Metternich, Klemens Wenzel Lothar, Fürst von

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Metternich, Klemens Wenzel Lothar, Fürst von (1773–1859) Austrian statesman. As foreign minister (1809–48) and chancellor (1821–48), Metternich was the leading European statesman of the post-Napoleonic era. Following Austria's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars (1809), he adopted a conciliatory policy towards France. After Napoleon I's retreat from Moscow (1812), Metternich formed the Quadruple Alliance (1813) that led to Napoleon's defeat. He was the dominant figure at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) and at subsequent conferences held under the congress system. In 1815, Metternich secured peace in Europe and thereafter became increasingly autocratic, pressing for the intervention of the great powers against any revolutionary outbreak. He was driven from power by the Revolutions of 1848.

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