Congress of Vienna Simulation
The French Revolution and Napoleon’s desire to establish an empire created a sense of instability throughout much of Europe. After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, diplomats and heads of state sat down at the Congress of Vienna. From September 1814 to June 1815, these leaders faced the monumental task of restoring stability and order after 25 years of war and upheaval.
• Chaos and fear of revolution spread throughout Europe and much of the world.
• France conquered territory as far east as Moscow.
• The Holy Roman Empire is abolished.
• Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and France suffered economic and human loss as a result of years of war.
• Feelings of nationalism spread across Europe.
• Partnerships and alliances emerged between different European countries.
• Prussia and Russia grew ambitious, wanting more territories.
Your task: You and your classmates will conduct a simulation of the Congress of Vienna to the class. Each group will represent a country at the Congress of Vienna and negotiate with diplomats from other countries to bring a new stability to war-torn Europe.
Things to consider and complete while “in congress” (during your negotiations and presentation):
1. Create policies that will ensure stability:
• What will provide stability to all of Europe? Your goal is to create and promote peace and stability throughout Europe for decades.
• What types of government are most appropriate for each country?
• Should a multi-national governing body be formed to make sure the likes of Napoleon never rampage across Europe again?
2. Redraw the map of Europe to reflect a balanced Europe
• Where will France fit into all of this?
3. Diplomats in attendance at the Congress will show their agreement with the terms by signing the document.
Step 1: Watch the video link below to get a review of the conservative order desired and established by the Congress of Vienna.
Tom Richey’s overview of the Congress of Vienna
Step 2: Research your statesmen (diplomats), country, and general information about the Congress of Vienna. In addition to the information in Hunt Ch 20, here are some links for research:
Congress of Vienna general information
Diplomats at the Congress of Vienna
Animated Congress of Vienna map (worth watching, especially if you need to visualize the changes and you fancy a nice English accent).
Step 3: Research background material about your country: these are the issues you will bring up with the other countries when you plan out the Congress.
• What was it like during the era of the Napoleonic Wars?
• What kind of losses did we face?
• Who do we blame?
• As victors, what will we demand in reparations?
• How will we ensure that there is a balance of power throughout Europe to prevent future wars and the rise of another Napoleon?
Step 4: Design a plan or strategy for negotiations at the Congress - Questions to ask your group members:
• How will you get what you want? How will you protect yourself? What are you willing to compromise?
Step 5: Working with your group, you will want to go out and forge alliances and create strategies with other nations! Your country wants to create a cohesive plan or strategy when the Congress convenes.
Meet and debate with other countries—do you have similar or different interests? Find out (or send out spies to other countries to see what they are planning!).
1. Design a plan for negotiation at the Congress:
• How is everyone going to get what they want?
• What kind of compromises will have to happen? *This needs to make sense. It must have fact and reason backing up the group’s decisions!
• The biggest issue is creating stability on the continent but while also advancing your country's interest (nationalism is strong during this period).
2. Each member should have a working outline as to what issues are going to be discussed...if you need some additional ideas about what should be discussed, refer back to the task which lays out what should be completed by the end of this presentation.
3. It is critical that you work well with one another to outline your group’s plan so you know what countries to work with during the Congress.
Finally...you will have a few minutes to review format and then groups will present. The room will be in a large oval and you will be sitting with your country members. Each group will have a minute to outline its interests and desires at the end of the Napoleonic Age, and each member should speak. Be prepared! Then, in an open forum, your country will convene at Congress and try and advance two goals: European stability and your nation's own interests.
**You will need to fill out the Congress of Vienna Simulation WKSHT ahead of time for this debate
Click here to download a blank map of Europe in 1815 (to redraw your map of Europe)
The Countries will be represented by the following groups of diplomats:
Machiavellians - Russia
Jacobins - France
Praetorians - Austria
Stosstruppen - Prussia
Cavaliers - England
Conquistadors - Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (“Italy”)