Describe about the Concert of Europe of Reason for a War.
Concert of Europe: Overview
The map of Europe has been redrawn by the diplomats representing some of the Great Powers of Europe almost two decades back. The French Empire was defeated due to the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte in April and the fate of the nation was now determined by Great Britain, Austria, Royalist France, Russia and Prussia. Negotiations end and hostilities has been renewed when Napoleon escaped from Elba, the Mediterranean island. It was the rebirth of the old alliance. Bringing a balance of power in Europe was a matter of paramount importance for the British. Efforts were made by the British Foreign Secretary, the Duke of Wellington and the Viscount Castlereagh for syncing the Great Powers so that no new battle broke. Such a balance of power was achieved by Europe. The nation when stable focused on expansions of the imperial self (UKEssays, 2015). Whenever a war broke resource, power and energy of Britain was used and once again the nation has to work hard to get back its balance or stability. An ambitious new project was proposed by Castlereagh in the year 1815. The Great Powers were requested to come together and analyze the reasons for which regional wars can occur. By renewing the meetings and consulting and working together for the common objective of avoiding wars was needed to bring a balanced state in the country. Such a balanced power was even achieved for some time. Almost ten years peace prevailed in the countries of Europe.
This is what is known as the Concert of Europe. Regularly meetings were held where Europe’s greatest leaders and powers participated. Reasons for forthcoming crisis and potential wars were discussed. Solutions were discussed. Hence the alliance of these Four Powers was appearing to be perpetual in nature (Delbruck, 2000). In the year 1822 the Congress system broke. As a result on ad-hoc basis the Great Powers kept meeting whenever crisis was speculated to be emerging. The question is whether this Concert of Europe was able to maintain peace or did it lead to wars? Although, numerous nations like the USA and Japan joined the concrete, yet it will be wrong to say that it brought complete peace. There occurred no war in between a timespan of years 1815 to 1914 which can be considered as big wars. But small wars in between European states occurred. Three of the most prominent were the Crimean War occurring in between years 1854-56, the Austro-Prussian War of 1856 and the Franco-Prussian War of years 1870 and 1871. Here in this paper we will elaborately discuss the fact of how the concert of Europe collapsed and was the reason for bringing peace as well as war at the same time (Davies, 2014).
The 19th Century witnessed the beginning of the Concert of Europe. It signified a strong spirit with which the Great Powers mutually agreed and showed agreement for solving conflicts and disagreements. This was done for maintaining world peace and the nation’s status quo by all peaceful mediums. Such mediums were meetings on a frequent basis, negotiations and compromises made wherever necessary. In the year 1848 this concert collapsed (Booty, 2011). The reason for the breakdown of the concert is varied. These reasons give us enough signs to believe that the collapse of the Concert of Europe brought peace as well as war. Basically there was no definite organization for enforcing the Concert of Europe. Rather it was a motive or a desire for maintaining balance of power and peace. This spirit fell when the desire and cooperation in between Great Power fell.
Rationale for the Study
Research issue: The research issue is to understand whether the collapse or fall of the Concert of Europe brought peace forever. Or whether it lead us to war. Or is it both.
Aims and Objectives
Research Question: The collapse of the Concert of Europe: a Reason for a War or a Situation of Peace? Or Both?
The objectives of the research are as follows:
- Understand the formation of the Concert and its collapse.
- How the concert of Europe brought peace.
- The concert of Europe even had wars occurring while it was in effect.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
This literature review will help us understand that for some time peace was maintained by the efforts of the Concert of Europe. But every Great Power was the reason for the beginning of the First World War. Viable arguments will be provided in favor of this statement.
A Brief Peace
The game of imperials was raging all over the globe and the European map showed enormous transformations. From the years 1815 to 1870 posts the time when Napoleon nearly dominated the whole of Europe the powers of the nation thought developing a system of a balanced political and military know how. This system followed every nation and state. They kept observing where there was enhanced strength on the political and geographical frontier. A system of precaution helped Europe attain peace for some time. Italy and Germany consolidated in the years 1870 and 1871 to form strong nations in the base of Europe. Germany was formed in the year 1871. The old system of balanced power got a replacement. Germany under the supervision of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck conjoined Austria –Hungary and Russia forming the so called “Three Emperors League”. These three nations made pledges and committee for consulting each other in any matter related to Europe (Hannan, 2014). They pledged to be neutral if any of the member states took up a military action against a state which is a non-member. Europe’s relations are described best at the Ottoman Empire of the “sick man of Europe”. The Ottomans also controlled regions of North Africa, Middle East and some places to the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Ottoman Empire was maintained even if some states were weak as a balance of power was being maintained by doing sp. The Balkan –Peninsula however, became a cause for threat for the Europe’s Concert or balance of power (SparkNotes, 2016). Let us see how after the completion of four conferences the concert of Europe broke:
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818):
In the year 1818 at the Aix-la-Chapelle the first meeting of the Congress was held. The scheme and resolution of Europe’s welfare was made here in this first meeting.
Congress of Troppau (1820):
In the year 1820, the second Congress meet was held at Troppau. Spain, Naples and Portugal witnessed revolutions occurring. The monarchs of these nations were forced to give constitutions.
Congress of Laibach (1821):
At Laibach the third meeting of the Congress was held. The troops of Austria were sent to Naples for suppressing revolts there and it was done easily. In the north of Italy at Piedmont another revolt occurred which the troops of Austria ended.
Congress of Verona (1822):
Year 1822 saw the last of the congress meetings of the concert of Europe. The Greeks made a revolution against Turkey and any intervention from Russia was prevented by Austria. In Spain another revolt occurred in the year 1820. Inquisition was forced to be transformed into Constitution by the King of Spain, Ferdinand VII. In the meeting, France proposed to interfere into Spain and except Germany none supported them. On withdrawal of Great Britain from the concert it collapsed (Aggarwal, 2016).
Objectives of the Concert of Europe
The primary objectives of the Concert of Europe or the Congress are as follows:-
- After decades of war containment of France was necessary
- A balanced power to be achieved in between the Great Powers in Europe.
- To stop the arrangements of the territory which is made by the Congress of Vienna during the years 1814 and 1815 (Lek, 2002)
- Prevention of the rise of another figure similar to that of Napoleon that can lead to a war as wide as the continent.
Historians are of the agreement that the Concert of Europe was a success. No major war occurred, but in few years’ time the Crimean War proved the theory to be wrong. France got reintegrated into Europe back in the year 1818 when it joined the allies. Powerful nations when they disagree it often leaders to a collapse of a system (NWE, 2009).
History, Result and Demise
The 1789 French Revolution scarified the lead superpowers of Europe. It also created fear amongst the small classes. The lower class raised violently on older powers for resolving issues that remained suppressed for years. These were suppressed revolution against the monarchs of those times. The system of Congress deteriorated where Britain removed its take on the Green War of Independence (Holsti, 2011). Although one of the Congress was still there the other broke down. Peace was still maintained in Europe with architecture of negotiation and international diplomacy. France, Britain and Russia joined to fight and defeat the Ottoman army.
The principal accomplishment of the Concert has been to secure independence for Belgium and Greece. Powers except France intervened to defend the Ottoman Empire for ending the 8 year long occupation of Egypt over Syria.
The process of the demise of the Court is quite slow. Italians and Germans tried unifying the states. However Austrian states needed independence. Further the Concert was weakened when participants went for wars one after another.
The Cold War and the Concert of Europe
The US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, propose for bringing stability in the international order. It was argued that in the conflict prone world peace and stability is guaranteed for ensuing a balance in between power and force (Dvorsky, 2014). In regards to the Cold War a balance of power was proposed to be made in between the Communist bloc and the Western allies. For a great extent this balanced power avoided any collision in between the two sides of the Cold War. Proxy battles were however being fought. However it was dependent on how the states mutually agreed on such destructions. The military extension of both these sides is large and costly. The main idea is to be on a defensive note rather than being aggressive. Defensive attitude helped nations maintain stability and peace in the states.
Chapter 3: Research Design and Methodology
The research gives us the conclusion that due to the differences amongst the Super Powers on the matter of how to keep balance of power led to the fall of the Concert and the resultant beginning of war. Although the beginning was good but failure engulfed and the Concert collapsed. Jealousies, distrust and self-interests of the various countries was the reason for such a fall. The thoughts and interests of these countries were not united. The cooperation was hampered as disagreements were enhanced over how goals of balanced power and peace will be maintained. It is an irony that the notion or motive of bringing peace only culminated war (StudyMode, 2009).
Like every research, a research design is chosen here as well which is in response to the subject. This research design helps us have an insight about experiencing the project in different levels. For this project we have chosen a Qualitative research design (Richards, 2006). In this methodology as the research proceeds, data collected and analysis is made, an understanding about the subject is created. In this approach first an assumption is being made which is basically in sync with our research question. After this pre-defined works of other authors, books, pdfs, online journals and articles from the web was studied to ascertain the truth of the assumption (Anonymous, 2015). This approach for undergoing research helps refer to the relevant data and analysis was made with these data.
Chapter 4: Research Findings
The finding of this research let us to the conclusion that initially the intention of the Concert of Europe was no doubt noble. It wanted a permanent state of peace and stability in Europe. On the basis of mutual cooperation this was thought to be achieved. In fact a long ten years was quite peaceful but after that this system ended. Some of the reasons found to be contributing for this failure are as follows:-
The interest and aims of the allied powers were different. Russia and Austria wanted that the allied powers must intervene into every state's internal affairs of Europe (GPD, 2016).
One of the primary reasons for the formation of the Concert was to save Europe from the domination of Napoleon Bonaparte. So, till Bonaparte was alive the unity of allied powers was maintained but soon ceased to be united when he passed away.
Small countries were not invited or not allowed to have voting powers.
The principle of status quo was followed by all the great powers of the Concert except Great Britain.
Lack of cooperation, confidence and unity ultimately broke the Concert apart (Mital, 2012)
Chapter 5: Conclusion
To conclude it was the Crimean War which can be stated as the cause of the collapse of the Concert of Europe. It clearly helps us conclude that the Concert of Europe even if it sustained peace for some time eventually led the world to war. When Russia made attempts for exploiting the Ottoman Empire the spirit of the Concert reversed (Fogel, 2001). Thus with the Treaty of Paris the balance of power objective was dissolved making situations unfavorable for cooperation for Russia.
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