British Foreign Policy 1815-65

I am happy that you are using this web site and hope that you found it useful. Unfortunately, the cost of making this material freely available is increasing, so if you have found the site useful and would like to contribute towards its continuation, I would greatly appreciate it. Click the button to go to Paypal and make a donation.


Castlereagh's State Paper of 1820: Minute of the Cabinet, 5 May 1820

It [must be] considered what course can best be pursued by the Allies ... in order to preserve in the utmost cordiality and vigour, the Bonds which at this day so happily unite the great European Powers together, and to draw from their Alliance, should the moment of danger and unrest arrive, the fullest extent of benefit of which it is in its nature susceptible.

In this Alliance ... nothing is more likely to impair or even destroy its real utility, than any attempt to push its Duties and its obligations beyond the sphere which its original Conception and understood Principles will warrant: It was an Union for the Re-conquest and liberation of a great proportion of the Continent of Europe from the Military Dominion of France, and having subdued the Conqueror, it took the state of Possession as established by the Peace under the Protection of the Alliance: It never was however intended as an Union for the Government of the World, or for the superintendence of the internal affairs of other States...

...What is intended to be combatted ... is, the notion ... that whenever any great Political Event shall occur ... pregnant perhaps with future danger, it is to be regarded almost as a matter of course, that it belongs to the Allies to charge themselves collectively with the responsibility of exercising some Jurisdiction concerning such possible eventual danger...

... We must admit ourselves to be ... a Power that must take our Principle of action, and our scale of acting, not merely from the Expediency of the Case, but from those Maxims which a System of Government strongly popular and national in its Character, has imposed upon us: - We shall be found in our place when actual Danger menaces the System of Europe, but this Country cannot and will not act upon abstract and speculative Principles of Precaution.


Back to Castlereagh
Meet the web creator

These materials may be freely used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with applicable statutory allowances and distribution to students.
Re-publication in any form is subject to written permission.

Last modified 12 January, 2016

The Age of George III Home Page

Ministerial Instability 1760-70

Lord North's Ministry 1770-82

American Affairs 1760-83

The period of peace 1783-92

The Age of the French Wars 1792-1815 Irish Affairs 1760-89

Peel Web Home Page

Tory Governments 1812-30

Political Organisations in the Age of Peel

Economic Affairs in the Age of Peel

Popular Movements in the Age of Peel

Irish Affairs
1789-1850
 
Primary sources index British Political Personalities British Foreign policy 1815-65 European history
index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind