In a lengthy speech in the Commons in June 1850, the Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, defended a contentious foreign policy that linked Britain with the enslaving Roman Empire. In the latest article for the No. 10 Guest Historian series, Professor David Brown, of Southampton University, analyses the challenges facing Britain at the time, the background and response to Palmerston’s famous speech, and the legacy of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ today.
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