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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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Prelude to power, 1850–521

Prelude to power, 1850–521

(p.38) 3 Prelude to power, 1850–521
Peace, War and Party Politics

Geoffrey Hicks

Manchester University Press

Foreign policy offered a promising road back to Conservative harmony. This chapter explains the clear strand of broadly ‘liberal’ opinion that was distinctly uneasy about Conservative principles being employed in foreign policy. It discusses the fact that economic policy was always going to be the chief policy preoccupation of any incoming Conservative ministry. A description of four significant criticisms of ‘interference’, of the problems produced by a foreign policy supposedly based on ‘liberal’ or ‘constitutional’ principles, of disruption to the European status quo, and of disregard for international law and treaties is also provided. The chapter concludes by describing that the Conservative's non-interference and a desire for good relations with other powers was easily interpreted as de facto support for the domestic status quo in foreign countries, and thus of ‘despotism’.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Conservative principles, power, European status quo, despotism, domestic status quo

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