Castlereagh pp 199-234 | Cite as

Castlereagh and the ‘New Diplomacy’ 1816–22

  • C. J. Bertlett


In 1885 an historian of the British Radical party expressed the belief that Castlereagh had come to be viewed ‘as the incarnation … of the principles on which despotic government were based’, not so much because of his responsibility for repressive legislation at home, but because of his association with the continental despotic powers. It is perhaps to be doubted whether the unemployed Derbyshire puddler who exploded, ‘Damn the Prince Regent. Damn the Government. I’ll kill Lord Castlereagh, before I settle, and roast his heart’, was greatly swayed by Castlereagh’s attendance at European congresses, but among the more sophisticated Castlereagh’s foreign policy certainly caused concern. Romilly, for one, in January 1816 feared that British liberties — as well as those of Europe — might be jeopardised by Castlereagh’s alliance with continental despotism.1 Furthermore, whereas in domestic policy Castlereagh could claim to be representative of much upper-class opinion, in his quest for a European Alliance he was acting almost wholly alone.


Great Power Foreign Affair Moral Support British Policy Ottoman Empire 
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Copyright information

© C. J. Bertlett 1966

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  • C. J. Bertlett

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