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10b The Congress of Vienna

After Napoleon’s defeat the Congress of Vienna (18th September 1814 to 9th June 1815) determined the borders of Europe under the direction of Metternich. Görres criticized these borders. From his point of view they were only chosen according to dynastic interests. He wanted natural entities, the peoples, to constitute the basis. «While the peoples were enthused over freedom and independence» the German courts had not «shared this frenzy at all». When Napoleon broke «the golden circlet of the German emperor’s crown» and «split its pieces between the vassals» it was injustice which still existed. The «thief» was berated, but the stolen good remained nevertheless a kind of loot. The mischief was made to the «basis of the future order in the empire» which was separated and destroyed. Görres blamed the German princes for being greedy and jealous. They neither had modernization in mind nor a higher intention. The emperor’s return from his banishment made clear that not ambition for power was in the centre of interest but a system which permanently secures peace and prosperity. An order of peace had to be created which avoids the powerful to gain more power and the weak losing their independence. «Stability from inside» doesn’t make peoples turn against each other. This is the only answer to the European questions and not the revival of a «macchiavelian system». Thus, defeated France obtained a constitution which abolished the separation. Consequently, the French were in a better position than the German people being powerless and torn.