Page:The European Concert in the Eastern Question.djvu/17

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CHAPTER I.


THE GREAT POWERS AND THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.


It is now more than half a century since the condition of the Ottoman Empire was recognised as of concern not merely to its immediate neighbours, Austria and Russia, but also to Europe generally.

At the Congress of Vienna the Eastern question was ignored, and with good reason. The allies were sufficiently occupied in restoring the balance of power in Western Europe, and were by no means anxious to encourage any movement on the part of discontented nationalities. The Emperor Alexander was perhaps additionally averse to any discussion which might interfere with the long cherished designs of Russia upon Constantinople. A similar policy guided the subsequent congresses of the Holy Alliance. Disturbances in Greece or Wallachia found as little favour as insurrections in Spain or at Naples. When Ypsilanti appealed to Alexander at Laibach, the Emperor replied that the aspirations of the Greeks, though natural, could never be realised by revolt and warfare.[1]

  1. 'Sans doute il est dans l'homme de désirer l'amélioration de son sort, sans doute plus d'une circonatance inspire aux Grecs le vœu de ne pas toujours