The Relevant History
Europe after the abdication of Napoleon in March of 1814 was a very
different place than it was before the French Revolution. The Congress
of Vienna was assembled in September of 1814 in order to remake the
continent by balancing the power structure with the goal of preserving
the peace. The Congress was clearly dominated by the great powers that
had defeated France: Russia, Great Britain, Prussia, and Austria.
During the next nine months of wearisome negotiations, the 5 major
powers hammered out a series of agreements that were signed in Paris
on June 19th, 1815 (ironically this was the day after the final defeat
by Napoleon by Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo).
The Modern-Day Application
Over the course of three days, Ms. Ritsma’s CHY4U (World History since the
Fifteenth Century) students recreated
some of the same diplomatic bullying, sabre-rattling, back-stabbing,
and small-cake-like-pastry-eating negotiations that occurred during
those fateful nine months.
Each group of students represented a country that was represented at
the Congress and they began an arduous and exhausting journey to
create a balance of power in Europe, just like their 1814
predecessors. This year’s Congress will always be remembered for their
passionate diplomatic negotiating, their insatiable need for land, and
their united determination to exile one particular
Prussian delegate to the French judicial system? Quelle Frommage!
Well Done, Congress of 2016!