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Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich was a German-born Austrian politician and statesman and was one of the most important diplomats of his era. He served as the Foreign Minister of the Holy Roman Empire and its successor state, the Austrian Empire, from 1809 until the liberal revolutions of 1848 forced his resignation. One of his first tasks was to engineer a détente with France that included the marriage of Napoleon to the Austrian Arch-Duchess Marie Louise. Soon after, however, he would be the foreign minister who engineered Austria's entry into the War of the Sixth Coalition on the Allied side, signed the Treaty of Fontainebleu that sent Napoleon into exile and led the Austrian delegation at the Congress of Vienna which divided post-Napoleonic Europe between the major powers. In recognition of his service to the Austrian Empire he was raised to the title of Prince in October 1813. Under his guidance, the "Metternich system" of international congresses continued for another decade as Austria aligned herself with Russia and, to a lesser extent, Prussia. This marked the high point of Austria's diplomatic importance, and thereafter Metternich slowly slipped back into the periphery of international diplomacy. At home, the Austrian foreign minister concurrently held the post of Chancellor of State from 1821 until 1848, under both Francis II of Austria and his son Ferdinand I of Austria. After a brief period of exile in London, Brighton and Brussels that lasted until 1851, he returned once more to the Viennese court, this time only to offer advice to Ferdinand's successor, Franz Josef. Having outlived his generation of politicians, Metternich died at the age of 86 in 1859.

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Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich was a German-born Austrian politician and statesman and was one of the most important diplomats of his era. He served as the Foreign Minister of the Holy Roman Empire and its successor state, the Austrian Empire, from 1809 until the liberal revolutions of 1848 forced his resignation. One of his first tasks was to engineer a détente with France that included the marriage of Napoleon to the Austrian Arch-Duchess Marie Louise. Soon after, however, he would be the foreign minister who engineered Austria's entry into the War of the Sixth Coalition on the Allied side, signed the Treaty of Fontainebleu that sent Napoleon into exile and led the Austrian delegation at the Congress of Vienna which divided post-Napoleonic Europe between the major powers. In recognition of his service to the Austrian Empire he was raised to the title of Prince in October 1813. Under his guidance, the "Metternich system" of international congresses continued for another decade as Austria aligned herself with Russia and, to a lesser extent, Prussia. This marked the high point of Austria's diplomatic importance, and thereafter Metternich slowly slipped back into the periphery of international diplomacy. At home, the Austrian foreign minister concurrently held the post of Chancellor of State from 1821 until 1848, under both Francis II of Austria and his son Ferdinand I of Austria. After a brief period of exile in London, Brighton and Brussels that lasted until 1851, he returned once more to the Viennese court, this time only to offer advice to Ferdinand's successor, Franz Josef. Having outlived his generation of politicians, Metternich died at the age of 86 in 1859. More...

 
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