Metternich restored and maintained legitimate rulers in Europe during the Vienne Congress of 1814-1815 which was a major negative impact. These despots were the worst rulers that Europe had ever witnessed as they exercised oppressive rule on their subjects in all the areas where they were restored. Consequently, this led to the outbreak of revolutions between 1821 and 1848 in countries like Spain, Naples and France to overthrow these restored rulers and these revolutions created instability which greatly disturbed European peace up to 1848.
Metternich promoted Austrian imperialism and repressive measures against many parts of Europe, hence suffocating nationalism. During the Vienna Congress of 1814-1815, Austraian imperialism was imposed on Europeaan areas like the Italian states, the German states, Hungary and parts of Poland all of which were put under the Austrian foreign control. These conquered states were then subjected to Metternich’s oppressive policies. For example, the nationalists were arrested, imprisoned and others killed. These oppressive measures increased opposition against Metternich, thus leading to instability in Europe as more revolutions were staged up to 1848.
Metternich suffocated liberalism in Europe. As a conservative, he believed in absolute rule and therefore, he denied basic freedoms of man to his subjects. For example in 1819, he issued what came to be known as the “Carlsbad Decrees” and by these orders, spies were stationed in all universities, students’ societies were abolished and liberal professors in the German states were dismissed from their offices. Metternich also banned freedom of speech, worship and association in all those areas that were under the Austrian Empire which denied the masses any degree of freedom up to 1848. This inspired the outbreak of liberal revolutions between 1830 and 1848 which undermined peace in Europe.
Metternich brutally suppressed revolutions in Europe up to 1848. As a conservative, he did not want changes brought about by the masses through revolutions as they were likely to change the existing political and social order in Europe. Metternich instead wanted changes to be from the existing rulers of Europe. He therefore struggled to suppress revolutions that were staged in Europe between 1820 and 1848. These included the 1820 revolts in Naples, Sicily, Spain and Piedmont as well as the 1830 revolts in the Italian states, German states and Poland. This brutal suppression of revolts by Metternich led to the death of many people and massive destruction of property in Europe.
Metternich promoted illiteracy or misinformation in the Austrian Empire. He strictly controlled education and therefore he took advantage of this to keep the system of education low in the conquered areas of the Austrian Empire like the Italian and German states. He also banned the teaching of liberal subjects like Literature, History and Philosophy. This left the masses backward and less informed for along period of time.
Metternich delibarately revived the influence of the the Catholic Church under the Pope and religious intolerance in Austria, the Italian and German states. This further denied religious freedom to the masses in the Austrian Empire which inspired them to stage revolutions against the conservativeness of the Catholic Church which was being supported by Metternich. These revolutions created instability which distrebed European peace up to 1848.
Metternich also promoted overexploitation of the subjects of the Austrian Empire. For example, he exploited the human resources through forced conscription into the army as well as agricultural and mineral resources of the conquered states of the Austrian Empire like the Italian and German states. He also overtaxed the above states which kept them so poor. Metternich therefore promoted economic backwardness in the Austrian Empire.
Metternich’s conservative tendencies alienated or isolated the liberal monarchical countries like Britain from the European affairs after Napoleon I’s downfall in 1815. These were liberal countries that could work with Mrtternich due to his conservatism. This instead promoted disagreements between Metternich and such liberal monarchical countries like Britain and France. The disagreements finally led to the collapse of the Congress System by 1830.
Metternich and his system delayed the unification of Italy. From the Vienna Settlement of 1815, Austria under Metternich directly controlled the Italian states of Lombardy and Venetia. Austrian influence was also felt in the Central Italian states like Modena, Parma and Tuscany where the Hapsburg rulers had been restotes by Metternich. This Austrian foreign influence frustrated or delayed all attempts by the Italians to create a single united and independent Italy until his downfall in 1848.
Metternich also delayed the unification of Germany. He kept a firm control of Austria in the German Confederation established in 1815 by the Vienna Settlement. This too frustrated the attempts by the Germans to create a united and independent Germany. It was only after Metternich’s downfall in 1848 that efforts to unite the German states started registering positive results.
Metternich ignored the small states in Europe. He hosted and chaired the Vienna congress of 1814 to 1815 and during this congress and he made sure that the major decisions came from the Great Powers of Austria, Russia, Britain and Prussia only. Even during the Congress System that Metternich initiated in 1818, it were the same Great powers that made key decisions in all the congresses that were held in Europe up to 1825.
Metternich led to the development of anti-European sentiments in America. This demonstrated by the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. As a conservative, Metternich wanted to lead a coaltion of the European powers to America so as assist Spain suppress revolutions that had broken out in her South American colonies by 1820. This planned foreign intervention greatly annoyed the United States of America (USA). Consequently in 1823, the President of USA by then known as James Monroe issued the famous Monroe Doctrine which strongly warned the Great Powers of Europe against any attempt to intervene in South America to help Spain recover her colonies. This doctrine was a clear manifestation of the American hatred or enemity towards Europe.