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ings, raised subscriptions, and given them our moral support; but when it came to the question of making war for their defence, the interests of England and the duty of English statesmen to their own country forbade it, and we remained at peace. The conduct of Russian sovereigns and statesmen must be the same. They are looking to the interests of their own empire, and it is their duty to do so. To suppose that the interests and welfare of the Christian population of European Turkey is paramount in the eyes of Russian statesmen to those of Russia, or that it can be paramount in the eyes of English statesmen to the interests of England, is an absurdity with which we cannot argue. It remains to be seen whether the military occupation of the Turkish provinces, which is in other words the invasion of Turkey—a measure proposed by Russia under the well-known name of 'guarantee,' and which she alone could carry into effect—was proposed solely as the means to be employed in the last resort to secure the reforms recommended to the Porte by the Christian Powers, or whether these reforms have been advocated by Russia as a pretext for occupation.* Either solution is possible. We must resort to past history to show which is the more probable of
The policy of Prince Gortschakoff after the Crimean War and the Peace of Paris was described by himself in the forcible and not undignified terms, 'La Russie ne boude pas, elle se recueille.' Important internal reforms, and the necessity of repose after an exhausting war, sufficiently explain the comparative inactivity of Russia for some years; and in 1863 all her strength was employed to crush in the most merciless manner the last rising of the unhappy Poles. But from that year, or shortly afterwards, we begin to trace the steady resolution and persevering efforts of Prince Gortschakoff to shake off the restrictions placed on Russia by the Treaty of Paris, to paralyse or destroy the effects of that instrument, and to replace Russia in an attitude, towards Europe and towards Tukey, not less favourable to herself than that she occupied previous to
He was favoured by circumstances, and he has been partly successful; but amongst the causes which have favoured him he could hardly have anticipated that there would be a
* The scheme for the occupation of the territory south of the Danube by a small body of neutral troops or mixed police appears to us so puerile as not to deserve notice. Such a force, in the event of serious disturbances, would be wholly inoperative, in a country bristling with fortresses and regular troops.
vehement party of Englishmen eager to renounce and repudiate the very object for which they once thought it worth while to contend to the death, to disavow the treaties they themselves negotiated and signed, both in 1856 and in 1871, and to devote themselves to forward interests which Russia regards as her
The war of 1866 was the first turn of good fortune for Russia. By abandoning the whole policy hitherto followed by the Court of St. Petersburg in its German alliances, and by observing a strict and friendly neutrality in the war, Russia conferred an immense benefit on Prussia, which secured herself from opposition in that quarter. At the same time, the defeat of Austria prostrated that empire, and rendered her powerless to deal with the questions likely to arise on her eastern frontier. By this event the confirmatory treaty of April 16, 1856, between France, Austria, and Great Britian, also lost much of its strength.
From this moment, the political action of Russia in the East again became much more active. On February 17, 1867, the Moscow Gazette,' a journal of authority in that country, exclaimed
• The new era is at length begun, and for us Russians it has a peculiar call. This era is our own; it calls to life a new world hitherto waiting in obscurity the hour of destiny--the Greco-Sclavonian world. After ages of resignation and servitude, this world approaches at last the hour of renovation. The present generation will witness great changes, great events and great formations. Already in the Balkan peninsula and beneath the rotten covering of Ottoman tyranny, three groups of strong and energetic nationalities are awakening, the Hellenic, the Sclavonian, the Roumanian. Closely united to each other by a common faith and by historical traditions, those three groups are equally united to Russia by all the ties of religious and national life. When once these three national groups are reconstructed, Russia will stand forth in a new light. She will no longer be alone in the world: instead of a sombre Asiatic Power she will become a moral force indispensable to Europe. . . . She must assume towards the Sclavonian races the attitude which France has assumed to the Latin races, and Prussia to the German races, and she must employ all her forces to realise it.'*
In the spring of the following year a great Sclavonian congress was convoked at Moscow, under the strange title of an . Ethnological Exhibition.' From Bohemia to the Bosphorus, the Sclaves of all countries were summoned to their metropolis.
* The passage is quoted by M. Klacko, in his Deux Chanceliers,'
They were received with the highest honours by the Imperial Family and the official world ; and at the festivities which ensued the Czar was called upon to avenge the secular insults of the White Mountain and of Kossovo, and to plant the
Russian standard on the Dardanelles and the Church of St. Sophia.' At the same time the Cretan insurrection was going on, and the Turkish provinces on the Danube were inundated with revolutionary agents, and even supplied with arms, which were sent under the false designation of railway plant. The Austrian Consul-General at Jassy reported on February 6, 1868, that it was certain that Bulgarian committees existed at Bucharest and in other Danubian towns for the express purpose of exciting disturbances in Bulgaria. All these had their eyes fixed on Russia. Without Russian support they knew that they were powerless. Whatever may have been the political intentions of the Emperor, these demonstrations have inflamed the national passions of the Russian people. The press, which has been allowed great license in the present reign whenever it addresses itself to the passions of the nation, preached the complete enfranchisement of the Christians of the East by the arms of Russia. The democratic and socialist party, which has been gaining strength for some years, was delighted to share in the agitation, under the becoming pretexts of patriotism and religious zeal.
The people, under these influences, and excited by the clergy, have been stirred to a point which alarms the middle classes, and may even overpower the resolutions of an absolute government. A recent traveller in Russia writes to us: 'I know not whether 'we are to have a Crusade, but I have seen the Crusaders.' The war-cry of religious fanaticism is certainly not raised so loudly by the Moslems as by the Christians; and the races of the North and the East have been brought to a point at which a collision will imply much more than the ordinary operations of regular armies. Perhaps the movement has gone further than Prince Gortschakoff intended; for one of the singularities of the present state of affairs is that the Minister is extremely hostile to the intrigues of General Ignatieff the ambassador, and jealous of him as a possible successor.
And here, at the risk of interrupting our narrative, we must remark that of all the delusions current in England on this subject, one of the most mischievous, and, as we believe, absurd, is the belief that these provinces contain a Christian population capable of self-government and self-defence, for without selfdefence there can be neither independence nor self-government. The present position of Roumania and Servia is a sufficient
VOL. CXLV. NO. CCXCVII.
answer to the question. Though nominally tributaries of the Turkish Empire, and invested with self-governing powers, they are to all intents and purposes dependencies of Russia, who can and will use them, even for military purposes, as she pleases. But if there were no such power as Russia, the mutual hatreds of the Roumanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks would render it almost impossible to establish in these countries a strong, free, and independent government, and they would fall, if left entirely to themselves, into a state of anarchy even more fatal to the welfare of their wretched inhabitants than Turkish misrule. In such a state the control of the Russian police, though it is the most oppressive, and the rule of a Russian administration, though it is the most corrupt, might be accepted as a deliverance from greater evils.
These provinces may accept, may even seek, the aid of Russia to shake off the authority of Turkey-it may be true that they do not desire to become or to remain parts of the Russian Empire, but they may depend upon it that no choice would be left them. Do they suppose that Russia, which has stamped out the nationality of Poland, and which holds the Baltic provinces, Finland, and the Asiatic khanates in bonds, would allow a ring of ultra-democratic States, poor and utterly defenceless in themselves, to stand between herself and Constantinople? If indeed it were possible to establish in Servia, Roumania, and Bulgaria a group of neutral and independent States, whose territory should be as inviolable as that of Belgium or Switzerland, that would be the best solution of the difficulty, not only for the provinces themselves, but for Turkey, since Russia would then be effectually cut off by a neutral territory from the Danube and from the northern frontier of Turkey. But for this very reason, that is an arrangement to which Russia will never assent; it would be a greater blow to her policy than the loss of Sebastopol and the Treaty of Paris. Count Nesselrode emphatically declared in a despatch of February 12, 1830, that it was entirely contrary to the views of • Russia to substitute for the Ottoman Empire states which
would ere long become rivals of her own power, civilisation, industry, and wealth.' Whilst she seeks to detach gradually the Christian provinces from the Turkish Empire, Russia intends them to fall and to remain absolutely within her own control.
But we must now return to Prince Gortschakoff. The Franco-German War and its results were of incalculable advantage to Russia, and she obviously looked to that great convulsion solely with a view to her own interests in the Eastern
Question. The obligations she had already conferred upon Prussia were increased tenfold by her neutrality, and the alliance with the new German Empire was riveted. It was evident that the surrender of the Eastern Question by Germany to Russia was the price of that alliance; whilst in the West of Europe the common action of the two great Powers which had conquered her in the Crimea, and imposed on her the treaty of 1856, was practically terminated by the disasters and prostration of France. From that moment England stood alone, and Russia made her feel it by throwing off without the least constraint the neutralisation clauses of the Treaty of Paris.
The chief value of the neutralisation of the Black Sea was not that it humbled or injured Russia, for in fact the same identical conditions were imposed on Turkey; and as Turkey has grown to be the stronger naval Power of the two, the restriction operated more directly on her than on Russia. But the neutralisation clause was a material guarantee of peace. As long as it was in force it was certain that war between Russia and Turkey could not be carried on. The moment it was abolished it became apparent that a design to provide means for the renewal of hostilities existed on the part of the State which had repudiated it. The British Government yielded to necessity, and conceded what in the absence of France and Austria, and the desertion of Germany, it could not refuse. But in making this concession Mr. Gladstone's Administration not only confirmed and renewed all the other engagements of the Treaty of Paris, but obtained the sanction of the Powers to an important addition to those engagements.
The tenth article of the Treaty of Paris had simply re-enacted the first article of the Convention of 1841, by which the Sultan engaged that 'so long as the Porte is at peace his Highness will admit no ships of war into the said Straits.' But the second article of the Treaty of London of March 15, 1871, provided that-
• The principle of the closing of the Straits and of the Bosphorus is maintained, with power to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan to open the said straits IN TIME OF PEACE to the vessels of war of friendly and allied Powers, in case the Sublime Porte should judge it necessary in order to secure the execution of the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris.'
This was in truth a great additional concession in favour of the Porte and its allles, which Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville then obtained. From the British point of view we are not sure that it is not more than equivalent to the loss of the clauses for the neutralisation of the Black Sea. For in strict conformity with this article the Porte could now, in time of peace, open the