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Prince Karl August von Hardenberg

Prince von Hardenberg was a Prussian statesman and Prime Minister of Prussia (1810-1822). As Prime Minister, he was Prussia’s chief representative at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). Although he was regarded as a sublime statesman in Prussia, Von Hardenberg soon found himself overshadowed by the diplomatic wit of Prince Metternich. Despite the backing of Tsar Alexander I, Von Hardenberg failed to secure the annexation of the whole of Saxony to Prussia. Neither did he succeed in a further dismemberment of France after Napoleon had been defeated at Waterloo. Subsequently, Von Hardenberg’s presence at the Congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle, Troppau, Laibach and Verona amounted to echoing Metternich’s points of view, reiterating Metternich’s arguments in favor of the Carlsbad Decrees and against constitutional reform although Von Hardenberg himself saw the need for the latter’s implementation in Prussia.

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