Chapter

The politics of Conservative foreign policy

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/9780719075957.003.0011
The politics of Conservative foreign policy

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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

Chapter.  2013 words. 

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