Prince Clemens Lothar Wenzel Metternich

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Prince Clemens Lothar Wenzel Metternich (1773-1859)
Recognized for his brilliance, this Austrian statesman achieved diplomatic fame at a comparatively youthful age when he served as Austria's ambassador to Dresden at 28, to Berlin at 30 and to Paris at 32. After concluding the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1807, he eventually became Austria's foreign minister and soon was made a prince of the empire. An imposing figure at the Congress of Vienna, his goal was to promote Austrian interests. He sought to assure that Germany did not achieve true unity and thus pose a threat to those interests. Though reputed to have been personally kind, Metternich is remembered for his autocratic and reactionary posture, his support for despotism, and his distaste for movements of national populism.