In terms of the foreign policy objectives of the great powers, thecollapse of the congress system did not mean that the four allies had ceased to work together to contain France within the territorial limits imposed by the Second Peace of Paris; and certainly the essential aims of British policy, the containment of France in the west and Russia in the Near East, remained unchanged. In terms of the diplomatic devices the great powers employed to pursue their objectives, however, the 1820s witnessed a number of very significant changes. If the dispute at the Congress of Verona over the principle of intervention in Spain had revealed the limitations of the Quadruple Alliance as a mechanism for giving a co-ordinated direction to the policies of the Pentarchy, the sequel to the Congress – the actual implementation of intervention by France with the encouragement of Russia and in the face of the disapproval of both German Powers – had shown that the Neo-Holy Alliance was no longer in control of the situation either. Perhaps most significant of all, however, was the disappearance of the Anglo-Austrian entente, which Castlereagh and Metternich had employed to ‘group’ Russia and contain France. Even after Castlereagh’s very public denunciation of the Troppau protocol, the Hanover meeting had demonstrated that this entente, based on a real community of interests, could survive differences over the theoretical purpose of the Alliance. (As the French complained, Great Britain and Austria were ‘like college friends, who can say anything to each other without breaking up’.) Nor was there any inherent reason why the entente should not have survived the resurgence of the theoretical argument – in

this case, less forcefully stated and less publicly aired – at the Congress of Verona. On this occasion, however, the Congress was not followed by any equivalent of the Hanover meeting, and the entente experienced no revival.