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The Dike and the Flood Essay

  • Date Submitted: 02/02/2011 11:44 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.5 
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The Dike and the Flood
In the early eighteenth century, the French Revolution is over and Napoleon is out of power. Conservatives are trying to return stability to Europe and prevent future disturbances to the status quo, including liberalism and nationalism. The struggle between conservatism and liberalism and nationalism is commonly referred to as the dike and the flood. The dike building, which was dominated by Metternich, was done through the Congress System which involved the five major powers of Europe. However, the dike couldn’t prevent the flood of liberalism in England, France, Russia, and Spain, or nationalism in Greece, Serbia, and Belgium.

Metternich attempted to suppress liberalism and nationalism by dominating the Congress System. Metternich’s politics were similar to those of Edmund Burke. He was extremely conservative, which meant that he favored legitimate monarchies, aristocratic government, and maintaining the status quo. In order to influence Europe of his conservative politics, he created the Congress System, in which the five major powers of Europe would meet to work together to deal with uprisings as they occur. The five major powers of Europe were Austria, Russia, Prussia, Great Britain, and Fra

In France, Louis XVIII agreed to become a constitutional monarch, which satisfied the liberals. However, when he died, his brother Charles X ruled conservatively. He passed many reactionary policies including paying emgres by lowering interest rates on bonds, primogeniture, punishing sacrilege, and replacing the moderate ministry with an ultraroyalist one. He issued the Four Ordinances which took away rights from the people such as freedom of the press and voting privileges. In response, liberals erected barricades. The king called out troops and 1,800 people died. Liberals succeeded when Charles X abdicated and a ministry composed of constitutional monarchists ended the Bourbon dynasty.

a less conservative Constantine. While regiments took...

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