World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

London Straits Convention

Article Id: WHEBN0001220246
Reproduction Date:

Title: London Straits Convention  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Treaty of the Dardanelles, Crimean War, 1841 in the United Kingdom, Treaty of London, Henry Bulwer, 1st Baron Dalling and Bulwer
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

London Straits Convention

In the London Straits Convention concluded on 13 July 1841 between the Great Powers of Europe at the time – Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Austria and Prussia – the "ancient rule" of the Ottoman Empire was re-established by closing the Turkish straits (the Bosporus and Dardanelles), which link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, from all warships whatsoever, barring those of the Sultan's allies during wartime. It thus benefited British naval power at the expense of Russian as the latter lacked direct access for its navy to the Mediterranean.[1]

The treaty is one in a series dealing with access to the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. It evolved as a reaction to the secret article in the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi (Unkiar Skelessi), created in 1833, in which the Ottoman Empire guaranteed exclusive use of the straits to Ottoman and Imperial Russian warships in the case of a general war, allowing no 'foreign vessels of war to enter therein under any pretext whatsoever'.[2] The modern treaty controlling relations is the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits from 1936, which is still in force.


  • Negotiations 1
  • Outcomes 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The Straits Convention evolved as a way to protect the Ottoman Empire from collapse. Egypt at this time, under the leadership of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, was revolting against the Ottoman Empire. Russian Tsar, Nicholas I, decided that the fall of the Ottomans would be disastrous and lead to greater war amongst the more powerful European nations and so chose to support the Ottoman Empire. They responded by signing the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi which promised to close the Straits to foreign warships if and when Russia was being attacked.

In 1833, Austria, Russia, and Prussia agreed that all steps should be taken to preserve the Ottoman Empire and if that could not be done then these three powers would work together to create a new Balkan territory. This did not keep the Turks and Egyptians from war and in 1839 it began again. Russia worked with Austria and Prussia to convince France, which itself had sided with Mehmet, to accept a multilateral agreement. This evolved into the Straits Convention of 1841, which included guarantees similar to the earlier Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi.

The motivation of Czar (Tsar) Nicholas I to agree to the closing of the straits has been said to be his uneasiness over the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi, which he feared might turn the other Great Powers against Russia by creating too close an alliance between him and the Sultan, Abdülmecid I. He also authorised the British Navy to quell the attack on the Ottoman Empire by its former vassal, Muhammad Ali. However, Anglo-Russian tensions over the region remained.


From the British point of view, this convention helped preserve the European balance of power by preventing Russia's newly powerful navy from dominating the Mediterranean. From the Russian point of view, the treaty encouraged the aggressive policies of Britain in the region, which would lead to the Crimean War.

While these arrangements forced Czar (Tsar) Nicholas I to abandon his plans for reducing the Ottoman Empire to complete dependence upon Russia and wresting the control of the Christian countries of the Balkans from the Porte, the Ottoman Empire was not wholly independent after the convention, as it relied on Britain and France for protection.

See also


  1. ^ >Christos L. Rozakis (1987). The Turkish Straits. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 24–25. 
  2. ^ Taken from the original text of this treaty
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.