Frasi di Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston

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Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston

Data di nascita: 20. Ottobre 1784
Data di morte: 18. Ottobre 1865

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Henry John Temple, terzo visconte Palmerston , è stato un politico inglese.

Lord Palmerston viene soprattutto ricordato per la direzione della politica estera del Regno Unito in un periodo in cui la Gran Bretagna si trovava al massimo della sua potenza, in qualità di Segretario di Stato per gli Affari Esteri prima e di Primo Ministro poi. Molte delle sue azioni aggressive, oggi indicate col termine di interventismo, destarono non poche controversie e rimangono un tema delicato. Lo storico A.J.P. Taylor così descrisse il visconte Palmerston:

Frasi Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston

„We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: I hold with respect to alliances, that England is a Power sufficiently strong, sufficiently powerful, to steer her own course, and not to tie herself as an unnecessary appendage to the policy of any other Government. I hold that the real policy of England—apart from questions which involve her own particular interests, political or commercial—is to be the champion of justice and right; pursuing that course with moderation and prudence, not becoming the Quixote of the world, but giving the weight of her moral sanction and support wherever she thinks that justice is, and wherever she thinks that wrong has been done... I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.... And if I might be allowed to express in one sentence the principle which I think ought to guide an English Minister, I would adopt the expression of Canning, and say that with every British Minister the interests of England ought to be the shibboleth of his policy. [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1848/mar/01/treaty-of-adrianople-charges-against Speech] to the House of Commons (1 March 1848).

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„I am satisfied that the interest of England is the Polar star—the guiding principle of the conduct of the Government; and I defy any man to show, by any act of mine, that any other principle has directed my conduct, or that I have had any other object in view than the interests of the country to which I belong.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: In the outset, I must deny the charge made personally against myself, and against the Government to which I belong, of an identification with the interests of other nations... I am satisfied that the interest of England is the Polar star—the guiding principle of the conduct of the Government; and I defy any man to show, by any act of mine, that any other principle has directed my conduct, or that I have had any other object in view than the interests of the country to which I belong. Speech in the House of Commons (19 March 1839), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), p. 407.

„But he came not here a bigoted polemic, with religious tracts in one hand, and civil persecution in the other; he came to regenerate and avenge the prostrate and insulted liberties of England; he came with peace and toleration on his lips, and with civil and religious liberty in his heart.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: I reverence, as much as any one can do, the memory of those great men who effected the Revolution of 1688, and who rescued themselves and us from the thraldom of religious intolerance, and the tyranny of arbitrary power; but I think we are not rendering an appropriate homage to them, when we practice that very intolerance which they successfully resisted, and when we withhold from our fellow-subjects the blessings of that Constitution, which they established with so much courage and wisdom.... that great religious radical, King William... intended to raise a goodly fabric of charity, of concord, and of peace, and upon which his admirers of the present day are endeavouring to build the dungeon of their Protestant Constitution. If the views and intentions of King William had been such as are now imputed to him, instead of blessing his arrival as an epoch of glory and happiness to England, we should have had reason to curse the hour when first he printed his footstep on our strand. But he came not here a bigoted polemic, with religious tracts in one hand, and civil persecution in the other; he came to regenerate and avenge the prostrate and insulted liberties of England; he came with peace and toleration on his lips, and with civil and religious liberty in his heart. Speech in the House of Commons (18 March 1829) in favour of Catholic Emancipation, quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 84-85.

„It seems to me that the system of purchasing temporary security by lasting sacrifices, and of placing the interests of Foreign Ministries above those of this country, is one that never can be worked out with advantage either to the honour of this country, or to that of the Administration which pursues such a course.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: Ministers, in fact, appear to shape their policy not with reference to the great interests of their own country, but from a consideration of the effect which their course may produce upon the position of Foreign Governments. It may very well be a desirable object, and one worthy of consideration, that a particular individual should continue in the administration of affairs in another country, but it is too much that from regard to that object, the interests of this country should be sacrificed, and that every demand of Foreign Powers should be acceded to... It seems to me that the system of purchasing temporary security by lasting sacrifices, and of placing the interests of Foreign Ministries above those of this country, is one that never can be worked out with advantage either to the honour of this country, or to that of the Administration which pursues such a course. Since the accession to office of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, no one can have failed to observe, that there has been a great diminution of British influence and consideration in every foreign country. Influence abroad is to be maintained only by the operation of one or other of two principles—hope and fear. We ought to teach the weaker Powers to hope that they will receive the support of this country in their time of danger. Powerful countries should be taught to fear that they will be resisted by England in any unjust acts either towards ourselves or towards those who are bound in ties of amity with us. [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1844/aug/07/foreign-policy-of-ministers Speech] in the House of Commons (7 August 1844).

„Those who desire to see the principles of liberty thrive and extend through the world, should cherish, with an almost religious veneration, the prosperity and greatness of England.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: It is only from England, and from the exertions of England, that any hope can be entertained of the extinction of the slave trade, and of the ultimate abolition of slavery throughout the world; because it is England alone that feels any deep and sincere interest in the matter. England now holds a proud position among the nations of the earth, and exercises a great influence upon the destinies of mankind. That influence is owing, in the first place, to our great wealth, to our unbounded resources, to our military and naval strength. But it is owing still more, if possible, to the moral dignity which marks the character and conduct of the British people... Those who desire to see the principles of liberty thrive and extend through the world, should cherish, with an almost religious veneration, the prosperity and greatness of England. So long as England shall ride preeminent on the ocean of human affairs, there can be none whose fortunes shall be so shipwrecked—there can be none whose condition shall be so desperate and forlorn—that they may not cast a look of hope towards the light that beams from hence; and though they may be beyond the reach of our power, our moral support and our sympathy shall cheer them in their adversity, and shall assist them to bear up, and to hold out, waiting for a better day. Speech in the House of Commons (18 May 1851), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 429-430.

„I am firmly persuaded that among nations, weakness will never be a foundation for security.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: I will venture to lay it down as a general principle, that there are no better means for securing the continuance of peace, than to have it known that the possessions in the neighbourhood of a foreign state are in a condition to repel attack. I am firmly persuaded that among nations, weakness will never be a foundation for security. Speech in the House of Commons (26 February 1816), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 11-12.

„It may be depended on that there is no better security for peace between nations than the conviction that each must respect the other, that each is capable of defending itself, and that no insult or injury committed by the one against the other would pass unresented.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: There is no doubt that all nations are aggressive; it is the nature of man. There start up from time to time between countries antagonistic passions and questions of conflicting interest, which, if not properly dealt with, would terminate in the explosion of war. Now, if one country is led to think that another country, with which such questions might arise, is from fear disposed on every occasion tamely to submit to any amount of indignity, that is an encouragement to hostile conduct and to extreme proceedings which lead to conflict. It may be depended on that there is no better security for peace between nations than the conviction that each must respect the other, that each is capable of defending itself, and that no insult or injury committed by the one against the other would pass unresented. [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1862/feb/17/obsebvations Speech] in the House of Commons (17 February 1862).

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„There is no doubt that all nations are aggressive; it is the nature of man.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: There is no doubt that all nations are aggressive; it is the nature of man. There start up from time to time between countries antagonistic passions and questions of conflicting interest, which, if not properly dealt with, would terminate in the explosion of war. Now, if one country is led to think that another country, with which such questions might arise, is from fear disposed on every occasion tamely to submit to any amount of indignity, that is an encouragement to hostile conduct and to extreme proceedings which lead to conflict. It may be depended on that there is no better security for peace between nations than the conviction that each must respect the other, that each is capable of defending itself, and that no insult or injury committed by the one against the other would pass unresented. [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1862/feb/17/obsebvations Speech] in the House of Commons (17 February 1862).

„It would be very delightful if your Utopia could be realized and if the nations of the earth would think of nothing but peace and commerce, and would give up quarrelling and fighting altogether. But unfortunately man is a fighting and quarrelling animal“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: It would be very delightful if your Utopia could be realized and if the nations of the earth would think of nothing but peace and commerce, and would give up quarrelling and fighting altogether. But unfortunately man is a fighting and quarrelling animal; and that this is human nature is proved by the fact that republics, where the masses govern are far more quarrelsome, and more addicted to fighting, than monarchies, which are governed by comparatively few persons. Letter to Richard Cobden (8 January 1862), quoted in Jasper Ridley, Lord Palmerston (London: Constable, 1970), p. 590.

„Proneness to changes and fondness for experiment have never been the character of the English nation.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: Proneness to changes and fondness for experiment have never been the character of the English nation. They have, on the contrary, been remarkable for tenacious adherence to existing institutions, and for stubborn resistance even to plausible innovations. Striking, indeed, is the contrast which, in this respect, they exhibit with their next door neighbours of the continent; for while France boasts of the newness and freshness of her institutions, the people of England place their pride and attachment in the antiquity of theirs. So hard, indeed, is it to bring this nation to consent to great and important changes, that some of those measures which impartial posterity will stamp with the mint-mark of purest wisdom, and most unalloyed good, have only been wrung from the reluctant consent of England, after long and toilsome years of protracted discussion; and even such acts as the re-admission of the Catholics of the pale of the constitution, and the prohibition of the traffic in the flesh and blood of man, were each of them the achievement of a hard-fought contest of many years. Speech in the House of Commons (3 March 1831), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 159-160.

„We ought to teach the weaker Powers to hope that they will receive the support of this country in their time of danger. Powerful countries should be taught to fear that they will be resisted by England in any unjust acts either towards ourselves or towards those who are bound in ties of amity with us.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: Ministers, in fact, appear to shape their policy not with reference to the great interests of their own country, but from a consideration of the effect which their course may produce upon the position of Foreign Governments. It may very well be a desirable object, and one worthy of consideration, that a particular individual should continue in the administration of affairs in another country, but it is too much that from regard to that object, the interests of this country should be sacrificed, and that every demand of Foreign Powers should be acceded to... It seems to me that the system of purchasing temporary security by lasting sacrifices, and of placing the interests of Foreign Ministries above those of this country, is one that never can be worked out with advantage either to the honour of this country, or to that of the Administration which pursues such a course. Since the accession to office of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, no one can have failed to observe, that there has been a great diminution of British influence and consideration in every foreign country. Influence abroad is to be maintained only by the operation of one or other of two principles—hope and fear. We ought to teach the weaker Powers to hope that they will receive the support of this country in their time of danger. Powerful countries should be taught to fear that they will be resisted by England in any unjust acts either towards ourselves or towards those who are bound in ties of amity with us. [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1844/aug/07/foreign-policy-of-ministers Speech] in the House of Commons (7 August 1844).

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„Half the wrong conclusions at which mankind arrive are reached by the abuse of metaphors, or by mistaking general resemblance or imaginary similarity for real identity.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Context: Half the wrong conclusions at which mankind arrive are reached by the abuse of metaphors, or by mistaking general resemblance or imaginary similarity for real identity. Thus, people compare an ancient monarchy with an old building, an old tree, or an old man, and because the building, tree, or man must, from the nature of things, crumble, or decay, or die, they imagine that the same thing holds good with a community, and that the same laws which govern inanimate matter, or vegetable or animal life, govern also nations and states. Letter to H. L. Bulwer (1 Sept. 1839), quoted in Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer's Life of Palmerston (Philadelphia: J. B. Lipppincott, 1871), vol. 2, pp. 261-62. (Palmerston was criticizing descriptions of the Ottoman Empire as "decaying," etc.)

„When Bonaparte was to be dethroned, the Sovereigns of Europe called up their people to their aid; they invoked them in the sacred names of Freedom and National Independence; the cry went forth throughout Europe: and those, whom Subsidies had no power to buy, and Conscriptions no force to compel, roused by the magic sound of Constitutional Rights, started spontaneously into arms. The long-suffering Nations of Europe rose up as one man, and by an effort tremendous and wide spreading, like a great convulsion of nature, they hurled the conqueror from his throne. But promises made in days of distress, were forgotten in the hour of triumph... The rulers of mankind... had set free a gigantic spirit from its iron prison, but when that spirit had done their bidding, they shrunk back with alarm, from the vastness of that power, which they themselves had set into action, and modestly requested, it would go down again into its former dungeon. Hence, that gloomy discontent, that restless disquiet, that murmuring sullenness, which pervaded Europe after the overthrow of Bonaparte; and which were so unlike that joyful gladness, which might have been looked for, among men, who had just been released from the galling yoke of a foreign and a military tyrant. In 1820 the long brooding fire burst out into open flame; in Germany it was still kept down and smothered, but in Italy, in Spain, and in Portugal, it overpowered every resistance.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
[http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1830/mar/10/affairs-of-portugal Speech] in the House of Commons (10 March 1830).

„... he thinks that peace is, of all things, the best, and that war is, of all things, the worst. Now, Sir, I happen to be of opinion that there are things for which peace may be advantageously sacrificed, and that there are calamities which a nation may endure which are far worse than war. This has been the opinion of men in all ages whose conduct has been admired by their contemporaries, and has obtained for them the approbation of posterity. The hon. Member, however, reduces everything to the question of pounds, shillings, and pence, and I verily believe that if this country were threatened with an immediate invasion likely to end in its conquest, the hon. Member would sit down, take a piece of paper, and would put on one side of the account the contributions which his Government would require from him for the defence of the liberty and independence of the country, and he would put on the other the probable contributions which the general of the invading army might levy upon Manchester, and if he found that, on balancing the account, it would be cheaper to be conquered than to be laid under contribution for defence, he would give his vote against going to war for the liberties and independence of the country, rather than bear his share in the expenditure which it would entail.“

— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
[http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1854/mar/31/war-with-russia-the-queens-message Speech] in the House of Commons on the debate on war with Russia (31 March 1854).

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