By John C. Campbell, Guy de Carmoy, Shinichi Kondo
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Extra info for Energy: A Strategy for International Action
42 Similarly, in the Ochakov crisis with Russia in 1791, there was a lack of clarity about the strategic importance of the fortress of Ochakov, and, in particular, about the extent to which it dominated the estuaries of the Rivers Bug and Dnieper. 43 Given this dissension, it was scarcely surprising that parliamentarians and newspapers also disagreed about the importance of the fortress, as well as about the relationship between Russian gains and the balance of power. 44 This dispute looked toward the nineteenth century, as did the Nootka Sound crisis over Vancouver Island of the previous year.
It was pronounced when Britain was taking an active, interventionist stance in Continental power politics, as in the 1710s, late 1720s, early 1730s and 1740s. Conversely, a relatively isolationist stance, as in the late 1760s and early 1770s, ensured that the need was less. Nevertheless, there was then the requirement for government to demonstrate that its failure to act, when for example the French purchased Corsica in 1768 or the First Partition of Poland occurred in 1772, did not betoken an inability to discern and defend national interests.
This offered a valuable, and more ‘modern’, alternative to the notion of dynastic legitimacy as the leitmotif of political debate. Instead of focusing on the rights to the British throne of the Hanoverians (an issue that left little space for political debate, other than of a treasonable character), it was possible to ask whether the ministry was legitimate in the sense of sustaining the national interest. This was an aspect of a more widespread European political development during the eighteenth century: the separation of ruler from nation, not least in terms of an automatic assumption that the identity and interest of the latter were submerged in the former.
Energy: A Strategy for International Action by John C. Campbell, Guy de Carmoy, Shinichi Kondo