October 24 1814: Unpleasant Meeting of the Tsar and Metternich

“By the next morning, [ October 24 1814 ] the day of the departure for Hungary, Metternich and Hardenberg had not yet gained sanction for their united stance against the tsar. Alexander, instead, had preempted their move and summoned Metternich alone over to his apartments. Their discussion in the white and gold paneled wing of the Hofburg was one of the most difficult of Metternich’s entire career. The tsar flat out demanded Metternich’s compliance: “I intend to create an independent state of Poland. I want your agreement before I leave for Hungary today.” “Your Majesty,” Metternich replied in a manner that sometimes came across as flippant, “if it is a question of creating an independent Poland, Austria too can create one.” At this, the tsar exploded. Metternich was the only man, he declared, who dared use such a tone with him. In Alexander’s words, it was “a tone of revolt,” as if the Austrian foreign minister were one of his subjects. The tsar then unleashed a barrage of “haughtiness and violence of language” that left Metternich stunned and visibly shaken. Metternich compared the talk with the tsar to meeting Napoleon at his most irrational, and felt unsure whether he would end up leaving the palace through the door or through the window, as Alexander allegedly threatened. The Austrian minister never wanted to see the tsar in private again, he said, and predicted “the tsar will end up mad like his father.”

Diplomatic relations had hit rock bottom. The tsar set off to Hungary with the emperor and the king, but he did not leave anyone in charge in his absence, and all the pressing problems of the peace conference remained unresolved.”

 Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna by David King. 

The information, phrases and even sentences in the tweets in @1814now on the Congress of Vienna are mostly taken from the above work and the Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna by Adam Zamoyski. 

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