Lord Palmerston and Foreign Affairs 1830-65

A description of Lord Palmerston and his Foreign Affairs 1830-65

  • Created by: Caitlin
  • Created on: 19-03-13 20:32

Lord Palmerston and Foreign Affairs 1830-65

Who was Palmerston?

Palmerston had an incredibly long political career from 1807 to 1865, when he died in office.

He began his career as a Tory MP in 1807

He joined the Whigs in 1830

In 1830 he was appointed Foreign Secretary when the Whigs came into power

At first, in Foreign Office, Palmerston was very popular with the public as he stood up to foreign countries, making it look like Britain were superior to other countries

He was unpopular with Queen Victoria as he was described as "rash" and never consulted her

He was Liberal Prime Minister from 1855-58, then again from 1859-65.pinion.

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Lord Palmerston and Foreign Affairs 1830-65

What were Palmerstons Principles with Foreign Affairs?

1. Defend British interests

2. Uphold Britain's prestige abroad

3. Used the press a lot as he wanted the public to be aware of foreign affairs

4. Wanted to spread Liberalism (Liberalism = introduction of constitutional governments, like Britain's, into other countries)

5. Supported Nationalism

6. Preserve the Balance of Power i.e. not let one country be stronger and dominate Europe

None of the above were binding to Palmerston except number 1. Defending British interests was of upmost importance to him and said he would do anything to protect it.

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Lord Palmerston and Foreign Affairs 1830-65

How Liberal was Palmerston and his Foreign Affairs?

Ways that he was liberal:

  • Used the press to publicize issues and gain support from all classes
  • Wanted to spread Liberalism (introducing British-like government institutions in other countries)
  • Supported nationalism - especially if Britain would benefit
  • Helped create new constitutional state of Belgium 1830 (Liberalism)
  • Sympathised with revolutionaries in 1848
  • Supported unification of Italy 1859
  • Wanted to maintain world peace
  • Make Britain to be "champion of justice and right" by diplomatic means
  • Ended Crimean War 1854-56 and negogiated Treaty of Paris
  • Popular with the public
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Lord Palmerston and Foreign Affairs 1830-65

Ways he was not liberal

  • Determined to defend Britain and uphold it's prestige abroad
  • Sent no help to the Poles or Danes in 1863-64 when they fought Russia and Germany
  • Sent no help to the revolutionaries he sympathised with
  • Approved the coup d'etat of Louis Napoleon in France
  • Did not favour more Parliamentary reform after 1832 Great Reform Act
  • Was not keen on social reform
  • Used events and circumstances to maintain Britain's status as a great power
  • Supported corrupt Muslim Turkish Empire against Russian expansion e.g. Crimean war
  • 1839 sent British fleet to Chinese port of Canton to defend British honour and force China to accept to opium trade with Britain
  • Don Pacifico Affair 1850 - sent gunboats to Athens to get compensation from Greece for the way they treated a British citizen
  • War with China 1857-60 Palmerston captured ports - bullying weaker country
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