At the same time, although he attended the Paris conference of 1856, he purposely abstained from affixing his signature to the treaty of peace after that of Count Orlov, Russia's chief representative.
In return for Russia's service in preventing the aid of Austria from being given to France, Gorchakov looked to Bismarck for diplomatic support in the Eastern Question, and he received an instalment of the expected support when he successfully denounced the Black Sea clauses of the treaty of Paris.
Already the desire to make his country a great naval power was becoming his ruling passion, and when he found by experience that the White Sea, Russia's sole maritime outlet, had great practical inconveniences as a naval base, he revived the project of getting a firm footing on the shores of the Black Sea or the Baltic. At first he gave the preference to the former, and with the aid of a flotilla of small craft, constructed on a tributary of the Don, he succeeded in capturing Azov from the Turks.
Russia's advance westward raised indirectly the Eastern Question, because it threatened two of France's traditional allies, Sweden and Poland, and Choiseul considered that the best means of checkmating Catherine's 7l aryl, aggressive schemes was to incite France's third traditional ally, Turkey, to attack her.
About three months after his death, de Giers, who thoroughly approved of this attitude, died (26th January 1895), and his successor, Prince Lobanov, minister of foreign affairs from 19th March 1895 to 30th August 1896, endeavoured to recover what he considered Russia's legitimate influence in the Slav world.
But he did not foresee the complications which were likely to arise from Russia's interference in the domestic affairs of Poland.
For thus weakening the neighbouring Mussulman states such as Persia and Daghestan, thereby facilitating Russia's future expansion at their cost.
These were: the cession to Turkey of Azov with all its guns and munitions, the razing of all the forts recently built on the frontier by Russia, the renunciation by the tsar of all claim to interfere with the Tatars under the dominion of the Crimea or Poland, or to maintain a representative at Constantinople, and Russia's consent to Charles's return to Sweden.'
Russia's designs on Poland now brought about war.
At last, on the 6th of October 1768, on the refusal of the Russian minister to give guarantees for the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Poland and the abandonment of Russia's claim to interfere with the liberties of the republic, war was declared and the Russian representative was imprisoned in the Seven Towers.
The Porte, unable to resist, was obliged to consent to the convention of Ainali Ka y ak (March 10, 1779) whereby the Russian partisan, Shahin Girai, was recognized as khan of the Crimea, the admission of Russian vessels to navigate Turkish waters was reaffirmed and Russia's right of intervention in the affairs of the Danubian principalities was formally recognized.
Accordingly, though France made every attempt to induce Turkey to adopt her side, the young Stratford Canning succeeded in causing the resumption of the peace negotiations at Bucharest, broken off through Russia's terms being considered too onerous, and followed by the capture of Izmail and Bender.
This proposal, as might have been expected, only served to rouse suspicions as to Russia's plans; it was politely rejected, and the whole Eastern Question slumbered, until, early in 1850, it was awakened by an incident trivial enough in itself, but pregnant with future trouble: a quarrel of Catholic and Orthodox monks about the holy places in Palestine.
This concession, given under strong pressure from Russia, aroused the deepest resentment of the Greeks, and was the principal factor in the awakening of the Bulgarian national spirit which subsequent events have done so much to develop. Russian influence at Constantinople had been gradually increasing, and towards the end of 1870 the tsar took advantage of the temporary disabling of France to declare himself no longer bound by those clauses of the Treaty of Paris which restricted Russia's liberty of possessing warships on the Black Sea.
Of Abd-ui= Turkey's distress was Russia's opportunity; the Aziz.
He represented the antiFranco-Prussian portion of her council, and his object was to bring about an Anglo-Austro-Russian alliance which, at that time, was undoubtedly Russia's proper system, Hence the reiterated attempts of Frederick the Great and Louis XV.
Consequently Great Britain, and still more Austria, were Russia's natural allies, while the aggressive and energetic king of Prussia was a danger to be guarded against.
Russia's military prestige was at a low ebb, her finance in a state of chaos, the Tsarist regime discredited and the country in the throes of revolution.
The long Balkan troubles of 1908-12, which originated in Count Aehrenthal's exploitation of Russia's transitory weakness, called for great care, especially during the crisis of 1908-9, which laid bare Russian impotence.
Still spoke of the reunion of Lithuania with Poland under constitutional forms. But the project lapsed because already then any measure of self-government by extending the power of the Polish" szlachta "(land-owning noble class) in Lithuania menaced Russia's influence in that country which strategically rounded off her north-western frontier.
- Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War and the revolution which followed in its wake led, in Sept.
Servia, Egypt and the principalities were successively the scene of hostilities in which Turkey gained no successes, and in 1807 a British fleet appeared at Constantinople, strange to say to insist on Turkey's yielding to Russia's demands besides dismissing the ambassador of Napoleon I.
Japan had had to put forth her supreme effort for the battle, while of Russia's whole strength not one-tenth had been used.
But Russia's strength in Europe, with but one line whereby it could be brought to bear in the Far East, was immaterial, and on the theatre of war a quarter of the Russian field forces had been killed, wounded or taken.
Prussia, emboldened by Russia's difficulties, now went so far as to invite Poland also to forsake the Russian alliance, and placed an army corps of 40,000 men at her disposal.
Killed in battle, where the best of Russian men and Russia's glory were led to destruction.
That arousing of the people by their sovereign and his call to them to defend their country--the very incitement which was the chief cause of Russia's triumph in so far as it was produced by the Tsar's personal presence in Moscow--was suggested to the Emperor, and accepted by him, as a pretext for quitting the army.
He ordered the militiamen to be called up from the villages and armed, and wrote a letter to the commander-in- chief informing him that he had resolved to remain at Bald Hills to the last extremity and to defend it, leaving to the commander-in-chief's discretion to take measures or not for the defense of Bald Hills, where one of Russia's oldest generals would be captured or killed, and he announced to his household that he would remain at Bald Hills.
Bennigsen opened the council with the question: "Are we to abandon Russia's ancient and sacred capital without a struggle, or are we to defend it?"
"Russia's ancient and sacred capital!" he suddenly said, repeating Bennigsen's words in an angry voice and thereby drawing attention to the false note in them.
Evidently she could speak of Russia's misfortunes with a certain artificiality, but her brother was too near her heart and she neither could nor would speak lightly of him.