“Est-ce au medecin ou a l'heritier?”: The crescendo and decrescendo of Tsar Nikolai I's management of Ottoman decline, 1825-53
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This thesis provides a history of Tsar Nikolai I's foreign policy toward the Ottoman Empire, in particular regards to his attempt to both protect and dominate the Empire in its decline and to manage what he viewed as its imminent and inevitable fall. While the Tsar adeptly carried out this policy throughout most of his reign, he committed a number of critical diplomatic blunders in the 1850's climaxing in Russia's defeat in the Crimean War. In this thesis I investigate his increasingly aggressive policy toward the Ottomans and the causes of his ultimate failure to maintain Russia's dominance through diplomatic means, as well as catalog the evolution of Nikolai's strategy to manage the Ottomans' collapse. I conclude that the Tsar's personal ideology and prideful inflexibility proved to be the cause of Russia's diplomatic failure and isolation, ultimately resulting in their defeat in the Crimean War and that Nikolai's diplomatic failures correlate with his increasingly aggressive plotting to dismantle the Ottoman Empire.
Holy places dispute
Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi
Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca