Home >> Collier's New Encyclopedia, Volume 6 >> Medici to New Jersey >> Metternich

Metternich

paris, austrian and vienna

METTERNICH (met'ter-nili,), CLE MENS, PRINCE VON, an Austrian statesman; born in Coblenz, Prussia, May 15, 1773. He entered the diplomatic service as secretary at the Congress of Rastadt, in 1799. He was appointed Austrian ambassador, in succession, at the courts of Dresden, Berlin, and Paris. In 1809 he was appointed chancellor of state, on the resignation of Count Stadion. For nearly 40 years from that period, he exercised, almost without con trol, the highest authority in the Aus trian empire. One of his first aims after entering on his high office was to bring about a marriage between Napoleon and an Austrian archduchess. After Na poleon was divorced from Josephine, Metternich escorted Maria Louisa to Paris. But this expedient of a humiliat ing sacrifice could not be permanent; and in 1813, after the great French disasters in Russia, war, at the instigation of Met ternich, was again formally declared by Austria against France. In the autumn

of that year the Grand Alliance was signed at Teplitz, and on the field of Leipsic Metternich was raised to the dignity of a prince of the empire. In the subsequent treaties and conferences the newly created prince took a very prom inent part, and he signed the treaty of Paris on behalf of Austria. In 1815 he presided over the Congress of Vienna, and took a prominent part in the various congresses that were held in succession at Paris, Aix-la-Chapelle, Carlsbad, Lay bach, and Verona; inculcating on all oc casions, as far as in him lay, the princi ples of the divine right of kings, and repressing every aspiration of the people after civil, political, and religious lib erty. In 1848 he was compelled to flee from Vienna; he returned in 1851, but never again assumed office. He died in Vienna. June 11, 1859.