The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812-1815, Britain and the European Alliance

By Thomas Lawrence ; C. J. Bartlett | Go to book overview

5
Wars and Peace-making
1812-15

The Times remarked on Castlereagh's appointment to the Foreign Office : 'his name, above all others, is noted for mischance; he has been the very darling of misfortune'. Yet within a short time he had made himself so much at home in his new post that none but his most inveterate enemies thought of his removal, save to the Premiership, or as a result of the government's overthrow. Before his appointment, his experience of foreign affairs had been enlarged by the general purview obtainable as a member of the cabinet, and by the specific aspects of foreign affairs that had involved him at the Board of Control and as Secretary of State for War. It is clear that he turned gladly from the affairs of India to those of Europe, even when entrusted with the Board of Control. His memoranda on war and peace with France in 1802-3 revealed an intelligent if sometimes rather academic appreciation of the problems. His next office thrust him into the heart of the struggle in Europe, and entangled him in the intricacies of power politics. In quick succession he grappled with Prussian hesitations, Sicilian ambiguities, Swedish eccentricities, and Spanish pride, all of which profoundly influenced British strategy. Pitt took him into his confidence on many European matters, notably when drafting his design for a grand peace settlement in 1805. European problems remained his prime interest both in and out of office from 1806, and among his latest sources of information was that remarkable Corsican, Pozzo di Borgo, ex-republican deputy of the French National Assembly, one-time Russian diplomatic agent, a future diplomatic rival, and now prudently 'travelling' while that more famous Corsican and

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The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812-1815, Britain and the European Alliance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Castlereagh *
  • In Memory of Paul *
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1: The 'Mask' of Castlereagh 1
  • 2: Irish Apprenticeship 1790-1801 6
  • 3: India and the Liar Against Napoleon 1802-9 40
  • 4: The Pittites Without Pitt 1806-12 88
  • 5: Wars and Peace-Making 1812-15 106
  • 6: Leader of the House of Commons 1812-22 162
  • 7: Castlereagh and the 'New Diplomacy' 1816-22 199
  • 8: Castlereagh and the Wider World 235
  • 9: Suicide and Conclusion 259
  • Bibliographical Note 281
  • Index 287
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