The Overture to the Concert of Europe:A ?Punctuated Equilibrium? of Diplomacy from 1813 to 1815Author: Daniel StraussThis thesis examines the significant change in diplomatic conduct and objectives that developed during the years 1813 and 1815. This time period marks a decisive landmark in the development of diplomacy and changed the international system in its principles and practice. The concept of balance of power in the 18th century was replaced by one of political equilibrium. The Concert of Europe, an international directorate, was formed to settle issues by consensus and gave Europe political stability for most of the 19th century.In general, the thesis consists of three parts. Part I, The Transformation of States, deals with the growth of the modern state and state transformations in order to formulate a framework to better understand diplomacy between 1813 and 1815. Part II, Seeking International Order, constitutes the main focus of the thesis. It provides a descriptive-analytic approach to the years 1813 to 1815. Through archival research at The National Archives in London, this thesis attempts to provide a document-based, first-hand perspective on Britain?s foreign policy under Robert Stewart, better known as Viscount Castlereagh. This in turn can provide insight into the major ideas of as well as interaction among the leading international statesman at that time. The main research focus lies on records of correspondence of the British Foreign Office containing letters, memoranda, treaties and related documents kept by participants in conferences held at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Part III, Political Equilibrium, attempts to place several important diplomatic terms such as balance of power, political equilibrium, the Congress System and collective security within the context of the time period examined.