Holy Alliance


Holy Alliance
   A compact signed by Austria, Prussia, and Russian in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. Tsar Alexander I of Russia, acting under the influence of the religious mystic, Baroness von Krüdener, drew up a document declaring that the actions of European sovereigns ought to be guided by the principles of justice, peace, and Christian charity. Specifically, that it was “their fixed resolution, both in the administration of their respective States and in their political relations with every other Government, to take for their sole guide the precepts of that Holy Religion, namely, the precepts of Justice, Christian Charity and Peace, which . . . must have an immediate influence on the councils of Princes, and guide all their steps, as being the only means of consolidating human institutions and remedying the imperfections.” To this lofty goal, on September 26, 1815 the tsar put his name, together with King Frederick William III of Prussia and Emperor Francis I of Austria. Practically every other Christian ruler - significant and insignificant - later followed suit, although there were three notable exceptions to the list of adherents: the British prince regent refused on constitutional grounds, although he recognized the solemnity and importance of its sentiments; the sultan of Turkey, not being Christian, was not invited to sign; and Pope Pius VII refused to sign it on grounds that it would associate him with Protestants. The Holy Alliance was innocuous at best and meaningless at worst - indeed, both Viscount Castlereagh and Prince Klemens Metternich dismissed it as verbal nonsense - and it became synonymous with reactionary autocracy for the subsequent generation, although it exercised little if any effect on the policies of those who had promised to govern according to its principles.
   FURTHER READING:
    Hurst, Michael, ed. Key Treaties of the Great Powers, 1814–1914. 2 vols. Vol. I: 1814–1870. Newton Abbot, UK: David & Charles, 1972;
    Lowe, John. The Concert of Europe: International Relations, 1814–70. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1991.
   GREGORY FREMONT-BARNES

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Holy Alliance — • The Emperor Francis I of Austria, King Frederick William III of Prussia, and the Tsar Alexander I of Russia, signed a treaty on 26 September, 1815, by which they united in a Holy Alliance. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Holy… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Holy Alliance — Holy Ho ly, a. [Compar. {Holier}; superl. {Holiest}.] [OE. holi, hali, AS. h[=a]lig, fr. h[ae]l health, salvation, happiness, fr. h[=a]l whole, well; akin to OS. h?lag, D. & G. heilig, OHG. heilac, Dan. hellig, Sw. helig, Icel. heilagr. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Holy Alliance — n. an alliance formed in 1815 by the rulers of Russia, Austria, and Prussia to suppress the democratic revolutionary movement in Europe …   English World dictionary

  • Holy Alliance — ] The Holy Alliance was a coalition of Russia, Austria and Prussia created in 1815 at the behest of Tsar Alexander I of Russia, signed by the three powers in Vienna on September 26 1815. [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07398a.htm Holy… …   Wikipedia

  • Holy Alliance — a league formed by the principal sovereigns of Europe in 1815 with the professed object of promoting Christian brotherhood but the practical object of repressing democratic revolutions and institutions. The English and Turkish rulers and Pope… …   Universalium

  • HOLY ALLIANCE —    an alliance of the sovereigns of Russia, Austria, and Prussia on the fall of Napoleon, professedly for conservative ends, but really for the suppression of political liberty and the maintenance of absolute power …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Holy Alliance — noun Coalition of Russia, Austria and Prussia created in 1815 …   Wiktionary

  • Holy Alliance — Austria, Prussia, Russia (in 1815) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Holy Alliance — /hoʊli əˈlaɪəns/ (say hohlee uh luyuhns) noun a league formed by the principal sovereigns of Europe (without the pope and the rulers of Britain and Turkey) in 1815 after the fall of Napoleon, with the professed object of Christian brotherhood,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Holy Alliance — a league formed by the principal sovereigns of Europe in 1815 with the professed object of promoting Christian brotherhood but the practical object of repressing democratic revolutions and institutions. The English and Turkish rulers and Pope… …   Useful english dictionary


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