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Comparing congress of vienna to treaty of versailles

As a result of the different philosophies and actions taken at these settlements, the outcomes were a stark contrast: The Treaty of Versailles was a less effective attempt to maintain the European peace than the Congress of Vienna, because it both relied on idealistic and unproven concepts, such self-determination and collective security, and lacked the will of the victors to enforce it.

The settlement crafted at the Congress of Vienna following the Napoleonic Wars prevented a general European war for roughly a century. It took forty years for the Great Powers to engage in another conflict, the Crimean War of 1854, and the next general war would be the First World War, roughly a hundred years after the Congress. All three of these ideas worked in conjunction to prevent the peace from being upset.

French territory would be reduced, but not beyond the point of the 1792 borders, and the monarchy that had supplanted Napoleon would be bolstered by the victorious powers. The latter two pillars worked together in principle. The balance of power would work to prevent any nation from actually acquiring the ability to overthrow the international order. Keeping France strong worked with both of these ideas, not only turning France back from the dangers of liberalism, but also restraining Russia from interfering with its neighbors.

If France proved to be impossible to reintegrate into the international system, comparing congress of vienna to treaty of versailles allies maintained the Quadruple Alliance to prevent French revisionism with overwhelming power. Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia would meet periodically to examine policy and to prevent threats from becoming crises.

The failure of the allies from the Great War to maintain unity and vigilance would allow for Germany to rearm and return to threaten European peace again. In addition to military force, the countries around France were formed to be more defensible against invasion.

Smaller states were added to larger ones, creating fewer, stronger countries where there had previously been many weak ones. Nowhere was this more dramatic than in the creation of the German confederation, where over 300 German states were reformed into approximately a tenth comparing congress of vienna to treaty of versailles that number. This grouping proved especially ingenious. The statesmen at the Congress of Vienna were not nearly as concerned with self-determination and nationalism as they were with keeping potential French ambitions in check and preventing France from devastating the continent again.

The idea of a cordon sanitaire, a ring of states designed to deter aggression, would be revived during the Treaty of Versailles in order to keep both Germany and the Soviet Union in check. The dual approach of conciliation and strength when dealing with France after the Napoleonic Wars were a success, and France was considered rehabilitated in 1818.

The reward was joining the Concert of Europe established by the Quadruple Alliance and being granted a voice in the international balance.

Instead of legitimacy, the balance of power, and reconciliation, the postwar order created by the Treaty of Versailles was based on self- determination, collective security, and retribution. These concepts had never formed the basis of a European settlement before, and often were in direct conflict with one another, undermining any attempts to create a lasting European peace.

  • These concepts had never formed the basis of a European settlement before, and often were in direct conflict with one another, undermining any attempts to create a lasting European peace;
  • Unfortunately, these new countries were at great risk from their inception;
  • The reward was joining the Concert of Europe established by the Quadruple Alliance and being granted a voice in the international balance;
  • Unfortunately, neither Woodrow Wilson, the originator of the term, or the people who made claims in his name had a clear definition of what self-determination meant;
  • The statesmen at the Congress of Vienna were not nearly as concerned with self-determination and nationalism as they were with keeping potential French ambitions in check and preventing France from devastating the continent again;
  • Another important factor was the exclusion of Germany and the Soviet Union from the crafting of the post-World War order and the resulting enforcement.

Self-determination was the phrase in vogue when it came to awarding territory after the Great War. Unfortunately, neither Woodrow Wilson, the originator of the term, or the people who made claims in his name had a clear definition of what self-determination meant.

What made self-determination so difficult to apply was that multiple ethnic groups shared the same areas. If that territory had ancient ties to one nation, had a majority of another group, and was seen as essential to the existence of a third country, then the peacemakers had to weigh these claims and make the decision at their own discretion.

Because some countries with claims had been in the Central Powers camp, it was easier to ignore their desires and award parts of the defeated countries of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria to the new nation-states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, and allies such as Greece and Italy who were promised territory.

Crafted out of the territory seized from Germany, including the Russian concessions of Brest-Litovsk, the three new nations of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia were not only to serve as homelands for their respective populations, but also as a bulwark against the threat of Bolshevik Russia, looming over the periphery of Europe.

Compare and contrast the congress of vienna and the treaty of versailles?

The desire to build up these new countries in terms of population and territory outweighed the consideration of many minorities and they were relegated to subjects of the Poles, the Czechs, or the Serbs.

Unfortunately, these new countries were at great risk from their inception. Created out of former Russian and German territory, and too weak to balance one of these great powers without a high level of coordination, these three new states were in no position to fight both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany when they agreed to work together to destroy the international order created by the Treaty of Versailles and the nations that were the most obvious and constant reminder of the imposed peace.

Russia was seized by revolution, the United States withdrew from European entanglements, and Britain regarded French efforts to achieve security from Germany as attempts at dominating Europe.

  • Because some countries with claims had been in the Central Powers camp, it was easier to ignore their desires and award parts of the defeated countries of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria to the new nation-states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, and allies such as Greece and Italy who were promised territory;
  • Facts On File, 2011;
  • Despite being defeated, the severity of the peace and the reluctance to uphold them allowed for Germany to negotiate the terms down by cooperating on some parts and demanding rectification on others, and all the time questioning the moral basis for their enfeeblement.

Instead of identifying a revived Germany as the single greatest threat to European peace, the British wanted to use their alliance with France as a bargaining chip to control their actions and arrest their efforts to keep Germany in check.

In place of a continuation of the wartime alliance, the League of Nations would assume the job of settling disputes within the community of nations. If that failed, and aggression did occur, the diplomats had faith that their world order could be guaranteed by collective security, the belief that all nations would have the same interest in stopping aggression. At the time, it was a revolutionary idea, appeasing both those wary of any serious commitments to fight for other nations and those who felt that their nations were most in need of assistance.

In hindsight though, collective security is a fundamentally flawed concept. It assumed that each nation would identify threats in the same way and would be willing to commit at identical levels to stopping it.

  1. Even after revolution and defeat had seized them, most of the borders of Eastern Europe were constructed with keeping these two colossi in check. Because some countries with claims had been in the Central Powers camp, it was easier to ignore their desires and award parts of the defeated countries of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria to the new nation-states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, and allies such as Greece and Italy who were promised territory.
  2. Even then, the book presents a jaded view of the treaty.
  3. The reward was joining the Concert of Europe established by the Quadruple Alliance and being granted a voice in the international balance. Keeping France strong worked with both of these ideas, not only turning France back from the dangers of liberalism, but also restraining Russia from interfering with its neighbors.

While potentially plausible in a smaller alliance setting, the sheer number of nations involved in the League made finding an act of aggression equally threatening to every nation an impossible task, especially considering that competition and rivalries were already emerging among the victorious Great Powers themselves. Another important factor was the exclusion of Germany and the Soviet Union from the crafting of the post-World War order and the resulting enforcement.

The former was treated warily because it was the defeated power and the latter because it had made a separate peace and was an international pariah. Even after revolution and defeat had seized them, most of the borders of Eastern Europe were constructed with keeping these two colossi in check. Unlike the Congress of Vienna, the absence of the defeated power allowed its population to denounce the harsh terms of the treaty and to delude themselves that a better peace could have been crafted.

The resulting anger at the victorious powers turned into a hostility towards the Versailles order. Before the Great War, the shared border between Russia and Prussia, later Germany, sparked fear and competition between the two Great Powers. In using the territory between them, both from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and other land seized from Germany, the conflict of interest between Germany and the Soviet Union became comparing congress of vienna to treaty of versailles pronounced, as either side now had to invade several countries to get to the other.

While the creation of the Little Entente was supposed to provide a bulwark against Bolshevism from the East and revisionism from the West, it instead created a common purpose and common enemies for the two outcast powers to cooperate against.

The harsh terms of the peace with Germany combined with the resurgence of the feeling that international relations had to be based on right and wrong instead of simple power calculations lead to the growing disillusionment of the peacemakers in upholding the provisions against Germany.

  • The harsh terms of the peace with Germany combined with the resurgence of the feeling that international relations had to be based on right and wrong instead of simple power calculations lead to the growing disillusionment of the peacemakers in upholding the provisions against Germany;
  • After the Great War, Germany was excluded from the deliberations of the Treaty of Versailles and given new, weaker neighbors in the east, encouraging further aggression;
  • The harsh terms of the peace with Germany combined with the resurgence of the feeling that international relations had to be based on right and wrong instead of simple power calculations lead to the growing disillusionment of the peacemakers in upholding the provisions against Germany;
  • In place of a continuation of the wartime alliance, the League of Nations would assume the job of settling disputes within the community of nations;
  • In hindsight though, collective security is a fundamentally flawed concept;
  • The latter two pillars worked together in principle.

Some parts of the treaty, such as prohibiting the union of Germany and Austria, were against the principles the new peace was supposed to be based on. Despite being defeated, the severity of the peace and the reluctance to uphold them allowed for Germany to negotiate the terms down by cooperating on some parts and demanding rectification on others, and all the time questioning the moral basis for their enfeeblement.

The different results of the peace settlements of Vienna and Versailles stem from their taking opposite paths. The Quadruple Alliance sought to treat France firmly, by recognizing its capabilities and working to build up its neighbors, but also allowed the defeated country to play a part in the postwar order as part of the negotiations and the concert of Europe.

After the Great War, Germany was excluded from the deliberations of the Treaty of Versailles and given new, weaker neighbors in the east, encouraging further aggression.

The Quadruple Alliance maintained their cohesiveness after the war to thwart any French ambitions, but the alliance of the First World War fell apart over mutual suspicion and isolationism, with some of its members opting to support the defeated country instead of their former allies.

French rehabilitation was the result of the efforts of the peacemakers after the Napoleonic Wars, German resurgence was the result of the measures taken at Versailles. Works Cited Andelman, David. Versailles 1919 and the price we pay today. A Brief History of Germany.

Facts On File, 2011. Three Rivers Press, 2008. Even then, the book presents a jaded view of the treaty.