European History after 1715:
Nations at war: AD 1700-1721
Through the last decades of the seventeenth century the dominant European power is France, brought to a pinnacle of prestige through that mainly absolute of monarchs, Louis XIV. The major concern of France's neighbors and rivals is to maintain this mighty force in check.
However to the east and north of the continent powerful forces are stirring also. Russia is flexing her muscles, against the Swedish kingdom to the west for control of the Baltic and against the Ottoman kingdom to the southeast for access to the Black Sea.
Events in the extremely first year of the modern century cause major conflicts on both fronts. In between February and August in the 1700 the armies of Russia, Saxony and Denmark successively invade various parts of Sweden's empire, launching a war that last for twenty-one years; generally termed as the Northern War.
And in the November the ruler of Spain, Charles II, dies.
Charles II of Spain has no kids. In current years there has been much effort through Europe's diplomats to initiates his choice of an heir. The usual fear is that the wealth of Spain specifically that which derives by its Spanish colonies will upset the balance of European power whether added in its entirety to the existing hand of anybody of the main players.
While it is discovered, the emperor of Spain has left the whole thing to a grandson of the emperor of France; the War of the Spanish Succession turns into inevitable.
While the dust has settled on the first two European wars of the hundred years, the main territorial gain has been Russia's. Peter the Great at this time has access to the Baltic, having in use from Sweden the site on that his magnificent modern capital of St Petersburg is previously under construction. More down the coast he has also needed territories consequent to modern Latvia and Estonia.
In the Mediterranean there have been modifications of ownership in the patchwork quilt of Italy and Britain has been ceded through Spain two helpful strategic bases: Minorca and Gibraltar.
However the War of the Spanish Succession has also one main consequence in central Europe, not yet maybe as obvious as the territorial changes. In the year1701 the Austrian ruler, Leopold I, requiring the allegiance of Prussia in the forthcoming war, has permitted the elector of Brandenburg to call emperor in Prussia, like Frederick I. In the treaties of year 1713, in the end of war, another European nation acknowledges this modern royal status.
In this similar year Frederick is succeeded through his son, Frederick William I. He will turn Prussia's army and administration into the most capable in Europe, bequeathing to his own son: Frederick II, a military machine that will have much power in the coming years. Prussia, Austria and others: AD 1740-1748
The subsequent bout of war among the continental influences follows the accession in the 1740 of two young monarchs on central European thrones. In the May 28th year-old Frederick II succeeds to the throne of Prussia; in the October the 23rd year-old Maria Theresa inherits the crowns of Hungary and Austria. The first woman in the Habsburg imperial line inevitably provokes an international crisis, and Frederick grabs his opportunity.
In the December, Frederick marches in the Austrian province of Silesia, beginning the War of Austrian Successions. Eight years later the conflict is at last settled along with some changes to the map of Europe; except which the youthful aggressor is permitted to retain Silesia in the peace accepted at Aix-la-Chapelle in the 1748.
The loss of Silesia remains an extremely sore point along with Maria Theresa, and much of her policy is at this time directed towards its recovery. Reforms in Austria's army and government are one part of her plan. The other is the achieving of a diplomatic realignment before the subsequent conflict.
Austria and France, the Bourbon and Habsburg dynasties have been chief rivals of Europe for nearly two centuries. Maria Theresa and her chancellor, von Kaunitz, at this time plan to adjust this alignment, in a before unimaginable reversal that becomes termed as the Diplomatic Revolution. They attain the impossible. A defensive alliance in between France and Austria is signed at Versailles in May the 1756.
Additionally, to her latest alliance along with France, Maria Theresa has a further active pact along with Russia. The empress Elizabeth offers, in the April of this year, to sent 80,000 Russian troops to help an attack upon Prussia.
An Austrian go to recover Silesia is obviously in preparation, while it is suddenly thwarted through the most decisive emperor in Europe.
Prussia, Austria and others: AD 1756-1763
Prussia’s Frederick II precipitates war on the continent of Europe in the year 1756 just he has in 1740 in the War of the Austrian Succession. On that time his motive was to seize the rich territory of Silesia and the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle has permitted him to maintain it. This time, knowing Austria's burning want to win this back, he is interested more in a pre-emptive strike.
In the 1756, 29 August, Frederick marches along with 70,000 Prussian soldiers in Saxony lying between Austria and Prussia. This act of aggression shocks the launches and Saxons the new war. This will last for seven years, merging along with an existing imperial conflict in between Britain and France, before peace is at last restored.
The peace treaty permitted at Hubertusburg between Austria and Prussia keeps the recent status quo in central Europe. Frederick the Great, double the aggressor, is again permitted to maintain Silesia.
This conclusion strengthens the power of Prussia inside the German kingdom and decreases that of the official imperial influence, Habsburg Austria. This also leaves Poland flanked through two raising powerful neighbors, Russia and Prussia, who as the 1762 have been in alliance. The progress does not bode well for Poland's future. Austria also attends the feast, while it begins in the 1772.
Eastern turmoil: AD 1768-1795
In the last only some decades of the 18th century the major unrest in Europe is in the eastern part of the continent. Earlier European friction has centered upon Germany: inside the German kingdom itself mainly in the Thirty Years' War; on the western borders of Germany, in France's attempts to enlarge towards the Rhine; and in struggles for the Baltic, to the north of Germany.
This pattern keeps true even in the Seven Years' War, along with the bulk of the battles fought on German soil. This is in the aftermath of that war that the focus shifts east, while the area from the Baltic down to the Black Sea is flanked through four major powers.
Two of the four, Turkey and Austria, are ancient powers at this time slightly past their prime. Another two, Russia and Prussia, have grown significantly in strength throughout the 18th century. The quartet is made up of two profoundly hostile pair: Austria and Prussia competing to lead the German world and Turkey and Russia rivals for control of the Black Sea. In the middle, mostly as if positioned there as a victim, is a huge but weak nation, Poland.
Austria and Prussia have fought two wars in between the 1740 and the 1763 year. Turkey and Russia fight two in between the 1768 and the 1791 year. Poland is devoured in three stages, in between the 1772 and 1795 year, in a process adequately enticing to tempt still the hostile powers into brief cooperation.
French upheavals: AD 1789-1815
Western Europe is uncommonly peaceful throughout the quarter century leading up to the French Revolution. However for the subsequent twenty-six years, from the 1789, the continent is convulsed through concepts and armies emanating from France.
Throughout the first three years of the French Revolution, whereas the ambitious middle classes compete to overthrow the early regime, the turmoil is confined inside the borders of France. However in the 1792 the country is invaded through guardians of the old order, a joint army of Prussians and Austrians.
The consequential French Revolutionary Wars merge faintly into the Napoleonic Wars. Separately from one year of peace the peace of Amiens, the 1802 to 1803, there are battles on the high seas and across the continent for a continuous twenty-three years.Throughout the previous part of now French republican ideals are forcibly carried abroad, consequential in offspring as the Batavian Republic in the Netherlands from the year 1795 and the Helvetic Republic in Switzerland from the year 1798.
Then a same pattern is followed, however with a dissimilar political complexion, since Napoleon creates empires for his brothers; placing Louis on the throne of Holland in the year 1806, and creation Joseph king of Spain in year 1808.
Meanwhile he has himself joined elite club in Europe of emperors, earlier restricted to the Romanov and Habsburg dynasties. Napoleon places a modern imperial crown on his own brow in a spectacular ceremony in Notre Dame in the year 1804.
Diplomatic U-turns are legion throughout this whole period of turmoil in Europe, since nations veer among positions of hostility, alliance or neutrality in their relations along with France. The merely consistent enemies by thick and thin are Britain and France.
Not till the battle of Leipzig in the year 1813 as also at its replay at Waterloo in the 1815 are each Napoleon's powerful neighbors united in their opposition. During the 1814 they foregather in Vienna to choose how to reassemble the continent in that he has caused mayhem.
Congress of Vienna: AD 1814-1815
The congress of Vienna, summoned through the four powers that have made most to defeat Napoleon as Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia, is an attempt to stabilize the map of Europe after the upheavals caused through more than twenty years of war. Each the crowned heads and their representatives are greeting in Vienna, along with the effect that there is much glamorous and entertainment festivity during the winter of 1814 to 1815.
Behind the glitter, orchestrated through Metternich, the difficult task of diplomacy goes on. The four huge nations propose to make each the decisions themselves. However Talleyrand - representing the newly restored Louis XVIII ensures that France has an equivalent place at the table. Her participation in some agreed balance of power will be necessary.
Everybody is properly aware about a breakdown in the negotiations can simply cause a renewal of war, in the familiar pattern of current years. Still each participant has a vested interest in making sure that none of the others turns into too strong. The major players are like heavily armed gangsters who yet requirement to clinch a deal.
Danger lies primarily in Saxony and Poland, the much fought over areas bordered through Russia, Austria and Prussia. Poland has previously been dismembered through its neighbors before being partly reconstituted through Napoleon; as a grand duchy that he grants to the emperor of Saxony. Saxony keeps a French ally longer than anyone else and hence ends up on the losing side.
Finally the main powers reach a compromise in Vienna, to the predictable detriment of Poland and of a much decreased Saxony. In main the other regions this congress of conservative monarchies restores the pre-Napoleonic status quo. Just when Louis XVIII returns to the French throne then the Naples is restored to the Bourbons, the Papal States to the pope and much of northern Italy to Austria.
In between the more significant changes, the larger German states maintain their gains from the process of rationalization introduced through Napoleon; Denmark loses Norway to Sweden; and a modulated kingdom of the Netherlands relates the Austrian Netherlands or Belgium and the United Provinces, since a barrier to renewed French expansion northwards.
Austria through this time has no objection to relinquishing the Austrian Netherlands. However decisions of this type are old-fashioned diplomacy, conducted among crowned heads and bearing little links to the wishes or identity of people in the affected regions. Partly for this purpose, the newly created empire of the Netherlands lasts merely fifteen years before dividing apart.
However in most respects the negotiators at Vienna succeed in their primary intend of determining a basis for peace. Most of their answers hold good for some decades. The modern Europe of the 19th century is no longer characterized through recurrent wars. Conversely, each nation is confronted inside through the likelihood of revolution.
Quadruple and Holy Alliances: AD 1814-1822
At the treaty of Chaumont in the 1814, throughout the advance on Paris, Napoleon's four major enemies: Russia, Austria, Britain and Prussia have pledged themselves not to create peace along with France individually.
This Quadruple Alliance is renewed in a various form at the congress of Vienna, as the similar nations agree to sustain regular congresses in order to safeguard the newly re-founded peace in Europe. Thus this is called congress system lasts for four international gatherings, by Aachen or Aix-la-Chapelle in the 1818 to Verona in the 1822.
Meanwhile there is the other group, professing a same purpose that derives from an initiative of the Russian ruler Alexander I. Russia's sufferings on Napoleon's hands in the 1812 have inspired him along with what he believes to be a God provided mission.
In the Paris in the autumn of the 1815, negotiating for the second time a peace treaty along with France, Alexander persuades two the other autocratic rulers in between the victorious nations; the emperor of Prussia and the emperor of Austria; to join him in a Holy Alliance to promote a peaceful community of Christian nations.
The aim is for each European power to join this Holy Alliance. Finally there are only three notable absentees: Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire and papal Rome.
The major matter confronting both alliances is whether the powers must intervene while legitimate rulers are threatened through internal revolution. The members of the Holy Alliance tend to state yes. Austria wins agreement when intervening to keep the crowned heads of Naples and Piedmont in the 1821. But in the 1822, at the congress of Verona, Britain opposes plans for intervention in Latin America and Spain and subsequently withdraws from the Quadruple Alliance. Regardless of such a French army marches in Spain in the 1823 to restore Ferdinand VII to his throne.
This brings to a conclusion the congress system; however the principle of usual cooperation among nations on such matter has been established and will not be forgotten.
Meanwhile members slowly defect from the Holy Alliance, till it consists merely of its three founders, Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Since such this seems merely a club of the more reactionary crowned heads of Europe attempting for hold back the tide of progress in an age of revolution. Along with intervention across frontiers now usually discouraged, all rulers are likely to be on their own in confronting unrest. However the contagion of rebellion knows no restrictions. Radical notions prove tough to quarantine, in spite of the suitable efforts of secret police of Europe.
Revolutions: AD 1830-1848
The heady illustration of the French Revolution keeps an inspiration to liberals a term coined in Spain in the 1810 during the first half of the 19th century. At first the centre of political agitation is Latin America, here between the 1809 and the 1821 liberation movements claim and win independence from Portugal and Spain. However soon there are barricades again in European streets.
France once more takes the direct. The Bourbon Restoration has urbanized into a raising reactionary regime, and through the July 1830 the citizens of Paris have had adequate. Angry crowds assemble waving the tricolor, the flag of the revolution that has not been seen since the 1815.
In next three days of street fighting the ultra-reactionary king, Charles X, flees from Paris. He is repositioned on the throne through a distant cousin, Louis Philippe, consequently moderate in his political views which he becomes turned as the Citizen King. However his reign, even if it lasts eighteen years, keeps a period of restless and violent political factions. While revolution breaks out again, Paris is typically much involved and Louis Philippe loses his throne. Conversely, now it is a Europe broad phenomenon.
Sicily sets the pattern for the more turbulent year of the 19th century, along with an uprising in the January 1848 against Bourbon rule. Revolutions soon follow in Paris and Vienna.
In the ending of this year of revolutions the Austrian ruler has fled from Vienna, the French emperor from Paris and the pope from Rome. And there are uprisings also in Munich, Milan, Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Venice.
A coincidence reveals which there is this time a new part in Europe's political turmoil. In the February the Communist Manifesto, hastily written through Engels and Marx, is printed in Paris. However, for the moment the forces of reaction are strong sufficient to recover their position. In the end of the 1849 mostly all the ruling dynasties are back on their thrones. The exception is France; here the fall of Louis Philippe is followed through the second republic. Conversely, the second republic lasts merely four years before being changed into a second kingdom.
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