Diplomacy causes more problems than solutions

Political events and developments
4.2.2. Congresses and peace agreements


4.2.2. Congresses and peace agreements 

A special intensification of diplomatic contacts takes place in the form of large congresses, meetings of diplomats from all over Europe. Following the example of the Peace Congress in Münster and Osnabrück, they initially established themselves following the wars that Ludwig XIV. leads against different coalitions.
Parallel to the increasing internationalization of all conflicts, a means of concluding peace is establishing itself here, which takes into account that conflicts can only be resolved across Europe. Among the European powers that are networked through diplomatic contacts and are oriented towards the balance of power, no change in the distribution of power is possible without consulting all the important powers. ( 4.4.1. balance of power) As a result, all powers will soon try to establish their representatives at the congresses and to bring their concerns forward. ( Duchhard)
The preparation of a congress begins with unofficial contacts, which often start at the beginning of a war. The conclusion is formed by peace treaties, which are mostly bilateral and for which fixed forms are gradually becoming naturalized. ( International Law - Practice - Content Issues)
In the years after the War of the Spanish Succession As the governments are still badly affected by the consequences of the war, congresses are also used to avert the danger of an imminent war. This is not going to become permanent practice. But it picks up on a thought that developed in peace journalism and remains on its main motive throughout the 18th century: the peaceful resolution of disputes through a form of European assembly. ( 4.6.1 peace plans)
In the second half of the 18th century, the congresses gradually lost their importance. The Seven Years War is no longer held by a pan-European congress, but by two separate congresses in Hubertusburg (with the "Eastern Powers" ) and Paris (with the "Western Powers" ) completed. The congress in Teschen after the War of the Bavarian Succession is limited to the approval of previously bilaterally negotiated results.

© 2003 by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger • mail: [email protected]