Crimean War

by Jim Morgan

Public Domain painting from the Crimean War


Let me see if I can sum up the causes of this war.

The Russian Empire had a treaty with The Ottoman Empire which gave Russia authority over the Holy Lands and also over the Christians living in the Ottoman Empire. This essentially made all Christians living in the Ottoman Empire members of the Orthodox Church.


This situation was intolerable to the decidedly Roman Catholic French. They, through a huge show of military might, forced the Turks to sign a treaty making the French the guardians of the Christian places and peoples of the Ottoman Empire.


The understandably angry Russians attacked the Ottoman Empire.


Through all the alliances and treaties Queen Victoria’s United Kingdom and Napoleon III’s France joined forces to defend the Turks from the evil Russians.


It’s hard to see who “won” this war. It appears from my shallow studies that no one really won. They just got tired of fighting and agreed to end the war.


The Treaty of Paris which ended the war helped to set the stage for the events of World War 1.


Historian call this first modern war. The armies fought with new weaponry and tactics. Many of these weapons and tactics were used by generals on both sides of the War of Northern Aggression (1861-1865) in the United States.


Personally, I believe the historians call this the first modern war because it was the first war wherein the press was allowed to do “live” reporting. The horrors of the war were in newspapers all across Europe daily. Eat your heart out CNN!


The very last survivor of the war died at 165 years old in 2004. Read her story at wikipedia.