The Crimean War was the first major conflict fought by Britain in Europe after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Whilst British servicemen were fighting the war against Russia in the East, a fierce debate took place on the home front between apologists of Britain’s decision to resort to arms, and their peace-minded critics - especially the Peace Society and the Religious Society of Friends. A host of clerical intellectuals, including Charles Kingsley, James Martineau, and J. H. Newman, as well as lay intellectuals, including Harriet Martineau, E. A. Freeman, and John Ruskin, intervened in this debate by using the press and other print media to address challenging moral and cultural questions brought to the surface by the war. By illuminating the complex ideas of these individuals, this paper presents a new story of the Crimean War and its unique impact in Victorian religious thought and intellectual culture.
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