The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Sick Man of Europe, The

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SICK MAN OF EUROPE, The, a term applied to Turkey in 1854, by the Tsar Nicholas, in a conversation with Sir Hamilton Seymour, the British ambassador at Saint Petersburg. The tsar intimated his opinion that Turkey was sick and dying. He therefore proposed that, to avoid a European war when the demise took place, Russia and Great Britain should come at once to a private arrangement as to the disposal of the Sick Man's effects. As France was ignored in the arrangement, there was some doubt as to the good faith of the tsar. The British government rejected the proposal, intimated its belief in the recovery of the Sick Man, and soon after fought by his side in the Crimean War.