Consolidating his Beliefs: The Crimean War and the Ministerial Years
The Crimean War played a decisive role in consolidating Disraeli's perceptions of the Eastern Question. Guided by Aberdeen's example and following Palmerston's tactics, he claimed that Russia had to be sent decisive and clear messages, which had to be accompanied with some sabre‐rattling as well. Only in this way could Russia be prevented from reaching out for the Sultan's possessions and disturbing the existing balance of power. In his policies towards the Balkan states, Disraeli nevertheless found himself closer to Metternich than Palmerston — the status quo had to be defended at all costs. The chapter highlights that in Disraeli's understanding of the Eastern Question, and foreign policy as a whole, the concepts of ‘the instinct of power’ and ‘the love of fame’ were crucial, as well as that his understandings were close to the Realist school in international relations.
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