Saturday, 19 May 2012

Primo Pensiero - Art Drawing Definition

Jesus and the adulteress
By Rembrandt van Rijn
Primo Pensiero refers to an initial rough drawing or sketch. Or Primo Pensiero in the visual arts can mean a first thought or idea applied to and realised in an initial drawing or sketch. (Read More After Break)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Evaluate the view that Gladstone did more than Disraeli to involve Britain in European affairs during the period 1868 to 1880?

It could be argued that both Gladstone and Disraeli were eager to see Britain involved in European affairs. Gladstone can be viewed as eager because of his belief in a Concert of Europe to work for the morale good. Disraeli also believed Britain’s involvement in Europe was important in order to prevent Russia from threatening Britain’s trade route to India, although not strictly to do with European affairs, it does illustrate Disraeli’s motivation towards a more Empire focused policy. Disraeli took the opportunity to give Britain a decisive position in Europe through an active foreign policy, but he remained cautious in his dealings with major European powers. Gladstone also believed that Britain had a significant role to play in European affairs, however unlike Disraeli he saw Britain’s role as one which would work in concert with other major European powers, rather than solely for the interests of Britain.

Gladstone was highly motivated towards the integration of Britain into European affairs. A central factor in Gladstone’s pursuit for greater openness of British foreign policy, in relation to Europe, was through British involvement in the Franco-Prussian War. Gladstone was seeking for Britain to serve as a mediator in this dispute and therefore prove to the rest of the world that Britain was willing to cooperate. It can be argued that by adopting the role as mediator, Gladstone was seeking to preserve the balance of power in Europe at the time; his aim was to prevent any one country gaining a significant amount of power in Europe. As Gladstone had realised that it would be very hard to keep Britain in a state of isolation, the country needed, in his eyes, to be far more progressive and interventionist in order to preserve her interests abroad. His belief in the Concert of Europe came to apparition when Gladstone tried to oppose Prussia’s forcible taking of the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine at the end of the short war. Gladstone made Britain take the lead in standing against the annexations of Alsace and Lorraine. However, the British government were opposed to such as policy as they preferred to focus on the Empire rather than disputes in Europe that did not concern them. Furthermore, another major move of Gladstone’s towards the greater integration and involvement of Britain in European affairs through calling a Conference to deal with the Black Sea issue in 1871. This threat was a major threat to the balance of power in Europe; this was because Russia was increasing the strength of their armed forces in the Black Sea area. This increase in military strength in the area was problematic for Britain because it threatened their major trade routes. As a result it required the ‘Ottoman Empire’, regarded as the “sick man of Europe”, to be propped up by the British. The Russian denunciation of the Black Sea neutralisation clauses of the 1856 Treaty of Paris, was the sought of unilateral announcement that Gladstone detested. The Conference did not succeed in reversing the Russian move to break the clauses, but the principle that in the future such actions should be subjected to international ratification was accepted.
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Evaluate the view that Gladstone did more than Disraeli to involve Britain in European affairs during the period 1868 to 1880? Part 2

Further evidence of Gladstone’s support for further British involvement in European affairs can be seen in the Eastern question. Gladstone protested over Disraeli’s lack of action in uniting the great European powers to deal with the Bulgarian atrocities that saw 12,000 Christians massacred. Ever since the Crimean War Gladstone felt that Britain had a responsibility for the fate of Christians in the area, Britain unlike other countries wanted to abide by the Treaty of Paris 1856. Gladstone’s outrage and desire to intervene was in his eyes justifiable. However, Gladstone was not without his opportunism. As Gladstone had done very little politically for the previous two months. It was only when protest meetings occurred in August that Gladstone felt something if a morale crusade could be launched. Despite his absence from politics at the time, Gladstone had touched a chord in the British publics’ psyche, which as a result shocked the populace to the very core as revelations that the Bulgarian massacres were on a scale that had never been seen before, started to emerge. Gladstone’s efforts resulted in embracing Disraeli; it also should Gladstone to be far more interested in European affairs. Disraeli’s embarrassment was brought about by his dismissal of the early reports of the massacre.

In contrast to Gladstone’s move towards multilateralism, Disraeli favoured a far more unilateral approach to foreign affairs especially in terms of Europe; Disraeli was therefore unwilling to provide any concessions. Disraeli was therefore determined to stand up to Russia and his triumph in Berlin might serve to support his success. Disraeli was determined to pursue a traditional British foreign policy; one that was empire centric, Disraeli thus believed that the Turks would serve as a useful bulwark for British interests. Disraeli’s policy would involve Britain more in European affairs, but the reason for this, it can be argued was to provide greater protection for the British Empire, by propping up Turkey in order to ensure British trade routes to Asia.  When Russia began to attack Turkey and the Turkish Empire appeared on the verge of collapse. British public opinion began to swing back to the idea that Britain should be involved in preventing Russian expansion in Europe. Therefore, ever the political opportunist Disraeli seized the initiative in an attempt to gain greater public support. As a result Disraeli took the decision to move a British fleet into the eastern Mediterranean in January 1878, the fleet would act as a deterrent to any further Russian expansion.
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Continue to Part 3

Evaluate the view that Gladstone did more than Disraeli to involve Britain in European affairs during the period 1868 to 1880? Part 3

On the other hand, historians have criticised Gladstone for failing to stop Bismarck in the Franco – Prussian war. This indecisiveness on Gladstone’s part resulted in Prussia having the ability to tip the balance of power in Europe. Some historians have taken their criticism of Gladstone’s lack of action further, arguing that Gladstone’s apparent success in Europe depended largely on Bismarck’s pressure on Russia. In addition Gladstone failed to appreciate the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian war as being a significant shift in the balance of power. However, Disraeli’s eastern policy can equally be criticised for its brinkmanship and failure to secure a permanent settlement at Berlin.

To conclude, Gladstone and Disraeli’s relative success in Europe could be assessed both in terms of their moral and practical approach to policy. Both Gladstone and Disraeli sought to involve Britain, to a greater extent, with European affairs. Disraeli’s focus was to pursue Britain’s traditional imperial foreign policy, he began to outline in his speeches in 1872, though not always with success, especially towards the end of his second ministry. This was because Disraeli did not want to tie Britain down to European affairs, which did not concern or relate to the British’s interests, namely the Empire and it’s maintenance. Gladstone however, was the greater advocate of British involvement in European affairs, as he sought European harmony via Concert diplomacy, which was regarded as a far more multilateral approach. Gladstone’s spectacular intervention in foreign affairs in 1876 over Bulgaria, served to raise the political temperature between Gladstone and Disraeli. Finally, Gladstone also believed that Britain had a significant role to play in European affairs, a role that would work in concert with other major European powers. However, ultimately when involved with dealings in Europe, both Gladstone and Disraeli were simply reacting to circumstances that were largely beyond their control.
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Types of Classical Orders - used in the architecture of antiquity

The types of orders used in the architecture of antiquity are:
  • Doric Order
  • Ionic Order
  • Corinthian Order
  • Tuscan Order
  • Byzantine Order
  • Composite Order; often a combination of the first three orders' best characteristics.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Edouard Manet - Olympia - and his Tachism Technique

Edouard Manet - Olympia
1863, shown at the 1865 Salon
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Edouard Manet (1832-1883) was a unique figure in nineteenth century French Painting. Manet's style of painting represented a crucial junction in the art world, between the old classical approaches to painting and the avant-garde. The classically trained Edouard Manet through his approach to art straddled Neo-Classicism, Realism and Impressionism. (Read More After Break)

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