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The Congress of Vienna

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The Congress of Vienna was the meeting which would redraw the map of Europe in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. France and then Napoleon had made and dissolved states across the continent, and the victorious coalition, led by Britain, Prussia, Russia and Austria, had to re-organise what was left after Napoleon’s defeat. It wasn’t an easy task and the four key nations quarrelled, receiving a scare when Napoleon tried to exploit their division to return. Nevertheless, an agreement was made.

It was decided that any future aggression by France would be prevented by creating strong neighbouring states. Belgium and the Netherlands were formed into an independent bloc, Prussia held the Rhineland, the kingdom of Sardinia and Piedmont was boosted in west Italy, and Austria regained Lombardy and Venice. Much of the rest of Italy was returned to the pre-1796 situation, the Pope got the Papal States back, and the old Holy Roman Empire was grouped into forty one, later thirty eight, states in a German Confederation. Russia retook much of Poland, and Spain welcomed back the Bourbons.

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