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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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The politics of Conservative foreign policy

The politics of Conservative foreign policy

(p.245) 11 The politics of Conservative foreign policy
Peace, War and Party Politics

Geoffrey Hicks

Manchester University Press

This chapter provides an analysis of Foreign policy in the mid-Victorian era, as it becomes easier to perceive the dimensions of nineteenth-century politics if debate about foreign policy is integrated into domestic political history. Foreign policy played a significant part in the Conservatives' calculations; but for Conservatives, Whig-Peelite domestic changes were tangled up with Palmerston's disruptive foreign policy, offering a possible basis for party reunion. Even the events overseas offered domestic advantages for the Conservatives in two ways: Palmerston's controversial policies provoked debate and they united disparate factions against him. It explains how the Conservatives actively sought to maintain European stability, but avoided over-commitment throughout the mid-Victorian period.

Keywords:   Foreign policy, mid-Victorian era, Conservatives, Whig-Peelite domestic changes, Palmerston, European stability

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