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The Ottoman Empire and Europe from the late Westphalian order to the Crimean system: the ’Eastern Question’ Revisited

Gabriel Leanca

Abstract: The ‘Eastern Question’ is one of the most controversial and persistent subjects in the history of international relations. This article looks at two aspects in the evolution of the relations between the Ottoman Empire and Europe. The first one focuses on the importance of the 18th century in the emergence of the ’Eastern Question’. The second one emphasizes on several episodes that may reopen the debate on the origins of the Crimean War. Our research is an attempt to demonstrate that the ’Eastern Question’ was only a piece of a larger puzzle. The more Russia was influential in world politics, the more her contribution became valuable for the stability of the international system. The idea to challenge in the early 1850’s the heritage of the 18th century in world politics (meaning to marginalize Russia in European affairs), did not serve on the long run neither to the security of the Ottoman Empire, neither to the ’new multilateralism’ put forward by Napoleon III.
Keywords: Europe / evolution / Russia / 18th century / Ottoman Empire / world politics / Eastern Question / Crimean

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