Crimean War

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Related to Crimean War: Boer War, Franco Prussian War

Crimean War

Crimean War (krīmēˈən), 1853–56, war between Russia on the one hand and the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, France, and Sardinia on the other. The causes of the conflict were inherent in the unsolved Eastern Question. The more immediate occasion was a dispute between Russia and France over the Palestinian holy places. Challenging the claim of Russia to guardianship of the holy places, France in 1852 secured from Sultan Abd al-Majid certain privileges for the Latin churches. Russian counterdemands were turned down (1853) by the Ottoman government.

In July, 1853, Russia retorted by occupying the Ottoman vassal states of Moldavia and Walachia, and in October, after futile negotiations, the Ottomans declared war. In Mar., 1854, Britain and France, having already dispatched fleets to the Black Sea, declared war on Russia; Sardinia followed suit in Jan., 1855. Austria remained neutral, but by threatening to enter the war on the Ottoman side forced Russia to evacuate Moldavia and Walachia, which were occupied (Aug., 1854) by Austrian troops.

In Sept., 1854, allied troops landed in the Crimea, with the object of capturing Sevastopol. The Russian fortress, defended by Totleben, resisted heroically until Sept., 1855. Allied commanders were Lord Raglan for the British and Marshal Saint-Arnaud, succeeded later by Marshal Canrobert, for the French. Military operations, which were marked on both sides by great stubbornness, gallantry, and disregard for casualties, remained localized. Famous episodes were the battles of Balaklava and Inkerman (1854) and the allied capture (1855) of Malakhov and Redan, which preceded the fall of Sevastopol. On the Asian front the Russians gained advantages and occupied Kars.

The accession (1855) of Czar Alexander II and the capture of Sevastopol led to peace negotiations that resulted (Feb., 1856) in the Treaty of Paris (see Paris, Congress of). The Crimean War ended the dominant role of Russia in SE Europe; the cooling of Austro-Russian relations was an important factor in subsequent European history. The scandalous treatment of the troops, particularly the wounded, depicted by war correspondents, prompted the work of Florence Nightingale, which was perhaps the most positive result of the war.


See studies by D. Wetzel (1985), A. Palmer (1987), T. Royle (2000), S. Markovitz (2009), and O. Figes (2011).

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References in periodicals archive ?
But Canadian enthusiasm for the Crimean War ran so high, and so many Canadians put themselves forward for service, that in 1856 the Province amended the Militia Act to enable unpaid volunteers to form units too.
Until recently, the Crimean War (1853-56) has been much neglected in Russian history.
The Crimean War nurse, who spent a life treating wounded soldiers, treated her siblings and assistant Arthur Hugh Clough to an estate worth 36,127 pounds when she died in affluent Park Lane in 1910, worth about 3.5 million pounds today, the Daily Mail reported.
Figes characterizes the Crimean War as the first "truly modern war" and the "first war in history in which public opinion played so crucial a role." The war itself lasted less than three years (1853-56) and was essentially a war of aggression by Britain and France to prevent the Russian Empire from playing an active role in the Balkans and the Near East and to prop up the unraveling Ottoman Empire.
The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria to cover all actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854 and is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
The intervention of Britain and France in favor of Ottoman Turkey in the Crimean War (1853-1856) after 1854 technically guaranteed the Russian defeat, which, according to some historians, delayed Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottoman Empire by two decades.
Nightingale returned from the Crimean War (1854-1856) and resolutely went to work to investigate the causes of the death rate from disease, which was many times higher than the death rate from bullets--in a monumental effort to make sure such a catastrophe of medical care did not happen again.
Stefanie Markovits, The Crimean War in the British Imagination, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp.xi + 298, 50 [pounds sterling].
That was the first year after the Crimean War, so it is reasonable to expect that British jockeys, trainers and stud grooms were working there before that war.Tim Cox Dorking, Surrey
Known as the heroine of the Crimean War and the major founder of the modern profession of nursing, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) appears here also as a scholar, theorist and social reformer of enormous scope and importance.
Taylor, in explaining why the Crimean War occurred and, more crucially, its short, medium and long-term consequences, displayed his mastery of international history and, in particular, his ability to understand and then integrate multiple viewpoints.
Lord Provost Bob Winter leads the parade in Glasgow; veterans in Aberdeen; the Queen at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh; Lorraine Kelly smiles at Mark Spinks and Patrick Boyle, who wore the uniforms of Crimean War medics in Dundee