KLEMENS VON METTERNICH
Statesman; born at Coblenz, 15 May, 1773; died at Vienna, 11 June, 1859; son of Count Georg, Austrian envoy of the Court of Vienna at Coblenz, and Maria Beatrix, née Countess von Kageneck.
He studied philosophy at the University of Strasburg, and law and diplomacy at Mainz. A journey to England completed his education. Metternich began his public career in 1801 as Austrian ambassador to the Court of Dresden. Though he had for several years prepared himself for a diplomatic career, he was especially fortunate in being immediately appointed to so prominent a position. Only two years later he was made ambassador to Berlin. The emperor considered it very important to have a minister at Berlin who could gain the
…show more content…
No idea can be had of the difficulty of the problems that were to be solved. The very first conference of the representatives of the powers previously allied against France (Austria, Prussia, Russia, and England), held on 19 September, 1814, at Metternich's villa on the Rennweg, ended in a discord over the Polish question. It constantly required all of Metternich's most brilliant qualities to preserve harmony. One of his favourite means was to provide festivities of all sorts. They have often been criticized as if they had been the object of the congress, and not a means to attain its ends. Metternich succeeded finally in bridging over every difficulty. The Emperor Francis expressed his satisfaction with Metternich's services in securing peace and order in Europe, and especially in restoring to Austria its ancient pre-eminence. The rearrangement of German and Italian affairs gave but little satisfaction to either side, but henceforth Metternich was the leading statesman of Europe. For the settlement of questions still pending and other difficulties that arose, the following congresses were held: Aix-la-Chapelle, 1818; Karlsbad (a conference of ministers), 1819; Vienna, 1820; Troppau, 1820; Laibach, 1821; and Verona, 1822. The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, at which the monarchs of Austria, Prussia, and Russia were personally present, devoted its attention to the adjustment of the relations of the powers to France, though Metternich also emphasized the