Although the territorial changes brought about by the Congress of Vienna did not endure long in entirety, they represented a practical if not always equitable solution and an attempt at dealing with Europe as an organic whole. The Quadruple Alliance and the Holy Alliance, designed to uphold the decisions of Vienna and to settle disputes and problems by means of conferences, were an important step toward European cooperation. The Concert of Europe, which functioned—even though imperfectly—through the 19th cent., may be credited to the Congress of Vienna.
An auxiliary accomplishment of the Congress was the adoption of standard rules of diplomacy. Serious defects, however, included the disregard of the growing national aspirations and the social changes that brought about the revolutions of 1848, and the failure to include the Ottoman Empire in the settlement and to deal satisfactorily with the Eastern Question.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.