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An early Number will contain the commencement of
A NEW TALE,
. In February,- to be continued in alternate numbers,THE PRINCIPAL TREATIES OF MEDIÆVAL AND MODERN HISTORY.
By the Author of “ The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World.”
The Editor of The DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE begs to notify that he cannot undertake to return, or to be accountable for, any
manuscripts forwarded to him for perusal,
THE present occasion is probably the first during the history of the last half century, in which Russia has been found openly and immediately faithless to the engagements which she has contracted at the close of a considerable war. This circumstance, far from being produced by any antecedent spirit of fidelity on the part of her government, springs from the fact that at no other period has she been compelled to an acceptance of terms so hostile to her political de signs, and so repugnant to her military traditions. * Her astuteness, in truth, had previously come to the help of her morality. This observation remarkably applies to the share which she possessed in the French Revolutionary war. Even her peace with England, after the battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and her peace with France, after the battle of Austerlitz in 1805, were not attended by degrading conditions. On the latter occasion only did her arms suffer in reputation. In 1807 her diplomacy contrived to turn the defeat of Friedland to such happy account, that the peace of Tilsit, by which that cam paign was concluded, opened to her a prospect of almost unlimited conquest in the East. And when her next and last struggle with Napoleon broke forth in 1812, we all remember the effectual retribution which she imposed on France, both by treaty and by arms, for the invasion of her territory and the burning of her ancient capital.
The same remark applies to each of the three great treaties which she
VOL. XLIX.NO. CCLXXXIX.
concluded with the Ottoman Porte during a similar period. The treaty of Bucharest of 1812, the treaty of Akerman of 1826, and the treaty of Adrianople of 1829, were simply so many advances of dominion upon the shores of the Black Sea. The difticulties which then occasionally attended the accomplishment of the hard terms enforced by Russia upon Turkey became occasions of magnificent philippics by the former power, inveighing against the want of faith and honour alleged to be exhibited by the Porte. And although no government could have displayed a more signal dereliction of the obligations which it accepted than Russia herself in the subsequent relations of the two states, yet these derelictions were purely of an insidious character, and the Court of St. Petersburg contrived to carry out the terms that it had extorted by the sword with at least an outward show of justice and moderation. Hence the relations of Russia to her opponents are now without a precedent, and thus it has probably happened that an undue confidence has been reposed in her fulfilment of the obligations which she contracted in the Treaty of Paris.
It may be useful, in the first instance, to revert to the terms of the peace, and to glance at the general principle and object which it recognised. This treaty did not aim to be a treaty of conquest, but to be a treaty of reconstruction. It aimed merely to restore the balance between Russia and Turkey-not to
give to Turkey the preponderance of ever, must not blind us to two pracwhich it had divested Russia. The tical defects in its character, which modifications in the status quo ante are mainly the cause of the obstacles bellum were consequently simply which have presented themselves to such as the security of Turkey and its accomplishment. We refer, first, the freedom of commerce demanded to the actual process by which it was
By the terms of this treaty, mu- arranged, either in the treaty itself, tual restitution of territory conquered or by an understanding ancillary to in the war was agreed to without a it, that the concessions therein made single exception. Thus the Russians in theory should be carried out in surrendered Kars, and the Allies fact. We refer, secondly, to the igevacuated the territory of which norance of the geography of the they were in occupation in the Cri- East under which the terms of peace mea. Even the Asiatic frontier was were settled. to remain substantially as hereto. In regard to the former, we advert fore. The changes effected by the more particularly to the manner in treaty were three-fold—they were which the evacuation of the conmilitary, political, and commercial. quered territory was pursued on The first of these was accomplished either side. The obliquity and posiin the stipulation which provided tive unfairness of this arrangement that no “military-maritime arsenals" cannot have failed to have struck the should be re-established on the most thoughtless reader of the newsshores of the Black Sea-although a papers. We were ourselves three controversy arose as to its application thousand miles from the seat of war, to the Sea of Azoff, and to the Port France was nearly two thousand-by of Nicolaieff. The second, or political, water ; and by water all our troops class of changes referred to the future and stores and artillery had gone. government of the Moldo-Walla Russia, on the other hand, was fightchian Principalities, and to the civil ing, at the close of the war, exclurights to be guaranteed to the Chris- sively on her own territory, so far as tians of Turkey Proper. As, how hostilities in Europe were concerned; ever, the latter of these questions and the army of Mouravieff in the was specially exempted from the Pashalic of Kars was in direct and jurisdiction or interference of foreign close communication with the Ruspowers, the government of the Prin sian frontier. Austria, meanwhile, cipalities became the only “political" stood in precisely similar relationsquestion of an international character her army in Moldavia and Wallachia raised by the treaty. This subject was but the advanced corps of her will absorb its full share of our at- Hungarian forces ; and the retrocestention. Finally, the third, or com- sion of her rule within her hereditary mercial, class of changes involved at dominions would have formed the once regulations of customs in the work of a few weeks only. If, thereRussian and Turkish ports of the fore, any difference were to have Black Sea, and the question of the been made in the relative evacuations new Bessarabian frontier demanded of the territories agreed to be surof Russia in the Congress, from com rendered by the peace, it is clear that mercial rather than from territorial the Austrians and the Russians considerations, and with the view of ought to have first complied with the excluding Russia from all communi- prescribed terms : the French next, cation with, or authority over, the and ourselves in the last instance. mouths of the Danube. Hence, as This natural order of compliance we all know, has arisen the double with the terms of the treaty was, question of the New Bolgrad, and of however, directly inverted. England the Isle of Serpents.
was the first to withdraw ; France We are entitled to say of this followed in the track; and when all treaty of peace, that its provisions our positions in front of Sebastopol were in principle just, and even ad- had been restored to the possession of mirable. We may fairly add that our former enemy, the Russian army whenever existing difficulties are re of Bessarabia was still upon the moved, it will present a mighty Danube; the Russian army of Tiflis was scheme for the renovation of the still at Kars; and the Austrian forces East. These considerations, how were fixed as firm as fate in the Princi