« ZurückWeiter »
ON THE CAUSES OF THE CRIMEAN WAR.
By F. W. NEWMAN.
NHE recent behaviour of Russia Presently France fell into a terrible
not intend to keep the solemn en- occupied by watching her agonies. gagements made by her in 1856 in Spain was effete, and Italy priestorder to obtain a peace that de- ridden. Russia therefore was enalivered her from intolerable suffer- bled to carry out her daring game, ing and threatening dangers—has and take to herself the chief spoil, naturally excited great disquietude. while bribing Austria and Prussia At the same time it has given cur- by portions large enough to implirency to very erroneous represen- cate them in the common crime. tations of the causes of our war The French Revolution induced the with Russia, by which those who war of Europe against France. have come to manhood since it was Germany had begun it, England fought are liable to be deceived. had applauded it; but it soon A survey of those events seems appeared that French enthusiasm therefore to be not untimely. and the genius of Bonaparte were
The rise of Russia to the rank too much for them. The allies of a Power pre-eminently great and were glad to call in the aid of formidable to Europe was brought Russia ; and only by her aid, and about by her absorption of Poland. after the French retreat from MosThe dominion of the Polish mon- cow, were they able at last to conarchy reached to the mouth of the fine French ambition to its own Dnieper on the Black Sea, and to soil. Of course that was no time the Gulf of Livonia on the Baltic. for us to complain of Russian enIts eastern boundary went even croachment: moreover, Alexander I. beyond the Dnieper, including was an amiable man, who professed the Palatinates of Witepsk and constitutional doctrines and EvanMoghilev, making Smolensko the gelical religion. Nevertheless on Russian frontier. The Eastern the fall of Napoleon
a severe shock league afterwards known as the was at once given by Russia to the Holy Alliance was really made feelings of her allies. She had when Russia, Prussia, and Austria been allowed or requested during combined to appropriate Polish the war to occupy Finland and the territory. The theatre of war was duchy of Warsaw for military contoo distant for Western Europe to venience. At its close she refused reach. France was sinking towards to go out; and without a new war, to decrepitude, England was quarrel. expel her was impossible. At such ling with her American colonies. bad faith well might statesmen be
VOL. III. NO. XIII.— NEW SERIES.
appalled : yet it was agreed to let the interest of Greece, but in her keep Finland, and to compen- the interests of Europe. The four sate' Sweden by giving Norway to powers England, France, Austria, her at the expense of Denmark, and Russia were called mediators, who (as having been an ally of and professed no hostility to TurFrance) might decorously be plan- key. 'Exactly at that moment the dered. But to concede the duchy Sultan, chiefly by the energy of the of Warsaw to Russia was very Pasha of Egypt, had got together offensive to Austria and Prussia ; a powerful fleet, which apparently and a war against Russia was ac- was competent to recover the domi. tually impending in 1815, when nion of Greece. But the allies Napoleon broke_loose from Elba. (chiefly English) sailed into the He found in the Tuileries the secret Bay of Navarino, where the Egyptian correspondence between the allies fleet was lying. No one knows against Russia, and sent copies of who fired the first shot-possibly it to the Emperor Alexander, the Turks, conceiving themselves saying in effect, See what your to be assailed—and a general enallies are planning! Be rather my gagement followed, in which the ally, and I will consent to your Turkish fleet was destroyed. Ruskeeping Warsaw.' But Alexan- sia was one of the mediators. The der preferred another policy. He Emperor Nicolas had succeeded his showed to his allies the offer of brother Alexander in 1825; and no Napoleon, as if to ask on which side sooner had we destroyed the Egypthey desired to have him. Thus tian fleet than he forthwith declared pressed, they were forced to pur- war upon the Sultan. The fighting chase him by acquiescing in his on the Danube was very severe; demands. It was a terrible warn- Varna on the Black Sea was not ing to the two weaker members of taken without bribing the Pasha: yet, the Holy Alliance of what stuff their after two years of war, the Russians mighty leader was made.
crossed the Balkan and forced the Sul. The Holy Alliance proceeded to tan to sign the Peace of Adrianople. root up constitutional government By this peace he counted that the in the two states in which it had Sultan was virtually his subject-ally, been established by English counsel in the same sense that an Indian and aid-in Sicily and in Spain. prince is subject to England as the Naples, by secret treaty with Aus- paramount Power. Lord Aberdeen tria, gladly undertook the first; the regarded the terms of peace as so Holy Alliance sent French armies destructive to Turkish indepen- . to execute the second. Lord dence that he made a most veheCastlereagh's rival, Mr. Canning, ment protest, which remained sebecoming Foreign Minister of Eng- cret until he bimself published it land, separated us publicly from during the Crimean war. all complicity in the dealings of the In consequence of this humiliaHoly Alliance, and protested in tion to the Sultan (1829), his own vain at Verona, by the mouth of the Pashas despised him. The powerDuke of Wellington. The Greek ful and distant Pasha of Bagdad insurrection against Turkey found withheld his tribute, and in 1831 sympathy in all Christendom. When the Pasha of Aleppo was ordered it had lasted into a seventh year, to subdue him. A terrible plague in and had become a general nuisance Bagdad and an inundation of the by the piracy which rose out of Tigris thoroughly disabled the reanarchy, Mr. Canning brought about volting Pasha before his rival apthe Treaty of London (1827), which proached. But a far worse disaster undertook to terminate it, not in followed in the insurrection of the
Pasha of Egypt, who by his son cretary, by the frank remark, ‘I can Ismail at length invaded Syria, and easily understand that you would after several years' warfare might like to have Egypt, and perhaps have broken the empire in two. Cyprus or Crete, and to that I shall Nothing seemed more auspicious have no objection. If it be unfor the Russian game. With Chris- certain whether we ought to believe tian subjects disaffected, and Turk- such rumours, it is an unquestionish Pashas ambitious, the Sultan able fact, which transpired in the was sure to be submissive to the opening of the Crimean war, that he Czar, and likely indeed to need his left with the Ministry a secret docuaid, which would have been given ment, embodying the results of their as zealously, as afterwards to Aus- conferences as he interpreted them. tria against Hungary. It so hap- Of course they found it expedient pened that the French, who had not to understand its meaning ; but devoured in imagination the whole when it was published, no man of north coast of Africa, ever since common sense doubted that it pro1830, when they conquered Algiers posed our connivance in the dis--were equally delighted at the memberment of Turkey. When in successes of the Pasba of Egypt; 1848 the revolution which ejected apparently because they supposed Louis-Philippe from Paris excited that if he tried to stand up against insurrection in Berlin and Vienna, the Sultan he would need French even the distant Danubian Princisupport. In fact the Egyptian vic. palities were moved to entreat or tories reached the point at which demand of the Sultan various imthe Porte absolutely needed aid portant reforms of a popular chafrom without. In such a condition racter. The Principalities are not of things Russia appeared to find Turkish possessions, nor are Turks her opportunity ; but unless actu- admissible to their executive governally driven to despair, the Turkish ment; they are only under Turkish Government would not accept so protection.
The Sultan readily dangerous a protector, and preferred granted to Wallachia all that was to ask aid of England. It was asked, and probably would have granted immediately, energetically, done the same to Moldavia. But and successfully. Lord Palmers- a Russian army presently invaded ton, then Foreign Secretary, was re- the latter province, and Fuad Pasha garded as the chief author of the marched into Wallachia to save it policy; and its defence lay in the from like invasion. Nevertheless, assertion that it was necessary to to avoid war with Russia, the Sultan prevent Russia from becoming the consented to reverse his word and Sultan's protector. The irritation withdraw his reforms, and—a more in France was extreme, and all but galling humiliation still—to banish involved us in war with her; yet the patriotic men, the choice spirits Palmerston seemed to have suc- of Wallachia, who had headed the ceeded in delaying the day at which movement for reform.
Nor was the Turk should receive orders from this all. The Russian army of St. Petersburg
20,000 men, roving freely through Five years later the Emperor both the Principalities, threw itself Nicolas paid a visit to England into Transylvania to aid Austria, (1845) with the express object of which had already entered into an sounding the new Cabinet; for Sir unrighteous war with Hungary, Robert Peel had displaced the begun by the foulest treachery. To Whigs since 1842. It is rumoured the questions of Lord Palmerston that on one occasion he startled the Russian Minister replied, that Lord Aberdeen, then Foreign Se- the army had entered Transylvania
without orders from St. Petersburg, atone for the offence of counting in the cause of humanity only, national law more sacred than the namely, to save the Transylvanians caprice of a foreign cabinet-for from the atrocities of the Hungarian such was the Austrian Cabinet to General Bem. The atrocities were Hungary. a fiction, and no one believed that No event had moved England so the Russian general acted without profoundly since the peace of 1815orders. General Bem drove out the The overthrow of the Spanish conRussian troops, inflicting on them stitution by French armies in 1823, terrible loss; but we never heard of at the bidding of the Congress of any reproof from St. Petersburg in- Verona, was a deed having some curred by the Russian commander. outward similarity; but the case
Yet by this proceeding Russia of Hungary had great peculiarities. felt the pulse of the West. When The liberties of Hungary were as it appeared that no strong resent- old as those of England. Her poment was excited, she knew that sition towards Austria was consershe could safely count on Western vative, and her contest fundainaction: hence, when the Austrian mentally legal. She demanded armies, 150,000 strong, retreated nothing but that the dynasty should from Hungary, disastrously over- keep treaties, execute the law, obthrown, Russia came zealously to serve the coronation oath and the the rescue, pouring in 192,000 men solemn personal contract which was as the grand total.
added to it; and that the King As it appeared that no State in should not usurp
of Europe would acknowledge Hun- government before he was legally gary as belligerent, even after she invested with them. Also, the Diet had conquered Austria in a cause disowned the deposition of their transparently just, the Hungarian lawful king, Ferdinand, effected only general Görgey despaired for his by the private act of the Austrian country, played the traitor, and Cabinet. It was believed that he forced a surrender of his whole had been deposed because he conarmy to the Russians, fancying that scientiously refused to perjure himthis was not to surrender to Austria. self by making war upon Hungary, The Russians treated the Hunga- and that Francis Joseph, a youth of rian generals with marked distinc- eighteen, was put on the throne tion and honour until they had because he was sure to do what his gathered all who seemed likely to mother the Archduchess Sophia surrender: thereupon they were bade him. The Hungarian Diet handed over to the Austrians, who claimed to see the document by hanged them for the instruction of which Ferdinand was said to have Hungarian patriots. At the same abdicated, and did not believe that time Louis Batthyani, late Prime he had ever executed it, since no Minister of Hungary under the attempt was made to convince them Austrian Crown, who against the of it. advice of Kossuth had
Hence, until the entrance of the flag of truce to the Austrians, in Russians, they fought against the hope of effecting some compromise Austrians in the name of their which should reconcile the quarrel legal king, Ferdinand of Hungary, and save bloodshed, but had been illegally deposed by an Austrian thereupon seized and imprisoned by Cabinet. Moreover the war had the Austrians, was now brought been begun by the most outrageous out and shot, to warn Hungary perfidy of that Cabinet. The King that no virtue and no moderation, was in fact almost imbecile.
The no goodwill to the dynasty, could Cabinet stirred up Jellachich, Ban
of Croatia, to make war upon Hun- were united in defence of their heregary, and also by secret agents ex- ditary laws and of treaties bought cited the Hungarian Serbs (a small by rivers of blood. As Lord Palimmigration from Turkish Servia) merston confessed in Parliament, to make marauding inroads on the beyond question it was a national Hungarian villages, which they war. Moreover it so happened that barnt by night. The Archduke Hungary was in many respects like Stephen, Palatine of Hungary, gave to England, and intensely admired solemn assurance to the Diet that England. In Hungary, as in Engsuch things went on without his land, a great aristocracy survived cognisance, and urged the Hunga- many struggles, which the King rians to arm against the insurrection. could not deprive of independent The Emperor at Vienna, on the ap- political action. In Hungary, as in plication of the Hungarian Prime Mi. England, a national hierarchy renister, Louis Batthyani, issued a pro- tained vast estates. One would clamation denouncing Jellachichasa have expected the English aristorebel and outlaw. Nevertheless, the cracy to be shocked at seeing the Hungarians intercepted despatches Hungarian nobility ousted from from Jellachich which thanked their hereditary rights by the treathe Austrian Minister for his supply cherous conduct of the Crown; yet, of money, ammunition, and officers : strange to say, the peerage and the nay, they captured Austrian officers official statesmen were the only part fighting at the head of the Serbs of England which did not sympawith Austrian commissions in their thise with Hungary. Two peers are pockets: finally, when Jellachich known to have come near to Koswas defeated, he fled to the pro- suth while he was in this countrytection of an Austrian general, who no more. Besides, the Hungarians received him openly as an ally. were eager for free trade with EngThis exposure of their perfidy forced land, and had abundance of corn to the Austrian Cabinet to throw off sell; while the avowed policy of the mask, and to enter war publicly Austria was to keep her poor-to against Hungary, for which they "choke Hungary with her own fat, had prepared ; armies being in po- as an Austrian statesman expressed sition already, to march in from it. In Hungary Protestants and five points. But Ferdinand, though Catholics lived harmoniously, but an imbecile, understood that this Austria was an hereditary persewas wrong, and refused to sign the cutor. On every ground, therefore, necessary documents. Hereupon the utmost indignation was natural the Cabinet deposed him; put on in England at the events in Hunthe throne, not his brother, but his gary. While the war went on, petibrother's young son; and denounced tions innumerable were made to the Hungarians as rebels, for fight- Lord Palmerston to recognise Huning against insurgents in the war, gary as belligerent; but the Ministry to which the Austrian Archduke, had been forewarned by Lord Ponrepresentative of their king, had sonby, their ambassador at Vienna, solemnly called them.
that Russia was in the background The effect of such outrageous pro- to aid, if Austria required it; and ceedings was to cement all orders that (as he expressed it) the Rusof Hungary, except a few of the sians would march into Italy, if nobility who had become dena- necessary,' to suppress the Roman tionalised. The mass of the peers, Republic.
Our Ministers were too all the commoners, rich and poor, much afraid of a Russian war to be Magyars and Slovacks, Catholics willing to do their plain duty as and Protestants, Jews and Gipsies, ministers of peace-I say their plain