Metternich: The First European

  • England, 2015 (Thistle);
  • USA, 1991 (Viking)
  • Translation, 1993 German, (Benziger Verlag)


For a third of a century, from 1814 until 1848, the Austrian Empire was the strongest state in Europe: not only the Habsburg territories but German and Italy were ruled from Vienna. Throughout this period, the Imperial chancellor was Clemens von Metternich who, through his brilliant diplomacy maintainedAustria’s dominance. He had brought the empire through the Napoleonic maelstrom and his diplomatic genius at the Congress of Vienna ensured there would not be another continental war for a hundred years – he played a key role in creating the European Alliance, precursor of the League of Nations and NATO. Among the greatest of nineteenth century statesmen, his hatred of war and chauvinism should never be forgotten.

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Reviews of: Metternich: The First European

  • Few characterisations are as refreshing and positive as Seward’s … Seward continually rejects the notion that the ‘Metternichian system’ was simply a reactionary defense of the status quo, and argues that much of the chancellor’s work anticipated many of the arrangements surrounding the current European community. The book relies heavily on Metternich’s personal and state papers and contains superb sections on his rather tragic faily life.

    Library Journal
  • this short, workmanlike book … helps us to see Metternich’s achievement and his personality.

    The Washington Times