The Vienna Congress (1814-1815)

After Napoleon was defeated, the great victorious countries like Prussia, Russia, Austria and England meet at Vienna between 1814 and 1815 to establish the relationships between the European States. The most important aspects were the restoration of the absolutism based on the principle of legitimacy, intervention on behalf of the defense of this principle and establish new frontiers in the distribution of the French Empire based on the principle of balance.

Spain, excluded from the Treaty of Paris from 1814 gets to Vienna as a second power and without any power to negotiate between others whose diplomatics had established and signed the agreements before hand.

Along the negotiation months, the forces reorganized. France is the leading signature of the Congress. Once the negotiation period is over, Spain refuses to sign the minute due to the impossibility of assuming the succession to the Duchy of Parma. It will end up signing the Minutes of the Vienna Congress in 1817 three days after signing his commitment to the Holly Alliance.

The Treaty of the Holly Alliance was an initiative of the tsar Alexander I that sought for Christian unity on the defense of the absolutism, but it was also an instrument from Russia against the British foreign policy. It was signed in 1815 by Austria´s emperor Francis I (Florence, Italy, 1768-Vienna, Austria, 1835), the king Frederick William I of Prussia (Potsdam, Germany, 1770- Berlin, Germany, 1840) and the tsar. Ferdinand VII signed the treaty a year after thanks to the Russian plenipotentiary Tatischeff (1767-1845) very close to the Spanish monarch.

Vienna was the first of a series of congresses that were held among the main powers, including France in order to avoid the advancement of the liberalism. The next ones were held in Aachen (1818), Troppau (1820), Leibach (1820-1821) and Verona (1822).

The Latin American independence movements were seen with concern by the European powers since they were looking to maintain the integrity of the traditional monarchies. However, England wanted to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that were at the horizon and also defended the slavery abolition. In August 1818, Spain asked for the intervention of the European powers in exchange of a general amnesty, free trade, equality in the American positions and predisposition to adopt the necessary measures proposed by allies. A few months later, the Spanish policy changed and in the Congress of Aachen, held between October and November of that year, the allies proposed the intervention of all powers of America. Spain rejected it.

The revolutionary wave of 1820 had as a result a reaction from the European powers. At the Troppau Congress, held in 1822, Austria, Prussia and Russia agreed to a military intervention in the countries were a revolutionary government turned victorious. Finally, Austria is in charge of the intervention with the aim to suffocate Naples revolution. A month later the Congress of Leibach started and France was pushed to intervene against the Spanish liberal government, but nothing was done.

Finally, the French intervention in Spain was decided in the Congress of Verona, held in October 1822. The following April 7, the troops of the Duke of Angulema cross the Pyrenees to restore Ferdinand VII in his absolutist throne.

Two years later, Spain asks for military support to France in order to suffocate the Latin American independence movements and the allies are called up for a conference in Paris to discuss the issue. Nonetheless England announces its intention to acknowledge the independence.