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The Constantinople embassy of Sir Henry Bulwer, 1858-65

Bell, K. (1961) The Constantinople embassy of Sir Henry Bulwer, 1858-65. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This is an account of those aspects of British Near Eastern policy which concerned Sir Henry Bulwer at Constantinople. By 1856 the policy of aggregate reforms for the Ottoman Empire had heen discarded. Bulwer tried to persuade the Porte to carry out simple administrative reforms, to give the provinces considerable autonomy, and to maintain a nominal suzerainty. The Porte did not see its interests in this way. British policy was reduced to bringing the changes which took place in the relations between the Sultan and his vassals, within the letter of treaties. Russell worked with France as far as possible to accomplish this. Where British interests were especially threatened, in Egypt, he refused to compromise and lost ground to the French. If Bulwer’s voice had been hearkened to this would have been avoided. Though he had previously shown a lack of judgment at critical moments, at Constantinople, at the height of his powers, there was a moderation and grasp of realpolitik in his views on the function of the Empire, and on Egypt, which made the occasional instances of of bad judgment, chiefly to do with Moldo-fallachian affairs, appear no more than odd lapses, let, though a reliable agent, he was not the reflex of his government, and this joined with his unfortunate public image brought about his eventual fall. No praise was forthcoming for the intelligent way he worked out adjustments to the new diplomatic situation. Harsh words for his independent line over the Suez canal were inevitable. He had to be hastily consigned to an oblivion1 from which he has been sometimes recalled as a mythical type which does the real Bulwer more and less than justice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1961 K. Bell
Library of Congress subject classification: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain

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