The Crimean War occupies a curious place in history, not exactly forgotten like our war in Korea, but not fitting in easily to periodizations of European and world history as to what that was all about, if because of tensions over Syria between the West and Russia, it's important to understand now.
There was the Charge of the Light Brigade, and the work of Florence Nightengale to remember the war by of course, but not so much else really sank into memory, other than possibly the impetus the Crimean War gave to the liberation of the serfs.
It's important to understand now because many of the actors are the same in the standoff over Syria, which got noticably more serious with Syria's downing of a Turkish warplane, especially since Turkey is a NATO ally.
As to the similarity of the actors, France, Britain, Turkey, Russia, the Lebanon and its Christians in which Syria is really in some geographical senses part of the Greater Lebanon, were all part of the scene in the Crimean War, if America was just a babe in the woods then, if Perry had his little trip to Japan during the war (which George McClellan did a good study btw), and we had of course visted Tripoli with Marines thanks to Jefferson.
Moreover, as to religiou as a motive, that exists too in Russian claims to be protecting Orthodox Christians in the Middle East than and now, and Christians in general, in which Greeks come down on that side too.
Of course, if in some ways the Jews are sort of new in the mix, that's not true completely as to being one of the peoples of the Middle East Western Powers claim to protect (and there were always people in the West who wanted the Jews to move there, for motives friendly and otherwise) when they use force in the region, if they often define "protect" in ways that are not consistent with each other,which is how the Crimean War started.
The Crimean War started technically over a dispute over Jerusalem, if it led to more than one million men on all sides fighting on the Crimean Peninsula.
There was more to the war than that however, as prior to that, Russian Tsar Nicholas I had made some hints of demands on Turkey that the British in particular took exception too.
They took exception to Russian demands for free transit of warships through the Straits for the reason that as the dominant seapower, they liked Russian fleets to remain bottled up. Of course Russia wanted the opposite.
In most tales of the Crimean War, there is a sense of the tragic, as to a slide to war that was unneccessary and unwanted, although that might be a mistake.
It might be a mistake, because in the year when the war broke out, Russia was the strongest landarmy in the world, bar none.
To have Russia be able to move troops freely through the Straits would allow it to descend on Egypt, and then potentially build fleets on the Red Sea to chop the British line of communication to Indiam especially if assisted by moves across the Caucaus and Caspian Sea over Iran and Afghanistan.
Both Bonaparte and Hitler had similar ideas as Nicholas in that regard, as it lies naturally in their position as the land state occupying the Heartland competing for power with an island state of the Rimland in Mackinder's conception of geopolitics.
Thus, the war probably wasn't really an unfortunate accident at all, but the logical consequences of states seeking out the power positions that inhere in the logic of their situation colliding into others said positions, in which arbitration by arms is always the alternative to diplomacy, if there's a warning in Crimea too.
The war in Crimea is remembered in Russian historiography for inducing Nicholas I sucessor Alexander II to liberate the serfs and in general begin what we would now call a process of regime change, thus ending badly for the power elite in Moscow that let its ambitions cross to sharply with the Turks.