Russia and Britain in International Relations in the Period 1807–1812

  • Aleksandr A. Orlov
Chapter
Part of the War, Culture and Society, 1750–1850 book series

Abstract

In 1807, at Tilsit, Russia signed peace and alliance treaties with France, obliging the country to act alongside Napoleon I,1 something which inevitably pitted Russia against Britain. This chapter analyses the motivation of Alexander I. Discounting military circumstances, the tsar was counting on receiving support from certain circles of the Russian nobility and from the industrial elite. The tsar reasoned that the scarcity of certain products would increase prices, giving Russian manufacturers an advantage.2 Some members of Russia’s ruling circles, particularly the Minister of Commerce and later Foreign Minister Count Nikolai P. Rumiantsev, had plans to re-orientate Russian overseas trade towards France and its dependent states.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Nikolai N. Firsov, 1812 god v sotsiologo-psikhologicheskom osveshchenii (obshchaia kharakteristika) (Moscow, 1913), 57–8, prilozhenie 1: ‘Protokol konferentsii min-istra kommertsii gr. N P. Rumiantseva, ministra voennykh sukhoputnykh sil I glavnokomanduiushchego v Peterburge S. K. Viazmitinova i ministra iustitsii kn. P. V. Lopukhina ot 6 noiabria 1807 g’ (copy approved on 15 November 1807).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
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  10. 22.
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  14. 25.
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  16. 36.
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  17. 37.
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  19. 38.
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  20. 45.
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  21. 46.
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  22. 48.
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  23. 50.
    VPR, vol. 6 (1962), 541 (No. 227): Russian envoy to Philadelphia, Prince A. Ia. Dashkov to the US Secretary of State James Monroe, 2/14 August 1812. For more on this, see Viktor V. Bolkhovitinov, Stanovlenie russko-amerikanskikh otnoshenii, 1775–1815 gg. (Moscow, 1966), 515–62.Google Scholar
  24. 56.
    VPR, 398–99 (No. 159): Sukhtelen to Rumiantsev, 29 April/11 May 1812; Adolphus W. Ward and George P. Gooch, eds, The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy 1783–1919, 3 vols (Cambridge, 1922–1923) (hereafter: CHBFP), vol. 1, 385; Ward and Gooch, Appendix G, 595 (Thornton to Castlereagh, 16 April 1812 new style).Google Scholar
  25. 61.
    For a different opinion on this question, see Leonid A. Zak, Angliia i germanskaia problema (iz diplomaticheskoi istorii Napoleonovskikh voin) (Moscow, 1963), 55–6.Google Scholar

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