History 03/03/20 Why fight the Orthodox and the Catholics was the pretext for the Crimean war
the Main causes of the Crimean war of 1853-1856 was a clash of political interests of Russia, Britain, Austria, France and Turkey in the middle East and the Balkans. However, the reason for the beginning of the conflict was a fight Orthodox and Catholics that occurred in Bethlehem.
the Orthodox against the Latins
the Evening of 19 October 1847, the Greek Bishop Seraphim and the monastery, the doctor was to a sick parishioner. On the curves of the streets of Bethlehem, they faced a group of Catholic monks of the Franciscan order. Between representatives of “rival organizations” there was a quarrel developed into a brawl involving from Catholics sticks and stones.
the Orthodox Bishop and the doctor tried to escape in the Basilica of the Nativity, where has served the Armenian priests. But the Church also had a lot of Latins who joined their brethren in the faith. Under the distribution fell and the Armenians. The noise from the surrounding neighborhoods began to run together the Orthodox and the Catholics, resulting brawl turned into a mass slaughter. In the process of the collision, by the way, someone stole a silver Bethlehem star, who was in the Catholic part of the Church.
Later, the Turkish authorities conducted an investigation, and Catholics were found guilty. It would seem that the conflict was settled, but it was opposed by the President of the French Republic, Louis Napoleon.
defender of the faith
Louis-Napoleon wanted to become Emperor and was looking for support from the Catholic Church. He tried on the role of the “knight of faith” and demanded to review the findings of the investigation and to return to the Catholic Church of the Holy land, which belonged to her at the time of the Crusades. Special attention was given to the Basilica of the Nativity, which is divided between Latins, Greeks and Armenians.
Diplomats of St. Petersburg, the question seemed irrelevant, but Louis continued to escalate standardsfree. Between Turkey, Russia and France started diplomatic confrontation. To solve the problem, established a Commission of theologians and viziers, most of whom were educated in Paris.
Despite the arguments of the Orthodox and the documents of ancient times, defeated the Catholics. Then Tsar Nicholas I wrote to the Sultan a letter, in which he expressed his bewilderment about the fact that Turkey under the influence of a third party changed the centuries-old way of life in Jerusalem.
Turkish double play
the Sultan agrees and collects a new Commission which decides to support the Jerusalem Orthodox Church. In the fall of 1852 the disposal of the Commission recorded in court, however, large disturbances, and its legality remains in question. At the same time the Sultan sends to Paris a secret letter in which has promised to hand over the keys to the main temples of Palestine Catholics. France is still unhappy, and in 1852 in the Dardanelles part of its devonscouse frigate. At the end of 1852 Louis Napoleon becomes Emperor, and to raise its authority is trying to involve Russia in the war.
the Turks postpone the date of transfer of the Orthodox and are looking for support from the French. Diplomacy is powerless. France puts Istanbul on notice that it intends to send to the coast of Palestine to the Navy, which, if necessary, help the Ottoman Empire in the conflict with Russia. The Sultan agrees and in December 1852 the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem passed to the Catholics.
the Betrayal of allies
the Russian Empire perceives this behavior of Istanbul as an insult and begins to prepare for war. However, Nicholas I miscalculated in their strategic calculations. Then Russia’s allies Britain, Austria and Prussia decide to side with France and Turkey.
In the war one-on-one Saint-Petersburg for sure would have smashed the enemy. Russia could seize Constantinople, to take control of the Straits into the Black sea, to increase its influence in the Balkans and the middle East. “Allies” is not mogli allow this to happen. Britain and France concluded a secret agreement, according to which in case of war Russia with the Porte they were going to support the latest.
in the Fall of 1853 Turkey declares war on Russia. In the spring of 1854 it joined Britain and France. Prussia and Austria also abandon their former ally, Vienna and demands to withdraw Russian troops from the Danubian principalities. Russia is alone against the United forces of Europe and losing the war. After 20 years, the Russian Empire will take revenge from Turkey, and temples of the Holy land once again passed under the control of Orthodox priests.
© Russian Seven
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