The decade before the Crimean War in Istanbul belongs to Stratford Canning, who would serve as British Ambassador—with only one visit home—until 1853. His belligerence, self-importance and religious zeal set a tone for diplomacy in Istanbul that did little to support the reformers or win admiration of city’s foreign community. But the imperial posturing, in particular of France and Russia over protection of their co-religionists and over access to sacred places of Jerusalem—Catholic and Orthodox—rose to a high pitch in mid-century and was one of the causes of the Crimean War. For thousands of Muslims before and after the Crimean War, it was equally a period of immense upheaval. They found their former status undermined by new laws concerning equality and their economic foundations crumbling as Anatolia and the Levant became part of the global economy. Events on the European frontiers of the empire distracted both Ottoman governors and foreign representatives from Mt Lebanon until after the Crimean War.