Europe 1815: Holy Alliance
In the wake of the Seventh Coalition’s victory over Napoleon, Tsar Alexander I of Russia advocated a ‘Holy Alliance’ among the Great Powers to restrain the forces of liberalism and secularism. He was joined in this endeavor by Prussia and Austria, and the alliance soon grew to embrace most of the Christian kingdoms of Europe. However, the Holy Alliance was undermined by the conflicting interests of its members and collapsed with the death of the Tsar in 1825.
7 Jul 1815 Surrender of Paris▲
On 3 July 1815 the French capitulated, agreeing to surrender Paris and withdraw their troops beyond the Loire. On the 7th the British and Prussian armies entered Paris without ceremony, allowing King Louis XVIII to publicly return and resume his rule the following day.
8 Jul–20 Sep 1815 Reduction of the French fortresses▲
In their invasion of France following Waterloo, the armies of the Seventh Coalition bypassed numerous French fortresses as they marched on Paris. Many of these fortresses continued to hold out even after the restoration of the monarchy on 8 July 1815, requiring the Austrians, British, Prussians, and Dutch to besiege and capture them one by one. While most capitulated that same month, Philippeville, Rocroi, and Huningue held out into August, and Charlemont and Montmédy did not surrender until late September.
8 Aug 1815–5 May 1821 Napoleon’s Exile in Saint Helena▲
In August 1815 Napoleon was transferred from HMS Bellerophon to HMS Northumberland for his final voyage to captivity on the remote British island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. On 17 October the former emperor disembarked at Jamestown, the island’s main settlement, remaining there until his death in 1821.
26 Sep 1815 Holy Alliance▲
At the behest of Tsar Alexander I of Russia, the monarchist great powers of Russia, Austria, and Prussia signed the Holy Alliance in Paris. The alliance was a conservative measure to promote the divine right of kings and Christian values in European political affairs in the face of the threat of liberalism, secularism, and revolution. Although rejected by Britain and the Papal States, the alliance soon came to embrace most of the countries of Christian Europe but effectively collapsed after Alexander’s death in 1825.