Treaty of Paris (1856)

Last updated

Treaty of Paris
Edouard Dubufe Congres de Paris.jpg
Edouard Louis Dubufe, Congrès de Paris, 1856, Palace of Versailles.
TypeMultilateral Treaty
Signed30 March 1856 (1856-03-30)
Location Paris, France
Original
signatories
RatifiersFrance, United Kingdom, Ottoman Empire, Sardinia, Prussia, Austria, Russian Empire
LanguageFrench

The Treaty of Paris of 1856 brought an end to the Crimean War between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia. [1] [2]

Contents

The treaty, signed on 30 March 1856 at the Congress of Paris, made the Black Sea neutral territory, closing it to all warships and prohibiting fortifications and the presence of armaments on its shores.

The treaty diminished Russian influence in the region. Conditions for the return of Sevastopol and other towns and cities in the south of Crimea to Russia were severe since no naval or military arsenal could be established by Russia on the coast of the Black Sea.

Summary

Epinal print of the sovereigns of Europe during the Congress of Paris, 1856 Congres de Paris, 1856.jpg
Épinal print of the sovereigns of Europe during the Congress of Paris, 1856

The Treaty of Paris was signed on 30 March 1856 at the Congress of Paris with Russia on one side of the negotiating table and France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia on the other side. The treaty came about to resolve the Crimean War, which had begun on 23 October 1853, when the Ottoman Empire formally declared war on Russia after it moved troops into the Danubian Principalities. [3]

The Treaty of Paris was seen as an achievement of the Tanzimat policy of reform. The Western European alliance powers pledged to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire and restored the respective territories of the Russian and the Ottoman Empires to their pre-war boundaries. They also demilitarised the Black Sea to improve trade, which greatly weakened Russia's influence in the region. Moldavia and Wallachia were recognized as quasi-independent states under Ottoman suzerainty. They gained the left bank of the mouth of the Danube and part of Bessarabia from Russia as a result of the treaty. [4]

Negotiations

Participants of the Congress of Paris, 1856 Traite de Paris (1856).jpg
Participants of the Congress of Paris, 1856

As the Crimean War ended, all sides of the war wanted to come to a lasting resolution due to the casualties and attrition suffered. However, competing ideas of war resolution inhibited the drafting of lasting and definitive peace treaty. Even amongst the allies, disagreements between nations concerning the nature of the treaty created an uncertain peace, resulting in further diplomatic issues involving the Ottoman Empire, especially in terms of its relations with the Russian Empire and the Concert of Europe. Also, mistrust between the French and British allies during the war effort compounded problems in formulating a comprehensive peace. [5] Thus, the terms of the treaty made future relations between the major powers uncertain. [6] [7]

Peace aims

Russian aims

Despite losing the war, the Russians wanted to ensure that they attained the best possible outcome for the empire at the Congress of Paris. When Alexander II took the crown of Russia in 1855, he inherited a potential crisis that threatened the collapse of the empire. There were problems throughout the empire, stretching from parts of Finland to Poland and Crimea and many tribal conflicts, and the Russian economy was on the brink of collapse. Russia knew that within a few months, a total defeat in the war was imminent, which would mean the complete humiliation of Russia on an international scale, and further loss of territory. Peace talks were pursued by Alexander II with Britain and France in Paris in 1856 as a means of attempting to keep some imperial possession, but also of stopping the deaths of thousands of its army reserves as well as preventing an economic crisis. [5] Similarly, Russia wanted to maintain at least a pretence of military power, which had posed a formidable threat to the west European allies. It attempted "to turn defeat into victory... through... peacetime [internal] reforms and diplomatic initiatives." [8]

Britain and France

During the war Britain and France resumed their latent rivalry, largely derived from the Napoleonic Wars. The French blamed many of the defeats of the alliance on the fact that Britain had marched into war without a clear plan. Defeats including the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava were used to highlight the logistical and tactical failures of Britain, and there were resultant calls for increased army professionalism. [9] The British were increasingly wary throughout the war that the French might capitalise on a weakened Russia and focus their attention on seeking revenge on the British for French military defeats at Trafalgar and Waterloo. [10]

Although there was a call for the end of the war in Britain, including riots in London, there was support for its continuation, and expansion to punish Russia's imperial ambition, particularly from the incumbent prime minister Lord Palmerston. [9] [11]

Britain and France desired to ensure that the Ottoman Empire were made stronger by the Treaty of Paris, ensuring a stable balance of power in Europe. Britain and France hoped that peace and restricting Russian access to key areas, such as the Black Sea, would allow the Ottoman Empire to focus on internal issues including rising nationalism in many nations under the empire's authority. Without the Ottomans being in full control of their empire, the great powers feared that it could lose much of its territory in future wars with the Russian Empire and the German Confederation, eventually strengthening these nations that could pose a significant threat to the French and British. [12] Thus, the full removal of Russian presence in the Danubian provinces and the Black Sea served both to protect British dominance and to inhibit the Russian Empire from expanding its influence so readily.

Russian losses

The Ottoman, British and French governments desired a more crushing defeat for Russia, which was still crippled in many key areas. The Russian Empire had lost over 500,000 troops [13] and knew that pressing further militarily with their largely unprofessional army would have resulted in higher casualties and attrition.

Russia was forced to withdraw from the Danubian Principalities, where it had started a period of common tutelage for the Ottomans and the Congress of Great Powers. [14]

Russia had to return to Moldavia part of its territory it had annexed in 1812 (to the mouth of the Danube, in southern Bessarabia). The Romanian principalities and the Principality of Serbia, were given greater independence, resulting in the Russian Empire having a diminished influence over them.

Russia was forced to abandon its claim to protect Christians in the Ottoman Empire, which initially served as part of the pretext for the Crimean War.[ citation needed ]

Russian warships were banned from sailing the Black Sea, which greatly decreased Russian influence over the Black Sea trade.

The defeat accentuated the impediments of the Russian Empire, contributing to future reform including the emancipation of the serfs and the spread of revolutionary ideas.[ citation needed ]

Short-term consequences

From Auguste Blanchard's copper-plate engraving, based on Edouard Dubufe's picture Congress of Paris 1856.jpg
From Auguste Blanchard's copper-plate engraving, based on Édouard Dubufe's picture

The treaty reopened the Black Sea for international trade to be safe and effectual after both the naval warfare of the Crimean War and the presence of Russian warships had made trade difficult, including many trade disputes. [14]

The Treaty of Paris was influenced by the general public in France and Britain because the Crimean War, was one of the first wars in which the general public received relatively prompt media coverage of the events. The British prime minister, Lord Aberdeen, who was viewed as being incompetent to lead the war effort, lost a vote in Parliament and resigned in favour of Lord Palmerston, who was seen as having a clearer plan to victory. [5] Peace was accelerated in part because the general population of the western allies had greater access to and understanding of political intrigue and foreign policy, and therefore demanded an end to the war.

Long-term consequences

Treaty of Paris participants Treaty of Paris 1856 - 2.jpg
Treaty of Paris participants

Nationalism was bolstered in many ways by the Crimean War, and very little could be done at a systemic level to stem the tides of growing nationalist sentiment in many nations. The Ottoman Empire, for the next few decades until World War I, had to face a number of patriotic uprisings in many of its provinces. No longer capable of withstanding the internal forces tearing it apart, the empire was splintering, as many ethnic groups cried out for more rights, most notably self-rule. Britain and France may have allowed the situation in Europe to stabilise briefly, but the Peace of Paris did little to create lasting stability in the Concert of Europe. The Ottomans joined the Concert of Europe after the Peace was signed, but most European nations looked to the crumbling empire with either hungry or terrified eyes.

The war revealed to the world just how important solving the "Eastern Question" was to the stability of Europe; however, the Peace of Paris provided no clear answer or guidance. [7]

The importance of the Ottoman Empire to Britain and France in maintaining the balance of power in the Black and the Mediterranean Seas made many view the signing of the Treaty of Paris to be the entrance of the Ottoman Empire to the European international theatre. Greater penetration of European influence into Ottoman international law and a decline in emphasis of Islamic practices in their legal system illustrate more of an inclusion of the Ottoman Empire into European politics and disputes, leading to its major role in the First World War. [15]

Austria and Germany were affected by nationalism as a result of the signing of the Peace of Paris. Austria was normally an ally of Russia but was neutral during the war, mobilized troops against Russia and sent at least an ultimatum asking the withdrawal of Russian armies from the Balkans.

After the Russian defeat, relations between the two nations, the most conservative in Europe, remained very strained. Russia, the gendarme of conservatism and the saviour of Austria during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, angrily resented the failure of Austria to help or assist its former ally, which contributed to Russia's non-intervention in the 1859 Franco-Austrian War, which meant the end of Austrian influence in Italy; in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, with the loss of its influence in most German-speaking land; and in the Ausgleich (compromise) with Hungary of 1867, which meant the sharing of the power in the Danubian Empire with the Magyars. The status of Austria as a great power, after the unifications of Germany, Italy and, to a lesser extent, of Romania, was now severely diminished. Austria slowly became a little more than a German satellite state.

A unified and strengthened Germany was not a pleasant thought for many in Britain and France [16] since it would pose a threat to both French borders and British political and economic interest in the East.

Essentially, the war that sought to stabilise power relations in Europe brought about by a temporary peace. The great powers only strengthened nationalist aspirations of ethnic groups, under the control of the victorious Ottomans and of the German states. By 1877, the Russians and the Ottomans would once again be at war. [7]

Provisions

The treaty admitted the Ottoman Empire to the European concert, and the Powers promised to respect its independence and territorial integrity. Russia gave up some and relinquished its claim to a protectorate over the Christians in the Ottoman domains. The Black Sea was demilitarised, and an international commission was set up to guarantee freedom of commerce and navigation on the Danube River.

Moldavia and Wallachia would stay under nominal Ottoman rule but be granted independent constitutions and national assemblies, which were to be monitored by the victorious powers. A project of a referendum was to be set in place to monitor the will of the peoples on unification. Moldavia recovered part of Bessarabia (including part of Budjak), which it had held prior to 1812, creating a buffer between the Ottoman Empire and Russia in the west. The United Principalities of Romania, which would later be formed from the two territories, would remain an Ottoman vassal state until 1877.

New rules of wartime commerce were set out in the Declaration of Paris: (1) privateering was illegal; (2) a neutral flag covered enemy goods except contraband; (3) neutral goods, except contraband, were not liable to capture under an enemy flag; (4) a blockade, to be legal, had to be effective. [17]

The treaty also demilitarised the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea, which belonged to the autonomous Russian Grand Duchy of Finland. The fortress Bomarsund had been destroyed by British and French forces in 1854, and the alliance wanted to prevent its future use as a Russian military base.

Signing parties

See also

Related Research Articles

Crimean War 1850s conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires and their allies

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia lost to an alliance made up of France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom and Sardinia. The immediate cause of the war involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at the Ottoman Empire's expense. The war stood out for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".

Concert of Europe European balance of power in the 19th century

The Concert of Europe refers to a general consensus among the Great Powers of 19th Century Europe to maintain the European balance of power and the integrity of territorial boundaries. Never a consensus, and subject to disputes and jockeying for position and influence, the Concert represents an extended period of relative peace and stability in Europe following the Wars of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars which had consumed the continent since the 1790s. It is typically divided into two phases with different dynamics, the first from 1815 to the early 1850s or 1860s, and the second from the early 1880s to 1914.

Treaty of Berlin (1878) a peace treaty signed on 13 July 1878

The Treaty of Berlin was signed on 13 July 1878. In the aftermath of the Russian victory against the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the major powers restructured the map of the Balkan region. They reversed some of the extreme gains claimed by Russia in the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, but the Ottomans lost their major holdings in Europe. It was one of three major peace agreements in the period after the 1815 Congress of Vienna. It was the final act of the Congress of Berlin and included Great Britain and Ireland, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Germany's Otto von Bismarck was the chairman and dominant personality.

National awakening of Romania

In the Romantic era, the concept of a national state emerged among the Romanians, as among many other peoples of Europe and a "national awakening" began. Defining their nation against the nearby Slavs, Germans, and Hungarians, the nationalist Romanians looked for models of nationality in the other Latin countries, notably France.

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) War between the Russian and Ottoman Empires

The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was a major armed conflict that saw Russian arms largely victorious against the Ottoman Empire. Russia's victory brought Kabardia, part of Moldavia, the Yedisan between the rivers Bug and Dnieper, and Crimea into the Russian sphere of influence. Though a series of victories accrued by the Russian Empire led to substantial territorial conquests, including direct conquest over much of the Pontic–Caspian steppe, less Ottoman territory was directly annexed than might otherwise be expected due to a complex struggle within the European diplomatic system to maintain a balance of power that was acceptable to other European states and avoided direct Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe.

Congress of Berlin 1878 meeting of representatives of the major European powers

The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the representatives of the era's six great powers in Europe, the Ottoman Empire and four Balkan states. It aimed at determining the territories of the states in the Balkan Peninsula after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Berlin, which replaced the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, which had been signed three months earlier between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

History of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was founded circa 1299 by Osman I as a small beylik in northwestern Asia Minor just south of the Byzantine capital Constantinople. The Ottomans first crossed into Europe in 1352, establishing a permanent settlement at Çimpe Castle on the Dardanelles in 1354 and moving their capital to Edirne (Adrianople) in 1369. At the same time, the numerous small Turkic states in Asia Minor were assimilated into the budding Ottoman sultanate through conquest or declarations of allegiance.

In diplomatic history, the Eastern Question was the issue of the political and economic instability in the Ottoman Empire from the late 18th to early 20th centuries and the subsequent strategic competition and political considerations of the European great powers in light of this. Characterized as the "sick man of Europe", the relative weakening of the empire's military strength in the second half of the eighteenth century threatened to undermine the fragile balance of power system largely shaped by the Concert of Europe. The Eastern Question encompassed myriad interrelated elements: Ottoman military defeats, Ottoman institutional insolvency, the ongoing Ottoman political and economic modernization programme, the rise of ethno-religious nationalism in its provinces, and Great Power rivalries.

Danubian Principalities

Danubian Principalities was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common geopolitical situation. The term was largely used then by foreign political circles and public opinion until the union of the two Principalities (1859). Alongside Transylvania, the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia became the basis for the Kingdom of Romania, and by extension the modern Romanian nation-state.

The Congress of Paris was an 1856 diplomatic meeting held in Paris, France, between representatives of the great powers in Europe to make peace almost three years after the Crimean War had started.

The Russo-Turkish wars were a series of twelve wars fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 20th centuries. It was one of the longest series of military conflicts in European history. Except for the war of 1710–11 and the Crimean War, which is often treated as a separate event, the conflicts ended disastrously for the stagnating Ottoman Empire; conversely they showcased the ascendancy of Russia as a European power after the modernisation efforts of Peter the Great in the early 18th century.

The Convention of Balta Liman of 1 May 1849 was an agreement between the Russian Empire and the Ottomans regulating the political situation of the two Danubian Principalities, signed during the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848. Moldavia, which had been placed under Russian occupation in late spring 1848 following a revolutionary attempt, and Wallachia, where a liberal Provisional Government had briefly assumed power before facing a common Ottoman-Russian reaction, were confirmed their previous status of Ottoman suzerainty and Russian protectorate. Minor provisions were added, signifying a relative increase in Ottoman influence—namely, hospodars were no longer elected by the local National Assemblies for life, and instead appointed by the Sublime Porte for seven-year terms. A common military presence was maintained until 1851. The document led to the appointment of Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei as hospodar of Wallachia and Grigore Alexandru Ghica as hospodar of Moldavia. The Convention was rendered void by the Crimean War, and the statutory system itself was annulled by the 1856 Treaty of Paris.

The foreign relations of the Ottoman Empire were characterized by competition with the Persian Empire to the east, Russia to the north, and Austria to the west. The control over European minorities began to collapse after 1800, with Greece was the first to break free, followed by Serbia. Egypt was lost in 1798–1805. In the early 20th century Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bulgarian Declaration of Independence soon followed. The Ottomans lost nearly all their European territory in the First Balkan War (1912–1913). The Ottoman Empire allied itself with Germany in the First World War, and lost. The British successfully mobilized Arab nationalism. The Ottoman Empire thereby lost its Arab possessions, and itself soon collapsed in the early 1920s. For the period after 1923 see Foreign relations of Turkey.

Romania–Russia relations Diplomatic relations between Romania and Russia

Romania–Russia relations are the foreign relations between Romania and Russia. Romania has an embassy in Moscow and consulates-general in Rostov-on-Don and Saint Petersburg. Russia has an embassy in Bucharest and a consulate-general in Constanţa. Historical relations have oscillated among grudging cooperation, neutrality, open hatred and hostility.

Territorial evolution of the Ottoman Empire

This is the territorial evolution of the Ottoman Empire during a timespan of seven centuries.

United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia Monarchy in Southeast Europe between 1859–1881

The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia was the personal union of the Principality of Moldavia and the Principality of Wallachia, formed on 5 February [O.S. 24 January] 1859 when Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as the Domnitor of both principalities, which were autonomous but still vassals of the Ottoman Empire. On 3 February [O.S. 22 January] 1862, Moldavia and Wallachia formally united to create the Romanian United Principalities, the core of the Romanian nation state.

Internationalization of the Danube River Diplomatic process in 19th-century Europe

The Danube River has been a trade waterway for centuries, but with the rise of international borders and the jealousies of national states, commerce and shipping has often been hampered for narrow reasons. In addition, natural features of the river, most notably the sanding of the delta, has often hampered international trade. For these reasons, diplomats over the decades have worked to internationalize the Danube River in an attempt to allow commerce to flow as smoothly as possible.

The Commissions of the Danube River were authorized by the Treaty of Paris (1856) after the close of the Crimean War. One of these international commissions, the most successful, was the European Commission of the Danube, or, in French, Commission Européenne du Danube, the CED, which had authority over the three mouths of the river — the Chilia in the north, the Sulina in the middle, and the St. George in the south and which was originally designed to last for only two years. Instead, it lasted eighty-two years. A separate commission, the International Danube Commission, or IDC, was authorized to control commerce and improvements upriver beyond the Danube Delta and was supposed to be permanent, but it was not formally organized until after 1918.

Territorial evolution of Romania

The territorial evolution of Romania includes all the changes in the country's borders from its formation to the present day. The precedents of Romania as an independent state can be traced back to the 14th century, when the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were founded. Wallachia during its history lost several portions of its territory, either to the Ottomans or the Habsburgs. However, this land would be later essentially recovered in its entirety. Moldavia, on the other hand, suffered great territorial losses. In 1775, the Habsburgs invaded Bukovina and annexed it, and in 1812, the Russian Empire took control of Bessarabia. Both territories were later exposed to powerful colonization policies. The principalities declared unification in 1859 as the Principality of Romania. This new state sought independence from the Ottoman Empire's vassalage, and in 1878, it fought a war against it alongside Russia. However, the latter would annex Southern Bessarabia, which was recovered decades before. Romania received Northern Dobruja as compensation, and would wage a war for the southern part against Bulgaria in 1913.

References

  1. 1 2 Hertslet, Edward (1875). "General treaty between Great Britain, Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia and Turkey, signed at Paris on 30th March 1856". The Map of Europe by Treaty showing the various political and territorial changes which have taken place since the general peace of 1814, with numerous maps and notes. 2. London: Butterworth. pp. 1250–1265.
  2. 1 2 Albin, Pierre (1912). "Acte General Du Congres de Paris, 30 Mars 1856". Les Grands Traités Politiques: Recueil des Principaux Textes Diplomatiques Depuis 1815 Jusqu'à nos Jours avec des Notices Historiques et des Notes. Paris: Librairie Félix Alcan. pp. 170–180.
  3. C. D. Hazen et al., Three Peace Congresses of the Nineteenth Century (1917).
  4. Winfried Baumgart, and Ann Pottinger Saab, Peace of Paris, 1856: Studies in War, Diplomacy & Peacemaking (1981).
  5. 1 2 3 James, Brian. ALLIES IN DISARRAY: The Messy End of the Crimean War.History Today, 58, no. 3, 2008, pp. 24–31.
  6. Temperley, Harold. The Treaty of Paris of 1856 and Its Execution. The Journal of Modern History, 4, no. 3, 1932, pp. 387–414.
  7. 1 2 3 Pearce, Robert. The Results of the Crimean War. History Review, 70, 2011, pp. 27–33
  8. Gorizontoy, Leonid. The Crimean War as a Test of Russia's Imperial Durability.Russian Studies in History, 51, no.1, 2012, pp. 65–94
  9. 1 2 Figes, Orlando (2010). Crimea: The Last Crusade. London: Allen Lane. pp. 400–02, 406–08, 469–471. ISBN   978-0-7139-9704-0. OCLC   640080436.
  10. James, Brian. ALLIES IN DISARRAY: The Messy End of the Crimean War, History Today, 58, no. 3, 2008, pp. 24–31.
  11. Karl Marx, "The Aims of the Negotiations – Polemic Against Prussia – A Snowball Riot" contained in the Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Volume 13, p. 599.
  12. Pearce, Robert. The Results of the Crimean War. History Review 70, 2011, pp. 27–33
  13. Clodfelter, Micheal (2017). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492-2015 (4th ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 180. ISBN   978-1-4766-2585-0. OCLC   984342511.
  14. 1 2 Benn, David Wedgwood (2012). "The Crimean War and its lessons for today". International Affairs. 88 (2): 387–391. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2012.01078.x. ISSN   0020-5850 via Oxford Academic.
  15. Palabiyik, Mustafa Serdar, The Emergence of the Idea of ‘InternationalLaw’ in the Ottoman Empire before the Treaty of Paris (1856), Middle Eastern Studies, 50:2, 2014, 233-251.
  16. Trager, Robert. Long-Term Consequences of Aggressive Diplomacy: European Relations after Austrian Crimean War Threats. Security Studies, 21, no. 2, 2012, pp. 232–265.
  17. A.W. Ward; G. P. Gooch (1970). The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy 1783–1919 . Cambridge U.P,. pp.  390–91.

Sources and further reading