Congress of Vienna Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Use this lesson plan on the Congress of Vienna to help reinforce your efforts with student understanding of the geopolitical climate of Europe during the 19th century.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Connect the fall of Napoleon with the Congress of Vienna
  • Analyze how the events of the Congress of Vienna had an impact on further European history for the next 100 years


45 minutes, with another 30-40 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.


  • Start by asking some very general warmup questions about the state of Europe in the early 1800s. Point these questions towards Napoleon and his effect on countries other than France.
  • Play the video Congress of Vienna: Members, Objectives, & Results, pausing at the following points for discussion:
    • 2:23 - Take a few minutes to discuss the motivation of each country. If need be, use a map of Europe to reinforce the geographical facts behind these motivations. Also talk about motivations that everyone agreed on, like the desire to avoid more democratic ideas and the desire for peace.
    • 4:29 - How did the return of Napoleon impact the attitudes of those negotiating? Remind students that Napoleon was welcomed back by the French people, with army units deserting in droves to rejoin Napoleon.
    • 5:37 - Who was the big winner of the Congress of Vienna? Who did better than the others? Who was the loser?


  • Divide your class into teams based on the Great Powers of Europe.
  • Ask each team to research what their country wanted to gain from the Congress of Vienna, as well as who they thought their country's enemies were.
  • Have a classroom debate or your own Congress of Vienna, where students try to introduce ideas to further their own country's plans, while blocking those of opposing states.


  • Look at the Congress of Vienna and the impact it may have had on the rise of Germany and the World Wars. Would these events have happened had Prussia not been strengthened?
  • Much of Europe was related at this time - after all, a German Elector sat on the UK's throne. Ask students to research personal connections, such as this, within the Congress of Vienna.

Related Lessons

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Filtered by: {{}}   {{}}   {{}}   Clear All Filters
Courses: {{}}