Title: Metternich’s Peace Management, 1840–48: Anachronism or Vision?
Authors: Pásztorová, Barbora
Citation: PÁSZTOROVÁ, B. Metternich’s Peace Management, 1840–48: Anachronism or Vision?. Austrian History Yearbook, 2022, roč. 53, č. May 2022, s. 75-89. ISSN: 0067-2378
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Document type: článek
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11025/49884
ISSN: 0067-2378
Keywords in different language: Metternich, 1840–48, European peace, great powers, European crisis, German Confederation
Abstract in different language: Austrian chancellor Metternich’s Europeanism is often disputed. It has been claimed that he strove only to strengthen Austrian power within the German Confederation and to establish Austrian hegemony in Central Europe, with European interests and the Concert of only secondary concern. The objective of this paper is to analyze Metternich’s opinions and acts during selected European crises and events between 1840 and 1848, arguing that his approach to resolving them or dealing with their consequences shows that during this period his primary objective was to maintain European peace. He wanted to achieve this by demonstrating the moral consensus of, ideally, all the great powers by abating tense nationalist sentiments, calling for the observance of international agreements and the respect of rights, adopting preventive measures, and warning against or drawing attention to the possible negative consequences of the crises for peace in Europe. Metternich’s attempt at preserving European peace at all costs was mainly a result of his personal experience of revolution and almost a quarter-century of warfare with France. By the 1840s, however, Metternich’s style of peace management was rejected as anachronistic, resulting in several military conflicts in subsequent years. Considering the events of the last century that led to European integration, however, his Europeanism deserves a more forgiving evaluation.
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