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cighteenth, but in the ninth century, abject spirit of slavery in so many milwas the organization of Russia as a lions of subjects had continually tended military monarchy first undertaken to produce a vertigo of ambition in Not under Peter I., but immediately the minds of the monarchs. Finding after the introduction of the Rurik at home no impediment to their most dynasty, do the pretensions of Russia extravagant wishes, they indulged in to the domination over Constantinople the wildest dreams of conquest of other appear. Not with the establishment nations. In this manner they brought of the “Holy Directing Synod,” but forward schemes of universal dominion, in the very first year of the general and stretched out their hands — they, spread of Christianity into Russia, the barbarian chieftains !--- towards the under Vladimir, in 988, are the theo- sceptre of Eastern Rome. But when cratical tendencies of the Russian sov- they failed, the nations that had been ereigns to be remarked. In the reigns wronged took a great revenge ; and so of Oleg, Igor, Sviatoslaf, Vladimir, and Russia often sank to almost entire anYaroslaf, Russia has already her proto- nihilation under the shock of foreign types of princely absolutism, military coalitions. In this way, exaggerated conquest, and ecclesiastical ambition. aspirations were followed by terrible The later czars continued, they did not catastrophes. But after a period of originate, this policy.
prostration, the insatiate spirit of conNothing, consequently, can be more quest regularly reappeared ; and this, erroneous than to say that under Peter, we apprehend, will continue until Euson of Alexis, Russia for the first time rope has succeeded in pushing the fronemerged from a chaotic state into the tiers of civilization farther into Musproportions of a realm, and that since covy. his time she has been continually devel- As the view above given of Russian oping her "juvenile vigor." History history is not quite in accordance with unfolds a view diametrically opposed to the recognized notions, it may, perhaps, this theory. Russia is an old empire. be as well to add an outline of the chief And, unlike other European countries epochs with regard to the autocratic which have had their rise, growth, foreign policy of the grand-princes and and decline, or transformation, she has czars. for a thousand years oscillated between In the first century of its foundation, the existence as a military empire of the Russian Empire treads the stage, menacing aspirations and a state of so to speak, in full armor. From the total political eclipse. She can hardly disorder of a host of not very warlike boast of a steady internal development. tribes, the foreign - Germanic – dyWarlike, aggressive despotism in one nasty of the Ruriks calls a realm into epoch, total prostration in another, have existence, ready armed for offence; been her characteristics. In the mean and forth with a despotism is developed, while, through all these jerking changes, “born with teeth in its head.” This her people have unfortunately ever re
earliest epoch dates from the ninth to mained servile and uncultivated, her the eleventh century. During it, the princes ever unduly ambitious. There Rurik dynasty unites the Finnish and were only two germs of freedom in Slavonian tribes of what is now NorthRussia at the two farther ends of the ern and Central Russia into one empire, Empire. We allude to the city of Novo- overthrows in the southeast the highgorod, at one time a member of the ly cultivated Tartar Kingdom of the German Hanseatic League, and to the Khazans,* who inhabited the countries city of Kiev. Both fell before the on
The history of the Khazan Kingdom, erroneslaught of czarism. There was no ously confounded with that of the Khanates of rude force in all the vast extent of the Em- nomadic hordes, almost remains to be written. Alpire to support the good cause of Novo
though a Tartar (or Turkish steppe-tribe by origin,
the Khazans of the ninth century turned their attengorod; and it would seem as if the tion to Greek culture and refinement, and acted as
of the Don, the Dnieper, and the Tau- mind the conventions of Kutjuk-Kairic peninsula, and for two centuries nardji, Adrianople, and others. With wages war against the government of the Grand-Princes of the ninth and Constantinople, in order to unite the eleventh centuries, as with the czars of crowns of the Russo-Varangian prin- the eighteenth and nineteenth, it was ces with the golden tiara of Byzantium. the practice to look upon treaties The most monstrous designs were set as upon convenient conjurer's caskets on foot at this period by the northern from whence to extract a sophistical despots. They strove for the annexa- justification for fresh aggression. With tion of the Balkan peninsula, the do- the Russian rulers of eight hundred minion over the Black Sea, the subju- years ago it was already good policy to gation of the Crimea and the Caucasus. “protect” the government of ConstanThus, from 865 to 1043, the provinces tinople against internal seditions, in of the Byzantine Empire were sub- order to degrade it into vassalage. jected to incessant inroads from the Then already the Danubian provinces North. The Grand-Princes marched were seized upon by Russia as a “matheir Germanic, Finnish, Slavonian, and terial guaranty"; then already the Tartar hosts along the Dnieper into government of Constantinople was dethe Danubian countries, or transported clared to be only encamped in Europe ; them in fleets of small craft across the and then already the Grand-Princes Euxine to appear as besiegers before – scarcely weaned from idolatry! the “ City of the World.” The waters claimed a certain supremacy over the of the Pontus, the provinces which we
Eastern Church. now call Moldo-Wallachia, Bulgaria, the
Such was Russian dynastic policy Haemus passes, and the coasts of Rou- eight hundred and nine hundred years melia, were the battle-grounds for the ago. We say "dynastic," because the armies and navies of Russia and of the people played no part in these events Lower Empire. In these contests, the save one of passive obedience. Those “Russian capital,” as a proud Rurik mighty plans of a domineeriag Northchieftain called it, was for a time estab- ern monarchy were fostered only in lished at the foot of the Balkan, at the brains of the Varangian rulers. Praejeslavety. But, not satisfied with But after these vast exertions, Russia, this conquest, the invader pointed with by a sort of historical retribution, colhis lance to Constantinople as the future lapsed under internal convulsions. Her seat of his government. It affords a sin- political unity was torn asunder by gular spectacle to behold in the mir- quarrels among the different branches ror of this ancient history the forecast of the reigning family; and when at last of modern events. The treaties then
the nomadic hordes of Genghis-Khan agreed upon between the Byzantines and Batou appeared on the confines of and the Russians vividly recall to
the Empire, there was no centre of
resistance, no strength, no patriotism the pioneers of progress in Southern Russia. In those tracts of land where the hideous Kalmuk and
to oppose them. Within a few years, Kirghiz people now swarm the Khazans created Russia became the slave of the Golden wealthy towns and fruitful fields. The highway from Horde. The Tartar flood broke forth Derbent to Suir was adorned by them with flourishing cities, such as Atel, Sarkel, Kuram, Gadran,
from the depths of Asia, sweeping in Segekan, Samandar, Albaida, Ferus-Kapad ; the its stormy course towards the West, plans of most of which towns had been traced out, and the chief buildings erected, by Byzantine archi: and, being stayed by the rock of Gertects. Khazan fleets traded up the Don, along the
man and Polish valor, settled down over Black Sea, and in the Mediterranean as far as France the Scytho-Sarmatian plains from the and Spain. Unfortunately, this remarkable nation,
Volga to the Valdai Hills. For two which first began to ameliorate the savage habits of the Slavonians of the Dnieper, was weakened in its hundred and fifty years, from the midpower !y Russian invasions, and afterwards over- dle of the twelfth to the end of the powered by nomadic inroads ; thus these Eastern
fifteenth century, the Mongols governed countries were again handed back to the darkness of barbarism.
the kingdom of the proud Ruriks!
Russia was now Mongolized in spirit, an epoch when the Moslem stood at and even in the physical appearance of the zenith of his power. her people. Her very name became Such was Russia in the fifteenth and confused in the memory of Europe. A sixteenth centuries. But this renewed line of Kalmuk frontier-guards drew, attempt at an ascendency was not of so to speak, a Chinese wall round the long duration. It ended suddenly with boundaries of the empire.
the extinction of the Rurik family. But when the sovereignty which the Scarcely had the last tyrant of that Mongol Kaptchak had exercised over race expired, when another catastrophe Russia was at last destroyed (not by hurled down the Muscovite Empire into Russian bravery, but by conflicts among the depths of humiliation. Poles, Gerthe wandering Asiatic tribes them- mans of the Baltic provinces, Swedes, selves), the Muscovite Grand-Princes, Tartars of Astrakhan, and other nations assuming the title of Czar and Em- that resented the former encroachments peror, again ran riot in ambition. The of Russia, make a simultaneous attack chief field of their activity lay this
The situation is complitime, not to the south, but to the north cated, too, by internal dissensions. Preand the west. Their sword was pointed, tenders arise on all sides, and wars not to Constantinople, but to Sweden, of succession break completely the Poland, and the German provinces of strength of Russia. The capital falls the Baltic.
into the hands of the Poles, whose Whilst it had been the aim of the princes dispose of the throne of Mosearly Ruriks to establish Russia as a cow. Conspiracies are rife all over the great Oriental power, the czars, subse- country, in the sacristies of the clergy quently to the fifteenth century, en- and in the castles of the nobles, until deavored to found Russian supremacy at last the tumult subsides into the in Baltic quarters. So strenuous were election of the new dynasty of Romantheir efforts in that direction, that one off. During this state of confusion, might say they anticipated in thought the attention of Europe had gradually the later foundation of the modern again been diverted from those northRussian capital at the Neva. But, ern regions. Russia once more bealthough directing their chief energy came to the West a hyperborean ultima towards Baltic quarters, the autocrats Thule. of that period did not wholly lay aside At the end of the seventeenth centhe " Byzantine" policy of their prede- tury Czar Peter appeared.
He comcessors. By the ties of marriage and bined the schemes of the Russo-Norstate-craft, the hospodars of Moldo- man Grand-Princes Oleg, Igor, SviaWallachia were drawn into the Musco- toslaf, Vladimir, and Yaroslaf, with vite interests, and the zeal of the Greek those of the semi-Mongol czars Ivan population of Turkey kept up by showy III. and Ivan IV. His ambition emdemonstrations, which the agents of braced the north and the south, the one of those czars contrived to per- Black Sea and the Baltic, Asia and form in the very streets of Stamboul. Europe ; and since his time the march Thus an embassy was sent by Ivan IV. of Russian aggression was again onto the Sultan, which, in the details of ward, until a check was offered to it its get-up, astonishingly reminds us of in the Crimean War. the Menchikoff embassy of some fif- From this brief summary it will be teen years ago. At that time, also, perceived what importance must be the double eagle of Byzance, symbol of attached to the history before Peter I. sovereignty over the east and the west, Nor are we wanting in authentic was adopted as the Russian escutch- sources. Not to speak of the regular eon, so as to exhibit the Czar in the (chiefly Byzantine, Arabic, and Ruslight of the chosen champion of Chris- sian) chronicles, there exists, if we tianity against the unbeliever. This at may say so, a whole series of “ voyage
literature” concerning Russia, begin- trades, and stations of life. Of their ning with the ninth century, and con- numerous reports we will single out sisting of travel memoirs, ambassa- those of a few Englishmen: Thomas dorial reports, and so forth.
Aldcocke, factor of an English comFrom Ohthere, a Norman native of mercial company, who made the voyage Heligoland, who in 890 gave an account from Jaroslaw to Astrakhan (1564); of his voyage to Northern Russia by Arthur Edwards (1565); Thomas Southorder of Alfred of England; and from am, in the service of the Anglo-Russian Ahmed-ben-Fosylan, the plenipotenti- Company in London (1566); Thomas ary of an. Abasside Khalif, who in 921 Randolfe, ambassador of Queen Elizadrew up a report of his journey, - there beth (1568); Giles Fletcher, also amare, down to modern times, compara- bassador at Moscow (1588), etc. tively a great number of documents. Unquestionably, one of the most inTaking only the two centuries before teresting memoirs is that of the French Peter I., we come to the surprising Captain Margeret, originally published fact that, nearly four hundred years ago, in 1607 at Paris. To assign their right Germany sent her scientific commis- place to the reports of this leader of sions to Moscow, with a view to study- free lands, we will observe that his ing the situation of Russia, which had sojourn in Muscovy, where he rose to then just emerged from Mongol slavery. great dignity, occurred during the beThe reports of these commissions still ginning of a period which we called exist. Unfortunately, they are hidden “eclipse." His work, therefore, canin the dust of Austrian archives. More not, properly speaking, serve as a conaccessible are the documents of a polit- temporary authority for the traditional ical nature, such as the letters and policy of Russia. Yet so constant has memoirs of German ambassadors at been the tendency towards territorial the court of Moscow.* Of these latter extension and absolute government, we name only the accounts given by that even Margeret, though writing at George Thurn, who had a mission a time when the country was hastening from the German Emperor Maximilian to decline, felt deeply impressed, not to negotiate for a marriage with the only by the vastness of its geographical daughter of the Czar (1492); then the extent and its military resources, but work of Sigismund von Herberstein, a also by the restless ambition which Councillor and President of the Board prompted the barbarian autocrats to of Revenues of the German Empire, aspire to imperial honors and Eurowho, in 1516, went as envoy extraor- pean importance. dinary to Moscow (Rerum Moscovita- If we were to draw any inferences rum Commentarii, Vienna, 1549). In from the more than secular — because the sixteenth century Russia was much almost millenary — policy of Russian travelled through by men of all nations, czars, we should come to the conclu
These are, however, not the earliest traces of sion that the appropriation of Constanintercourse between Russia and the West. There tinople by them may, after all, be still were Russian embassies to Germany, and vice versa, averted. Sometimes the accomplishduring the reign of the German emperor Henry II.
ment of the design has seemed near (1003–24! Projects of intermarriage at that epocha were discussed or carried out between German, Hun- enough, but a gigantic catastrophe has garian, Polish, English, and French princes or prin- as often averted it. Autocratic policy cesses on the one hand, and members of the Rurik family on the other. In the eleventh century, a de
was powerful enough to move the stolid throned Russian sovereign made a personal pilgrim
mass of the Muscovite population for age to Mayence, to solicit aid against a rival, - the the purpose of conquest, and unscrupuexiled Russian pretender promising that, if Henry lous enough to hurl the savage tribes he would engage "to hold Russia only as a vassal of the farthest Asiatic deserts against fief of the German empire.” Henry IV., being in the rich countries of Eastern Europe. volved in a struggle both with his own vassals and the Holy See, was unable to do more than to make But what the czars were unable to an inefficient diplomatic intervention.
inspire their subjects with has been
the noble instinct of enterprising migra- ful, freedom-loving, adventurous Gertion and colonization, the intelligence manic races of the migrations, who of mind necessary for fertilizing territo- scarcely knew kingly authority; and, on rial conquests, and converting them in the other, that enthralled mass of Musto valuable possessions. Even in the covite subjects who have successively mere warlike spirit required for a sys- submitted to Khazan, Varangian, and tem of encroachment the Muscovite Mongol supremacy, and whose governpeople have ever been deficient. Their ment not unfrequently reminded one great successes have generally been of the worst era of Roman imperators.
more by fostering dissensions A comparison between Russia and the among the enemy, by diplomatic in- United States is therefore certainly out fluences, by the lavish use of gold, and of the question. by the skill of foreigners taken into Latterly, Russia has made some steps Russian service, rather than by native in advance in internal improvement, Muscovite prowess. When invaded on mainly in consequence of her defeat by her own soil, Russia had recourse to the allied Western Powers. The emanthe aid of nature's forces, availing her- cipation of the serfs is a great move, self of the barrenness of the country at which all friends of humanity must and the rigor of the climate. As to the rejoice, though it is no secret that the boast contained in the spurious " Last Czar carried it out from a desire of Will of Peter I.,” that the vigorous diminishing the wealth of those nobles races of Russia, similar to the Ger- who, in common with a portion of the manic tribes, will inundate the coun- town's population, were striving for the tries of the west, east, and north, we introduction of some sort of parliamentneed only point to the thinness of the ary government. No sooner, however, population of Muscovy proper, and to has Russia made those steps in adthe utter absence of a wandering im- vance than her rulers have resumed pulse among them. The most super- their aggressive policy in Central Asia, ficial observer must see through the thus trying once more to divert the fallaciousness of a pretended similarity attention of the nation from progress at between, on the one hand, the youth- home to territorial conquests abroad.
CALICO-PRINTING IN FRANCE. *
In this age of liberty and of individ- the mechanic. They were, at first,
secret societies, formed for mutual defreely choose his occupation and pursue fence against the lawless and tyrannical it without let or hindrance, we with exactions of the feudal lords, so contindifficulty appreciate the all but insur- ually engaged in private warfare with mountable obstacles which restrictive each other; but, as each trade natand prohibitory laws, and the jealous urally clustered together, these societies exclusiveness of trade corporations, once soon became trade corporations. Their presented to a young and aspiring me- numbers and discipline made them forchanic.
midable. Privileges were granted them, In the early ages of their history, and free towns established, in the govthese trade corporations were indeed ernment of which they took an active the first rallying-points of liberty for part; and the feudal lords were grad
** Manufacturers and Inventors." By URBAIN PAGES.