Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

Russian Foreign Policy, 1815-1856

A.) The Holy Alliance

At the VIENNA CONGRESS in 1813-1815 the HOLY ALLIANCE was established for the purpose of guaranteeing the new borders as well as preventing revolutions to question the socio-political order. Austria and Russia were the driving forces behind it.
When the revolution broke out in Belgium in 1830, Russia's Czar Nicholas I. ordered his Polish troops to march on Belgium and France (where Louis XVIII. had been toppled in another revolution); however, the troops revolted themselves (POLISH REBELLION of 1830), a rebellion which was suppressed.
In 1848/49, Russia supported Austria in crushing the HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION. When Russia found herself under an attack by Anglo-French forces in 1853 (the CRIMEAN WAR), the Russians expected the Austrians to come to their aid - which they failed to do. This was the end of the Holy Alliance.

B.) The Balkans

Russia traditionally had been a supporter of tiny MONTENEGRO, the independence of which the Ottoman Empire finally had recognized in 1799. When in the 1820es Greek freedom fighters fought for independence, Russia joined the British in defeating the Ottoman fleet in the NAVAL BATTLE OF NAVARINO (1827). In 1830 the Ottoman Empire recognized Greek independence and autonomous status for SERBIA and the Danube Principalities (MOLDAVIA, VALACHIA).
In 1853, war broke out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire over the allocation of a church in Jerusalem. The Turkish fleet was crushed by the Russian navy; the Russian army occupied the Danube Principalities. Britain was not willing to see the Bosphorus and Dardanelles fall under Russian control; am Anglo-French expedition landed on the Crimean peninsula (the Crimean War, 1853-1856).

C.) The Caucasus

The Russian expansion into the Caucasus region had begun in 1783, when the Kingdom of Georgia accepted Russian protection. In 1805/06 most of northern Azerbaijan was annexed, as were regions adjacent to Georgia.
In 1828, after a brief Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), Russia annexed the KHANATES EREVAN (Armenia) and NAKHICHEVAN, recognized by Persia in the TREATY OF GULISTAN.

D.) Central Asia

In the 1820es, the Kazakhs revolted against Russian rule (since the 1730es/1740es); the revolt was suppressed, the Middle Horde dissolved in 1822, the Lesser Horde in 1824. Direct rule (gouvernements) were introduced. The Elder Horde surrendered only in 1847.

Navarino, from History of the Russian Navy
My view of the History of Azerbaijan, Russian and Persian Azerbaijans 1828-1917, by Efendiev
DOCUMENTS Holy Alliance Treaty, Sept. 26th 1815, from Napoleon Series and from Western Civilization II: 1650-Present
The city of Erivan in 1827, from Hewsen, Armenia : a Historical Atlas
Convention between Great Britain and Russia, 1825, from explorenorth.com, English tral., Orig. French text

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 24th 2006

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