Every European school child should have learnt about the Congress of Vienna. Seriously. It is actually possibly the most important series of events in modern history that no one has ever heard of.
Honestly, how many of us have heard of it, or know what it was, or what happened? We should and not just because it is important or worthy. It is a fascinating tail in its own right. Who would rule France? Would there be a Poland? What about the Pope or the Prussians? Who would control the Baltic or the Mediterranean? Who would end up in power, and who would end up dead? Politicians and kings squared off. Devious spies, and clever diplomats faced imperial generals or experienced statesmen. Flattery, bribery and corruption vied with high minded principle. Hypocrisy warred with genuine optimism. Had they disposed a tyrant only to create new tyrannies? Clever, ruthless men like Talleyrand destroyed incriminating archives, attempting to shape history itself.
This is part one of the story of how the modern nations of Europe were born, who shaped them and why.
Join me and find out about the brave old world that the old elite of Europe were attempting to build.