Russia 1725-1763
Foreign Policy

The Russo-Ottomam War of 1735-1739

A.) The Diplomatic Pre-History of the War

Continued Tatar raids into southern Russia provided an excuse for the Russians to invade the Ottoman Empire. In the War of Polish Succession, Poland had been eliminated in the triangular balance of power in the cossack lands to the north of the Crimean Khanate; Poland had ceded its claims over the ZAPOROZHE COSSACKS to Russia.

B.) The Military Course of Events

The Russians, when invading Ottoman territory, found stubborn resistance. Russia returned the Caspian provinces (acquired from Persia by Peter the Great in 1724) to Persia in return for Persia declaring war on the Ottoman Empire. Austria joined by declaring war in 1737.
Russian forces performed well; the Crimea was conquered, AZOV taken, a Russian army invaded Moldavia, where, at Yassy, the Moldavian nobility offered the principality to the Czarina.
Yet Austria, Russia's ally, performed poorly in the war and in 1739 had to sign peace, as Emperor Charles VI. lay dying and the succession of his daughter MARIA THERESIA was disputed.
The Persians conquered Ganjeh and Tiflis in 1735 from the Ottoman Turks; the campaign seems to have been ended with a peace, as NADIR SHAH turned on other enemies (1736ff).

C.) The Legacy

In the PEACE OF BELGRADE the Ottoman Empire ceded AZOV to Russia, but Russia had to promise not to place a fleet on the Black Sea and returned OCHAKOV to the Turks. The Ottoman Empire also recognized Russian sovereignty over the ZAPOROZHE COSSACKS. Austria, on the other hand, ceded Serbia and Little Wallachia to the Ottoman Empire.

Timetable Iranian History 1501-1735, 1735-1794 from Iranian History Research Center
The Black Sea Dilemma, from History of the Russian Navy
REFERENCE Melvin K. Wren, The Course of Russian History, Prospect Heights 1994 : Empress Anne and Ivan VI., pp.171-174

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 19th 2004

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