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East Germany


Age of Metternich

The Congress of Vienna (1814-15), convened after Napoleon's defeat, established the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) of thirty-nine monarchical states headed by Austria (see fig. 4). During his period of power (1815-48), Prince Klemens von Metternich, Austria's chancellor, pursued a reactionary policy, and the German states reverted to the old order of social distinctions and privileges. The personification of the European counterrevolution, Metternich advocated the principle of aristocratic legitimacy for the possession of titles and territories and represented conservatism, order, and stability, which he opposed to social and political revolt. Metternich's police organization suppressed both nationalism and liberalism. The publicist Frederick von Gentz popularized Metternich's reactionary ideas and assisted him in developing a system of political censorship that held Austria and part of Germany in intellectual bondage until 1848.

Data as of July 1987