What was the Crimean War?
- It was a war fought by an alliance of Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia. It broke out in October 1853, and Britain and France became involved in 1854 and the war ended 2 years later in February 1856.
What caused the Crimean War?
- Russia was expanding into the Danube region which is present-day Romania. Danube was under Turkish control at the time. Turkey and Russia went to war in 1853 over it, and the year after Britain and France got involved because they feared Russia would expand rapidly.
- Britain and France did not like to see Russia pushing down into the Danube region. They feared Russia would continue pushing down, and eventually come into British India through Afghanistan.
- Religious tensions also played a part. Russia made an issue of the fact that the holiest sites in Christianity – Jerusalem, Bethlehem etc – were under Turkish control.
- Russians wanted to be able to exercise protection over the Orthodox people of the Ottoman Empire.
- There was also a dispute between Russia and France over the privileges of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the holy places in Palestine.
- The battle of Sinope:
- Russia sinks Ottoman ships at Sinope in the Black Sea
- Start of the Crimean Invasion:
- 60,000 British and French troops arrive: the key target was the Russian naval base of Sevastopol
- The Battle of Alma:
- The British and French defeated Russian forces at the Alma River near Sevastopol
- The start of the siege of Sevastopol:
- The first British and French bombardment in the city of Sevastopol.
- The Battle of Balaclava:
- Desperate to break the siege, the Russians advanced on the British supply base at Balaclava with 25,000 men
- The Battle of Inkerman:
- An unsuccessful Russian attack on British forces near Sevastopol.
- The end of the Siege of Sevastopol:
- The Russian evacuated Sevastopol; the British and French finally attain their target.
- Armistice in Crimea:
- British, French and Ottoman victory
- The Treaty of Paris:
- Russia regained the land that had been occupied; the Black Sea was neutralised.
What are the Effects of the Crimean War?
- Russia lost, because the Europeans had modernized militaries which the Russians lacked.
- First modern war very mechanized and marked the transition from traditional to modern warfare. There was a lot of use of new weaponry and technology.
- Russian Expansion was ended (especially in the Ottoman Empire).
- Embarrassment: no longer a significant military power and became behind in the race to industrialization.
- Europeans start having a strong influence, especially Britain and France.
- Urbanization occurs in result of influence and new reforms.
- The Ottoman Empire becomes too dependent on European loans.
- The Ottoman Empire’s power continues to decline until it’s end in 1922.
- Austria becomes the mediator for peace (Treaty of Paris 1856; ended the Crimean War. Signed between Russia on one side and France, Great Britain, and Turkey/O.E on the other).