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70 Years From Now

In the year 1853, the Ottoman Empire had been in power for 554 continuous years. Abdülmecid I was Sultan and, shortly into the year, the Albanian-descended Governor of Crete Giritli Mustafa Naili Pasha took the post of Grand Vizier.

Queen Victoria was the Monarch of the British Empire and Lord Aberdeen was her Prime Minister, though the Queen favored one of his rivals, Benjamin Disraeli, as an advisor.

In France, Napoleon III had been elected President of the Republic in 1848, and had dissolved the National Assembly two years previously in 1851. In December of 1852, the Second French Empire was established, with Louis-Napoleon becoming named "Napoléon III, Emperor of the French."

Across the Atlantic, Franklin Pierce was the President of the United States of America and Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War. There were 31 states at that time, and the American Civil War had not yet been fought.

In mid-1853, the Russian Empire started maneuvering troops to key places on the Baltic Sea near Ottoman territories. Hostilities were about to break out into the Crimean War. The primary forces were Ottoman, British, and French fighting the Russians. The war ended with a decisive British/French/Ottoman victory.

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Steve Hilton’s depature: The government has lost its ultimate radical

A FEW months after he entered 10 Downing Street, this newspaper put David Cameron on its cover with a giant punk-rock Mohican atop his head. Against a background of Sex Pistols yellow, we hailed “Radical Britain: the West’s most daring government.”

Behind much of that radicalism was a restless, shaven-headed, piercingly blue-eyed former advertising man called Steve Hilton. The most famous example of the coalition’s boldness, its programme of fiscal austerity, was drawn up by the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne. But it was Mr Hilton, the prime minister’s closest aide, who drove the parallel project to open up Britain’s Napoleonic state to people power. He did not invent ideas such as free schools, welfare reform, elected mayors and police commissioners, but he agitated for them with elemental personal force.

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