British Foreign Policy 1815-65
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The Peace of Paris 1856
This document has been copied from its primary location on
The Victorian Web.
The Treaty of Paris
- made the Black Sea neutral and closed it to all warships
- forbade the building of fortifications and the presence of armaments on
the shores of the Black Sea. The Black Sea became a military 'no-go' area
to prevent Russia intimidating Turkey
These two clauses restored the status quo but proved only to be a truce
which lasted until 1870 when Russia began to re-fortify the Black Sea and
the Allies were unable to stop them.
- Russia was made to give up her claim to be the
protector of the Sultan's Christian subjects. This was also a return to the
status quo and meant the abandoning of the religious excuse to interfere in
the Turkish Empire. It also proved to be a truce
because Russia failed to honour this clause. In 1876 the Turks savagely crushed
a Bulgarian rising using the Bashi-Bazooks.
Following these 'Bulgarian Atrocities', Russia acted the part of protector
of the Slavs and Christians and invaded Turkey. In Britain, the atrocities
led to Gladstone's Midlothian campaign
(1879). In 1878 Bismarck called the
Berlin Conference which created an autonomous 'small' Bulgaria, and put Germany
on the diplomatic map.
- the Sultan was made to promise to reform his Empire and to become less dependent
on the Powers. He did nothing, and the Ottoman Empire continued to crumble
and disintegrate - which was the cause of the Bulgarian rising. Turkey was
dismembered piecemeal in the Nineteenth Century; European areas won independence:
- Moldavia and Wallachia became the Kingdom of Romania in 1861
- Bulgaria became autonomous in 1878
- Austria-Hungary took over the
administration of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1878
- Russia was made to move out of the Black Sea area by being deprived of
parts of Bessarabia.
The Treaty of Paris was a truce to the Eastern Question , not a peace.
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12 January, 2016