Treaty of Paris (March 30, 1856)

Treaty of Paris 1856:

The Crimean war ended with the Treaty of Paris. On February 25, 1856, the representatives of England, France, Austria, Russia, Turkey and Piedmont-Sardinia assembled in the French capital Paris to discuss the peace terms. They all signed a treaty on March 30, 1856, which contained the following terms and conditions-

(a) All the European countries jointly assured to maintain the territorial integrity and independence of Turkey.

(b) The Sultan of Turkey promised to improve the condition of his Christian subjects and assured to move towards an impartial and liberal administration. On this, the European nations gave up their right of interfering between the Sultan and his subjects.

(c) The Black Sea was made neutral for all countries. However, no country could use it during the course of the war.

(d) Kars was returned to Turkey and Crimea to Russia.

(e) All the countries were permitted to use the Danube river for trade purposes.

(f) The southern part of Bessarabia was taken from Russia and merged with Moldavia. Russian protection of Moldavia and Walachia came to an end. Both these provinces remained under the domination of Turkey.

(g) All the European countries guaranteed the independence of Serbia.

The following three compacts were also added to the Treaty of Paris-

(a) Through a compact between six European countries and Turkey, it was decided that no warships would enter the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits unless Turkey joined the war.

(b) The second compact was signed between Russia and Turkey in which they fixed the number of small ships for the defence of their coasts.

(c) The third compact was signed between England and Russia regarding the Aland islands in the Baltic sea.

Besides these, the countries participating in the Paris Conference also issued a declaration and added it to the Treaty of Paris as an annexure. This put a check on privateering and framed some standing rules for the neutral states during a maritime war. For example- the consignment of an enemy country on a neutral country’s ship could not be confiscated until it fell into the category of war-prohibited goods. The cargo of a neutral country loaded on enemy ships could also not be confiscated. Obstructions could be raised only when there was enough naval power to implement them. This was an estimated attempt to regulate and humanize the maritime war.

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