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How successfully did Great Britain secure its interests in the Eastern Question from 1854-1878?

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Introduction

How successfully did Great Britain secure its interests in the Eastern Question from 1854-1878? Britain had many aims that they strived to achieve in the Crimean war, in 1854, and the Near Eastern Crisis in 1878, that reflected their Foreign Policy. The most important aim for Britain was the maintenance of the Balance of Power in Europe. Preserving the Balance of Power was vital for Britain, as they were concerned about if Austria collapsed, this would reduce the effectiveness of Austria as a barrier towards Russia preventing them from expanding westwards into Central Europe. Britain was also concerned about the threat of the Ottoman Empire collapsing to the Russians, which would have resulted in increased Russian power in Eastern Europe that would affect Britain's naval control in the Mediterranean and Trade routes to India. Britain also felt that it was essential to keep naval control over the Mediterranean Sea routes and the Suez Canal. This was vital to ensure that Trade and expansionist aims into Asia would be preserved. Moreover, Britain wanted to contain Russian's expansion into Turkey and Asia as it could have threatened British naval power in the Mediterranean trade with India. Furthermore, Trade was also an imperative aim of Britain they strived to maintain. India was Britain's largest colony and a premier place for British trade that was a trade hub for the whole of Asia. ...read more.

Middle

This consequently led to the Balance of Power coming under even more threat and putting more pressure on Britain to preserve it. Therefore, this failure clearly suggests that Britain didn't successfully achieve its interests in the Eastern Question from 1854-1878. Britain's success in achieving its interest of containing Russia can also be seen as limited during the Crimean War, as Russia, even though they were prevented from expanding, they were now much more aggressive and seen as a larger threat to the peace and stability of Europe. As a consequence of this, it is clear to say that Britain didn't successfully achieve its interests in the Eastern Question from 1854-1878. Britain's aim to preserve naval control over the Mediterranean Sea routes and the Suez Canal and trade with Asia also proved to be limited as the demilitarisation of the Black Sea came to an end in 1871, when at the height of the Franco-Prussian War; Russia declared that it was no longer bound by the Treaty of Paris of 1856, and at the International conference in London in 1871, the powers agreed to remilitarise the Black Sea. This, again, put more pressure on Britain, as it meant they had to be prepared to fight for naval control in the Mediterranean Sea as it was vital for Britain to prevent Russia gaining naval control as it may have affected Britain's trade routes to India and expansionist aims in Asia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, this failure clearly suggests that Britain didn't successfully achieve its interests in the Eastern Question from 1854-1878. Britain's aim to preserve naval control over the Mediterranean Sea routes and Trade with Asia also could be seen as limited as the Straits of Dardanelles became an open waterway as a result of the Berlin Conference, that could have potentially threatened Britain's naval control in the Mediterranean and trade with India if Russia was to take control of the Black Sea and the Straits. Therefore, this limitation in achieving their aim ultimately suggests that Britain didn't successfully achieve its interests in the Eastern Question from 1854-1878 as they did not completely remove the risk of Russia moving their fleets into the Mediterranean. From the analysis above, of the success of Britain's interests in both the Crimean War in 1854 and the Balkans Crisis in 1878, it is clear to say that Britain's interests were only achieved in the short term but seen a failures in the long term, mainly due to the retaliation and aggressiveness of Russia, who was determined to expand its empire and increase its worldwide power. Britain had ultimately won the Crimean War and resolved the Balkans Crisis without the use of physical military force, but many issues were still not resolved, such as the Ottoman Empire that to this point, was still not secure. ...read more.

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