International Congress: The Congress of Vienna and its Global Dimension

International Congress: The Congress of Vienna and its Global Dimension

Association of Latin American and Caribbean Historians (ADHILAC Internacional); Society for the Study of Continental America and the Caribbean (FGKK), KonaK Vienna
Urania Vienna
From - Until
18.09.2014 - 22.09.2014
Christian Cwik

Homage to Manfred Kossok (1930-1993)

We are approaching the 200th anniversary of the Congress of Vienna when, following the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, delegations from nearly every European state came to participate in this historical event held from September 1814 to June 1815 in the City of Vienna: Among those represented were Prussia, Russia, Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the Republic of Genoa, the Papal States as well as some other 180 powers of every size and kind. Apart from the Congress' significance as the beginning of modern diplomacy, its primary objective, as pursued especially by Europe's conservative Great Powers, was to undo the Napoleonic system of states in order to restore past territorial rule and land tenures, thus creating the political and social conditions that formed the basis for European and global politics for the following century.

As the German scholar Manfred Kossok had rightly observed, these endeavours were naturally not limited to Europe itself but extended to all European colonies and beyond. Especially political change in the form of liberation and independence along with both republican and revolutionary movements throughout the Americas was considered not only a genuine “problem” but perceived also as potential threat. The repercussions were feared by many European statesmen, who devoted considerable attention to the issue and thus initiated a separate investigation of the “South American Matter” during the Congress. The fear was reflected in striking expressions such as “the revolution in the Americas is the revolution in Europe”. In this regard, the statesman Klemens von Metternich, who represented the Austrian interests during the proceedings, played an instrumental role.

As all these issues have been neglected for this long, the conference will dedicate itself to exploring the global dimension of the Congress of Vienna both at an international and transnational level. Changing from a European toward a global perspective when reflecting on this historic event is a timely undertaking 200 years after the fact and likely to yield a fertile area of research with new insights on topics such as the age of revolutions, colonialism, imperialism, conservatism, slaveries, slave trade, human rights, and international relations. This new focus should allow us better to conceive of the Congress of Vienna as the beginning of a fundamentally new era. Specifically, this conference aims to discuss as to how the Congress, its follow-up-gatherings, and the Holy Alliance have impacted the Americas, Africa, and Asia by causing changes at a global level. Likewise, the discussions will also seek to analyze the influence of extra-European developments and events on the Congress itself. Clearly, significant new insights into the history of the Congress of Vienna and its epoch are likely to be gained and new scholarly directions will be mapped out.


This international conference is convened by the Association of Latin American and Caribbean Historians (ADHILAC), kindly hosted by the VHS Wiener Urania, and organized by the Society of Continental American and Caribbean Studies of the KonaK Vienna in cooperation with the Austrian State Archives, the Center for Inter-American Studies (University of Graz), the Department of History (University of Klagenfurt), the Department of History (University of Havana), the Department of Iberian and Latin American History (University of Cologne), the Department of Political Science (University of Salzburg) and the Society for the History of the World System (VGWS). Besides papers, the conference will feature keynote lectures by renowned scholars from different world regions, round tables, workshops as well as the presentation of posters, books, and films, the exhibition of books and photos along with an assorted cultural programming. Most intriguingly, the official welcome and opening ceremony will be held on the original imperial premises of the palace of the Geheime Hofkanzlei (Secret Court Chancellery, now Austria's Federal Chancellery) in Vienna’s historic city centre exactly 200 years to the day when on 18th of September 1814 the Congress convened. All visitors to the conference will have the opportunity to participate in organized tours and trips around Vienna and its surrounding region before and after the meetings.

The committee invites scholars to submit proposals for presentations of ongoing or completed research in the form of individual papers or posters, panels, roundtable discussions, research-in-progress workshops, the presentation of books and films on any aspect relevant to the theme of the conference. We encourage especially all those scholars working on the history of the US-American independence, the French Revolution, the Revolution of Saint-Domingue, the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of the Spanish colonies in South America, the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, slaveries, and/or international relations. The conference languages are English and Spanish. Proposals may be submitted in English or Spanish, are not to exceed 250 words, and must be accompanied by a working title, a brief CV of no more than 100 words per participant. Panel proposals must all be accompanied by up to 4 individual paper proposals. In addition, panel and workshop proposals should include the session organizer’s name as well as the names and roles (paper-presenter, chair, discussant etc.) of each participant. Please state what, if any, audio-visual technology will be required for each paper/session. Proposals should be submitted to the speaker of the scientific committee Christian Cwik (University of Havana/University of Cologne) at: by December 31, 2013. The committee will finalize decisions no later than February 28, 2014. Final papers are due on August 19, 2014. A selection of papers from the conference will be published in an edited volume.

Information regarding accommodations, registration, and related issues is posted and regularly updated on the official conference website: Please register by the time of proposal submission. Panel and workshop organizers should ensure that all participants register for the conference by the time of submission. Before March 31, 2014 a full registration fee refund may be requested if one's paper is not accepted. After that date, regular cancellation policies apply. For any further information please visit the conference website or contact the organizing committee at:

We are pleased to announce the keynote speakers for this congress:
Matthias Middell (University of Leipzig)
Wolfgang Schmale (University of Vienna)
Immanuel Wallerstein (University of Yale)

President of the Congress:
Michael Zeuske (University of Cologne)

Vice Presidents of the Congress:
Verene A. Shepherd (University of the West Indies at Mona)
Wolfgang Maderthaner (Austrian State Archives)

President of the ADHILAC:
Sergio Guerra Vilaboy (University of Havana)

Contact (announcement)

Christian Cwik

Arthaberplatz 4, 1100 Vienna, Austria

+43 1 941 08 78
+43 1 941 08 78
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