During the negotiations which preceded the Peloponnesian War he did his best to prevent, or at least xo postpone, the inevitable struggle, but was overruled by the war party.
Finding himself overruled by the war party in the cabinet, on the 1st of April 1861, Seward suggested a war of all America against most of Europe, with himself as the director of the enterprise.
At Vienna the war party was in the ascendant; the convention for disarmament had been signed, but so far from its being carried out, the reserves were actually called out on the 12th of April; and on the 23rd, before Cavours decision was known at Vienna, an Austrian ultimatum reached Turin, summoning Piedmont to disarm within three days on pain of invasion.
The young king took little pains with the government, and the control of affairs was shared between the clerical and peace party led by Richard Fox and Archbishop Warham, and the secular and war party led by Surrey.
These events and the friction caused by mutual complaints of infringements of the treaty stirred up public opinion in Turkey, and the British ambassador lent his support to the war party.