What caused the Crimean war/development/context/Battles

Crimean War

War conflict that pitted the Russian Empire and the kingdom of Greece against the Ottoman Empire, France, Great Britain and the kingdom of Sardinia. What caused the Crimean war

Date 1853-1856.
Place Caucasus region, the Danube delta and the Crimean peninsula.
Belligerents Russian Empire and Kingdom of Greece vs. Ottoman Empire, France, Great Britain and Kingdom of Sardinia.
Outcome Coalition victory.

The Crimean War was a military conflict that between 1853 and 1856 pitted the Russian Empire and the kingdom of Greece against a coalition formed by the Ottoman Empire , France, Great Britain and the kingdom of Sardinia .

The war was unleashed due to Russian expansionism and to the fear of France and Victorian Britain that the Ottoman Empire would crumble and that the Russians would be left with control of the Dardanelles and with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea .

In addition, the tension was exacerbated by disputes between Christians and Muslims, for control of the Holy Places in Palestine and Jerusalem.

The war, which took place in the Caucasus region, the Danube Delta and the Crimean peninsula, ended with the defeat of Russia, which in 1856 was forced to sign the Treaty of Paris .

Some historians consider the Crimean war as the first modern war because of its use of new technologies,  such as the railroad, the steamship, the telegraph, photography and a new generation of rifles. What caused the Crimean war

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Development of the Crimean War

The war began in 1853 with the confrontation between the Russians and the Ottomans in the Caucasus region and in the Danube Delta . The Russians were superior in training and weaponry, and they defeated the Turks by sinking their fleet at the Battle of Sinope .

The Russian triumphs in Moldavia and Wallachia motivated the concern of the other European powers, fearful that the balance reached after the Congress of Vienna would be broken in favor of the tsars. France and Great Britain demanded that Russia withdraw its troops and enter into peace negotiations with the Turks. Russia’s refusal to evacuate the Danubian principalities led to the entry of France and Great Britain into the war, which sent a fleet to the Black Sea.

Faced with the intention of the Austrian Empire to intervene in favor of the Turks, Russian Tsar Nicholas I ordered the withdrawal of his armies from the Balkans in the summer of 1854. The war could have ended then, but the suspicions that the British had and French that the Russians would resume hostilities, had them attack the base of Sevastopol , where the Russian Black Sea fleet was anchored.

After landing in the Crimea, on September 14, 1854 , the Allied forces defeated the Russians in the Battle of the Almá River and, in early October, they undertook the siege of Sevastopol .

The initial hope for a swift victory was dashed by fierce resistance from the defenders, leading to trench warfare . There, cold, hunger and disease caused tens of thousands of victims and more deaths than the fighting itself.

The Russians tried several times to break the siege of Sevastopol, but were defeated at Inkerman and Chernaia. The Allies, for their part, suffered heavy losses trying to conquer the Russian strongholds.

Eventually, the arrival of reinforcements and the exhaustion of the defenders allowed the French to take the Malakoff stronghold, forcing the Russians to evacuate Sevastopol.

The fighting continued for a few more months, until Russia agreed to sign the Treaty of Paris on March 30, 1856 .

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Main battles of the Crimean War

The main armed confrontations of this war were the following: What caused the Crimean war

Name Date Outcome
Battle of Sinope November 30, 1853 Russian victory.
Petropavlovsk site August 18-27, 1853 Russian victory.
Assault on the Bomarsund fortress July-August 1854 Anglo-French victory.
Battle of Kurekdere August 5, 1854 Russian victory.
Battle of the river Almá September 20, 1854 Anglo-Franco-Ottoman victory.
Battle of Balaclava or Kadikoi October 25, 1854 Uncertain result.
Battle of Inkerman November 5, 1854 Anglo-French victory.
Battle of Chernaia August 17, 1855 Franco-Sardinian victory.
Battle of Malakoff September 7, 1855 French victory.
Taking Sevastopol September 9, 1855 Anglo-Franco-Ottoman victory.

Causes and consequences of the Crimean War


The main causes of the Crimean War were as follows:

  • The decline of the Ottoman Empire , which the literature of the time called “the sick man of Europe.” As a result of previous conflicts with Russia, the empire had lost the Crimean peninsula and other territories north of the Black Sea.
  • The desire of the Russian government to undermine the Ottoman authority to assume the protection of the Orthodox Christian minorities of the European Ottoman provinces.
  • The fear of the governments of France and Great Britain that the Ottoman Empire would become a Russian vassal or that it would collapse directly, which would have upset the political balance between the European powers.
  • The desire of the Sardinian government to ingratiate itself with France and Great Britain for their support in the Italian unification process , which included the end of Austrian influence.


The main consequences of the Crimean War were as follows:

  • The commitment made by Russia and the Ottoman Empire not to establish naval arsenals or fortifications on the shores of the Black Sea.
  • The withdrawal of Russia from the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which remained under Ottoman sovereignty but gained greater autonomy.
  • The underpinning of the Ottoman Empire, which did not crumble or become a vassal of the Russian Empire but remained in a precarious situation, as the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78 would show.
  • The end of the European order that emerged from the Congress of Vienna and the preeminence of the particular interests of each of the victorious powers in the Napoleonic wars .
  • The resurgence of France as a power , after the cycle of the French revolutions of 1789, 1830 and 1848. This was precisely the project of Emperor Napoleon III (1852-70), who ordered military interventions in China, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Senegal and North Africa.
  • The reforms applied in Russia by the new Tsar , Alexander II. Among them, the abolition of serfdom and changes in the structure, recruitment and training of the army.
  • The beginning of the decline of the Austrian Empire , which after breaking ties with Russia was left vulnerable and would be defeated by Prussia in 1866. What caused the Crimean war

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