Prince Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar von Metternich, born 1773, died 1859, was the emminent statesman of Europe
from 1814 to 1848. Metternich married into the Austrian Hapsburg family and became an ambassador
to several countries throughout his career.
Metternich was ambassador to Napoleonic France in 1806 and arranged the marriage of Austrian noblewoman, Marie Louise, to Napoleon Bonaparte. Metternich used this peaceful ploy with Napoleon to gain the political upperhand when Napoleon's Russian Campaign failed. Following the fall of Napoleon, Metternich's Quadruple Alliance (Prussia, Russia, England, and Austria) failed to crush revolution in Europe, however it did solidify the rule of noblemen in Italy and Austria for several more years.
Attacked as a reationary against the rising tide of democratic revolution and liberalism in 19th century, Metternich's ideal of a monarchy that shared power with the traditional privileged classes of society was never realized in the development of modern European government. Some have judged him as a reactionary who tried to stem the tide of democratic progress. To others, he was a constructive force, misunderstood by contemporaries and historians alike.