The Drift to Peace

  • J. B. Conacher


The Palmerston Government had survived the session of 1855 without too much difficulty. It had suffered from divisions on its own side of the House but the Opposition was not unanimous. Derby had missed his chance to form a government and for the time being there seemed to be no real alternative to Palmerston. Indeed, at this time the relations between Derby and Disraeli became rather strained as Disraeli began a move for peace in his newspaper, The Press. A rumour was spread by The Times about a peace coalition of Bright, Disraeli and Gladstone, which Bright and Aberdeen separately described as an absurdity. But early in October Bright had raised the possibility of the Conservatives taking up the cause of peace in a letter to Cobden to whom he wrote: ‘I would act on that question with any set of men that would try to put an end to the war and I am sure that Gladstone would do the same.’ Aberdeen wrote to Edward Ellice in similar terms saying that only as members might turn to Gladstone’s views on peace could it be said that a coalition de facto existed. ‘In like manner,’ he added, ‘if D’Israeli should have the sense to arrive at this conclusion earlier than his neighbours, you may also call this a Coalition if you please.’1


Austrian Emperor Foreign Minister Diplomatic Relation Peace Settlement British Policy 
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  1. 9.
    See W. Baumgart, The Peace of Paris 1856 (translated by Ann P. Saab); Curtiss, Russia’s Crimean War, ch. 20 and 21;Google Scholar
  2. Vicomte (Eugene) de Guichen, La Guerre de Crimée (1854–1856) et l’attitude des puissances européennes (1936);Google Scholar
  3. G. E. Mosse, The Rise and Fall of the Crimean System 1855–71 (1963), which reprints several of his articles on the subject. Schroeder, Crimean War ch. XIII and XIV; E. V. Tarlé, ‘La diplomatie pendant la guerre de Crimée à la Congrès de Paris (1853–1856)’, in V. P. Potemkin (ed.) Histoire de la diplomatie, I (trans., 1946);Google Scholar
  4. Harold Temperley ‘The Treaty of Paris of 1856 and its Execution’, Parts I and II, Journal of Modern History, IV, Sept. and Dec., 1932, and ‘Austria, England and the Ultimatum to Russia 16 Dec 1855’ in Wirtschaft und Kultur: Festschrift 70 Geburtstag zum Alfons Doppel (1938), as well as various older authorities, notably, F. Charles-Roux, Alexandre II, Gortchakoff et Napoléon III (1913).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© J. B. Conacher 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. B. Conacher
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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