Congress

Congress

[n. kong-gris; v. kuhn-gres, kuhng-]
Congress, Library of: see Library of Congress.

(1814–15) Assembly that reorganized Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. The powers of the Quadruple Alliance had concluded the Treaty of Chaumont just before Napoleon's first abdication and agreed to meet later in Vienna. There they were joined by Bourbon France as a major participant and by Sweden and Portugal; many minor states also sent representatives. The principal negotiators were Klemens, prince von Metternich, representing Francis II (Austria); Alexander I (Russia); Frederick William III and Karl August, prince von Hardenberg (Prussia); Viscount Castlereagh (Britain); and Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand (France). The Congress reduced France to its 1789 borders. A new kingdom of Poland, under Russian sovereignty, was established. To check possible future aggression by France, its neighbours were strengthened: the kingdom of The Netherlands acquired Belgium, Prussia gained territory along the Rhine River, and the Italian kingdom acquired Genoa. The German states were joined loosely in a new German Confederation, subject to Austria's influence. For its part in the defeat of Napoleon, Britain acquired valuable colonies, including Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, and Ceylon. The Vienna settlement was the most comprehensive treaty that Europe had ever seen, and the configuration of Europe established at the congress lasted for more than 40 years.

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(1822) Last of the meetings held by the Quadruple Alliance (Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain). The congress met in Verona, Italy, to consider a request by the alliance's ally, France, to intervene in the revolutionary situation in Spain. The congress agreed to support France if it were attacked by Spain and authorized a French expedition into Spain. However, Britain threatened to use its sea power to prevent interference with the revolts in Spanish America. Increasing discord caused a breakdown in the congress system begun by the alliance in 1815.

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(1820) Meeting of the Holy Alliance powers held at Troppau in Silesia (modern Opava, Czech Rep.). Attended by representatives of Austria, Russia, and Prussia and by observers from Britain and France, the alliance signed a declaration of intention (the Troppau protocol) to take collective action against revolution. The congress agreed that states having undergone revolutions would be excluded from the European alliance. They invited the king of the Two Sicilies to meet at the Congress of Laibach to discuss intervention against the revolution in Naples. Britain and France did not accept the protocol, demonstrating the division between the eastern and western members of the alliance and seriously weakening it.

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U.S. library, the largest and one of the greatest of what may be considered national libraries. Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1800, it was housed in the Capitol until the building was burned by British troops in 1814; it moved to permanent quarters in 1897. In addition to serving as a reference source for members of Congress and other government officers, it is outstanding among the learned institutions of the world, with magnificent collections of books, manuscripts, music, prints, and maps. It contains some 18 million books, 2.5 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.5 million maps, and more than 54 million manuscripts.

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(Jan. 26–May 12, 1821) Meeting of the Holy Alliance powers that set the conditions for Austrian intervention in and occupation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in action against the Neapolitan revolution (1820). The congress proclaimed its hostility to revolutionary regimes, agreed to abolish the Neapolitan constitution, and authorized the Austrian army to restore the absolutist monarchy. The British and French protested the decision.

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or Congress Party

Broadly based political party of India, founded in 1885. The Congress Party was a moderate reform party until 1917, when it was taken over by its “extremist” Home Rule wing (see Bal Gangadhar Tilak). In the 1920s and '30s, under Mohandas K. Gandhi, it promoted noncooperation to protest the feebleness of the constitutional reforms of 1919. During World War II, the party announced that India would not support the war until granted complete independence. In 1947 an Indian independence bill became law, and in 1950 the constitution took effect. Jawaharlal Nehru dominated the party from 1951 to 1964. The Indian National Congress formed most of India's governments from 1947 to 1996, but at the end of the 20th century, its support plummeted. After several years out of power, it returned to government in 2004.

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Body of delegates that acted for the American colonies and states during and after the American Revolution.The First Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia in September 1774, was called by the colonial Committees of Correspondence. The delegates adopted a declaration of personal rights, denounced taxation without representation, petitioned the British crown for a redress of grievances, and called for a boycott of British goods. The Second Continental Congress, meeting in May 1775, appointed George Washington commander in chief of the army. It later approved the Declaration of Independence (1776) and prepared the Articles of Confederation (1781), which granted certain powers to the Congress.

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Legislature of the U.S., separated structurally from the executive and judicial (see judiciary) branches of government. Established by the Constitution of the United States, it succeeded the unicameral congress created by the Articles of Confederation (1781). It consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Representation in the Senate is fixed at two senators per state. Until passage of the 17th Amendment (1913), senators were appointed by the state legislatures; since then they have been elected directly. In the House, representation is proportional to each state's population; total membership is restricted (since 1912) to 435 members (the total rose temporarily to 437 following the admission of Hawaii and Alaska as states in 1959). Congressional business is processed by committees: bills are debated in committees in both houses, and reconciliation of the two resulting versions takes place in a conference committee. A presidential veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority in each house. Congress's constitutional powers include the setting and collecting of taxes, borrowing money on credit, regulating commerce, coining money, declaring war, raising and supporting armies, and making all laws necessary for the execution of its powers. All finance-related legislation must originate in the House; powers exclusive to the Senate include approval of presidential nominations, ratification of treaties, and adjudication of impeachments. Seealso bicameral system.

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(1814–15) Assembly that reorganized Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. The powers of the Quadruple Alliance had concluded the Treaty of Chaumont just before Napoleon's first abdication and agreed to meet later in Vienna. There they were joined by Bourbon France as a major participant and by Sweden and Portugal; many minor states also sent representatives. The principal negotiators were Klemens, prince von Metternich, representing Francis II (Austria); Alexander I (Russia); Frederick William III and Karl August, prince von Hardenberg (Prussia); Viscount Castlereagh (Britain); and Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand (France). The Congress reduced France to its 1789 borders. A new kingdom of Poland, under Russian sovereignty, was established. To check possible future aggression by France, its neighbours were strengthened: the kingdom of The Netherlands acquired Belgium, Prussia gained territory along the Rhine River, and the Italian kingdom acquired Genoa. The German states were joined loosely in a new German Confederation, subject to Austria's influence. For its part in the defeat of Napoleon, Britain acquired valuable colonies, including Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, and Ceylon. The Vienna settlement was the most comprehensive treaty that Europe had ever seen, and the configuration of Europe established at the congress lasted for more than 40 years.

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(1822) Last of the meetings held by the Quadruple Alliance (Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain). The congress met in Verona, Italy, to consider a request by the alliance's ally, France, to intervene in the revolutionary situation in Spain. The congress agreed to support France if it were attacked by Spain and authorized a French expedition into Spain. However, Britain threatened to use its sea power to prevent interference with the revolts in Spanish America. Increasing discord caused a breakdown in the congress system begun by the alliance in 1815.

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(1820) Meeting of the Holy Alliance powers held at Troppau in Silesia (modern Opava, Czech Rep.). Attended by representatives of Austria, Russia, and Prussia and by observers from Britain and France, the alliance signed a declaration of intention (the Troppau protocol) to take collective action against revolution. The congress agreed that states having undergone revolutions would be excluded from the European alliance. They invited the king of the Two Sicilies to meet at the Congress of Laibach to discuss intervention against the revolution in Naples. Britain and France did not accept the protocol, demonstrating the division between the eastern and western members of the alliance and seriously weakening it.

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(Jan. 26–May 12, 1821) Meeting of the Holy Alliance powers that set the conditions for Austrian intervention in and occupation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in action against the Neapolitan revolution (1820). The congress proclaimed its hostility to revolutionary regimes, agreed to abolish the Neapolitan constitution, and authorized the Austrian army to restore the absolutist monarchy. The British and French protested the decision.

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(June 13–July 13, 1878) Diplomatic meeting of the major European powers at which the Treaty of Berlin replaced the Treaty of San Stefano. Dominated by Otto von Bismarck, the congress solved an international crisis by revising the peace settlement to satisfy the interests of Britain and Austria-Hungary. By humiliating Russia and failing to acknowledge adequately the aspirations of the Balkan peoples, it laid the foundation for future Balkan crises.

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(June 13–July 13, 1878) Diplomatic meeting of the major European powers at which the Treaty of Berlin replaced the Treaty of San Stefano. Dominated by Otto von Bismarck, the congress solved an international crisis by revising the peace settlement to satisfy the interests of Britain and Austria-Hungary. By humiliating Russia and failing to acknowledge adequately the aspirations of the Balkan peoples, it laid the foundation for future Balkan crises.

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“Join, or Die,” the first known American cartoon, published by Benjamin Franklin in his elipsis

Conference convened by the British Board of Trade in 1754 at Albany, N.Y. They advocated a union of the British colonies in North America, in part to secure a defensive union against the French before the outbreak of the French and Indian War. In addition to colonial delegates, several representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy were present. Delegates including Benjamin Franklin supported a plan to unify the seven colonies, but it was never adopted. The plan became a model for proposals made during the American Revolution.

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South African political party and black nationalist organization. Founded in 1912 (as the South African Native National Congress), the ANC was long dedicated to the elimination of apartheid. In response to government massacres of demonstrators at Sharpeville (1960) and Soweto (1976), it carried out acts of sabotage and guerrilla warfare. The campaign was largely ineffective because of stringent South African internal security measures, including an official ban on the ANC between 1960 and 1990. In 1991, with the ban lifted, Nelson Mandela succeeded Oliver Tambo as ANC president. In 1994 the party swept the country's first elections based on universal suffrage; the ANC led a coalition government that initially included members of its longtime rival, the National Party, and Mandela became South Africa's president. In 1999 Thabo Mbeki replaced him as president of the ANC and of South Africa. In one of the most contentious leadership battles in the party's history, Jacob Zuma was selected to succeed Mbeki as ANC president in 2007. Seealso Inkatha Freedom Party; Albert Lutuli; Pan-African movement.

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A congress is a formal meeting of representatives from different countries (or by extension constituent states), or independent organisations (such as different trade unions).

The term Congress was chosen for the US Congress to emphasise the status of each state represented there as a self-governing unit. Subsequently to the use of congress by the US legislature, the term has been adopted by many states within unions, and by unitary countries in the Americas, to refer to their legislature, although this usage does not correspond to the proper meaning of the word.

The term Congress is often identified with the presidential system of government.

Political congress

National congress

Countries with Congresses and presidential systems:

Other countries with Congresses:

Political party and organizations

Congress is included in the name of several political parties, especially those in former British colonies:

Political gatherings

Congress has also been used to describe certain historical gatherings, such as

It has been used for meetings of independence-minded nationalists or revolutionaries:

(Note, the political parties mentioned above also began as groups of this type).

Congress is also part of the name of certain international bodies, such as

Party congress

Many political parties also have a Party Congress which is held every few years to make decisions for the party and elected governing bodies. These are sometimes called political conventions.

Non-political congress

Chess congress

A Chess congress is a chess tournament, in one city, where a large number of contestants gather to play competitive chess over a limited period of time; typically one day to one week.

Scientific congress

Congress is an alternative name for a large national or international academic conference.

Transportation

Other

References

See also

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