Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century


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Failed to submit review, please try again later. Short description. Instead of being obliged to Sir Everard Fawkner and Mr. Thalman the former the British, the latter the Dutch Ambassador at Constantinople , for informing them of the good dispositions of the Turks, Count Oestermann will not be persuaded that the Porte is sincere, and seemed very much surprised that they had written to them the Russian Cabinet without order of the King and the States-General, or without being desired by the Grand Vizier, and that their letter had not been concerted with the Emperor's Minister at Constantinople I have shown Count Biron and Count Oestermann the two letters the Grand Vizier has written to the King, and at the same time told these gentlemen that as there was in them several hard reflections on this Court, I should not have communicated them if they had not been so desirous to see them.

Pinterest Twitter Facebook. The attempt of Andrew of Susdal at recomposing some large limbs of the empire by the removal of the capital from Kiev to Vladimir proves successful only in propagating the decomposition from the South to the centre. Kiev itself, the ancient capital, follows destinies of its own, after having dwindled down from a seat of the Grand Princedom to the territory of a city. Thus, the Russia of the Normans completely disappears from the stage, and the few weak reminiscences in which it still outlived itself, dissolve before the terrible apparition of Genghis Khan.

The bloody mire of Mongolian slavery, not the rude glory of the Norman epoch, forms the cradle of Muscovy, and modern Russia is but a metamorphosis of Muscovy. The Tartar yoke lasted from to — more than two centuries [98] ; a yoke not only crushing, but dishonouring and withering the very soul of the people that fell its prey. The Mongol Tartars established a rule of systematic terror, devastation and wholesale massacre forming its institutions.

Their numbers being scanty in proportion to their enormous conquests, they wanted to magnify them by a halo of consternation, and to thin, by wholesale slaughter, the populations which might rise in their rear. In their creations of desert they were, besides, led by the same economical principle which has depopulated the Highlands of Scotland and the Campagna di Roma — the conversion of men into sheep, and of fertile lands and populous abodes into pasturage. The Tartar yoke had already lasted a hundred years before Muscovy emerged front its obscurity. The strife among the Russian princes for this dignity was, as a modern author has it,.

It was in this infamous strife that the Moscow branch won at last the race. In the crown of the Grand Princedom, [] wrested from the branch of Tver [] by dint of denunciation and assassination, was picked up at the feet of Usbeck Khan by Yury, the elder brother of Ivan Kalita. The whole policy of Muscovy, from its first entrance into the historical arena, is resumed in the history of these two individuals. The policy of Ivan Kalita was simply this: to play t1W abject tool of the Khan, thus to borrow his power, and then to turn it round upon his princely rivals and his own subjects.

He perplexed the Khan by continuous revelations of secret plots. Whenever the branch of Tver betrayed a velleity of national independence, he hurried to the Horde to denounce it. Wherever he met with resistance, he introduced the Tartar to trample it down. But it was not sufficient to act a character; to make it acceptable, gold was required. Perpetual bribery of the Khan and his grandees was the only sure foundation upon which to raise his fabric of deception and usurpation. But how was the slave to get the money wherewith to bribe the master?

He persuaded the Khan to instal him his tax-gatherer throughout all the Russian appanages.

Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century

Once invested with this function, he extorted money under false pretences. The wealth accumulated by the dread held out of the Tartar name, he used to corrupt the Tartars themselves. By a bribe he induced the primate to transfer his episcopal seat from Vladimir to Moscow, [] thus making the latter the capital of the empire, because the religious capital, and coupling the power of the Church with that of his throne.

By a bribe he allured the boyards of the rival princes into treason against their chiefs, and attracted them to himself as their centre. By the joint influence of the Mahometan Tartar, the Greek Church, and the boyards, he unites the princes holding appanages into a crusade against the most dangerous of them, the prince of Tvera; and then having driven his recent allies by bold attempts at usurpation into resistance against himself, into a war for the public good, he draws not the sword but hurries to the Khan.

By bribes and delusion again, he seduces him into assassinating his kindred rivals under the most cruel torments. It was the traditional policy of the Tartar to check the Russian princes the one by the other, to feed their dissensions, to cause their forces to equiponderate and to allow none to consolidate himself. Ivan Kalita converts the Khan into the tool by which he rids himself of his most dangerous competitors, and weighs down every obstacle to his own usurping march. He does not conquer the appanages, but surreptitiously turns the rights of the Tartar conquest to his exclusive profit.

He secures the succession of his son through the same means by which he had raised the Grand Princedom of Muscovy, that strange compound of princedom and serfdom. During his whole reign he swerves not once from the line of policy he had traced to himself; clinging to it with a tenacious firriiness, and executing it with methodical boldness. Thus he becomes the founder of the Muscovite power, and characteristically his people call him Kalita — that is, the purse, because it was the purse and not the sword with which he cut his way.

The very period of his reign witnesses the sudden growth of the Lithuanian power which dismembers the Russian appanages from the West, while the Tartar squeezes them into one mass from the East. Ivan, while he dared not repulse the one disgrace, seemed anxious to exaggerate the other.

Secret Diplomatic History of the 18th Century () by Karl Marx

He was not to be seduced from following up his ends by the allurements of glory, the pangs of conscience, or the lassitude of humiliation. His whole system may be expressed in a few words: the Machiavellism of the usurping slave.

His own weakness — his slavery — he turned into the mainspring of his strength. The policy traced by Ivan I Kalita is that of his successors; they had only to enlarge the circle of its application. They followed it up laboriously, gradually, inflexibly. At the commencement of his reign Ivan III was still a tributary to the Tartars; his authority was still contested by the princes holding appanages; Novgorod, the head of the Russian republics, reigned over the north of Russia; Poland-Lithuania was striving for the conquest of Muscovy; lastly, the Livonian knights were not yet disarmed.

Was he a hero? The Russian historians themselves show him up a confessed coward. Let us shortly survey his principal contests, in the sequence in which he undertook and concluded them — his contests with the Tartars, with Novgorod, with the princes holding appanages, and lastly with Lithuania-Poland. Ivan rescued Muscovy from the Tartar yoke, not by one bold stroke, but by the patient labour of about twenty years. He did not break the yoke, but disengaged himself by stealth. Its overthrow, accordingly, has more the look of the work of nature than the deed of man.

When the Tartar monster expired at last, Ivan appeared at its deathbed like a physician, who prognosticated and speculated on death rather than like a warrior who imparted it.


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The character of every people enlarges with its enfranchisement from a foreign yoke; that of Muscovy in the hands of Ivan seems to diminish. Compare only Spain in its struggles against the Arabs with Muscovy in its struggles against the Tartars. The Khans, as if struck by a charm, had continued to remain instruments of Muscovite aggrandisement and concentration.

By, calculation they had added to the power of the Greek Church, which, in the hand of the Muscovite grand princes, proved the deadliest weapon against them.

Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century

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