Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Problems with the Congress of Vienna

Chet Geering


Students will be able to process a variety of information on the Problems with the Congress of Vienna.


The student understands significant political developments in Europe in the 19th century.


-WORLD HISTORY THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2001, or a comparable history textbook)
-Access to copy machine
-Empty Chart (See attached file)
-Completed chart (See attached file)
-Teacher notes (See attached file)
-Dry erase board or chalkboard
-Markers or chalk


1. Read text Chapter 22 or appropriate chapter in another history text. (See Materials List.)
2. Look through the procedure listing and make sure you are familiar with the terms listed within.
3. Make copies of the blank chart for students. (See attached file.)
4. Make a copy of the completed chart for the teacher. (See attached file.)
5. Make a copy of the teacher's notes. (See attached file.)


1. Have students read Chapter 22 in the text (or comparable chapter from another history text) the night before the lesson. (See Materials List.)

2. Ask students: What event was attended by the major European powers after the Napoleonic Wars? (Answer: Congress of Vienna.)

3. Ask students to list all of the major powers that attended this meeting. (Answers: France, Austria, Great Britain, Germany (Prussia), Poland, Spain, and Russia.)

4. Put the answers on the board for #2 and #3.

5. Ask students: Why was such an event necessary, or was it necessary?(Answers will vary.)

6. Discuss #4 with students. Make the students defend their points of view with facts from the text.

7. Ask students: What was the overall mood of the conference? (Answer: Conservatism.)

8. Put the answer on the board.

9. Define conservatism for students. (Answer: A general feeling of trying to make things the way they used to be.) Put the answer on the board.

10. Ask students: What is the opposite of conservatism? (Answer: Liberalism.)

11. Put the answer on the board.

12. Define liberalism. (Answer: Trying to change the status quo. Trying to give rights to everybody.) Put the answer on the board.

13. Ask students: What were the four main goals of the Congress of Vienna? (Answer: 1.Restoring the balance of power on the continent. 2. Taking away any freedoms the people had gained. 3. Placing the former ruling families back on their thrones. 4. Building a lasting peace.)

14. Put the answers on the board.

15. Discuss the answers with students.

16. Ask students: Who was the driving force behind this idea of conservatism? (Answer: Prince Metternich.)

17. Put Prince Metternich's name on the board.

18. Ask students: What was Metternich's main goal at this meeting? (Answer: To place the royal rulers back on the thrones of Europe and to create a balance of power.)

19. Discuss the answers to #18 with the students.

20. Pass out the chart that needs to be completed. (See attached file.)

21. Assess chart.


1. Students will be graded on their ability to fully complete answers to a chart. (See attached file.)
2. The teacher can also informally evaluate the students by encouraging class participation and discussion by as many students as possible.
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