Topic 10 - Crimean War Topic 10 - Crimean War

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16 Oct 2011
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Topic Nine
The Crimean War
1848 Revolutions
-- French Second Republic: Louis Napoleon III;
-- Prussia appointed a liberal ministry;
-- In Austria, Metternich fell and Habsburg monarchy collapse;
-- Britain and Russia remain the only two powers untouched by revolutions;
-- B and R put efforts to localize wars to avoid any European war;
-- 3 wars: Northern Italy, Hungary; two duchies of Schleswig and Holstein;
Russian attitude (main cause)
-- Russia would never allow Hungary to be free; that would create precedent for Italy and Poland;
-- Revolution in German lands almost created a unified state led by Prussia, objected by Russia
-- Russia almost replaced France as the arbiter of Europe;
-- Britain was alarmed;
French attitude:
-- Objective of Napoleon III: denounce the Congress of Vienna; free France from the shackles of 1815;
-- Strategy: taking advantage of the conflicts among the great powers; France remained behind the curtain;
-- France picked the Eastern Question;
-- 1852 Napoleon III demanded from the Ottoman Empire the recognition of France being the protector of
the Holy Land instead of Russia, and demanded the keys from the Holy Church;
-- The Turks preferred France over Russia;
-- Humiliation for Russia; demanding keys back; proposing to Britain that the two should decide matter
together;
-- Britain misunderstood, from Russias arrogance, that Prussia and Austria would certainly stand by Russia;
-- In fact Austria:
-- Not in any position to fight a war after 1848 revolution;
-- Could not fight on Russia side because Austrias interest in Northern Italy;
-- Could not fight on France side for fear of Russia;
-- Decided to stay neutral, thus antagonizing both;
-- The Vienna Note (1853):
-- Proposing both Russia and France having control of the keys;
-- Russia accepted, but was misunderstood by Britain as violent interpretation;
-- The Ottoman Empire refused to accept the note;
-- Britain realized that a war was needed to humble France;
-- The Ottoman Empire, under the western support, declared war on Russia in Oct 1853.
-- Turkish fleets were wiped out by Russia;
-- March 1854 Britain and France declared war on Russia;
-- The Quadruple Alliance collapsed (Britain against Russia);
-- The Holy Alliance collapsed (Neither Prussia nor Austria came to aid)
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