Joanne Yao
Search for other papers by Joanne Yao in
Current site
Google Scholar
The 1856 Treaty of Paris and the first international organization
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

The Danube as a connecting river represented the flow of European power and civilization outward to command the eastern periphery, but the river as conduit can flow both ways, and in the 1850s, instability at the far reaches of the Danube delta threatened to destabilize European politics. Chapter 5 examines the Paris Peace Conference to end the Crimean War and the creation of the European Commission of the Danube to ensure a civilized and rational authority to control the mouth of the river. At Paris, competing interpretations of the transboundary river as private property versus international commons again took the diplomatic stage, but imaginaries of the Danube delta as an untamed space at the fringe of European civilization moved diplomats, particularly the French and British, to reject the Rhine Commission model as too weak a body to control this untamed geography. Instead, diplomats at Paris created a strong commission with independent authority not only to conduct engineering works to clear shipping channels, but with the policing and judiciary powers to maintain order and the fiscal powers to borrow money on the international market. By the 1930s, the Commission had become such an extraordinary international actor that historian Glen Blackburn even described it as being ‘at the twilight of statehood’.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


The ideal river

How control of nature shaped the international order


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 194 86 12
Full Text Views 14 11 0
PDF Downloads 24 19 0