Nesselrode, Count Karl Robert

Nesselrode, Count Karl Robert
   A long-serving Russian diplomat and head of the Russian delegation at the Congress of Vienna, Count Nesselrode was thereafter a leading statesman of the Holy Alliance. Born in Lisbon, where his father served as Russian ambassador, Nesselrode had a background and education that was nonetheless German, qualities considered attractive in the Russian foreign service of the nineteenth century. Frustrated in his attempt at a navy career by chronic seasickness, he joined the army and then the diplomatic service under Tsar Alexander I and quickly proved a cool and reliable professional and assisted in the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Tilsit.
   After his role as an architect of the Holy Alliance, Nesselrode was a major influence in one capacity or another - between 1845 and 1856 he served as chancellor -for the next 40 years. Nesselrode was instinctively cautious and believed that Russian diplomacy ought to be also. He therefore opposed many of the ambitions of the Pan-Slavic movement in the Balkans, rejected imperial expansion in Asia, and favored conciliation rather confrontation with the Ottoman Empire, a policy that led to the Treaty of Inkiar Skelessi in 1833. Nesselrode also opposed the policy of Nicholas I in the Crimea but was unsuccessful in preventing the Crimean War. In 1856, it was on Nesselrode’s counsel that Alexander II accepted the terms of peace.
   See also <>.
    Goldfrank, David M. The Origins of the Crimean War. London: Longman, 1994;
    Ingle, Harold N. Nesselrode and the Russian Rapprochement with Britain, 1836–1844. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976;
    Royle, Trevor. Crimea: The Great Crimean War, 1854–1856. London: Palgrave, 2000.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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