The ‘Central Asian Question’

  • A. P. Thornton


The ‘Central Asian Question’ in Anglo-Russian diplomacy was less a question put by the Russians to the English than by the English to themselves. What would become of England’s power and position in the East if Russia continued to press southwards towards Persia and into the independent states of Turkestan?


Neutral Zone Indian Government Good Government Russian Government Royal Geographical Society 
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  1. 1.
    Baron Jomini, Diplomatic Study on the Crimean War (a Russian official publication, first translated into English in 1882), pp. 12–15.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    The most graphic account of these events is still J. W. Kaye, The War in Afghanistan, 3rd ed. (London, 1874), ii, ch. 2, ‘The Great Game in Central Asia’. For a modern account,Google Scholar
  3. Fitzroy Maclean, A Person from England (London, 1958), 43 ff.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Brunnov to Nesselrode, 6/18 May 1841; F. de Martens, Recueil des Traités et Conventions conclus par la Russie avec les Puissances étrangères, xii (St Petersburg, 1898), 77.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    J. P. Ferrier, edited and translated by H. D. Seymour, Caravan Journeys and Wanderings in Persia, Afghanistan, Turkistan, and Beloochistan, 2nd ed. (London, 1857) p.469.Google Scholar
  6. 1.
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  7. 3.
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  10. 1.
    The Circular is printed in W. K. Fraser-Tytler, Afghanistan (Oxford, 1950), pp. 305–9 from A. and P. (1873), lxxv, c. 704, appendix.Google Scholar
  11. 5.
    e.g., H. Seton-Watson, The Decline of Imperial Russia (London, 1952), p. 86.Google Scholar
  12. 1.
    Russell to Lumley, 31 July 1865, ibid. no. 23 — marked, ‘Central Asia, Proposed Agreement between two Governments as to Policy’; printed as amended in Sir Edward Hertslet, Recollections of the Old Foreign Office (London, 1901), pp. 117–19;Google Scholar
  13. and cf. B. H. Sumner, Russia and the Balkans, 1870–1880 (Oxford, 1937), pp. 43–4; Popowski, Rival Powers, p. 106.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. P. Thornton 1968

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  • A. P. Thornton

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