In November 1814 the powers that had defeated Napoleon convened a general congress in Vienna in order to re-organize the continent's political structure. The book initially defines the diplomatic preconditions of the Congress and the political and cultural context in which it was held. Then the author addresses the main political and diplomatic issues discussed at the Congress and offers a gallery of profiles of its major players. The Congress of Vienna represented, perhaps, European diplomacy's finest hour, in that it introduced stability to the European continent and achieved a new international order, guaranteed by a directorate of great powers, that would endure until the First World War.
Vittorio Criscuolo teaches Modern History and History of the Age of the Enlightenment at the University of Milan.