In 1798 the Principality of Malta of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte. Then the Maltese archipelago was “temporarily” occupied by the British and eventually the first Peace of Paris of the 30th May 1814 established the sovereignty of Great Britain on it. At the Congress of Vienna two envoys were sent as representatives of the Order of Malta, who were properly accredited with the rank of minister plenipotentiary. The aim of this paper, based upon new sources researched in the Haus-Hof und Staatsarchiv of Vienna and in the Magistral Archives of the Order of Malta in Rome, is to examine the diplomatic mission of the Order of St. John in the light of the two leading criteria implemented by the Congress: balance of power and legitimacy. The Knights of Malta were expected to be restored by the legitimist spirit of the Congress in an other island of the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, the ambiguous behaviour of the French prince of Talleyrand, the inflexibility of the British Ministers (Lord Castlereagh and afterwards the Duke of Wellington), the indifference of the Russian Tsar Alexander I, and the inability of the Austrian prince of Metternich in this affair, disappointed that expectation. However, the diplomatic recognition of the Order of Malta by the European Powers in 1814/15 could already reveal its singular destiny in the current international praxis: indeed more than hundred countries recognises nowadays the prerogatives of a subject of international law to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. This could evoke an analogy with the international status of the Holy See, also represented at the Congress of Vienna: Papacy never ceased – neither would have ceased – to maintain and receive a Diplomatic Corps, whether or not were sovereign over a territory throughout the course of its history.
|Titolo:||Balance of Power and Legitimacy at the Congress of Vienna: The Case Study of the Order of Malta|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume(Capitolo di libro)|