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Born:May 15, 1773KoblenzGermany...(Show more)Died:June 11, 1859 (aged 86)ViennaAustria...(Show more)Title / Office:chancellor (1821-1848), Austriaforeign minister (1809-1848), Austria...(Show more)Role In:Congress that Aix-la-ChapelleCongress the LaibachCongress the TroppauCongress of ViennaNapoleonic Wars...(Show more)

Klemens von Metternich, in complete Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg-Beilstein, (born may 15, 1773, Coblenz, Archbishopric the Trier —died June 11, 1859, Vienna, Austria), Austrian statesman, minister of international affairs (1809–48), and also a champion the conservatism, that helped type the victorious alliance against Napoleon I and who revived Austria together a leading European power, hosting the congress of Vienna in 1814–15.

Early life

Metternich, the descendant of one old Rhenish noble family, was the boy of Franz Georg Karl, Graf (count) von Metternich-Winneburg and also the Gräfin (countess) Beatrix Kagenegg. His father to be then the Austrian envoy to the Rhenish principalities the the empire, and also Metternich invested his youth in the Rhine-Moselle region, for which he preserved a lifelong affection.

In 1788 he gone into the university of Strasbourg, wherein he learned diplomacy, however the spread out of the French change prompted that to leave Strasbourg in 1790 and also enter the university of Mainz. Prior to the French Revolutionary troops gone into Mainz, he went to Brussels in the Austrian Netherlands, whereby his father to be then chief minister. In 1794 he embarked on a diplomatic mission to England, whereby he released a pamphlet calling because that a general arming the the German people, but in October that rejoined his father, who had actually in the meantime fled come Vienna together the French got into the Netherlands. In Vienna he populated himself through natural, scientific, and medical studies, in i m sorry he constantly kept a vivid interest and which he later on did much to encourage.

In September 1795 Metternich married Eleonore, Gräfin von Kaunitz, heiress and granddaughter that the former Austrian state chancellor Wenzel Anton, Graf von Kaunitz. The marriage gave him the connect with the high nobility of Austria and the accessibility to high office he had long desired. After having actually represented the roman inn Catholic Westphalian counts the the realm at the finish of the congress of Rastatt (1797–99), which validated compensation because that the German princes ousted by the French from your possessions on the left financial institution of the Rhine, he was in 1801 appointed Austrian minister come the Saxon court at Dresden, and also there he developed his friendship through Friedrich von Gentz, the German publicist and diplomat. Serving together Austrian minister in Berlin after 1803, Metternich failure to guide Frederick wilhelm III that Prussia to join Austria in the battle of 1805 against France however gained a profound understanding into the interior brittleness of the Prussian state, whose speedy ruin he predicted.

Ministry throughout the Napoleonic Wars

In 1806 Metternich offered as Austrian minister come France. In contact with napoleon sister Caroline Murat and other women of Parisian society, he winner a call for licentiousness. Nevertheless, indigenous those ladies and also from his relationships with the foreign minister Talleyrand and with the Russian envoy, he obtained excellent reports on the state of to work in France. Return Metternich’s successes in the negotiation leading up to the Franco-Austrian contract of Fontainebleau were insignificant, he supplied his time to obtain a deep understanding into the emperor Napoleon I’s character. However he overestimated the impact of the Spanish rising of 1808 ~ above the Napoleonic system, and his positive reports did much to induce Austria come undertake the devastating war that 1809 against France. ~ the battle of Wagram, that tried to achieve favourable state in the tranquility negotiations however was rebuffed by Napoleon.

On October 8, 1809, the emperor Francis (at the time Francis i of Austria however no longer holy Roman emperor) appointed Metternich minister of foreign affairs. 6 days later on the opening Treaty of Schönbrunn to be signed through France. Austria was currently in urgent need of a respite, i m sorry Metternich obtained by forming the job of a marriage between the archduchess Marie-Louise, a daughter that Francis I, and Napoleon, whose vanity Metternich cleverly exploited. That is not clear how much he supposed that the marriage would restrain Napoleon native further projects of conquest, yet at least he accomplished a relationship between France and Austria loose enough to keep Austria’s liberty of action: Austria neither join the Confederation of the Rhine, a league of German princes under napoleon protection, nor came to be one the the customer states of the Napoleonic system. Completely exhausted and debt-ridden, Austria might hardly have resisted any further needs of Napoleon, however it was then no much longer the main object of napoleon hostility.

As beforehand as 1811, in stimulate to promote Austria’s internal development, Metternich wanted the state to it is in reorganized on federal lines instead of continuing under the central system the the emperor Joseph II had actually imposed. Yet Metternich might never get rid of the objections the his strictly absolutist emperor. In ~ the exact same time, the enthusiasm because that arming the nation and because that a German nationwide rising versus Napoleon, which he had actually felt as late together 1809, started to be superseded by a firm dislike for all famous movements. Agreeing through the emperor ~ above that, that now pertained to regard those manifestations together a menace come the multinational Habsburg state. He became the strictest exponent that the theory of the balance of power in Europe—a theory instilled in him originally by Koch, latterly by his diplomat girlfriend Gentz.

When Napoleon introduced his intrusion of Russia in 1812, Metternich obtained the condition of an independent contingent for the Austrian pressures under Karl, Fürst zu Schwarzenberg, that accompanied the French army. The disaster the befell Napoleon’s army came as a surprise to Metternich. Top top January 30, 1813, Schwarzenberg concluded an unknown armistice through the Russians. But in check out of the inadequacy the Austria’s armaments, Metternich could not comprise his mind to change over to battle on Russia’s side against Napoleon. Resisting all ill-considered projects, in particular those the the archduke man (who was put under house arrest because that planning a premature anti-French rising in the Alps), Metternich firmly adhered come neutrality when Austria secretly rearmed. That even attracted Saxony into the neutral camp for a time. When, later in 1813, Saxony’s return to the French side and also Napoleon’s win over the Russians and Prussians at Bautzen shook Metternich’s will certainly to make war and also stiffened napoleon attitude, Metternich mediated an armistice between France, Russia, and also Prussia. Also so, in the subsequent Treaty of Reichenbach, June 24, 1813, in between Austria, Prussia, and Russia, Metternich undertook to carry Austria into the war versus France if Napoleon rejected the peace terms that he to be offering.

By dominating the negotiations with the French throughout the summer the 1813, Metternich gained an ext time because that rearming. In ~ that point he was not interested in the annihilation of napoleon power, i beg your pardon the emperor Francis likewise was unwilling to damage altogether, the end of factor to consider for his daughter Marie-Louise. Metternich likewise distrusted the Russian emperor Alexander I and feared the after the collapse of France, Europe would certainly be at Russia’s mercy. Napoleon obstinacy frustrated the effort at a settlement, yet when in august Austria finally asserted war ~ above France, Metternich, by his superior conduct that negotiations, had actually won because that his nation the leadership both in the political and in the army field. In October 1813 the hereditary location of prince to be bestowed on that by the Austrian emperor.

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In opposition come the plans of the Prussian minister Karl, Freiherr (baron) vom Stein, and also of the Russian emperor, Metternich promised the southern German says of the Confederation that the Rhine the if they discussed to the allies, they would not forfeit the position they had completed on napoleon side. That promise alone verified that, if he was striving because that a solution compatible through the understand of every parties, he additionally wanted to acquire the southern German states as allies versus the Prussian-Russian design of aggrandizement. After ~ Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo and also abdication, Metternich rejected as unrealistic the propose of Stein and also others for the resuscitation the the divine Roman Empire. The an initial Treaty that Paris (May 30, 1814) regulation nothing more for Germany 보다 a loosened confederation of states.