Russia’s influence increased in the Balkan Peninsula after the Greek independence struggle, but Russia was not completely satisfied with its position. Tsar Nicholas of Russia was very ambitious. His strong desires set the background for a new war in the area of the Eastern Problem, which is called the Crimean War.
Causes of Crimean War-
The following reasons (circumstances) were responsible for the Crimean War –
(1) View of France –
Emperor Napoleon III of France wanted to increase the prestige of France abroad. He took a keen interest in the affairs of Turkey. Relations between him and the Tsar of Russia were not good. In addition, Napoleon III wanted a military victory to please the Roman Catholic people of his country.
The historian Hage wrote, “Napoleon III participated in the Chromian War to avenge the old hostility of Russia and France, to pay for Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat in Moscow, the defeat of Waterloo, and the Treaty of Vienna.”
(2) Russia’s point of view –
From the very beginning, Russia wanted the disintegration of the Turkish Empire. He wanted to take advantage of Turkey’s internal weakness and take possession of it. In 1853, the Tsar of Russia said, “We have a very sick man in front of us. If we do not divide his property before his death, it will be our great misfortune.” In fact, Russia wanted to control the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea to develop its international trade.
(3) England’s view-
England was not in favor of the disintegration of the Turkish Empire, because the possession of the Mediterranean Sea by Russia could threaten the Eastern Empire of England. England wanted that due to the relation of the Eastern problem with the big countries of Europe, its solution should also be done at the international level.
(4) Immediate cause—
Under the Turkish Empire, a place called Jerusalem was a holy pilgrimage site for Christians. There lived both Greek and Roman Catholic clergy. Russia and France took advantage of their mutual bitterness. Both these countries wanted to fulfill their military ambitions. Both the countries took advantage of the problems of Jerusalem against each other.
Russia assisted Turkey in the days of calamity. As a result, Turkey signed the Treaty of Unkier Skellessi in 1833 on the proposal of Russia and it came under the influence of Russia. This worried England. Palmerston decided to destroy this treaty. He called a conference of European states in London in 1840 to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Eastern problem. The signing of the treaty by the major nations in this conference reduced Russia’s influence on the Turkish Empire. All powers accepted that Turkey must continue to exist. ,
After this, the eastern problem remained silent for about 10 years. During this time, the rule of Louis Napoleon came in France, who raised the eastern problem by taking the side of the Christian clergy of Jerusalem. This was the result of the Crimean War.
The Crimean War lasted for two years, in which both sides lost a lot of people and money. Russia alone could not face the collective power of France, England, Turkey, and Sardinia. It is noteworthy that Piedmont-Sardinia was a state of Italy, whose Prime Minister Cavour had sent 15,000 soldiers against Russia to support France and take its sympathy. Prussia remained neutral in this war. Austria also declared its neutrality, but it also threatened Russia during the war.
Tsar Nicholas I of Russia died in March 1855 and was succeeded by Alexander II. This new emperor thought it was right to end the war. Austrian mediation ended the war and preparations for the treaty began in Paris.
Treaty of Paris –
The Crimean War ended with the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty of Paris was signed on March 30, 1856, the main points of which were as follows.
(1) The territorial integrity and political independence of Turkey should be maintained.
(2) The Sultan of Turkey shall improve the condition of the Christian subjects.
(3) Russia renounced the right of protection to the Christian subjects of Turkey.
(4) Russia’s protection over Moldavia and Belesia ended.
(5) The territory of Kars was returned to Turkey and Crimea to Russia.
(6) of Serbia. Freedom was accepted.
(7) The Danube River opened up to European nations for trade.
(8) The Black Sea was declared neutral.
The outcome of the Crimean War: The Birth of New Italy
From the point of view of European history, the Crimean War was an important event after the Congress of Vienna. This war stopped the expansion of Russia and a new life was infused in Turkey. Thus the European states rejected the Russian claim of single-handedly solving the Eastern problem. Russia was weakened and humiliated. Although Russia did not remain silent and after 14 years he avenged his humiliation. The impact of this war was indirectly on Italy and it got the support of France. Crimean War in a general sense. It was an epoch-making war in European history. Neither the indirect consequences of the Crimean War turned out to be far-reaching and widespread. It had a profound effect on the unification of Italy and Germany, the politics of Russia, the reconstruction of the Balkan Peninsula, and international politics.
In 1852, Cavour was the Prime Minister of Piedmont State. When the Crimean War broke out, he decided to involve Piedmont in it. He had joined the war in order to show that the people of Italy and his power were no less than anyone and he should also get freedom. Piedmont’s prestige was enhanced by his involvement in the Crimean War and the nations involved in the war became indebted to him. The sympathy of these nations was awakened towards Italy and they made efforts for the unification of Italy. It is noteworthy that Caidur had come as the representative of Italy in the Paris Peace Conference and he sat in the conference on the level of equality with Austria. In this conference, Cavour effectively portrayed the plight of Italy and opposed the policy of Austria. As a result, Cavour received the sympathy of England and the active support of Napoleon, due to which the unification of Italy was strengthened. Because of all these things it has been rightly said that “New Italy was born out of the mud of Crimea”.
Consequences and Significance of the Crimean War
(1) This war created a suitable environment for the unification of Italy. Cavour received the sympathy of big countries by sending his army in this war.
(2) As a result of the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War, the people there began to consider the weaknesses of the Tsar’s autocratic and authoritarian rule.
(3) Disappointed by the defeat of this war, Russia shifted its focus from the Balkan Peninsula to China, Japan, and East Asia.
(4) Regarding the importance of the Crimea War, Davis Thompson has written, “For the first time in the war, England and France fought together. In this war, women participated for the first time under the leadership of Florence Nightingale and for the first time in science. New inventions were used.
Crimean War justification
Many scholars have criticized the Crimean War, calling it a ‘vain war’. He is of the view that even after the destruction of immense public money and time in this war, a permanent solution to the eastern problem could not be found. The provisions of the Treaty of Paris could not prove to be permanent. The purpose of this war was to impose restrictions on the power of Russia, but it could not succeed in this objective either. Russia’s humiliation in the Treaty of Paris could not be forgotten. The results of this war proved disastrous for the Allies as well.
The Crimean War destroyed the peace that was rooted in the status quo and in its place started an era of constructive wars. In this way, if the time of descent from peace to war and from medieval to a modern system is to be determined by any event, then this event is undoubtedly the Crimean War.