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Peace, War and Party PoliticsThe Conservatives and Europe, 1846-59$
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Geoffrey Hicks

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719075957

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719075957.001.0001

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European war, Conservative struggle

European war, Conservative struggle

Chapter:
(p.217) 10 European war, Conservative struggle
Source:
Peace, War and Party Politics
Author(s):

Geoffrey Hicks

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719075957.003.0010

This chapter reviews the secretive foreign policy of Disraeli and how he took the unusual initiative to initiate a discussion with Napoleon without the knowledge of the Prime Minister or foreign secretary. It provides evidence that Disraeli's vision of Europe was neither liberal nor conservative; but a different view of foreign policy, one based on pragmatism and power. This chapter discusses the threefold significance of this incident: it demonstrates Disraeli's lack of judgment; displays his marginality in foreign policy-making; and illuminates the central importance of Derby. It explains as to how Disraeli tried to impress on Austria that Britain would remain neutral in a Franco-Austrian war. This chapter reveals how the concerns about the danger from France and the desire to avoid British involvement in any war continued to overshadow relations with all the powers.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Napoleon, Europe, Derby, Austria, Britain, Franco-Austrian war

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