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Vienna 1814 by David King
After defeating Napoleon in 1814, the European powers convened in Vienna to determine the fate of Europe. The Congress of Vienna turned into the party of the century; royalty and diplomats traveled to represent their countries, but courtesans, tradesmen and others flocked to Vienna to get a piece of the pie.
Instead of being an open meeting of dignitaries, the Congress became a cesspool of backstabbing, underhanded dealings, and romantic liaisons. After six months of squabbling (accomplishing little), Europe had a bigger problem: Napoleon escaped Elba.
Read about how this seemingly unproductive conference led to the Battle of Waterloo, and how that led to a “spirit of cooperation” that remains unsurpassed.
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