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The Last Century in Europe 1814-1910
This is a history of Europe from the 19th century to the dawn of World War I, thus covering from Napoleon to the entangling alliances that would bring about war in 1914.


"By this instrument, known as the 

Cyprus Convention, Great Britain undertook to 
assist in the defence of the Sultan's territories in Asia Minor 
in consideration of a promise on his part to introduce proper 
reforms in those districts. She was to be permitted to occupy 
Cyprus as a convenient base of action so long as Russia retained 
her conquests on the Armenian frontier, and was to pay to the 
Sultan the annual surplus of the revenue of the island over 
expenditure. The arrangement was a great diplomatic and 
personal triumph for Beaconsfield, and no doubt helped to swell 
the enthusiasm with which his boast that he had brought home 
" Peace with Honour " was received by the shouting crowds at 
Charing Cross and outside Downing Street. But Cyprus has 
proved of little strategic value for the protection of the sea road 
to India, and what little it ever possessed for that purpose has 
disappeared with the British occupation of Egypt. It may 
possibly in the future enable England to assert her views in 
the development of Asia Minor, but for the time being its 
acquisition saddled her with a special responsibility for the 
protection of the Armenian Christians quite beyond her power 
to fulfil, a responsibihty which was to put the nation in a 
painful dilemma between the promptings of conscience on the 
one hand and every consideration of expediency on the other. 
The underhand character of the negotiations were felt to be 
a stain on England's reputation for fair deaUng, and un- 
doubtedly contributed to the misrepresentation to which she 
was subsequently quite unfairly exposed. 

Much the same criticism may be passed on Beaconsfield's 
Eastern policy as a whole. While his opposition to the Treaty 
of San Stefano was necessary and justifiable, the situation 
was to a great extent the direct consequence of his own 
refusal to co-operate against Turkey, nor was his later action 
such as to secure a satisfactory settlement. He had not pre- 
served the integrity of Turkey, nor done anything to strengthen 
her. He had not even won her gratitude, for he 
had taken his place in the end among her  spoilers. And he had made for England one policy, 
bitter foe, whose persistent enmity and whose 
power of inflicting injury, or, at least, of causing alarm, 
was to be counted on against her in every passing quarrel, 
and was to cast the shadow of irresolution over her counsels. 
If Germany entered the new period of armaments and world 
politics haunted by the spectre of French revenge upon the 
Rhine, England, no less distracted, was to go upon her 
way starting at every sound of Russian footsteps behind 
the barrier of the Hindu Kush. 


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