Verona, Congress of

Verona, Congress of
   The last full meeting of the Congress System, its main item of business a proposal by France to send an expeditionary force into Spain to crush a liberal rebellion. Castlereagh was not present to represent Britain—having taken his own life shortly before he was due to depart Britain—so that the Duke of Wellington became the British delegate. Prince Metternich of Austria supported the French intervention, in large part to keep the support of Tsar Alexander I of Russia, but Wellington opposed intervention on behalf of a restoration in Spain both to maintain Britain’s alliance with it and to keep Spanish ports open to commerce. In this, Wellington was representing the policy of Britain’s new foreign secretary, George Canning, but he was also personally annoyed at a conference resolution that he deemed misleading regarding the intention of the continental powers in Spain. He therefore withdrew from the conference.
   When French troops then marched into Spain the next year, Canning’s government declared that its sympathies were with the rebels, thereby signaling the rupture of the Congress System. Equally, Canning sought to avoid both a royalist restoration anywhere in the Spanish Americas and any Russian intervention in that hemisphere, so it was partly at the prodding of Canning that John Quincy Adams, the American secretary of state, drafted the Monroe Doctrine against any and all European intervention in the Americas.
   See also <>
    Kissinger, Henry. A World Restored. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1957;
    Schroeder, Paul M. The Transformation of European Politucs, 1763-1848. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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