THE CONGRESS OF TROPPAU 1820 (G4)
xxxxxThe Congress of Troppau was convened by the Holy Alliance in 1820 following popular uprisings in Spain, Naples and Portugal. The aim of the three leaders, Austria, Russia and Prussia, was to suppress any liberal or national movements inside Europe. States were encouraged to intervene in the affairs of another country, using force where necessary, to overthrow any subversive elements. Britain and France were opposed to such repressive measures, and at the Congress of Verona two years later Britain left the Alliance, threatening to use its navy to block any aid sent in support of reactionary governments in South America. This virtually put an end to the Congress System, though a measure of international consultation did continue into the 20th century. In the meantime, the nationalism born of the French Revolution and widened during the Napoleonic Wars grew in strength. As we shall see, in 1830 (W4) uprisings broke out in a number of countries, one of which overthrew the French monarchy, and 1848, the Year of Revolutions, saw a series of rebellions across Europe. None proved fully successful, but the stage was set.
xxxxxThe Congress of Troppau, convened in October 1820, was the second of four meetings called around this time on behalf of the Holy Alliance, the four-
xxxxxIn November, those present signed the Troppau Protocol, an agreement to take collective action against any country that attempted to overthrow its legitimate government -
xxxxxConsultation between states, though not always successful, did continue to play a limited part in European politics into the 20th century, but in the meantime the militant nationalism which had burst out under the pressure of the French Revolution, and then spread across Europe during the Napoleonic Wars, was not going to be easily suppressed. In 1820 minor revolts occurred in Spain, Naples and Portugal -
Troppau: from a postcard of 1902, artist unknown. Verona: contemporary cartoon, artist unknown.