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HIS103 18. The Crimean War and Peace PART I

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Denis Smyth

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 Orthodox powers. - The Catholic was guaranteed and protected by France. Protector of the Latin Christian church within the Ottoman Empire.  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 the other.  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 political challenges. 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 conflict.  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 motive.  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
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