Signed on 30 March 1856, the Treaty of Paris settled the Crimean War between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Sardinia, France, and the United Kingdom. It made the Black Sea neutral territory, closing it to all warships, and prohibiting fortifications and the presence of armaments on its shores. It marked a severe setback to Russian influence in the region.
Ever wondered what Victorian-era treaties looked like? Images of this treaty (complete with signatures, red wax seals etc.) are available online. Regrettably the accompanying text is in French rather than English but the images are still quite interesting. Here they are: https://pastel.diplomatie.gouv.fr/editorial/archives/dossiers/grand_traites/XIXe/paris_1856/traite.htm.
Unfortunately the photos mentioned above only show the Turkish and Russian language versions of the treaty, and they are not of a high-enough resolution to read easily. Does anybody know if/where an easy-to-read form of the text is available? I have been unable to find the full text of the Treaty online.
I have, however, found the text of an 1856 declaration respecting maritime law which is clearly made under, and refers to the Treaty of Paris. If you're interested in the Paris declaration as it is known,
> the original French text is what was signed but an English language translation has been published as part of the Australian Treaty Series and you can find it at http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/other/dfat/treaties/1901/124.html.
> Apparently the declaration effectively laid the foundations of the modern legal framework for merchant shipping - for details of the declaration and its impact on subsequent processes, go to page 2 of this article http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/ANZMLJ/2005/8.pdf.
Not at all what I was expecting to find when I started researching this topic, but yet another example of how long-forgotten events continue to shape/shake today's world.