The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, held in the autumn of 1818, was a high-level diplomatic meeting of France and the four allied powers Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia which had defeated it in 1814. The purpose was to decide the withdrawal of the army of occupation from France and renegotiate the reparations it owed. It produced an amicable settlement, whereby France refinanced its reparations debt, and the Allies in a few weeks withdrew all of their troops. It was part of the series of conferences in the Concert of Europe. The occupation was formally terminated at the conference on 30 September 1818; by 30 November evacuation was complete. The French representative Duc de Richelieu succeeded in having France admitted as a full discussion partner in the European congress system and France's position as a European power was restored. Financially, France was originally obligated to pay 700 million francs, in installments every four months for five years. When the Congress met, Paris had discharged its obligations punctually. 332 million remained, and France offered to pay the sum of 265 million. Of that, 100 million francs would be in the form of French bonds bearing interest, and the rest in installments through to English banks. The main achievement of the Congress was to definitely terminate the great wars of 1792-1815. They closed out all claims against France, and accepted France is an equal and full member of the Concert of Four, which now to Five Powers. To hedge their bets, the Four secretly renewed the Quadruple Alliance, but this was a formality of no consequence. The Four drifted apart year by year over questions dealing with Italy, South America, and Greece.
1 Delegates 2 A treaty for withdrawal 3 Diverse discussions 4 Diplomacy 5 Assessment 6 Gallery of delegates 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading
The congress, convened in
a secret protocol confirming and renewing the Quadruple Alliance established by the treaties of Chaumont and Paris (of 20 November 1815) against France a public "declaration" of the intention of the powers to maintain their intimate union, "strengthened by the ties of Christian brotherhood", of which the object was the preservation of peace on the basis of respect for treaties.
The secret protocol was communicated in confidence to Richelieu; to
the declaration France was invited publicly to adhere.
The Russian tsar proposed the formation of an entirely new alliance,
to include all of the signatories from the Vienna treaties, to
guarantee the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and preservation of
the ruling governments of all members of this new coalition. The tsar
further proposed an international army, with the Russian army as its
nucleus, to provide the wherewithal to intervene in any country that
needed it. Castlereagh, speaking for Britain saw this as a highly
undesirable commitment to reactionary policies. He recoiled at the
idea of Russian armies marching across
Francis II of Austria
Alexander I of Russia
Frederic Willhelm III, King of Prussia
Duke of Wellington
Prince Metternich of Austria
Count Capo d'Istria of Russia
Count Nesselrode of Russia
Prince Hardenberg of Prussia
Duc de Richelieu for France
International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919)
^ a b c d e f g Phillips 1911, p. 450 ¶ 3. ^ R.B. Mowat, , They History of European Diplomacy: 1815-1914 (1927), pp 28-31 ^ Norman Rich, Great Power Diplomacy: 1814-1914 (1992) pp 33-35. ^ a b c d e f Phillips 1911, p. 450. ^ Phillips 1911.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Phillips, Walter Alison (1911). "Aix-la-Chapelle, Congresses of". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Bridge, Roy, "Allied Diplomacy in Peacetime: The Failure of the
Congress 'System,' 1815-23" in Alan Sked, ed., Europe's Balance of
Power, 1815-1848 (1979), pp 34-53.
Veve, Thomas D. "France and the Allied Occupation, 1816-1818,"
Consortium on Revolutionary