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Crimean War Lesson for Kids: Summary & Facts

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The Crimean War occurred in the 1850s and involved several different countries fighting over religious and land issues. In this lesson, learn about the countries involved in the Crimean War, identify the sources of conflict, and learn about the resolutions of the war.

Crimean Peninsula

Let's travel to an area known as the Crimean Peninsula, a piece of land nearly surrounded by the Black Sea. This was the site of the Crimean War, fought between 1853 and 1856. It involved several different countries and groups of people. Let's find out more about this war and how it happened.

To understand this war, it is important to learn about the Ottomans. These people were mostly Muslim, which means they practiced the religion of Islam. They conquered the Byzantine capital city of Constantinople in 1453 and created a vast empire that included areas of Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Growing Disagreements

In the 1800s, Russia wanted to expand their territory. The emperor of Russia, Nicholas I, demanded that members of the Orthodox church (the Ottomans) be placed under the protection of Russia. This might have appeared to be a nice thing for the Russians to do, but it was really a way to expand the Russian Empire. The Ottomans were not happy with this idea, and neither was the emperor of France.

War is Declared

With no compromise in sight, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October of 1853. They felt that this was a holy war necessary to protect their religion from the Russians. The Ottomans had the support of Britain, France, and the country of Sardinia. Can you guess why? Remember, they did not want the Russian Empire to overtake areas of the Ottoman Empire. After a few months of fighting, British and French ships entered the Black Sea. In March of the following year, both countries declared war on Russia. The combined forces of the Ottomans, British, and French were known as the allied powers.

Soldiers in the Crimean War
Crimean War

Casualties from Disease

Normally, you would think that battles in wars present the biggest danger for soldiers. However, disease was just as deadly in the Crimean War. Conditions were terrible on the battlefields, and this prompted British nurse Florence Nightingale to attend to the wounded. Her efforts during the Crimean War changed the way medical help was given to soldiers in battle.

British nurse Florence Nightingale assisted soldiers in the Crimean War.
Crimean War

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