Causes of the Crimean War

Outlines the causes of the Crimean War

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  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 07-04-09 17:59

Russia

  • Was expanding rapidly- both Britain and France felt threatened by this
  • Wanted control of the mediterranean to have access to the world's seas and trade etc
  • Wanted ice free ports
  • Tsar Nicholas I wanted to "carve up" the Turkish Empire, taking most of, if not all, of it for Russia- saw the Turkish Empire as weak and likely to collapse
  • Also wanted to "protect the interests" of Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey- Turkey was predominantly Islamic
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Britain

  • Felt threatened by Russia's expansion:
  • Felt that their interests in India were threatened by the Russian advance through Afghanistan
  • Were afraid of losing their short, overland trade route to India if the Russians gained control of the med: therefore, wanted to prevent teh collapse of the Turkish Empire/Russia taking control of the black sea
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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Dispute

  • There was a dispute over who held the keys to the Church of the Holy Speulchre
  • French backed the Catholic monks, Russians wanted the orthodox christians to hold the power
  • French also afraid of Russian expansionism
  • Eventually the Sultan chose the catholics, which aligned the French and British against the Russians
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War on the Horizon

  • Prince Menshikov travelled to Constantinople with a set demands for the Sultan, in 1853
  • The Sultan refused them- on the advice of the British Ambassador
  • The Russians then threatened to occupy Moldavia and Wallachia (two provinces near the Danube that Turkey had loose control over but Russia could enter to maintain law and order)
  • Politicians across the world tried to prevent a war. The Sultan rejected a compromise drawn up Austria.
  • July 1853- Russian troops entered Moldavia and Wallachia
  • The Sultan declared war on Russia on the 5th of October 1853

In April 1954, the first contingent of British troops arrived in the Dardanelles. They moved on to constantinople and scutari as more arrived

In May, they moved to Varna in order to be able to reach the Russian seige of Silistria

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Why did the war go on?

  • By June the Russian army was in retreat, and by July they were safely across the River Pruth
  • But the commanders in charge of the arm had convinced themselves that they needed to take Sebastopol in order to beat the Russian properly and secure victory
  • The British public were in support of the war
  • Taxes were raised to continue it
  • In June, the government gave the order to Lord Raglan to invade the crimea
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