Jan 14, 2013
The Crimean War and Peace
Key Words Notes
Different people, ideas and thought together conjoined to
reestablished international order in Europe and to help
ground the first consciously designed and deliberately plan
a functioning international order in the history of the world
The most material evidence for the success of the Vienna
Settlement, and its institutions such as congress system, the
Holy Alliance and the looser concert of Europe, was that
system, the Metternich systems the ability to contain so
Eastern Question: called Eastern Question.
- Decline of Ottoman Empire - The Eastern Question was posed by the decline of the
- The question arises, which of
Turkish Power, particularly in southeastern Europe, but
the European states will gain really in the eastern, Mediterranean and Middle East as a
the Ottoman Empire and whole.
therefore gain an upper hand - The decline of Turkish power raised question that who
as a major power in Europe. might inherit the Ottoman Empire.
- If nature pours a vacuum, certainly intentional politics
does. The question was who will gain an advantage over
the other powers. Who might gain a commanding height
by inheriting the alliances share of the Ottomans
Through out the early to mid Empire?
19 century the European - That was in essence the eastern question.
countries practiced retrain and
In collective show of restraint and moderation the powers
cooperation, because they were had contained the decaying Ottoman Empire. To some
afraid that the other might grab a extent as a buffer against their own moderation maintained
larger share of the empire if it restrain because they were afraid that one or another one of
broke. them might achieve a great advantage by grabbing a larger
share of the Ottoman Empire if it was pushed towards
breakup and desolation.
Restrain, responsibility, and moderation in practice. These
Mid 1850’s a conflict broke out were the policy choices in shifting international
concerning the Eastern Question. circumstances. These were ultimately underpinned the
The issue as who would manage functioning balance of power between 1815 to the late
the Christian Holy places in the 1840’s in Europe.
Ottoman Empire- France or
Having painted a glowing picture of European international
Russia? relations between 1815 and 1850, in mid 1850’s a conflict
broke out. Despite all the habits and restraint, periods of
cooperation and consensus over decades a major conflict
broke out in the mid-1850’s. It broke over the most piddling
version of the Eastern Question. Much less challenging
issue that the Greek independence, the issue of which of the
Christian protector powers, France in the West or Russia in the East should have a say over the management over the
Christian Holy places in Ottoman territory.
Part of the Ottoman Empire was Palestine, where there
Normally the Holy Places were were sacred Christian sites like Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
managed by different Christian Traditionally management of these Christian holy places
churches: was shared between and amongst the various Christian
- Russians managed the churches.
Orthodox Christian presence - The Orthodox Christian presence in the Holy Places
- France managed the Catholic within the Ottoman Empire was over looked and
and Latin Christian churches protected by the Russian powers-the greatest of the
- The Catholic was guaranteed and protected by France.
Protector of the Latin Christian church within the
On the whole this was an issue far from the margins of the
great power politics. So why should it prove the occasion for
the outbreak of a major international conflict in the 1850’s
between Britain and France on the one side and Russia on
How did the Crimean war of 1854 - 1856 happen?
Cimmerian peninsula, the Russian peninsula jutting out
from the northern coast of the Black sea was the site of most
of the major fighting in the war. Why did it occur when its
actually occasion seemed to be an abstruse dispute between
few churches within the territory of the Ottoman Empire
The cause of the conflict seemed so insignificant that we
should see the real sources of the conflict. The real sources
within the wider international order. Perhaps there was
something changing within it that explains the hyper
reaction over who managed, under the interest of which
Christian sect the holy places within the Holy Empire.
In the late 1840’s a profound change swept across Europe.
In late 1840’s a series of There were revolutions of 1849 and 1849 that challenging
revolutions swept the European established political authority in virtually every European
continent. France, Austria, Prussia, country, except Britain and Russia.
the German states, and the Italian - Britain and Russia were able to escape to revolutions of
states all experiences social and 1848 and 1849, but they were profound enough to
challenge existing political regimes and country after
country, France, the German states, the Italian states and
even great powers like Austria and Prussia were paralyzed
by massive social and political challenges form below.
From our point of view, even though most of the revolutions
Although the revolutions soon
ended they brought about 2 were quelled and order was restored, it was two political
changes brought by the political revolutions that
changes that directly effected the unwittingly and indirectly, according to some European crisis with the Eastern Question chancellors affected everyone. The two elements directly
challenged the balance of power. And that is what made
Austria asking Russia for help European statesmen so concerned over the growing crisis in
twice, therefore tipping the the Ottoman Empire. 1849
balance of power towards Russia: The first major change produced by the revolutions of 1848
1. Russian army invading Hungry and 1849 was Russia making Austria its satellite. This
in June 17 1849 occurred in two parts
Hungry had a revolution - 1) 17 June 1849, The Russian imperial army invaded a
and the Hapsburg province of the Austrian empire- Hungry. This was an
monarchy wasn’t able to invasion welcomed by Vienna, by the young Hapsburg
contain them monarch who had come to power under the revolution-
They asked the Russians Franz-Joseph. The Austrian monarchy had failed
for help under the Treaty of repeatedly to restore its authority over the Hungarian
Münchengratz people. The Hungarians had used the opportunity to
Russia had its own interest. promote free radicalism and break down of law and
It wanted to teach Polish order in Vienna- the capital city to strike out for national
people a lesson. independence. The repeated Austrian military efforts to
Britain was afraid that if restore their authority in Hungry failed unlike the
Russia got to decide the successful efforts in northern Italy where thy beat back
fate of Austria, it would be the challengers. In Hungry, the authority was beaten by
holding too much power, the efforts Hungarian people. So they asked for Russian
thus shifting the balance of people for help under the terms of the Treaty of
power. Münchengratz. Of course, Russia as one statesmen said
2. In 29 November 1850 to another, “States only follow their treaties when it in
Punctuation Olmütz their own interests” Russia had an invested interest in
occurred. Which was basically invading Hungry. They thought that the example of the
an agreement between Russia,
successful Hungarian independence movement would
Austria and Prussia for the be a very bad example for their own Polish subjects. It
German unification. was to teaching the Polish people a lesson indirectly.
So now Austria was Russians intervened in Hungry and crushed the
restored as the all-German Hungarian movement towards independence. To the
political system other states of Europe, Britain in particular, it appeared
Prussia, however, proposed that the establishment of Russia as the arbitrator of
the a Erfurt Union, which Europe. If Russia had to decide Austria’s fate, that if it
was basically a north survived or not as an imperial multi-national state then
German settlement Russia was on its way to satellezing Austria. In other
dominated by Prussia. words power seems to be shifting in his favor without
Furthermore, it would there having to be a major international conflict.
mean territorial expansion - 2) In the following year, in1850, there was a second
for Prussia. episode, which seemed to reinforce the idea of Russia
Austria asked Russia for calling the shots-certainly in central Europe. That was
help for the restoration of the Punctuation Olmütz of the 29 of November 1850.
the German states. By the terms of that agreement, between Russia, Austria
Rest of Europe, especially and Prussia, the states called (…?) the so-called German
Britain was not happy confederation was restored. 39 states established by the because it was tipping the congress of Vienna. Effectively thereby Austria was
balance of power to Russia. restored as the all-German political system. What the
containment of the Punctuation Olmütz was undone by
Prussia. One of the major dimensions of the revolutions
of 1848-1849 in Germany was a movement to establish
a liberal unified German nation. An all-German power
was elected and an effort was made to establish a
constitutional monarchy in Germany. Eventually
however, the recovering in Prussia frustrated the effort.
But the Prussians still felt that they should do something
that might satisfy this basic demand that might also
coincide with their own interests. So they purposed a
Prussian dominated Erfurt Union. A kind of a North
German settlement dominated by Prussia. A mini-scaled
down version of the German unification. This was all for
Prussia’s interest. A form of Prussian territorial
expansion. Not unlike the real German unification that
came later. The Erfurt Union was strongly contested by
Austria. Austria saw it as a resting its leader ship of all
German states. Weak as it was, it had to appeal to Russia,
the arbitrator who pretended to be neutral, but in effect
sided with Austria and insisted on the restoration of the
state and of an Austrian lead German confederation.
This political ability of Russia dictate terms to Prussia
did not go unnoticed by the rest of Europe. Especially
Western Europe. British perception was that Russia was
getting too big for its boots. The balance of power tilted
perhaps dangerously in Russia favor. That was one of
the main dissatisfactions within the international
system. That helped escalate and inflate a minor was one
of the main dissatisfaction that helped inflate a minor
crisis in the holy Place into large-scale international
Napoleon III decided that the The second major change in Europe was the establishment
system that Castlereagh and of the Bonaparte dynasty inside France. Napoleon III, it was
Metternich had set about was very fixed on his numerical title that he had been the fixed ruler.
confining for France. Furthermore, Napoleon the III wasn’t a great genius. It didn’t have wide
it Quadruple Alliance deprived ranging plans for territorial expansion. Him and his foreign
France of international policy advisors were firmly of the view that the existing
opportunity. international order ill suited France. The order made by
Castlereagh and Metternich, above all the pivoting
Quadruple Alliance confined France from its international
freedom. That deprived France of international opportunity,
according to Napoleon III and that it was a vulnerable
position to be. Four against one, the four might eventually pick a fight.
France wanted do two things So to some extent of Fear, and some ambition, France
by picking on the Eastern wanted reemerge as a leading power in Europe. It was
Question: feeling of international maneuver of choice and in from
- Drive Austria and Russia apart similar to the British case, that Russia had gotten too strong,
- Become a continent wide there was a making of a potential partnership of powers,
power dissatisfaction with the existing order, and looking for
opportunities to reshape and remake. And that is why
Napoleon III decided to make an issue of the management of
the Holy Empire within the Ottoman Empire. He dilierbarly
picked on this issue for two reasons:
- A) It was the tip of the iceberg of the Eastern Question. It
promised to set Austria and Russia on their heads
- B) iI promised to deliver Britain into its hands as an
alliance partner into cornering Russia. Also in its power.
May 1850 Napoleon demanded In may 1850, and for regular intervals for the next two
that Ottoman Sultan Abdul Medjid years, Napoleon III demanded of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul
deliver the keys of the Holy Medjid that he deliver to the Latin Christian Church’s
Christian places in the Holy Land representative the keys of the Christian Holy Places within
to the Latin Church. the Holy Land. The keys and the management to be
delivered to the Latin Church that was protected by Catholic
France. However, one should not be under illusion that this
was an actor of religious solidarity. There was an ulterior
It was admitted in private The ulterior motive was palpable. It was admitted in the
policy making circles that the French policy making circles, by the then French foreign
whole motive of France to do
minister Drouyn De Lhuys, said on the eve of as the war
anything concerning the Holy broke out between the western powers and Russia in spring
Question was to interrupt the 1854 “The question of the Holy Places was of no importance
Quadruple Alliance. Their excuse whatsoever to France. All this Eastern Question is nothing
was that the quadruple alliance more for the imperial government than a means of
had paralyzed France.
dislocating the Continental Alliance (Quadruple Alliance),
which has tended to paralyze France for half a century.”
Napoleon III objectives and This was the excuse for France to break up the quadruple
motives for breaking up the alliance and challenge the system and give itself the chance
qurauple alliance: to become the leading power in Europe once more. Not
- Break up Austro-Russo quarantined, not isolated, and not targeted by the
alliance because that had lead
quadruple alliance. Napoleon III himself was equally candid
to the French being isolated. in private in the spring of 1856, when the war was being
- Regain liberty and the ability negotiated to an end. He explained to his senior advisors
for action aboard for France. that his primary objective to start the war was to fracture
and break up what he thought was the partnership that had
quarantined France. The Austrian and Russia partnership
was the barrier hemming in France and putting France at a
disadvantage within the system. He told his advisors in 1856, well pleased with the Crimean war that was the great
objective of the war.
- To separate the two powers- Russia and Austria
- Regain for France its liberty of action abroad.
Initially, the British Prime Minister Lord Aberdeen and
Lord Aberdeen: British Prime Clarendon were suspicious of French ulterior motives
Minister when the crisis broke out in the spring of 1850.
Lord Clarendon: foreign