This video is part of a series of 24 animated maps.

View series: Europe and nations, 1815-1914

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The Crimean War

This map is part of a series of 24 animated maps showing the history of Europe and nations, 1815-1914.

The conflict originates in the rivalry between Russia, which seeks to impose its protectorate on the Slavic peoples of the Ottoman Empire, and England, anxious to avoid a Russian takeover of the Straits.

Using as a pretext a disagreement with the Sultan relative to guarding of holy sites, the Czar has his troops enter the Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia, and destroys the Turkish fleet at the end of 1853.

In its rapprochement with England, France find the means to break its diplomatic isolation, and the two countries send their fleet to the Black Sea. The main episode of the conflict unfolds in the Crimea, where the Franco-English troops succeed, in 1855, in taking Sebastopol, after a year-long siege.

At the time of the peace conference, which is held in Paris at the beginning of 1856, the European powers guarantee the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, to England’s satisfaction. For the first time in a European conference, the question of nationalities is broached, by Piedmont, which has rejoined the Franco-English alliance, and contests Austrian domination in Italy.

At the same time, under pressure from France, the European powers recognize Moldavia’s and Wallachia’s autonomy.