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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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From peace to war: opposing Aberdeen, 1852–55

From peace to war: opposing Aberdeen, 1852–55

(p.139) 6 From peace to war: opposing Aberdeen, 1852–55
Peace, War and Party Politics

Geoffrey Hicks

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on the years after 1852, from the formation of the Aberdeen coalition until its downfall in January 1855. It emphasizes the Conservatives' views that their successors were responsible for endangering the relationship they had nurtured with France as well as fatally mishandling relations with Russia. The onset of war, less than eighteen months after the advent of Aberdeen's coalition, illustrated practical difficulties for the Conservatives to form an administration after the fall of government in January 1855. Furthermore, it highlights that the Cabinet became the most important forum for debate on foreign affairs, because from February 1853 to 1855, four former Foreign Secretaries came and left the coalition Cabinet. This chapter not only emphasizes the concerns about the Anglo-French relationship but explores its impact on the British position in the deteriorating Near East.

Keywords:   Aberdeen coalition, war, coalition Cabinet, foreign affairs, Anglo-French relationship

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