Convention of London (1840)

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Convention of London
Signed 15 July 1840
Location London
SignatoriesFlag of France.svg  France
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg  Austrian Empire
Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1803-1892).svg  Prussia
Flag of Russia (1696-1917).svg  Russian Empire
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire

The Convention of London of 1840 was a treaty with the title of Convention for the Pacification of the Levant , signed on 15 July 1840 between the Great Powers of United Kingdom, Austria, Prussia, Russia on one hand and the Ottoman Empire on the other. The Convention lent some support to the Ottoman Empire, which was having difficulties with its Egyptian possessions.

Treaty express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law

A treaty is an agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all of these forms of agreements are, under international law, equally considered treaties and the rules are the same.

Levant geographic and cultural region consisting of the eastern Mediterranean between Anatolia and Egypt

The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean, primarily in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; that is, it included all of the countries along the Eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Historical sovereign state from 1801 to 1927

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.


Because Muhammad Ali of Egypt did not accept the terms of the convention, the Oriental Crisis of 1840 resulted. Thus, Muhammad Ali finally had to accept the convention on 27 November 1840.

Muhammad Ali of Egypt Ottoman Albanian commander and Wali of Egypt and Sudan

Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was an Ottoman Albanian commander who rose to the rank of Pasha, and became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan with the Ottomans' temporary approval. Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt and Sudan until the 1952 coup d'état led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The Oriental Crisis of 1840 was an episode in the Egyptian–Ottoman War in the eastern Mediterranean, triggered by the self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan Muhammad Ali Pasha's aims to establish a personal empire in the Ottoman province of Egypt.


The treaty summarized recent agreements concerning the Ottoman Empire under Abdulmecid I, and its second war with Muhammad Ali's Egypt. It was brought about by the Great Powers' fear of the destabilizing effect an Ottoman collapse would have on Europe.

The Ottomans agreed to declare the Dardanelles closed to all non-Ottoman warships in peacetime. In return, the signatories offered to Muhammad Ali and his heirs permanent control over Egypt and the Eyalet of Acre if territories would remain part of the Ottoman Empire. If he did not accept withdrawal of his forces within ten days, he should lose the offer in Southern Syria; if he delayed acceptance more than 20 days, he should forfeit everything offered. [1] He also had to return to Sultan Abdülmecid I the Ottoman fleet that had defected to Alexandria. Muhammad Ali was also to immediately withdraw his forces from Arabia, the Holy Cities, Crete, the district of Adana, all within the Ottoman Empire.

Dardanelles strait in northwestern Turkey

The Dardanelles, also known from Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont (; Greek: Ἑλλήσποντος, Hellespontos, literally "Sea of Helle"), is a narrow, natural strait and internationally significant waterway in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. One of the world's narrowest straits used for international navigation, the Dardanelles connects the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, while also allowing passage to the Black Sea by extension via the Bosphorus. The Dardanelles is 61 kilometres (38 mi) long, and 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, averaging 55 metres (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres (338 ft) at its narrowest point abreast the city of Çanakkale.

Ottoman Syria parts of modern-day Syria or Greater Syria which were subjected to Ottoman rule

Ottoman Syria refers to divisions of the Ottoman Empire within the Levant, usually defined as the region east of the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Euphrates River, north of the Arabian Desert and south of the Taurus Mountains.

Ottoman Navy navy of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Navy, also known as the Ottoman Fleet, was established in the early 14th century after the Ottoman Empire first expanded to reach the sea in 1323 by capturing Karamürsel, the site of the first Ottoman naval shipyard and the nucleus of the future Navy. During its long existence, it was involved in many conflicts and signed a number of maritime treaties. At its height, the Navy extended to the Indian Ocean, sending an expedition to Indonesia in 1565.

Oriental Crisis of 1840

The European powers agreed to use all possible means of persuasion to effect this agreement, but Muhammad Ali, backed by France, refused to accept its terms in the time given. That led to the Oriental Crisis of 1840, and British and Austrian forces attacked Acre, defeating his troops late in 1840. Muhammad Ali's forces faced increasing military pressure from Europe and the Ottoman Empire, fought a losing battle against insurgents in its captured territories, and saw the general deterioration of its military from the strain of the recent wars.

July Monarchy kingdom governing France, 1830-1848

The July Monarchy was a liberal constitutional monarchy in France under Louis Philippe I, starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848. It marks the end of the Bourbon Restoration (1814–1830). It began with the overthrow of the conservative government of Charles X, the last king of the House of Bourbon.

Muhammad Ali finally accepted the terms of the Convention and the firmans subsequently issued by the sultan, confirming his rule over Egypt and the Sudan. He withdrew from Syria and Crete and sent back the Ottoman fleet. The London Convention and the firmans were the legal basis for Egypt's status as a privileged Ottoman province. Later Egyptian nationalists cited them to discredit claims for the British occupation.

Sultanate of Darfur former country

The Sultanate of Darfur was a pre-colonial state in present-day Sudan. It existed from 1603 to October 24, 1874, when it fell to the Sudanese warlord Rabih az-Zubayr and again from 1898 to 1916, when it was conquered by the British and integrated into Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. At its peak in the late 18th and early 19th century it stretched all the way from Darfur in the west to Kordofan and the western banks of the White Nile in the east, giving it the size of present-day Nigeria.

Ottoman Crete

The island of Crete was declared an Ottoman province (eyalet) in 1646, after the Ottomans managed to conquer the western part of the island as part of the Cretan War, but the Venetians maintained their hold on the capital Candia until 1669, when Francesco Morosini surrendered the keys of the town. The offshore island fortresses of Souda, Granbousa, and Spinalonga would remain under Venetian rule until in 1715, when they too were captured by the Ottomans.

See also


  1. Geoffrey G. Butler, Simon Maccoby, The Development of International Law, p. 440

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