Today in World History: October 1st

The Congress of Vienna, which met to discuss the ramifications of the Napoleonic Wars, first convened on this day in 1814. Lasting until June of 1815, it was attended by Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Austria, France, with others such as Portugal, Spain, and Denmark signing the resulting Treaty of Paris later. The Congress set up the unification of the Netherlands, including the lands of modern Belgium, the division of 360 countries from the Holy Roman Empire into thirty-eight independent nations, all of which soon fell under the influence of Prussia and Austria, the slave trade condemned, Papal authority restored in much of Italy, and the assurance of Switzerland were all guaranteed in the final agreements. The contents of the Congress’s agreements set up the stage for European politics for the next century, as most country borders remained largely unchanged until the First World War and the downfall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the end of the Ottoman Empire.

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