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1837–1841: Early Diplomatic Ventures

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Chapter Summary

On 20 July 1837, a number of deputies in the National Assembly of Wallachia, among whom the elder Brătianu - father to two of this book's protagonists - rejected what they regarded as an infamous 'additional article' of the Russian-sponsored Organic Statutes. The article required the Wallachian assembly to seek Russian and Ottoman authorisation for any change to the Statutes, the country's earliest modern and highly controversial quasi-constitutional charter. Assessing the impact of public opinion in history is never an easy matter. The extent to which a handful of East-Central European expatriates and British radicals were likely to influence political decision- making and create, via largely extra-parliamentary activities, an anti-Russian current of opinion is debatable. In the context of Palmerston's conciliatory stance towards Russia, Ion Câmpineanu's courting of British diplomacy in 1839 was an entirely premature exercise.

Keywords: British diplomacy; National assembly of Wallachia; Ottoman Empire; Russia



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