The Crimean War, which Palmerston reluctantly ended by the Treaty of Paris in March 1856, resulted in a wide withdrawal of Russian claims. And at home it provided an impetus to Radical attacks on the ‘Establishment’. Dr. W. H. Russell’s horrifying reports on military sufferings in The Times provoked condemnation of upper-class staff officers’ ‘incompetence, lethargy, aristocratic hauteur, official indifference, favour, routine, perverseness and stupidity’. Cobden even regretted ‘the vote which changed Lord Derby’s Government … for it had cost the country a hundred millions of treasure and between thirty and forty thousand good lives’.1 But the Manchester pacifists gained little support; most Radicals supported the war, condemning only its shortage of triumphs. Palmerston, cynical and conservative in domestic affairs but still lively and popular at 72, seemed the man to win the war; and in the peace his magic appeal gave him a dominating position, which successive combinations of opponents failed to weaken.
KeywordsAdministrative Reform Competitive Entry Prince Consort Liberal Leadership Church Missionary Society
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