The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion

By John Howes Gleason | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
RUSSOPHOBIA

THE PEACEFUL dénouement of the Near Eastern crisis of 1839 -- 1841 robbed the development of British Russophobia during its first phase of the satisfying logical outcome which a war between the two powers would represent. This anticlimactic quality renders a just appraisal of the phenomenon somewhat more difficult and gives a superficially arbitrary appearance to the moment which has been adopted for a conclusion of the present study. Should the analysis not be continued to the outbreak of the Crimean War? Would not the subject then stand forth in truer perspective? Is it possible that anti-Russian sentiment was not yet firm enough to exert a decisive influence over British policy? The answer to these questions is in the negative, partly because of considerations which will be discussed shortly in connection with a conclusive estimate of the stature of Russophobia in 1840, and partly because of the fact that the signature of the Straits Convention in July 1841 inaugurated a new and significantly different phase in Anglo-Russian intercourse and in British opinion with regard to Russia.

The new Anglo-Russian cordiality derived from several sources. The coöperative settlement of the problems of the Near East was a positive demonstration of the ability of the two powers to work in harmony. The defeat of the Whigs in the general election of 1841, in spite of the recent victory over Mehemet Ali, brought the Tories into office with Sir Robert Peel as prime minister and the urbane Earl of Aberdeen at the foreign office in the place of the more fractious Viscount Palmerston. In the Near East there ensued an unwonted calm which lasted until 1849. Elsewhere there arose no serious divergence between British and Russian interests. Circumstances were thus propitious for a strengthening of the ententewhich the crisis of 1839 had

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The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents *
  • Chapter I - Policy and Opinion -- Russophobia 1
  • Chapter II - England and Russia Prior to 1815 9
  • Chapter III - The Aftermath of Vienna 16
  • Chapter IV - The Greek Revolution 57
  • Chapter V - The Polish Revolution 107
  • Chapter VI - The Crisis of 1833 135
  • Chapter VII - David Urquhart -- the Vixen 164
  • Chapter VIII - The Navy -- Afghanistan 205
  • Chapter IX - The Near Eastern Crisis, 1839-1841 226
  • Chapter X - Russophobia 272
  • Bibliography 291
  • Index 307
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