From Castlereagh to Canning: Continuity and Change in British Foreign Policy

Graham Goodlad assesses the conduct of British foreign policy in the era of the Congress system.

British foreign policy during the long premiership of Lord Liverpool (1812-27) was dominated by the need to safeguard national interests in the context of the fragile European stability established at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. For the first decade, the conduct of Britain’s diplomacy was primarily the responsibility of Robert, Viscount Castlereagh. After his suicide in August 1822 he was succeeded as Foreign Secretary by George Canning. The latter’s career was crowned with his appointment as Prime Minister in April 1827, although he was to die after scarcely four months in office.

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