HOLY ALLIANCE, an international league proposed by Alexander I, emperor of Russia, 26 Sept. 1815, after the defeat of Na poleon at Waterloo had cleared the way for the execution of his desire of establishing a settled peace in Europe. Alexander, Francis of Aus tria and Frederick William III of Prussia, signed with their own hands, and without the countersign of a minister, the act establishing this alliance, which is said to have been sent to the two latter in the handwriting of the first. It was not wholly published till 2 Feb. 1816, when the text was given in full in the Frank fort Journal. It consisted of a declaration, that, in accordance with the precepts of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the principles of jus tice, charity and peace should be the basis of their internal administration, and of their in ternational relations, and that the happiness and religious welfare of their subjects should be their great object. Their majesties considering themselves as delegated by Providence to gov ern three branches of the same family, namely, Austria, Russia and Prussia, and regarding their peoples as having no other sovereign than Him to whom alone all power belongs of right, de clared that they would lend one another on every occasion and in every place assistance, aid and support. Its real aim was to maintain the power and influence of the existing dynas ties. It was also stipulated that the three sov ereigns should invite others to become members of the Holy Alliance. In Russia and Germany its principles were not discussed except in a: spirit of eulogy, but they were uncompromis ingly condemned in Britain by many of her foremost statesmen. On 4 Feb. 1823 both Lans
downe and Brougham openly condemned its doctrines in their places in Parliament. Sir' James Mackintosh said of the doctrine• of legit imacy, in the sense in which it was used by the Holy Alliance, aSophistry lent her colors to the most extravagant pretensions of tyranny?) The events of 1848 broke up the Holy Alliance. It had previously lost much of its authority from the death of Alexander, and the French Revolution of 1830. By a special article of the treaty the members of the Bonaparte family were declared incapable of occupying any European throne. It was in pursuance of the terms of the Alliance that revolutionary uprisings in Naples, Piedmont and Spain were suppressed by the armed forces of its members in the early part of the 19th century. The threat of the Allies to intervene in the war be tween Spain and her South American colonies with a view to restoring those colonies to Spain from whom they had separated and declared their independence was the chief cause which led President Monroe in 1823 to send his fa mous message to Congress proclaiming what later came to be known as the Monroe Doc trine (q.v.).
For the text of the Treaty of the Holy Alli ante with a full discussion of its nature and purpose and the historical events which pro duced it and to which it led, Consult Snow, 'Topics in American Diplomacy) (pp. 237ff. Boston 1894).