Rhineland. Metternich failed to prevent the advance of Russia in the center of Europe and the establishment of the Polish kingdom, but he managed to raise the question of the size of the new state. Austria retained a dominant position in Germany, and Italy. Metternich opposed the revival of the Holy Roman Empire, headed by Habsburgs. Instead, he proposed a confederation of 38 states parties, and received the presidency of Austria in the overall diet, which was supposed to meet in Frankfurt. The smaller states, fearing a gain of Prussia, and national unification of Germany, should have been, of course, to maintain Austria's policy aimed at preserving the status quo.

The intention to create such a confederation in Italy was not realized due to resistance from the pope and the King of Naples from the Bourbon dynasty, but the domination of Austria in the Apennine peninsula by other means. Austria had annexed Lombardy and Venice. In a number of lands in Central Italy - Tuscany, Parma, Modena - ruled by the Habsburg rulers.

Principles Metternich. In 1821 Metternich was appointed an Austrian Chancellor, and spent the rest of his life protecting the decisions of the Congress of Vienna. For several decades, he influenced the government of Austria, as well as Prussia and Russia. Metternich acted as the spokesman of principles aimed at preserving what Metternich called 'international' and 'social' equilibrium.

International balance was to maintain the system of the post 15 in. Under this system, some of the great powers are mutually balance each other, speaking together against attempts by any one of the powers to dominate. The latest effort to take control of the situation in Europe has taken Napoleon and Metternich feared that the same ambitions could cherish Alexander I. Metternich was convinced of the need to subordinate the interests of any state benefit system of the whole. In his view the overall interest is in maintaining the balance of forces and strict implementation of treaty obligations. The same concern and demanded the protection of social and public order within each of. These aspirations are usually called the Holy Alliance, under the name of the declaration proposed by Alexander I and then signed by all the Powers, except Britain and the Holy See. Metternich was a supporter of absolute monarchy, while relying on a strong army, bureaucracy and the alliance between Church and State, considered undesirable any concessions to liberalism.

For the sake of these principles has been developed so-called 'Congress system'. The four major powers who formed the Quadruple Alliance first met in Aachen (1818), to bring all of France, which is now ruled by the Bourbons, in the European 'concert' powers. The next two congressional those states that have already received the name of the Union of the five, gathered in Troppau and Laibach (Ljubljana) (1820-1821), to discuss the problem of the revolutions that broke out in Spain and the Kingdom of Naples. Metternich managed to attract two other 'eastern powers' - Prussia and Russia - to the doctrine of 'interference', . which claimed the right and duty to conservative forces to suppress unrest liberal, . whenever and in whatever part of Europe they occur,
. The two 'Western powers' - France and Britain - were against the general application of such a right, but not objected to the suppression of the revolution in Naples by Austria, which threatened the positions of Vienna in Italy. The next and last congress held in Verona (1822) and led to French intervention in Spain, as a result of which was restored absolute monarchy. Austria and Prussia cooperated closely in the suppression of the liberal movement in Germany. Carlsbad Decrees (1819) introduced strict control over the universities and the seal.

Effect of Austria in European affairs is rapidly decreasing, to conceal the internal weakness of the Habsburg monarchy was increasingly difficult. Metternich realized the necessity of reforms, however, mainly dealt with by diplomacy and peace of mind valued in the service of two emperors, who hated any changes (to 1835 by Francis I, and later Ferdinand I). Metternich was unable to prevent the growth of hostility to the Hungarian monarchy and strengthen the national movement in the Italian and Czech provinces. Rising tide of the liberal movement in Germany has seen its main enemy in Austria.

Metternich's system suddenly collapsed in the spring of 1848. This event combines a mass revolt, the palace intrigues and bureaucratic sabotage. The elderly chancellor did not want to fight for his position and willing to resign, when it demanded the Archduke. To avoid violence, went to London, and in 1850 moved to Brussels. He returned to Austria in 1852. Died Metternich in Vienna June 11, 1859.

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