Date of Award

Fall 1973

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Frances Underhill


Prince Talleyrand is famed as an opportunist, a man able to serve and to survive many different regimes. In his role as the plenipotentiary of Louis XVIII at the Congress of Vienna, he maintained that he was one of the few ambassadors who was disinterestedly seeking a just and stable settlement for Europe, one based on principles and not power politics alone. Guglielmo Ferrero went so far as to call him "the loudspeaker for the secret conscience of the Congress," because of the stand he alone took in favor of 'legitimacy' as the basis of the governments that had to be re-established after the Napoleonic wars. Even some who have given him less credit for lofty motives, like J. G. Lockhart, have admitted that Talleyrand 'had the European mind, which rejects grandiose schemes of conquest and regards war as a confession of diplomatic failure." many will concede that he desired peace for Europe, but the means he used to this end may sound cynical to twentieth-century ears.

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