Chapter

The Italian question

Geoffrey Hicks

in Peace, War and Party Politics

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780719075957
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700785 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719075957.003.0009
The Italian question

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This chapter focuses on the European crisis and the events that preceded the Austro-French war of 1859. It clearly points out that international efforts were made to resolve matters without a war. This chapter assesses the framework of ideas and preconceptions within which Conservative foreign policy was determined during the crisis i.e. the Derbyite ‘mental map’. The new policy pursued in 1859 was consistent with the policy of late 1840s. This chapter emphasizes on how Conservatives used the opportunity to preserve British interests while avoiding the kind of interference for which they had so often condemned Palmerston. It provides some evidence of the fact that at the time of Italian crisis, Cabinet members were also engaged in discussions as to how to strengthen British defensive weaknesses. It elaborates that the only new thing that happened in 1859 was French determination to encourage Italian nationalism.

Keywords: European criticism; Austro-French war; Conservative foreign policy; Palmerston; Italian crisis; Cabinet members; Italian nationalism

Chapter.  4724 words. 

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