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Extra resources for A. J. P. Taylor: The Traitor within the Gates
Austrian Field Marshal Radetzky was one of several actors in the story whom Taylor saw as a negative contributor. A narrowminded, arrogant reactionary committed to military action as a solution to all political problems, Radetzky frequently frustrated Metternich's political efforts in Lombardy. 32 At one point the Field Marshal refused permission to Metternich's representative, Count Fiquelmont, to enter military headquarters. Radetzky thought as a military man, and imposed a military solution upon Lombardy.
It was inevitable, Taylor continued, that Mettemich would perceive both the problem and its solution in this manner. The servant of the Habsburgs, he understood implicitly that if revolutionary nationalism took root in Austria as it had in France, the Empire would be destroyed. He must deter war because any general European war would lead to the triumph of liberalism and nationalism, to both of which the Habsburg Empire was exceptionally vulnerable. Metternich had to preserve stability in eastern Europe, which indicated that the Empire was playing its historic role of preserving equilibrium among the particularist Slavs, without which European security was always in jeopardy.
National principles, Taylor began, were those axiomatic assumptions regarding aim and purpose by which statesmen measured the success of their diplomatic relations and procedures. He opened The Italian Problem in European Diplomacy by asserting that diplomatic cause and effect in northern Italy began with the national principles upon which Austria, France, and England based their policies. He did not, at the same time, argue that these national principles had to be constant or consistent. Austria and France both changed courses midway, for sound historical reasons, namely that in 1815 Europe had Historian of Foreign Policy 29 announced in Austria's favour.