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EASTERN PROBLEMS 



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EASTERN PROBLEMS 



AT THE 



CLOSE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 

BY 

ALFRED L. P. DENNIS, A.B. 



Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements 
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 

in THE 

Faculty of Political Science 
Columbia University 




CAMBRIDGE, MASS. 

CJjt fcluCtocraitfi press 
1901 









Copyright, iqoi 
By Alfred L. P. Dennis 






CONTENTS 

Page 

Introduction i 

Chapter 

I. The Colonial Question and the War of 1793 . • • 7 

II. The Eastern Question and the Revolution .... 74 
III. Napoleon Bonaparte and the Orient : the Egyptian 

Expedition 147 

Appendices. — Statistical Tables 219 

Bibliography 227 

Vita 279 



| UNIVERSITY J 



EASTERN PROBLEMS 

AT THE CLOSE OF THE EIGHTEENTH 
CENTURY 

INTRODUCTION 

The history of the world, in its largest aspect, is the history 
of the intercourse between East and West. This intercourse 
has been potent in many important directions; in affairs of 
race, religion, and trade, the vital relation between Asia and 
Europe has either created or solved difficult problems in 
human existence. It has also been continuous, and though 
there have been years when this interchange has seemed of 
small effect, the true interpretation of world history can be 
given only when the struggle between Orient and Occident 
is recognized as an ever present factor. Then the simplest 
events of daily life in regions where the forces of two civiliza- 
tions have joined battle for dominion become significant of 
great issues. The struggle is, furthermore, a signal example 
of the unity of history ; older than historical chronicles, the 
contest touches the lives of men and nations to-day as it did 
when Jason sailed in search of the Golden Fleece, or when the 
champions of Greece crossed over to Asia in pursuit of Helen. 

This conflict between East and West is an essential part of 
the thought and life of the ancient world. The Homeric epic 
derives from it ; it is embodied in the story of Zeus and 
Europa, who is shown as the daughter of an Asiatic king ; it 
is the inspiration of Herodotus and Xenophon ; Marathon, 
Salamis, and Platea tell of the antagonism of two conti- 
nents. The struggle between Hellas and Persia is the first 



2 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

historic expression of that antagonism ; the story of that con- 
flict is the first chapter in the history of the Eastern Question, 
and the lasting glory of Alexander is that he levelled the 
ground for Western institutions in the border lands of Asia, 
and marked the flood-tide of European influence in the Orient. 
But even in his lifetime and with his consent the forces of the 
East made known their conservative strength, and in three 
centuries pushed the focal point of the struggle back even to 
Epirus. For the place of Actium among the world's great 
battles is only half realized unless the stake of empire between 
the opponents is truly estimated. Rome, as the later champion 
of the West, the shield and sword of Europe, fought in Antony 
the Asiatic peril and a leader inspired by an Orientalism which 
would have made Egypt the ruler of both worlds. Virgil and 
Horace became the poet apostles of a Roman empire which 
should wage war against a despot about whom were grouped 
the forces of the East from Arabia, India, and M ultima 
Bactria" The victory of the West, and the epochal day when 
the entrance of Egypt into the empire transformed the idea of 
Roman dominion, gave clear title to a high calling in the mind 
of the Roman people. The feeling of the later republic be- 
came conviction of duty in the heart of Augustus, and he 
dreamed to make of himself an Alexander. Thus the march 
of the Roman legions along the road of the " Great King " 
lifted the affairs of Asia Minor, the Armenian Question, the 
battles against the Parthians on the Euphrates frontier, to a 
position of world importance in the second phase of the East- 
ern Question. In the place of Hellas and Persia stood Rome 
and Parthia. For whatever meaning the expansion and the 
fall of the Roman Empire held for the people of western Eu- 
rope, the fate of the eastern imperial frontier was pregnant for 
all the world. That border line became the defence of a Europe 
unprepared to meet the threat of Asiatic dominion. The vic- 
tory of Tours was won against a mere flanking party ; the 
brunt of the battle against Asia was borne by a much maligned 



INTRODUCTION 3 

state, which for centuries held in check the forces of a civiliza- 
tion whose power was growing, while that of Byzantium was 
waning before the double attack of the untiring East and the 
ungrateful West. The leadership of the Orient was at first 
given to the rulers of Iran, later to the Semitic tribes of Ara- 
bia breathing the inspiration of an unshaken religious faith, 
and finally to Turanian peoples from the heart of Asia ; their 
attack was the manifestation of forces which governed half 
the world, and with which modern Europe has not yet fully 
reckoned. 

In the days of Alexander Europe had camped on the Indus ; 
fifteen centuries later she was forced to be content with Acre 
and parts of Asia Minor ; and before two thousand years had 
passed she was compelled to draw her line of defence against 
Asiatic conquest under the walls of Vienna. Since that day 
the decline of Ottoman power and the advance of commercial 
crusaders from Europe have defined the Eastern Question of 
modern history in terms familiar to all. In the narrower defi- 
nition, it is the problem of the succession to the empire at 
Constantinople, that is, the Balkan peninsula, the Levant, and 
those provinces of Asia which drain into the Black, ^Egean, 
and Mediterranean seas. As such this question is only the 
application to a specific geographical field, and to particular 
peoples, of Eastern and Western forces which are in conflict 
throughout Asia. 

In the past the line between Europe and Asia was clearly 
drawn. Over against the static East, subjective in thought 
and theocratic in rule, stood the dynamic West, objective in its 
ideals and democratic in its political tendency ; the relation of 
the two continents, whether in peace or war, was simple. But 
to-day the West is no longer all Roman : the nationalism of 
the Occident has found its own hemisphere too small, and is 
trying to find an answer to its own industrial problems on an 
alien soil ; the battle of Slav and Teuton and Latin is to be 
fought out in a strange land ; and the conditions of these minor 



4 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

struggles are thus modified. The rulers of Asia are called 
to readjust the balance of power in a fight essentially local, 
between one or another of the powers of Europe or America ; 
and the Armageddon of Orient and Occident is set for an 
unknown day. The result is that the oldest Eastern Question, 
that which centres at Constantinople, has companion problems 
in Egypt, Persia, Central Asia, and China. They are all simi- 
lar and all go to make the problem of Asia, of which each is at 
once a phase and a microcosm. The problem of Asia being near 
the heart of world history, the progress of Western economic 
and political questions to an Asiatic and Oceanic stage evolves 
world politics ; and in Asia these politics deal with issues 
between West and East which block the road to imperial 
expansion throughout the Orient. 

It is, therefore, as parts of a world-problem that colonial 
affairs in Asia and the Turkish Question reveal their true 
meaning ; nor is this a new thing, for the Eastern Question, to 
use the conventional term for the Turkish Question, is an old 
force in history. It has been neglected, its influence dis- 
counted, and even its existence denied by local historians in 
the West, who write of the German Reformation with scarce a 
word about Turkish armies, and who tell of the rise of France 
to the leadership of Europe, but say little of the alliance 
of the " Most Christian King " and the " Grand Seignior." 
Yet there is no fundamental difference in the Eastern Question 
of the fifteenth and twentieth centuries; then as now the 
Ottoman power profited by the jealousies of Western states, 
intent upon gaining economic advantage in tlie trade of the 
East ; for earlier still, geography, the great constant in politics, 
had determined the true value of Constantinople as an imperial 
city, and of Egypt as forum utrique orbi. Indeed, one object 
of this monograph is to insist upon the need of a History of 
the Eastern Question, which will tell the r61e of Asia in the life 
of our own races and states, and will win recognition for the 
East, the slighted factor in European history. The colonial 



INTRODUCTION 5 

expansion of Europe has been described both as an extension 
of the history of the home countries and as a movement of in- 
herent importance. The real meaning of its history lies in both 
aspects, and also in the interacting relation of Asia and Europe 
through its medium. The influence of an Asiatic domain, 
which is itself subject to Asiatic tradition and history, upon 
the life and ideals of its Western parent or governor, cannot be 
lightly estimated. The plan of our investigation, therefore, is 
based on these thoughts. It does not include the history of 
certain Asiatic countries at a given period, nor an account of 
political events in either hemisphere : it is rather an attempt 
to discover the conditions which governed colonial affairs and 
the Eastern Question in the closing years of the eighteenth 
century, and to measure the influence which these extra- 
European problems exerted in a period of stress when the 
storm centre is believed to have been in western Europe, and 
to observe the evolution of Asiatic questions during that period. 
The story of the French Revolution and of Napoleon Bona- 
parte has been told so often that the choice of that period for 
study may seem a mistake. Yet it gives just the situation with 
which to test the claim of the importance and significance of 
Asia. The events are well known, little new material is avail- 
able, and no startling interpretation is to be dreaded. The 
view usually taken by students of the Eastern Question is that 
the Napoleonic period was comparatively barren of results in 
the evolution of that problem, and that held by some students 
of Western history is that the colonies occupied a minor place 
in the great European struggle, and that though Napoleon's 
dreams might be of the Orient, his politics dealt only with Eu- 
ropean affairs. If, therefore, the influence of Asia in Europe, 
and the development of her problems, can be shown to have 
been appreciable in a period so hostile, those who support the 
plea for recognition of the East may find encouragement. 

Only the preliminary chapters of this investigation appear 
at present in a pamphlet for use as a dissertation for the 



6 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

degree of Doctor of Philosophy; the method of presentation 
and the form of the work are those required of the writer for 
this purpose. For all that the writer has gained during his 
course at Columbia University, and for whatever may be found 
worthy of acceptance in his future work, he desires gratefully 
to recognize his indebtedness to those who have inspired and 
directed him, and in particular to Professor William M. Sloane, 
Professor James Harvey Robinson, and Professor Richard J. H. 
Gottheil. He wishes also to express his thanks to Professor 
Archibald Cary Coolidge of Harvard University, and to those 
who have helped him in the Libraries of the Pennsylvania State 
Historical Society and of Columbia and Harvard Universities. 



CHAPTER I 

THE COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1 793 

The international Rivalries of the Eighteenth Century as influenced by Asia — 
The Theory of Colonial Dominion — "The Balance of Trade" — Colonies 
and Sea Power — The Antagonism of France and Great Britain — French 
Colonial Policy — French Colonies in the Eighteenth Century: Trade, Size, 
and Population — Economic influence of the Colonies — Administration — 
The Colonial Question in France: the Cahiers — Colonial Compact — Privi- 
leged Companies — Treaty of 1786 — British India — Trade of Great Britain 
with Asia in the Eighteenth Century — General Condition of British Com- 
merce in 1783 and 1793 — British Power in Asia — Its Progress and its Dangers 

— The State of India — French Opinion regarding Asiatic Questions — Talley- 
rand's Plan — The Preparation for the War of 1793 — The Position of Spain 

— Asia, the Source of British Power — Opinion in Great Britain, 1790-93 — 
The Importance of the Netherlands — "The War on Sugar Islands " — The 
Continental and Colonial Policies of France — The Negotiations at Lille — 
The Colonial Question and the Problem of Asiatic Dominion during the Rev- 
olutionary period. 

The eighteenth century, though cosmopolitan in thought, was 
international in politics. The " inter-colonial wars " were a 
struggle for commerce and colonial empire, but they reacted 
with energy upon the institutional and political reformation 
which focussed in the Revolution ; the Eastern Question and 
its corollary, the Polish Question, then took rank with the 
French Question in the councils of Europe; and the. jealousies 
they caused blinded the eyes of diplomats to the real meaning 
of events in Paris, thus gaining for the French chance to 
organize more fully forces with which to fight Europe. The 
interest of Europe and more particularly of France in Asiatic 
matters has been hidden by events at home ; it was by no 
means slight, and in the case of Napoleon Bonaparte became 



8 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

at one time overpowering. The synthesis of these ideas and 
the traditional policy of France made easy the preparation for 
the Egyptian Expedition; and that event, a natural step, 
marked in turn an important evolution in the problem of Asia. 
In this chapter the attempt must be made to discuss the 
colonial question at the time of the French Revolution, and to 
summarize with special reference to Asiatic affairs the theories 
and conditions involved in the imperial struggle between 
France and Great Britain. 

Montesquieu, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, had 
written of the English as a people who above all others had 
known best how to " profit simultaneously by three great forces 
— religion, commerce, and liberty." * Each of these three had 
been at stake at one time or another during the wars of Great 
Britain with Spain, Holland, and France; the conflict with 
Spain, the " monopolist of the New World," was for religious 
and economic reasons and during this conflict was founded 
that sea power of Great Britain, which was to support her 
international prestige and commercial prosperity. The do- 
mestic controversies which produced modern England, with 
the naval combats against the Dutch, and the later alliance of 
the two nations against France, introduced the long struggle 
of the eighteenth century for commerce and colonies ; and this 
antagonism between Great Britain and France, which reached 
a new stage in the wars of the Revolution, was related to Great 
Britain's rivalry with Spain. It was the threatened increase to 
French domains by the addition of the trans-oceanic empire 
of Spain, and the checking of British advance in India and 
America by the Bourbons, that moved Great Britain to join 
battle against France in order to protect and enlarge her com- 
merce and colonial domain. Thus the policies of the two rivals 
grew world-wide in their scope ; the political geography of the 
Antipodes was discussed in the councils of Europe; and the 

1 Esprit des Lois, 1. xx. c. 7. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 9 

question of curbing the ambitions of France at the Pyrenees, 
the Rhine, or the Scheldt was linked with that of control on 
the Ganges and the Mississippi. The stories of wealth in the 
Indies made men speak of the " Grand Mogul " as they would 
have spoken of Louis XIV. ; and new measures of value pro- 
duced new theories of commerce and politics. Trade itself 
became political ; and it was said : " All the Nations of Europe 
seem to strive who shall outwit one another in point of Trade, 
and they concur in this Maxim, That the less they consume of 
foreign Commodities, the better it is for them." x With such an 
axiom colonial problems were attempted and the principles of 
commerce and foreign policy demonstrated in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. Overlooking subtler laws of credit 
and engrossed in the idea that wealth could be measured only 
in gold and silver, men gauged a nation's prosperity wholly by 
the difference between its exports and imports. This was 
supposed to be in bullion and gave the " balance of trade," the 
economic barometer, which to the mind of governor and mer- 
chant marked success or failure, according as exports exceeded 
imports or were exceeded by them. Whatever judgment, 
therefore, may be passed on the " Mercantile System " as a 
whole, or the economic theory on which it rested, this must be 
remembered : the system was a vital element in the period ; 
the conclusions to which men came in matters of commerce 
and colonial policy were influenced by it ; and the spirit of the 
time cannot be truly understood if it be disregarded. 2 

1 Jansson: Maxims in Trade (17 13) publ. in Somers : Fourth Collection of 
Tracts, iv. p. 153. 

2 Mun : England's Treasure by Forraign Trade (1664) (Maculloch's edition), 
p. 125, chap. ii. : "The ordinary means, therefore, to increase our wealth and 
treasure is by Forraign Trade, wherein wee must ever observe this rule : to sell 
more to strangers yearly than wee consume of theirs in value/' Boislisle : Corr. 
des controleurs generaux, ii. p. 477 (Me?n. de M. de Mesnager, dipute de Rouen, sur 
Vetat du commerce en giniral, Dec. 3, 1700): "Si nous fournissons aux etrangers 
en vin, en eau de vie, sel, toiles et etoffes pour plus de valeur que ce que nous 
tirons d'eux, alors notre commerce est utile a l'fitat, parce que le debit que nous 
faisons de nos march andises excedant la valeur de celles qu'ils nous envoient, cet 



10 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

As a natural result of this economic system, the problems of 
colonial dominion and sea power took front rank among the 

excedent nous est toujours paye en argent qui est la richesse et la force de l'lstat." 
Child : Discourse on Trade (5th ed. 1751), p. 115: " The ballance of trade is com- 
monly understood two ways : 1. Generally: something whereby it may be known 
whether this kingdom gains or loses by foreign trade. 2. Particularly : something 
whereby we may know by what trades this kingdom gains, and by what trades it 
loses. . . . This ballance is to be taken by. a strict scrutiny of what proportion the 
value of the commodities exported out of this kingdom bear to those imported; 
and if the exports exceed the imports, it is concluded the nation gets by the gen- 
eral course of its trade, it being supposed that the overplus is imported bullion, 
and so adds to the treasure of the kingdom, gold and silver being taken for the 
measure and standard of riches." Child criticises this prevailing opinion and 
shows that when applied to particular branches of trade it fails to consider the 
relation of that branch to the total trade. He examples the East India Co. on 
this point (p. 120); he declares his measure of trade is the ratio of increase in the 
general shipping and trade of a nation (p. 123). On the other hand, he says : 
" It is to our interest, by example, and other means (not distasteful), above all 
kinds of commodities, to prevent, as much as may be, the importation of foreign 
manufactures" (p. 132). Coyer: La Noblesse commercante (1756), p. 93. " Ce 
n'est pas le Commerce interieur qui enrichit un £tat, il etablit seulement une cir- 
culation de richesses, sans en augmenter la masse ; c'est au Commerce exterieur 
qu'est reserve le grand ceuvre. L'Europe nous ouvre ses Ports, TAfrique nous 
appelle, l'Asie nous attend, 1'Amerique nous solicite" (p. 151). " I/Argent, ce 
tyran du monde a bien etendu son empire depuis l'usage de la poudre a canon 
et des armes a feu. La guerre est devenue une depense d'argent plutot qu'une 
depense d'hommes " (p. 158). " Le commerce est le nerf de l'litat. ... La bal- 
ance du commerce et la balance du pouvoir n'en sont plus qu'une." The very 
urgency with which such statements are made shows the idea of empire founded 
on trade to be a new and pregnant one to the men of the eighteenth century. 
Ibid. p. 22 : " Je pourrois demontrer que la France, dans la position actuelle de 
l'Europe, ne peut se soutenir que par le commerce, d'oii je concluerois que toute 
la Noblesse se doit s'y porter. . . ." Cf. pp. 54, 179, 214-215. Child: op. cit. p. 
114: " That the greatness of this kingdom depends upon foreign trade is ac- 
knowledged, and therefore the interest of trade not unbecoming persons of the 
highest rank." Beausobre: V Introduction h Vetude de la politique (ed. of 1791)* 
i. p. 257: " Le commerce est actif lorsque l'Et'at vend a l'etranger beaucoup plus 
de marchandises et de denrees qu'il ne lui en achete, il est passif si l'Etat achete 
plus qu'il ne vend." The author attacks this prevailing definition, and claims the 
principle upon which commerce must be judged is that " les productions de la 
terre fournissent le necessaire, que le produit de circulation fait naitre l'abondance 
et que les tresors de l'etranger donnent le superflu : . . . que tout commerce qui 
ne fait pas hausser le prix des terres est un commerce destructif et vicieux " (p. 
258). Arnould, Balance du Commerce (1793), i. p. 64: " Suivent le raeme sys- 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 II 

political and commercial questions of the day ; for the corollary 
to the proposition regarding the balance of trade was that 
the colonies and foreign establishments of a European state 
must minister only to the prosperity of the home ports. Such 
a belief, enforced by prohibitive laws or by war, made the own- 
ership of a colony a necessity to the mother country ; and the 
Asiatic trading-posts, or " factories," of European companies 
thus became the scenes of political intrigue or actual hostil- 
ity between associations of merchants. The readiness of the 
mother country to support the claims and help the endeavors 
of her citizens was determined by the supposed value of a new 
and exclusive market, as well as by the ability shown by the 
colony or factory to assist the balance of trade between the 
home country and some other European nation. For often 
the imports from the foreign possessions were in turn exported 
to a European market, the profit-taking being for the benefit 
of home merchants, and the increase of exports credited in 
calculating the balance of trade for the mother country. 1 The 

teme, il falloit beaucoup vendre aux etrangers, et leur acheter peu, afin d'attirer 
une plus grande masse d'argent dans les canaux de la circulation interieure de 
1'empire." The author gives his own definition, viz. (i. p. 132) : " D'apres ces 
definitions, j'entends par balance du commerce, la comparaison des differents rap- 
ports de rhomme avec la terre. C'est dans ce sens que j'ai intitule cet ouvrage, 
de la balance du commerce" The matter is thus summarized by Adam Smith : 
Wealth of Nations (ed. of 1796), ii. p. 173; Bk. iv. ch. 1. "The two principles 
being established, however, that wealth consisted in gold and silver, and that these 
metals could be brought into a country which had no mines only by the balance 
of trade, or by exporting to a greater value than it imported, it necessarily became 
the great object of political economy to diminish as much as possible the impor- 
tation of foreign goods for home consumption, and to increase as much as possi- 
ble the exportation of the produce of domestic industry. Its two great engines 
for enriching the country, therefore, were restraints upon importation and en- 
couragements to exportation." Cf., for Smith's criticism of this theory, pp. 141, 
147, 170 et sea.; 243-250, 485 et sea. Cf. also Montesquieu : Esprit des Lois, 1. 
xx. c. 4-14 ; and for a general statement regarding mercantilism, Schmoller : The 
Mercantile System, pp. 47 et sea., 58 et sea. 

1 Child: Discourse on Trade, p. 146: " That all colonies and foreign planta- 
tions do endammage their mother-kingdom, when the trades of such plantations 
are not confined to their said mother-kingdoms, by good laws, and the severe 



12 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

result, however, of such endeavors in empire-building might be 
totally the reverse of that intended; should the contest for 
colonial domain or commercial privilege prove too expensive to 
the mother country, the profits of the new market would be 
more than counterbalanced by an increased national debt and 
heavy taxation. Especially would this be true when the con- 
sumption of colonial produce was confined to the home land, 
and when no part of the colonial output was re-exported to 
foreign consumers in Europe. It was this aspect of the problem 

execution of those laws." Gomel : Causes financieres de la Revolution franfaise, 
ii. pp. 223 et seq. In 1784 the chief cities of France protested against the decree 
of Aug. 30, which permitted foreign ships to trade in certain specified goods with 
French colonies. The deputies of these cities claimed that " c'est un principe 
inconteste que les colonies sont crees par et pour la metropole ; elles n'ont le 
droit de s'approvisioner qu'en France, et de meme elles ne peuvent vendre qu'en 
France les produits de leur sol. Le monopole du commerce colonial assure aux 
negociants et armateurs de la mere-patrie, est pour celle-ci un dedommagement 
aux depenses qu'entrainent la fondation et la garde des colonies ; il est pour elle 
une source de benefices, et s'il cesse d'exister, si les vaisseaux etrangers peuvent 
amener dans les Antilles les produits dont celles-ci ont besoin, ils ne tarderont 
pas a supplanter nos batiments ainsi que nos marchandises, au grand detriment 
de notre marine et nos manufactures/' Cf. Bachaumont : Memoires, xxvii. p. 84; 
xxviii. pp. 143-145. Beausobre : Politique, i. pp. 279, '280 1 " II ne faut jamais 
oublier qu'elles [les colonies] ne sont fondees qu'en faveur du pays de la domi- 
nation ; c'est pourquoi les fabriques et les manufactures y sont deplacees." 
Uztariz : Theory and Practice of Commerce (written in 1724, Eng. ed. 1751), i. 
p. 6 : " ... we [Spaniards] principally suffer by having bought of foreigners more 
merchandize and fruits, than we have sold to them, so as to make a ballance to 
our disadvantage of millions of dollars yearly." Page 49: " . . . the Indies 
are not the thing that enervates and dispeoples Spain, but the commodities by 
which foreigners have drained us of our money, and destroyed our manufactories, 
at the same time that our heavy taxes continue." This statement was based on the 
fact that the exports to Spain from her colonies were chiefly bullion, which, while it 
increased Spain's purchasing power in Europe, altered the balance of trade to her 
debit. The dangerous progress of English trading in Asia is treated in Bielfeld : 
Institutions politiques, i. p. 304 : " Mais il y a eu, en Asie, des Nations ou trop 
formidables par elles-memes pour etre subjugees, ou que la jalousie mutuelle des 
Puissances Europeennes a laissees en paix, ou qu'on n'a pas cru valoir la peine 
d'etre attaquees. Le Commerce avec ces peuples et la Navigation sur leurs 
Cotes sont demeur^s libres a toutes les Nations Europeennes ; et c'est aujour- 
d'hui une violence, une injustice affreuse lorsq'une Puissance, qui domine sur la 
Mer par ses forces Navales, veut troubler les autres dans cette Navigation." 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 1 3 

which appealed to Adam Smith in his well-known chapter on 
the colonies. 1 The idea that sea power was a deciding fac- 
tor in history, that the future of nations depended on a flour- 
ishing commerce upheld by a profitable colonial empire and 
defended by a powerful navy, was advanced on both sides of 
the Channel. The Earl of Shaftesbury had already measured 
the foundation of British power when he wrote : " The Fleet 
are the Walls of England " ; in France a like thought and hope 
were heralded; and the realization of the ideal of sea power by 
Great Britain in her long duel with France was the full expres- 
sion of a theory by no means novel or mysterious. As Great 
Britain gained this maritime supremacy a corresponding ad- 
vance in her manufactures further strengthened her hold on it. 
Exports to the Antipodes discovered national resources, which 
in turn became the nation's mainstay in war. The merchant- 
marine and industrial interests stored the power of the country, 
while the enlargement of the empire opened new markets and 
found naval stations the world over. Gentz called it the " Mon- 
opoly of Trans-European dominions." 2 

1 Smith: op. cit. ii. pp. 397, 429, 431, 439,442, 459-469, 516-517. (Book iv. 
chap. 7.) 

2 Gentz: State of Europe in 1789, pp. 308 et sea. Shaftesbury: Delenda 
Carthago, in Somers : Second Collection, in. pp. 213, 214. "The Fleet are the 
Walls of England. To command at Sea, not to make conquests by Land, is the 
true Interest of England . . . What then is the Interest of England as to France ? 
Surely to grow at Sea and command the trade, which is our greatness." Mahan : 
Sea-Power {1660-1793), pp. i. 73 et sea. (Cf. O'Meara's Talks with Napo- 
leon at St. Helena, Cenhiry Magazine, Feb. 1900, p. 631.) Cunningham : English 
Industry, ii. pp. 445, 508, 537-538. Mallet du Pan : Memoirs and Correspondence, 
i. p. 39 : " From the Baltic, from Hudson's Bay, from Jamaica, from the Wind- 
ward Islands and the East Indies, immense and rich cargoes come to minister to 
the necessities of the State [England], while sustaining the fortunes of individuals. 
This care in protecting the returns of her merchant marine by the aid of a 
fleet, ever ready for the purpose, makes no noise in the papers. It occasions 
no firing of cannons or chanting of Te Deums ; but it preserves individuals 
from the evils of war. So long as this circulation shall last, England will retain 
life and movement. So long as the capital of her merchant marine shall be 
circulating at the two ends of the world, an exchange for their treasures, so long 
as a maritime and commercial power shall lose neither her convoys nor her war- 



14 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Power thus gained stimulated the imagination and widened 
the political horizon of Europe ; but the process was slow and 
of ten throughout the eighteenth century local reasons were given 
for policies which, though they seemed European, were destined 
to work changes in other continents. But the history of the 
period has noplace here, for it is upon the principles of foreign 
policy that attention must be centred ; and the main theme 
being the rivalry of France and Great Britain in the latter half 
of the century, the theories entertained by each about the other 
are connected with colonial and naval policy. Of French writers 
on the subject no other is as typical as Favier, the diplomat 
and author of political treatises ; his ideas were popular and his 
influence great. The gist of his doctrine was the annihilation 
of Great Britain as the only obstacle to French expansion on 
the continent and over seas. He cited the conflicting and 
commercial interests of the two states, which had involved them 
or their allies in war four times within a century ; he talked 
of treaties between them as mere truces, and celebrated the 
centennial of their mutual hatred. Frenchmen, comparing their 
struggle with Great Britain to the Punic wars, dreamed of them- 
selves as Romans and shouted, Delenda est Carthago. Other 
writers, of widely differing character, expressed similar ideas. 
Rousseau in 1760 declared that Great Britain would be ruined 
within twenty years. An attack at the extremities of the 
British Empire, a rebellion in Ireland, internal parliamentary 
dissensions, and a fierce onset by France would make of England 
an insular Poland. 1 Nor was the animosity only in France ; a 

ships, she will impose on the imagination by the energy of her efforts." Coyer : 
op. at. p. 109 — quoting a saying attributed by Pompey to Themistocles, "Qui 
est le Maitre de la mer, est le Maitre de tout ** — the author claims that Louis 
XIV. was animated by this idea. Page 182 : " D'un Vaisseau Marchand on passe 
sur la Flote Royale pour y disputer l'Empire de la mer." 

1 France and England or their allies had gone to war in 1689, 1702, 1739, 1756, 
and again later in 1775. Favier, Conjectures, in Segur : Politiques, etc. ii. p. 165 : 
" Dans les beaux jours de Louis XIV. la France profita de l'animosite nationale, 
de la jalousie du commerce entre les Anglais et les Hollandais, pour tenir la 
balance entre les deux puissances maritimes." Page 167 : " On peut done le dire, 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 1 5 

reciprocal feeling in Great Britain spoke of France as a " nat- 
ural political enemy," and declared that any union with her 

nous void arrives a l'anniversaire d'un siecle de haine implacable entre les deux 
nations [France and England.] Depuis cette paix separee en 1673, elles n'ont 
point cesse' d'etre en guerre ouverte, ou en temps de paix, de nourir les jalousies, 
les defiances, les craintes reciproques, qui ont ramene quatre fois de nouvelles 
hostilites " (et passim to p. 195). Rousseau : Extrait du Projet de Paix, in 
CEuvres, vii. p. 364 (written in 1760) : " II est par exemple tres-aise de pre voir 
que dans vingt ans d'ici l'Angleterre avec toute sa gloire sera ruinee et de plus 
aura perdu le reste de sa liberie. " Zevort: d'Argenson, p. 409, maxim of 
d'Argenson : " L'Angleterre et la maison d'Autriche sont nos seuls rivaux de 
puissance par mer et par terre, ce sont deux Carthages contre une Rome." (This 
was prior to 1756J Gentz : op. cit. pp. 99, 100: [1789] "There was only one 
among the greater powers whose interests were contrary to those of France, and 
who at the same time possessed the means of injuring her ; and that was Eng- 
land. . . . But with respect to the danger resulting to France from this hostile 
relation, it appears that . . . the security and integrity of its territory [were] not 
invaded or materially endangered in any war with England. Colonial and com- 
mercial interests, the constant objects of contention between them, though certainly 
great and important, were only secondary to the above consideration ; and the 
danger that ensued, though serious and afflicting, was only subordinate." Coyer : 
op. cit. pp. 62 et sea., 101, 106, 107. Voltaire : Siecle de Louis XV. ch. 35. Gomel : 
op. cit. i. pp. 5, 230 ; ii. p. 35. D'Argenson : Journal et Mem. iii. p. 170 : [Sept. 19, 
1740] "Iln'est pas douteux que l'Angleterre n'ait un grand interet a ecraser 
notre marine renaissante. lis la chercheront et se diront en droit de commencer 
la querelle par nous combattre, puisque tout dessein de notre flotte ne peut etre 
qu'offensif contre eux." Cf . vii. pp. 37, 397 ; viii. pp. 108, 348. Linguet : Annales, 
iv. p. 53 : " Cinq-cents ans de rivalite ont rendu personnelle a chaque particulier 
l'emulation qui aiguillonne les deux peuples " [English and French]. (Quoted by 
Sorel : L' Europe et la Revolution francaise, i. p. 338, note 4.) Cf. Sorel : op. cit. 
i. pp. 291, 292, 306, 338, 345, 347. Dubroca : Politique du Gouvernement Anglais, 
p. vi : * La nature a place l'Angleterre et la France dans une situation respective 
qui doit necessairement etablir entre elles une eternelle rivalite. Rapprochees 
sous ce rapport, les deux nations offrent sous un autre point de vue des diffe- 
rences qui etablissent aussi imperieusement la superiority de la France sur la 
Grande-Bretagne." De Witt: Jefferson and American Democracy, p. 389. (Paper 
written in March, 1776, by Gerard de Rayneval, of the French foreign office, 
entitled, u Reflections on the actual position of the English colonies and the 
course which France ought to take with respect to them.") " After describing 
England as the natural enemy of France, and as a greedy, ambitious, unjust, and 
faithless enemy, the invariable and cherished object of whose policy was, if not 
the destruction, at all events the impoverishment, humiliation, and ruin of France, 
he urged as a natural consequence that it was the business of France to take 
every possible opportunity of weakening the strength and power of England." 



1 6 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

would be " disgraceful and degrading to England." The com- 
mon talk was not so bitter ; the road to war was rather paved 
by suspicion, a readiness to expect French hostility, and by 
contentment in French discomfort. 1 Such an attitude, how- 

1 Rousset : Louvois, ii. p. 309 [1677] : (Report of a French agent in London): 
" II a passe tout d'une voix dans la chambre basse que les Anglais vendront 
jusqu'a leurs chemises (ce sont les termes dont ils se servis) pour faire la guerre 
a la France pour la conservation des Pays-Bas." Browning : Leeds — Pol. memo- 
randa, p. in (May 9, 1785): "Austria and France are united for views of 
mutual aggrandizement. Russia is closely connected with Austria, Spain with 
France. The Consequences of this formidable League are evident. They would 
be felt by all Europe in general, but more particularly by England and Prussia. 
It behooves therefore these two Courts to concert Measures for their recip- 
rocal Safety." Stephens : Home Tooke, i. p. 56: "The Whigs of that day [1765] 
always beheld France with an invidious eye, and rejoiced at her humiliation and 
disgrace. Considering the example of successful tyranny as contagious, they 
vowed eternal enmity and everlasting hatred against a king, who kept more than 
twenty-five millions of his subjects in slavery ; and they would willingly have 
waged perpetual war with a nation, base and abject enough to hug their chains, 
and sacrifice themselves at the bidding of an unfeeling despot." Pari. Hist. xxvi. 
421, 422. Debate on commercial treaty with France in 1787. Mr. Francis : " It 
has been the deliberate policy, not the passion, of England in all times but those 
of the House of Stuart, to prefer the friendship of any distant nation to that of 
France. ... An intimate union with France must always be disgraceful and 
degrading to England." Burke, speaking on the subject, said (p. 488) : " The 
designs, then, of France were to allow us some present gain in the sale of our 
manufactures, for some permanent advantages which she promised to herself in 
commerce. Through her rivers and canals she intends to pour the commodities 
of England into other countries. She had already, by her politics, contrived to 
wrest our share of the Levant trade from us ; and it was a part of her present 
design to divert the remainder from its former channel ; and by supplying all the 
ports in the Mediterranean Sea through the Seine, the Garonne, the canal of 
Languedoc, and the Rhone, to engross the carrying trade to the Levant, and to 
ruin our factory at Leghorn and our other establishments in those seas." During 
the course of this debate Mr. Fox was particularly severe in his attacks on 
France, declaring her the ** natural political enemy " of Great Britain. One of 
the most distinguished exceptions to the general anti-Gallican sentiment had been 
Lord Shelburne. Cf. Fitzmaurice: Shelbume, iii pp. 166, 167 [1782]. For Fox's 
change of view in 1789. cf. Russell : Corr. of Fox, ii. p. 361. (Fox to Fitzpatrick, 
July 30, 1789.) Annual Register, 1784-85, p. 137. (English sentiment as to 
the treaty signed Nov. 8, 1785, between Holland and the Empire.) " It could 
not but be a grievous consideration to Englishmen that, while France, through 
the happiness of great ministers at home, and their choice of able negotiators 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 1 7 

ever, was fatal to peace ; given this mutual distrust, the avowed 
policy of France was to ally herself with every enemy of Great 
Britain, and that of the British was no less effective in its oppo- 
sition to French schemes. As in the affairs of the American 
colonies the French had tried to strike at Great Britain, so in 
Holland the plans of the Bourbons aimed not only at European 
success, but at serious opposition to British power in India. The 
"favorite design" of the French court was said to be "to in- 
jure as much as possible the commercial and political inter- 
ests of England in India ; " and as the Revolution drew near, 
no abatement in this policy is to be seen ; Indian princes, by 
their opposition to British control in the East, were to sat- 
isfy the national jealousy of France; French diplomacy de- 
lighted to play at intrigue in Eastern affairs, and the gossip 
of Versailles fed on embassies from Asia. That these hopes 
were futile does not make them less an index to the mind of 
France. 1 

abroad, was spreading her consequence, and extending her influence through the 
nations of the earth, Great Britain, through some unaccountable fatality, seemed 
to be fallen from that high seat in which she had so long and so gloriously pre- 
sided, and to be no longer considered, or almost remembered in the general poli- 
tics and system of Europe." Auckland : Correspondence, i. p. 127 ( Pitt to Eden. 
June 10, 1786) : " . . . though in the commercial business I think there are 
reasons for believing the French maybe sincere, I cannot listen without suspicion 
to their professions of political friendship"; ii. p. 215 (Storer to Eden. June 
30, 1788): " ... we suppose the French are looking out for opportunities of 
commencing hostilities against us, and the French think that Great Britain is 
seeking for pretences to begin a war against them." For English pleasure at 
French disorder, see Ibid. i. pp. 195, 205; ii. pp. 233, 377, 458 462, 484. Cf. also 
Lecky : Hist, of England in the Eighteenth Century, v. pp. 443, 444, 455, 456, 474. 
1 Barral-Montferrat : Dix ans de paix armee, i. p. 14 (Lord Carmarthen to 
Hailes, Jan.-Feb. 1784) : " I feel sure that you will take the opportunity to pay 
closer attention than ever to the plans of the French Court, now that it is free to 
press the accomplishment of its favorite design, that is to injure as much as pos- 
sible the commercial and political interests of England in India. These plans 
must appear as easier of realization now than at any other time previous, in view 
of the new intimacy which has been established between France and the United 
Provinces of Holland. The principal, not to say the only object of their alliance 
is, it appears, to drive the English from the East Indies." Page 95 (Despatch of 

2 



1 8 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

The positive side of French policy in colonial affairs and the 
success of French colonization must not be forgotten. It has 

Hailes, Sept. 7, 1786) : "As soon as she can France will recommence hostilities. 
She will advance as she has previously given as her motives for the rupture, the 
liberties and rights of humanity, and she will use the Indian princes to satisfy her 
national jealousy still more than her ambition." Cf. pp. 1,2. Malmesbury: 
Diaries and Corresp. ii. p. 289 (The Hague, April 13, 1787 ; Harris to Car- 
marthen) : " M. de Vergennes has agents employed at Amsterdam, for no other 
purpose than to find out persons who had been accustomed to India, who knew 
that language and habits of the country ; and, wherever they could be discovered, 
they were engaged at almost any price ; and I am told that there is scarcely an 
Indian prince who has not a French emissary at his court." Cf. p. 189. Rose : 
Diaries, i. p. 85 (Pitt to Stafford. Sept. 6, 1788) : " Our accounts from India of 
the Chev r . de Conway's return from Trincomale, without having done anything, 
and of all being quiet in that quarter, are very satisfactory. The State of 
France, whatever else it may produce, seems to promise us more than ever a con- 
siderable respite from any dangerous project, and there seems scarce anything for 
us to regret on our own account in that condition of foreign countries, except the 
danger that the King of Sweden may suffer too severely for his kindness." 
Notice must be taken of the embassy of Tipu Tib which reached Paris in 1788. 
Though it accomplished nothing, it is interesting as showing the temper of the 
time. Tantet : Ambassade de Tippoo Sahib a Paris in Revue de Paris (1899), i. 
pp. 393-420. A previous attempt had been made by Tipu to communicate with 
European courts. In 1784 G7mlam 'Ali Khzxx had started from Mysore on a 
mission to the Porte, France, and England. Owing to lack of funds he only went 
as far as Constantinople. His instructions and journal are noted by Stewart: 
Catalogue of Tippods Library, p. 92. Letters No. xxix. and xxx. But on July 27 
Muhammad Darwaish Khzxs., Akbar 'Ali A7/an and Muhammad Osman Khzx\ 
sailed from Pondicherri on a mission to the court of Versailles from Tipu Sultan 
of Mysore. They landed at Toulon, June 9, 1788, and were received Aug. 10, by 
Louis XVI. They returned to Seringapatam in May, 1789, with promises and 
presents. Politically the mission was a failure, though it alarmed several British 
diplomats. Cf. Stewart : op. cit. p. 54. Lescure : Corr. secrete, ii. pp. 193, 273, 
278-79, 281. (The ambassadors asked for 6,000 French troops to fight the Eng- 
lish.) Malouet: Mimoires, i. p. 206. Kirkpatrick: Select Letters of Tippoo Tib, 
p. 13. Auckland: Corr. i. p. 169. (Mr. Morton Eden to Mr. William Eden, 
Jan. 18, 1787.) Mr. Hope of Amsterdam had been speaking of " the power and 
art of France- in Holland, in diverting the Dutch from their real commercial in- 
terests to establish in India a military power which must be at their command ; 
and prove probably fatal to our interests in that quarter." Page 342 (Mr. Hugh 
Elliot to Mr. Eden, Dec. 26, 1783) : " Foreigners in general think we are in 
danger of losing our East India possessions entirely by the intrigues of the 
French and the strength of their allies in Hindostan." Cf. i. p. 229; ii. pp. 227- 
228. (The duke of Dorset was inclined to mock at Tipvi's embassy.) Barral- 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 19 

been the habit of some to recall only British victories ; they 
look on the French colonial domain as a pitiful and unwise 
attempt to equal the success and enterprise of Englishmen ; 
and they depreciate the interest of French statesmen and mer- 
chants in fostering a foreign dominion. This view is unsup- 
ported by facts; the value of colonies was estimated more 
highly in France than in England, more money was spent for 
them, and greater endeavors made to help them. Clear 
theories regarding the problems of colonial expansion were 
first formulated in France; Frenchmen first conceived the 
idea and applied the system, which, when copied by the Eng- 
lish, led to the conquest or absorption of India. Since the 
sixteenth century France had wished to be a colonial power ; 
and Francis I., Coligny, Henry IV., Richelieu, Colbert, and 
Louis XIV. had raised an empire which in 1683 was at its 
widest limits, including territories and spheres of influence of 
vast extent in North and South America and India, together 
with rich islands in the East and West Indies and establish- 
ments along the coast of Africa ; only the dominion of Spain 
exceeded that of France prior to 1700. Even as the Revolu- 
tion threatened, fashions at home were for things d'ontre-mer; 

Montferrat: op. cit i. pp. 51, 52. In 1785, the French ambassador in London, 
the Count d'Adhemar, was full of a plan which Vergennes thought too reckless. 
He propose to induce Warren Hastings, then returning from India to be tried, to 
turn traitor in the event of his conviction. France was to cherish his ambition 
to be a king in India, and was to supply him with means to create of India an 
independent state, at enmity with Great Britain and useful to France. (The 
crudeness of this plan, as seriously suggested by one high in the diplomatic 
service, gives additional reason for French failure in other eastern Affairs.) 
Masson : Dipt. Aff. Strang, p. 63: " Ainsi Mgr. Pigneau de Behaine, eveque 
d'Adran, etait venu du fond de l'empire d'Annam, menant avec lui le prince, fils 
du roi de Cochinchine, proposer a la France un territoire immense. Un traite 
stipulant une alliance offensive et defensive avait ete signe a Versailles le 28 
novembre, 1787 ; on le laissa sans execution. Les ambassadeurs de Tippoo- 
Sahib etaient arrives a Versailles le 13 aout, 1788 [probably August 10] : ils 
avaient, en quelque sorte, fait acte de vassalite vis-a-vis de Louis XVI. : on les 
econduisit poliment. Cette immense attaque qu'on aurait pu tenter contre l'An- 
gleterre, en Europe par les quatre puissances alliees, en Asie par la Cochin- 
chine et l'lnde, echoua miserablement." 



20 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

French discoverers were sailing on unknown seas, a vigorous 
colonial policy was favored by Louis XVI., and that new force 
in politics, the pamphleteer, was sending out his pages prais- 
ing colonial power and urging aggressive expansion. 1 A few 
figures showing the relative condition of colonial trade at the 
death of Louis XIV. and at the outbreak of the Revolution will 
put this in a clearer light. In 1 716 the export trade of France 
amounted to about 118,000,000 livres, of which 13,500,000 
livres went to her colonies and foreign establishments, and 
17,650,000 livres originally came from them, but were exported 
to the rest of Europe by home merchants ; the total imports 
from the colonies were 23,500,000 livres, in which the above 

1 Beer : Gesch. des Welthandels, 2te Abth. pp. 44, 45. Stephens : The French 
Revolution, i. p. 270. Seeley : The Expansion of England, p. 35. Lorin : Bor- 
deaux et la colonisation francaise in Quest, diplo. et colon., 1900, p. 385: "Le fait 
est que la periode la plus eclatante de la grandeur bordelaise, le dix-huitieme 
siecle, fut celle des relations les plus actives avec les possessions franchises 
d'outre-mer, particulierement les Antilles." Rambaud: La France coloniale, 
p. xxx. Levasseur: Population francaise, iii. p. 446. Dubois: Systemes colo- 
niaux, pp. 259 et sea. Malleson : History of the French in India, pp. I et seq., and 
Final French Struggles in India, p 249. Rapson : Struggle between France and 
England, p. IX. Leroy-Beaulieu : La colonisation, pp. 139 et seq. 151, 711. Cas- 
tonnet-Desf osses : La Revolution et les clubs dans VInde francaise in Revue de la 
Revolution, i. p. 235. De Lanessan : Expansion coloniale, p. xxiii. Bailleu : 
Preussen und Frankreich, i. pp. ix, x. Voltaire: Siecle de Louis XIV., ch. 29. 
Hanotaux : Le Havre et le commerce maritime de la France in Quest, diplo. et colon., 
1900, pp. 667,66s : "Jamais la France, au cours de son histoire, n'eut une activite 
maritime et coloniale comparable a celle qui marqua cette brilliante epoque [1763- 
1789]. . . . Les Antilles notamment etaient en pleine prosperite. Tous les 
esprits etaient attires vers cette source de richesse qui paraissait inepuisable. La 
cour, la ville, la societe tout entiere etaient prises dans la tourbillon. . . . Ce 
gout, cette fureur du commerce des lies penetrait jusqu' a Paris. II influait sur 
les mceurs. Des fortunes rapides se constituaient et s'ecroulaient selon les suc- 
ces ou l'insucces des entreprises lointaines. Tout ce qui venait des colonies 
etait a la mode. Les filles des traitants etaient recherchees et leurs dots fer- 
maient les yeux sur leurs origines. On portait des coiffures a la criole, et la 
litterature elle-meme s'en melant, on etait tout oreilles aux petits vers des littera- 
teurs venus des lies, les Parny et les Bertin." The bibliography includes the 
titles of many books and brochures on colonial subjects. The list might have 
been largely increased, but preference was given to writers on Asiatic matters. 
The work of Deschamps, La question coloniale, has much to say on this point. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 21 

mentioned 17,650,000 is included. In 1789 the total exports 
amounted to 358,000,000 livres, of which 119,000,000 livres 
went to the colonies, and about 160,000,000 livres of colonial 
imports were exported from France to foreign countries; 
the imports from the colonies were from 226,000,000 to 
240,000,000 livres. In 1789 the total import trade of France 
was about 345,000,000 livres, and in the language of the period 
a balance of trade of 1 3 ,000,000 livres was created in her favor. 
The r61e of the colonies in thus changing a balance of imports 
over exports of nearly 150,000,000 livres to one of exports over 
imports of 13,000,000 livres was evident to every one, and 
this fact was brought out frequently in the colonial contro- 
versy of 1 79 1 as great reason for careful management of the 
colonial domain. Taking the trade of the colonies as an item 
in itself, a distinction must be made between the American or 
West Indian and African colonies on the one hand, and the 
Asiatic establishments on the other, excluding the Levant and 
Eastern Asia, which will be treated in the next chapter as 
an important part of the Mediterranean problem and the 
Eastern Question. The total colonial trade in 1789 amounted 
to about 362,000,000 livres, according to Levasseur, and to 
43 2 )37 1,000 francs, according to Deschamps. Even if the 
lower figure be accepted the volume of commerce was larger 
than at any subsequent period till i860. The distribution of 
this wealth cannot be definitely determined, for in their total 
figures various writers differ radically ; but basing our calcula- 
tions entirely on contemporary statisticians and official docu- 
ments it is safe to make an estimate which, though it may not 
be absolutely correct, is uninfluenced by prejudice either for or 
against colonial expansion. In the case of the American 
colonies imports from France for a period prior to 1789 had 
been 98,000,000 livres annually, but owing to the increase of 
trade between the French Antilles and countries other than 
France (a trade which had been authorized by a recent de- 
cree and which had been estimated at 37,000,000 livres in 



22 



EASTERN PROBLEMS 



1788), the figures for 1789 were reduced to 78,000,000 livres. 
The exports to France for a corresponding period had been 
190,000,000 livres, and for 1789 they were 218,000,000 livres. 
Thus, while French trade in general had increased fourfold 
since 17 16, the imports from her American colonies had 
grown over tenfold, and that despite forty-four years of war 
since 1689, and a century and a half of exploitation. The con- 
tents of these imports were the staple tropical products ; the 
use of coffee and sugar had increased in Europe, and in 1788 
the equivalent of 95,000,000 kilograms of sugar was exported 
to France, supplying the needs of the country and in addition 
furnishing 63,000,000 francs worth of sugar and syrups to be 
exported by her to the rest of Europe. 1 

1 French Commerce, 17 [6-1788. — This table is compiled from Arnould's 
Balance du Commerce^ ii. [Table No. 12], and has been given credence by Levas- 





Commerce of France with her Amer- 
ican and African Colonies. 


Commerce of France with her East 
Indian establishments. 




Imports to France. 


Exports from 
France. 


Imports to France. 


Exports from 
France. 


1716 


17.2 


9-8 


6-3 


3-7 


1725-32 


I8.I 


16.O 


12.8 


9.2 


*733-3S 


21.8 


15-9 


20.0 


10.0 


1736-39 


37-5 


21.8 


20.1 


15-9 


1740-48 


39-o 


26.6 


13.8 


1 0.0 


1749-55 


69.0 


37-2 


21.4 


18.2 


1756-63 


16.3 


12.9 


5-7 


4-5 


1764-76 


1 16.6 


39-i 


19.0 • 


12.8 


1777-83 


108.7 


50.6 


0.8 


10.4 


1784-88 


193.2 


93-o 


33-7 


26.8 



seur in his France et ses colonies (iii. p. 355) ; though by no means absolutely 
correct, he regards it as the best obtainable. In presenting it here, I would call 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 2$ 

The trade statistics of French East Indian establishments 
are not easy to obtain; the subject of Asiatic commerce is 

attention to the well-known prejudice of M. Arnould against the East India trade, 
and would suggest comparison with other figures given by Goudard and cited 
below. The figures are in millions of livres. A livre Arnould estimated at 54 
au marc which differs little from the present franc in weight. 

The fluctuations of trade are remarkable testimony to the losses of French mer- 
chants during the wars with England, and in the East Indian columns the story 
of the privileged companies is eloquently told. This point will be treated later. 
Arnould : Balance du Commerce, pp. 262, 263 : " Les exportations de la France 
pour les puissances et contrees de l'Europe, s'elevoient a la fin du regne de 
Louis XIV., a la somme de 105 millions ; au moment de la revolution, elles 
montent a 424 millions, ce qui fait une augmentation dans la proposition d'un 
a quatre. ... La troisieme classe concerne Les Denrees Des lies Francoises De 
HAmerique, reexportees a l'etrangers, formant seulement une valeur de 15 
millions a la fin du regne de Louis XIV., et devenues un objet de 152 millions, au 
moment de la revolution. La quatrieme classe, enveloppe Les Marc handises pro- 
venues Du Commerce Francois Aux Indes orientales, et reexportees a l'etranger ; 
A la fin du regne de Louis XIV. cet article etoit de 2 millions 650 mille livres, 
et au moment de la revolution, c'est un objet de 4 millions 160 mille livres." 
Goudard: Rapport sur le commerce de la France en 1789 (read Aug. 24, 1791). 
It is to be found in Arch. Pari. xxix. pp. 684 et sea. ; Proc. Verb. No. 745, in 
vol. lxvii. pp. 1-17. I have used the report in the first edition of 1791 in pamph- 
let form as it is freer from typographical errors, pp. 4-7. In 1789 the total 
foreign trade of France was 702,687,000 livres, which was made up of 345,083,000 
of imports, and 357,604,000 of exports. Jullian : Hist, de Bordeaux, pp. 519 
et sea. The commerce of Bordeaux developed steadily from the Regency to the 
Revolution. The first foreign marine postal service established in France (1787) 
started from Bordeaux. Under Louis XVI. the city was the first port of France, 
doing a quarter of the national commerce, or about 250 millions annually ; the 
colonial trade amounted to over 150 million livres. Foncin : Bordeaux et 
V esprit colonial in Bull. Soc. geogr. comm. de Bordeaux, 1900, p. 129: "On 
a dit de la ville de Bordeaux, etalee en un croissant magnifique au bord de 
son fleuve, qu'elle n'etait que la moitie d'une capitale, dont l'autre moitie 
etait aux colonies." Cf. Deschamps : Les Colonies pendant la Revolution, pp. 4, 5, 
296. (Though this little book is of undoubted value and, when carefully con- 
trolled, can be used to great profit, the prejudices of the author and his con- 
clusions upon the general subject of the colonial question in France should 
materially weaken his influence.) Deschamps: Question coloniale en France, 
p. 235 and note. Levasseur: France et ses colonies, iii. pp. 354-355. The seven 
colonies which remained to France in 1822 did a trade of 96,000,000 livres ; in 
18 \o, of 177,000,000, and in i860, before the new tariff went into effect, of 
271,000,000. In general, the author says: "Le commerce des colonies francaises 
a eu dans la seconde moitie du X VHP siecle une periode brillante de prospe- 



24 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

involved with the question of the Compagnie des Indes. As a 
problem of colonial policy and economic theory, the affairs of 

rite/' To illustrate the difficulty of securing correct statistics : the statement 
of M. Leroy-Beaulieu that the total colonial commerce of 1788 reached the figure 
of 600,000,000 livres is not borne out by the figures of the Bureau de la Balance 
du Commerce, nor do they agree with those of Goudard. Chaptal, Industrie 
franc, i. pp. 132-134, gives still another set of figures and calculates the total 
commerce of France as follows: — 

Imports. Exports. 

1787 . . . 630,871,700 fr. 444,611,100 fr. 

1788 . . . 575,393400 " 463,156,700 " 

1789 . . . 634,365,000 " 438,477,000 " 

Of the imports he says 240,000,000 francs came from French colonies, and of the 
exports 90,000,000 went to them. Thus he is enabled to calculate a balance of 
trade favorable to France, for he refuses to consider 60,000,000 in gold and silver, 
which are included in the imports, as affecting the balance. Foville : Le com- 
merce exterieur de la France depuis 1716, in Bull, de statistique et de leg. comp. xiii. 
(1883). Moreau de Jonnes : Le Commerce au XIX siecle, i. p. 104. Moreau: 
Tableau co?np. du commerce and Tableau statistique des progres du commerce in Bull, 
de la Soc. franc, de Statistique universale (1830). Biollay : £tudes icojiomiques sur 
le XVIII sihle> i. (L'administration du commerce). Cf. Lohmann : Handelsta- 
tistik Englands und Frankreichs im 18 Jahrhundert, in Sitzungsberichle, Berlin. 
Akad. der Wissensch., 1898, pp. 872-886, 891-892. The tables there given differ 
from those adopted by the author, especially in regard to the figures for 1716, 
which, according to Lohmann, were only 33 million total imports, and 47 million 
livres exports. In the matter of the sugar trade the tables of Avalle: Tableau 
comparatif des productions des colonies francaises aux Antilles avec celles des colonies 
anglaises, espagnoles et hollandaises de Fannie 1787 d 1788, will be found very useful. 
I have not attempted to give an analysis of his figures, as the Antilles are not to be 
particularly considered in this monograph. Cf. Levasseur: Population francaise, 
iii. p. 411 (200 million livres are given for 1788), and France et ses colonies, iii. 
P- 355- Chaptal: op. cit. ii. p. 179-181. The value of sugar exported from the 
colonies in 1789 is given at 85,913,405 fr., and of that re-exported from France 
as 63,878,900 fr. Avalle agreefe to the last figure (see Table I.) ; but he 
gives 104,938,200 fr. as the total exports of sugar (see Tables II.-V., VIII.). 
Deschamps, Colonies pendant la Revolution, pp. 289 et seq., estimates the im- 
ports of all sorts from the Antilles at 234 millions, of which, according to Avalle's 
analysis, fully 65 per cent should be credited as sugar. Cunningham : English 
Industry, ii. p. 517, note. (On the authority of Reinhard : History of the present 
state of the Commerce of Great Britain [ed. of 1805, tr ans. from German by 
Savage].) The returns in produce from the French colonies between 1763 and 
1778 were of the annual value of about ^"6,400,000 sterling. Of this one half 
was consumed in France and the other half exported to other parts of Europe. 
The opinion of Frenchmen at the time of the Revolution and particularly 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 2$ 

that company will be mentioned later. When by the decree 
of May, 1 7 19, the old organizations for privileged trade in the 
East Indies, China, and Louisiana were merged in a new Com- 
pagnie des Indes, the Compagnie des bides Orientates was 
doing a business of about ten million livres a year. The 
capital of the new Company was increased by twenty-five 
million, but its finances were so involved with those of Law's 
Bank that they suffered in the failure of "Law's system." 
But during the century trade with Asia increased in volume, 
and suffered only by war; the average annual imports to 
France for the decade, 1725— 1735, were fourteen million 
livres and the exports ten million ; by 1745 the imports 

in the midst of a bitter fight over colonial policy must be carefully received. 
Though the figures of the following writers have not been implicitly followed, the 
interest of their testimony requires fuller citations from their arguments. Gouy : 
Vues ginerales sur Vimportance du commerce des colonies, etc., Imp. nat. l'an III. 
4to pamphlet, p. 12 : u Les Colonies sont done bien importantes? Oui, bien im- 
portantes ; car elles seules sont la source et l'aliment de notre commerce qui etoit 
immense, eft qui nous assuroit la suprematie sur toutes les nations. Et, comment 
cela ? [The author claims that the French American colonies supply 220 million 
francs of produce needed in Europe.] Si les colonies sont detruites, plus de 
commerce; plus de commerce, plus de manufactures, plus d'agriculture, plus de 
marine, consequemment quatre millions de malheureux indigens de plus en France, 
et a la charge du tresor de la Republique que nulle portion du souverain, dans 
une democratic, ne devait perir de faim et de misere." De Curt : Motion an 
nom de colonies reunies, Paris, 1789, 8vo pamphlet, p. 13: "Ce n'est pas tout, 
Messieurs; vous avez mis la dette de l'fitat sous la sauve-garde de la loyaute 
Francoise : dans mon opinion, les richesses seules des Colonies peuvent garantir 
l'execution de ce Decret honorable. En effet, sur 243 millions de denrees que 
vous en recevez annuellement, vous en consommez a-peu-pres 80 millions, qui se 
decuplent par la circulation interieure. Le reste passe a l'fitranger ; et comme 
les objets qu'ils vous donnent en echange, ne s'elevent tout au plus qu'a 88 
millions, il vous reste une solde de 75 millions, qui diminue d'autant Importa- 
tion de numeraire a laquelle vous seriez forces, pour faire honneur aux interets 
enormes de la dette que vous avez declaree Nationale." De S. Mery : Opinion 
sur la motion de M. de Curt, etc., Paris, 1789, 8vo pamph. pp. 18, 19 : "Ces colo- 
nies en recevant pour plus de 150 millions d'importations nationales, en fournissant 
a leur tour pour plus de 240 millions de productions, donnent en definitive un 
resultat avantageux a la France dans la balance de commerce et mettant dans la 
circulation une somme enorme." Roussillou : Opinion sur I'affaire des colonies, 
Sept. 25, 1791, pp. 3-7. This is an interesting brochure. 



26 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

were twenty and the exports were twelve million ; and the 
following decade to 1755 showed a still further increase ; but 
the succeeding years were disastrous ; the war which ended 
with the treaty of Paris in 1763 reduced the trade with Asia to 
five million in imports and four million in exports. In the 
next period, 1765-75, a great change took place in the condi- 
tions which governed Asiatic trade ; the expiration of the Com- 
pany's privilege in 1769 and the establishment of free trade 
with India acted as a tonic, and the figures rose to twenty 
million of imports and thirteen million of exports ; again war 
intervened and by 1784 the annual average was less than one 
million imports and ten million exports. A privileged com- 
pany was re-established in that year, and, the general commer- 
cial conditions being much better, the increase was beyond all 
expectation ; the imports to France for 1787 were fifty-six mil- 
lion livres and the exports to Asia over twenty-five million ; 
and while this point was not touched again, the annual average 
for the three years, 1785-88, was over thirty-five million 
imports and nearly twenty-seven million exports. Thus, from 
1775 to 1789 Asiatic imports had risen 75 percent. The 
profit to the trader, however, was much less than earlier in the 
century, for in 1735 the usual gain on Indian goods sold in the 
French market was about 95 per cent, and on Chinese goods, 
about 140 percent; in 1768, the last year of the old Com- 
pany, these margins were 58 per cent, and 68 per cent; and by 
1789 the profit on Asiatic commerce as a whole varied from 
35 to 10 percent, though the most lucrative branch of the 
trade, the exchange between various Asiatic ports had passed 
almost entirely into English hands. A supporter of the Com- 
pany, writing in 1793, thought 6J per cent all that could then 
be expected. The Company had not prospered, and Asiatic 
commerce was looked on by many as an unwise venture; 
expenses had been enormous, the successive wars had cost 
much, the reckless finances of the period had brought in lax 
methods, and maladministration was common both in France 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 2J 

and India. The critics pointed out these facts and said that 
Asia was a hopeless investment for Frenchmen ; their oppon- 
ents and those who believed that France might yet re-establish 
a great domain in India acknowledged previous mistakes, but 
maintained that reform and sound policy would made the 
rapidly increasing trade a source of real profit to France. 1 

1 Bonnassieux: Grandes compagnies de commerce, pp. 271, 275 et seq. In 
1687 the capital of the Cotnp. des Indes orient, was 2,100,000 livres ; between 1687 
and 1691 it paid a dividend of 30 per cent. According to a memoire written in 
1685, the prospect of equalling the Dutch and outdoing English trade in India 
was brilliant. {Arch. nat. Mem. cote K 1368, No. 128, quoted in op. cit. p. 272.) 
Cf. also Castonnet-Desfosses : Francois Bernier, documents inedits sur son sejour 
dans Plnde, pp. n-30. Cordier: La France en Chine au XVIIF siecle, i. p. 42. 
Dictionnaire du Commerce {Encyclopidie Methodique), i. p 584. The lessening 
profit in Asiatic trade is well shown by the following table. " Comparaison des 
dividends de la Compagnie des Indes, calcule sur le revenu libre : 1725, 148 livres; 
1736, 136 livres; 1743, 135 livres; 1756, 85 livres; 1769, 65 livres." In addition 
to these dividends there was a fixed interest per share ; pp. 609, 610, 614 : " Etat 
du produit des ventes, faites par la Compagnie des Indes depuis 1726 jusqu'en 
1756 en marchandises de lTnde, deduction faite des frais des vente, des marchan- 
dises saisies dans le royaume et marchandises achetes chez l'etranger pendant 
les annees 1749, 1750, et 1751." 

Feb. 1, 1725-June 30, 1736 90,157,112 livres. 14s. $d. 

Average year 9,014,282 livres. 19J. $d. 

July 1, 1736-June 30, 1743 88,043,523 livres. 15*4^. 

Average year 12,577,646 livres. $s.od. 

July 1, 1743-June 30, 1756 118,046, 217 livres. iSs. $d. 

Average year 9,837,184 livres. i6j. 6d. 

Total returns from India (not the net profit) 305,246,852 livres. 

Average year, 1725-56 9,846,672 livres. 

Total expense of maintaining the monopoly 376,802,517 livres. 

Normal average yearly 8,586,420 livres. 

Real average yearly owing to war expenses ' 10,500,000 livres. 

The bias of the writer is clear, as there is obvious juggling with figures, for he 
includes war expenses on the debit side of the Company's ledger, yet refuses, in 
striking an average for the returns, to make any allowance for the losses of war, 
for which the Company was not directly responsible. These statements are given 
here in full as they have been often cited by other writers, who have accepted 
them in good faith. More reliable figures are given below. Vuitry: Disordre 
des finances, pp. 237 et seq. (on the real value of the livre, see especially note I, 
p. 250), 271 et seq. (the connection of the Company with Law's System). 



28 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Returning to the colonies as a whole, the question of their 
size and population requires a few words. The area of the 

Daubigny : Choiseul et la France d'outre-mer, pp. 190 et seq. y 202 et seq. Morellet : 
Memoire sur la situation actuelle de la compagnie des hides (1769). The views of 
the writer are given in the Diet, du Commerce (cited above) ; but his figures on 
the profits of the Company are significant and are given in Appendix I., as com- 
piled by Daubigny: op. cit. p. 339; they have been verified. Morellet and 
Necker had a vigorous pamphlet war in 1769 over the dissolution of the Com- 
pany. Vide the Bibliography ; also the notices in Stourm : Bibliographic hist, des 
finances de la France au XVIII sitele. Cf. also on this point Grimm et Diderot : 
Corr. litteraire, vi. p. 237, April 15, 1769. Galiani : Lettres (ed. by Perey and 
Maugras). Letters of Aug. 14, 1769 ; July 6, 1771 ; June 15, 1776. Bachaumont: 
Memoires (Oct. 16, 1769). Henry : Corr. de Condorcet et de Turgot, p. 8. Doneaud 
du Plan : La comp. des Indes, in R. maritime et colon., June and July, 1889. An- 
other error must be noted in the matter of imports to France in Bonnassieux : 
op. cit. p. 313. The yearly average for 1725-69 is there given at 8,276,337 francs 
(no authority cited) ; corresponding figures are found in Chaptal : Industrie 
francaise, i. p. 129 (again no authority given). But a contemporary writer, who in 
1786 was bitterly opposed to the re-establishment of the Company's privilege, and 
who in a brilliant monograph makes a powerful attack on privileged companies 
in general and the Comp. des Indes in particular, sheds some light on the matter. 
He is the last one to over-estimate the trade of those years when the old Com- 
pany was supreme. MSmoire contre la Compagnie des Indes, p. 29 : " II resulte 
de ces trois tableaux compares [two tables are given in App. I.] : — 

" 1. Que le total des importations de la Compagnie, pendant trente-quatre 
annees, dont vingt-quatre de paix & dix de guerre, a ete de 443,796,189 livres. Que 
le total des importations de commerce libre, pendant douze annees, dont six de 
paix & six de guerre, a ete de 140,788,647 livres. 

" 2. Que l'annee commune des trente-quatre de la Compagnie est de 13,052,799 
livres, us. gd. fa. Que l'annee commune des douze du commerce libre est de 
11,732,387 livres. 

"3. Qu'a prendre les neuf annees de la derniere paix de 1663 [1763], dont trois 
ont appartenu a la Compagnie, & six au commerce, & oil la situation de la France 
a ete la meme pour l'une & pour l'autre ; la plus forte annee de la Compagnie a 
ete de 21,719,354 livres, & la plus forte du commerce de 32,846,226 livres. 

" 4. Que Ton trouve pour annee commune des trois de la Compagnie, environ 
dix-sept millions, & pour annee commune des six du commerce, vingt-deux mil- 
lions. Ainsi, sous tous les rapports, le commerce libre a eu un grand avantage 
sur celui de la Compagnie. Cependant le Gouvernement vient d'instituer une 
nouvelle Compagnie des Indes. Ici, toute la confiance que nous avons montree 
dans les faits & les raisonnements qui viennent d'etre presentes, se change en une 
juste defiance sur nos lumieres, en une prevention respectueuse pour les vues du 
Gouvernement. Sans doute il s'est decide, d'apres des considerations assez 
importantes pour l'emporter sur celles que nous venons d'offrir." 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 2$ 

French colonial empire in 1789 may be estimated at 82,000 
square miles, with a population of nearly one million, of whom 
100,000 were white, about 48,000 were free colored, and 780,- 
000 were slaves. The size of the colonial domain, as well as 
of the French spheres of influence in India and North America, 
had greatly lessened during the century, yet the white popu- 
lation had nearly doubled ; for in 1700 there were at the highest 
estimate only 60,000 Frenchmen living in French colonies. 1 

This opposition to the Company was almost incessant. Cf. Villars : Mimoires, iv. 
p. 265 (1723) ; d' Argenson ': Journal, vii. p. 65. More evidence will be cited in a sub- 
sequent paragraph when the question of general policy is treated. The figures for 
the years directly prior to the Revolution are based partly on Hernoux : Rapport 
fait & I'Assemblee National, March 18,1790. (The original pamphlet was used, 
as there are a few mistakes in the official report.) Cf. Chaptal : op. cit. i. p. 131 
(table) ; and the table from Arnould : Balance du Commerce, given above (footnote 
to page 22), and also i. pp. 281-87. Deschamps: Colonies pendant la Revolution, 
pp. 6, 28, 101 et seq., 113 et seq. The new company was authorized by decrees of 
April 14, 1785, and of Sept. 21, 1786. Capitalized at 40 millions, its privilege of 
exclusive commerce was finally given for 15 years. Its shipments from France 
were (1786-87) 19,560,982 livres ; (1787-88) 10,667,750 livres ; (1788-89) 14,823,409 
livres. These statements do not interfere with those of Arnould, as they refer 
only to the new Company ; they explain the figures of Goudard : Rapport, p. 7 
(exports to East Indies in 1789, 16 millions as against 19 millions of several years 
previous); the liabilities of the company for 1792 were 40 millions; assets 50 
million livres ; for 1793 they were 40 and 48 millions respectively. This on the 
authority of a me/noire {Arch. Nat. reg. coti F 1 . 2 65943) which Bonnassieux 
quotes on pp. 315-319. (There is a typographical mistake on page 318, 
where the liabilities for 1792 are given at only 14 millions.) Auckland : Corr. ii. 
451 (Huber to Auckland, Oct. 4, 1792). The French East India Co. is spoken 
of as " the only safe establishment and investment of one's property in France, 
because independent of Government, though not of robbers." Prkis pour la 
Compagnie des hides (1793), P- 6. Cf. for this subject the statistical tables given 
in Appendix I. 

1 Deschamps : Les Colonies, etc., pp. 1-3, 288-296. The figures given in totals 
are — area, 136,966 sq. kilometres, population 1,030,000. Ibid. : Question coloniale, 
p. 188. Avalle : op. cit. Cf. the tables, which give slightly different figures for 
the Antilles. Levasseur : Population franc, iii. pp. 281 (note 1), 337 (in 1800 
there were nine and one-half million of people of European blood living outside 
of Europe); pp. 410, 411, 419 (a table giving the area and population of every 
French colony and protectorate in 1789, 1840, and 1891). Ibid.: La France et ses 
colonies, iii. pp. 177 et seq., 191 et seq., 343 (the above table is also given here), 
355. According to the Statesman's Year Book (1899) the estimated area of 



30 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

The economic influence of these people upon the inhabitants of 
France was direct and strong; the capital invested in the col- 
onies in 1789 was then estimated at three milliards of francs, 
and the dependence of home industries upon colonial produce 
was reiterated by many writers. This was often overstated, as 
by La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, who declared in 1791 that the 
ruin of colonial commerce would affect more than three mil- 
lion people ; nevertheless the imports from both East and West 
were a large ifem in many trades, as for example the silk man- 
ufactories of France, which did an annual export trade of over 
21 million livres, got half of their raw silk from the East Indies ; 
the sugar also which came from the French Antilles brought a 
profit of over 20 million francs to French home merchants be- 
fore it left their hands. But leaving the strictly commercial 
results, great and varied as they were, the relation of the colo- 
nies to the French merchant marine brings up a large field of 
political influence as well. The development of a merchant 
marine was a sine qua non in a colonial empire ; for the navigation 
laws of the eighteenth century were still strict, and foreign ship- 
ping had no chance in colonial trade. The large increase in 
that commerce during the latter half of the century had affected 
the French merchant service; whereas before 1765 there were 
in the French commerce with the West Indies 200 ships of 
100 to 250 tons, within fifteen years the number of ships had 
doubled, and by 1789 their number was 600. The East Indian 
exchange was by no means so lively, yet there was an increase 
of from ten to thirty ships sent annually from France to the 
East. By 1793 the total figures were 900 ships of 300,000 
tons burthen engaged in the direct colonial trade ; thus the 
total advance in this branch of French shipping between 1763 

French colonies and protectorates, including Algeria, was 3,630,327 sq. miles, 
with a population of over 52,000,000. In 1897 France did a colonial trade of 
399,321,037 francs, imports ; and 358,230,360 francs, exports. Though the colo- 
nies were prosperous in 1789, it seems to be an exaggeration for Deschamps to 
say that they were of greater international value than the colonial domain of 
France to-day, and equal to it intrinsically. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 31 

and 1793 may be reckoned at over 200,000 tons. Moreover, 
the close relation between the merchant service and sea power, 
especially in supplying trained sailors for the navy, was a 
favored theme to those who pleaded for a wise colonial policy 
or a reform in the French navy ; the connection of colonial 
empire and sea power, which would alone enable France to 
meet Great Britain with success, brought the entire matter home 
to the hearts of Frenchmen as perhaps nothing else would have 
done, and thus made the colonial question a vital one in the 
midst of revolutionary turmoil. 1 

The last aspect of the colonial question in which statistics 
have a place is that of expense of administration. Our only 
reliable source of information is the exhaustive report made by 
Montesquiou on December 8, 1789; as the result of careful in- 
vestigation the total expenses of French colonial administration 
were given as 17,647,748 livres. Of this sum 1,106,000 should 
be classed as general expenses which could riot be charged to 
the account of any special colonies ; the remainder is divided 
between the American establishments, which took 11,247,586 
livres; the African colonies, 283,010; and the lie de France, 
Bourbon, and India, which required the balance, 5,1 52,744 livres. 
Dividing the total expenses under the heads of civil adminis- 

1 Mosneron de Launay, in a speech on Feb. 26, 1790, gives the figures for 
capital invested. Aulard : Societe des Jacobins, i. p. 9. Chaptal : op. cit. i. p. 131, 
ii. p. 179. Cf. also the tables in Appendix I. Beausobre: Politique, i. p. 412. 
A cargo of a 120-ton ship was worth, in 1765, about 1400 livres. Morellet in 
Diet, du Comm. i. p. 610. Cunningham : op. cit. ii. p. 517, note, citing from Rein- 
hard : op. cit. Arnould : op. cit. ii. p. 35. S. Mery : Opinion, etc. p. 19 : " Les 
colonies donnent le mouvement a un grand nombre de vos manufactures, & a des 
millions de bras ; elles soudoyent & font vivre une foule immense d'artisans, 
d'ouvriers, de journaliers ; elles sont une des sources les plus fecondes des 
richesses de la France, & dans un Siecle ou il est reconnu que la preponderance 
des Jitats se regie sur leur commerce, les Colonies ont droit d'attendre qu'elles 
seront appreciees a leur juste valeur." Gouly : Plan de la rigeniration de la 
marine, p. 5. De Lattre: Rapport sur facte de navigation (Sept. 22, 1791), in 
Arch. pari. xxxi. pp. 203-235, and Begouen on Sept. 24, p. 290 ; also La Roche- 
foucauld. Cf. Deschamps : Colonies pendant la Revol. pp. 7, 28. Bonnassieux: 
op. cit. pp. 253*/^., 315. 



32 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

tration, army, and navy, the distribution is 7,548,553 livres for 
the civil budget; 9,195,131 livres for the army; and 907,184 
livres for the navy. The bulk of this amount was spent ir} large 
salaries for high officials ; but the most serious item is that of 
3,951,462 livres in 1789 for extraordinary and miscellaneous 
expenses. It was the same in colonial finances as in national ; 
the multiplication of sinecures, official corruption, and lax 
methods had caused a steady leakage of money, which only 
vigorous reform and sound economic policy could check. 
There were, however, certain revenues from the colonies which 
amounted to 7,173,333 livres in 1789, — 6,613,333 fr° m the 
West, and 560,000 livres from Africa and the East; this 
made the deficit in the colonial budget 10,484,415 livres. But, 
as M. Deschamps points out, it is fair to look upon custom 
duties laid upon colonial produce as an income to the govern- 
ment which should be added to colonial revenue ; for the re- 
ceipts of the state would have been smaller by that amount if 
no colonial empire had existed. These taxes were two — du 
domain d 'Occident ', levied on imports from the colonies, and de 
consommation, on colonial produce which was not exported at 
all. Montesquiou claimed that these taxes wiped out the 
deficit in the colonial budget and that consequently the colo- 
nial domain was of no expense to the government, but with all 
its profitable commerce was a means of gain to thousands of 
Frenchmen. 1 

1 Rapport de Montesquiou, in Arch. pari. x. pp. 437-51. Vief ville des Essars 
(Jan. 14, 1 791), in Ibid. xxii. p. 241. Proc.-verb. No. 142, ix. pp. 1-59. The 
Bourbon government had employed in the colonies 1,673 officials (1,041 civil 
and 632 military), exclusive of ungraded assistants, soldiers, and sailors. Cf. 
Deschamps: Les colonies, etc. pp. 8-10, 299 et seq. The tables made by M. 
Deschamps are based on Montesquiou's report and are most useful. Arnould : 
op. cit. i. p. 45. The sum of 17 millions for colonies does not seem large when 
Necker's budget of 610 million livres for total expenses is recalled. Stourm : 
Les finances de VAncien Regime et de la Revolution, ii. pp. 355 et seq. In view of 
the effort to learn the true economic condition of France prior to the Revolution 
it is interesting to note, in passing, testimony to official corruption which has 
rarely been cited, but is worthy of credence. Vorontzov : Arkhiv, xxix. (1883), p. 69 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 33 

We have seen that the latter half of the eighteenth 
century was a period of great prosperity for French colonies. 
It was also a period in which great interest was taken in them 
by Frenchmen, still strongly imbued with the old theory of 
colonial dominion : that colonies were rightly at the beck and 
call of the mother country, existing primarily for her benefit, 
and strictly subordinate to all her social theories. This interest 
in the French colonies has received full and admirable treat- 
ment at the hands of M. Deschamps in his book, Histoire 
de la Question Coloniale en France; all that demands no- 
tice here is the debate on the larger question of colonial ex- 
pansion, a debate which engrossed many men at this period. 
The two sides joined issue sharply ; on the one hand some were 
contemptuous as Voltaire when he referred to " quelques arpents 
de neige vers le Canada ; " others like Mercier predicted the 
ruin of the home land by the colonies, much as the city dwell- 
ing was apt to suffer because of the attention paid to the coun- 
try place ; and others still, like Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, said 
the object of their books of travel and description was to pre- 
vent Frenchmen from settling in the colonies : on the other 
side were men like Raynal, who preached of colonies and sea 
power as the foundation of a people's greatness ; Gouy wrote 
that the European was destined to rule the world, and that 
France owed her pivotal position in Europe to the commercial 

(Pictet to Count A. R. Vorontzov, London, Sept. 20, 1788) : " Peut-6tre, si on 
Pexaminait attentivement, trouverait-on, que sous d'autres formes et par d'autres 
motifs, il y a autant de dissipation dans les finances de TAngleterre que dans 
celles de la France ; ce qui fait, que l'individu en France est accable par un 
impot qui n'est cependant qu'a-peu-pres le tiers de celui que paye un Anglais 
sans en etre incommode ; c'est cette foule de charges, de places venables qui 
arrachent a l'agriculture, a l'industrie et au commerce les capitaux, qui devraient 
etre employes a les faires prosperer. On serait effraye, si Ton calculait tout le 
mal que, pour se procurer quelques petites ressources, on a fait par la au royaume. 
Jusqu'au moment ou toutes les charges, toutes les places venables seront abolies, 
ou par cela meme l'argent sera rappele a sa veritable destination, la France sera 
bien eloignee de pouvoir pretendre au role, auquel la nature semblait Pavoir 
destinee : . . ." 



34 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

prosperity of her colonies ; Tolosan declared the colonies had 
placed all Europe in debt to France. 1 Both the theory and 
practice of "imperialism," of colonial expansion, were thus 
argued ; the majority of the intellectual leaders of France were 
against colonial domain ; but the verdict of the nation as 
given in the Cahiers in 1789 is for expanding commerce and a 
strong colonial policy. There is not a word to be found in them 
which reflects blame on the colonies or which attacks the pro- 
gram of trans-oceanic empire ; and this is the more remark- 
able when it is seen what a place the colonial question occupied 
in the mind of the people. One reason for this was the atten- 
tion attracted by the successful rebellion of the thirteen British 
colonies in America. Another cause which brought these 
questions to the front was the debate on economic theory, an 
argument that had enlisted the energies of the foremost think- 
ers in France; the old universal theory of exclusive trade be- 
tween the colony and the mother country had been boldly 
attacked by these men, and the example of Turgot had been a 
powerful factor to their aid. It was natural, therefore, that this 
subject, as well as that of chartered companies with exclusive 
trading privileges, should be included among the many topics 

1 Deschamps : Quest, colon, pp. 292 et seq., and Ibid. : Les Colonies pendant la Revo- 
lution, p. 321 (an instructive note on the phrase " perissent les colonies.''') Voltaire : 
Siecle de Louis XV., ch. 35, and Candide : ch. 23. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre : 
Voyage & Vtle de France, preface. Mercier : L'An 2^1, ch. 40 (p. 322). Raynal : 
Histoire pkilosophique et politique des itablissemenls et du commerce des Europicns 
dans les deux Jndes. (For the features of this book and its influence upon Napo- 
leon, vide Chapter III.) Gouy : Vues generates, pp. 1-5, 41. De S. Mery : Opinion, 
pp. 18, 19. Tolosan: Commerce de la France, p. 116. Levasseur: Population 
francaise, iii. p. 412, note 3. In the Bibliography there is included a number of 
titles which have been selected from among many bearing upon the colonial 
question of 1789. The general "expansion " and "anti-expansion " attitudes are 
therein illustrated ; and also more particularly the economic and political ideas 
regarding the African and Indian possessions or those domains which France 
coveted in Asia. No attempt has been made to include any of the anti-slavery 
literature, nor those books, reports, or pamphlets which dealt especially with the 
domains of France in other portions of the globe. But very few of the publica- 
tions dealing with the tariff treaties with England are given, as that literature is 
so well known. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 35 

of which the Cahiers treated. Some 323 of these mentioned colo- 
nial affairs. The central idea in nearly all of them was that 
commerce depended on the colonies, and that sea power, a ne- 
cessity to the state, could exist only with the aid of the merchant 
marine, whose larger ventures must in turn derive from colo- 
nial prosperity. Slavery as the foundation of the colonial 
system in the tropics received a large share of their attention ; 
but this topic and the action of the Assemble in abolishing 
slavery cannot be discussed in these pages ; though the human- 
itarian but unpractical decision regarding it was responsible 
in great measure for the disaster which overtook so many 
French colonial possessions within a decade. The matter has 
been treated from every point of view in the past, and to enter 
the field here would involve a much longer chapter on colonial 
affairs than is expedient. Turning, therefore, to the questions 
of the colonial compact, privileged companies and tariff trea- 
ties, the economic aspect of each and their international feat- 
ures are the subjects to be noted. 1 

The rapid increase in the commercial output of the colonies 
had not effected the growth of the merchant marine in an 
equal ratio, and the French colonies were at a disadvantage as 
compared with those of Great Britain ; for the colonial com- 
pact for exclusive trade with the home country bound them to 
depend on the transport offered by ships from her ports, and 
limited their supplies to those which she could give them. 
The growing resources of the colonies enforced the inadequacy 
of the theory and practice as regards France, and these facts, 
combined with the influence of the new school of economists, 

1 Cunningham : op. cit. ii. pp. 510, 511. Stourm : op. cit. ii. pp. i-n. Stephens : 
French Revolution, i. p. 529. Deschamps : Les colonies pendant la Revolution, 
pp. 15, 38. I am indebted to this writer for an analysis of 283 Cahiers which 
treated the subjects in the following proportion : privileged companies and 
monopolies, 154; the arret of 1784, 24; colonial administration in general, 4; 
free ports, 18; slavery, 34; slave trade, 10; debts of the colonists (amounting in 
178910 nearly 500 millions) and colonial produce, 12; the treaty of 1786, 49; 
colonial representation in the Stats, 17 ; participation in colonial trade, 3. 



36 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

led to an "Arret du Conseil" of Aug. 30, 1784, which author- 
ized foreign ships to import certain commodities from alien 
countries to the French Antilles. A storm of protest from 
the maritime cities of France showed how deeply the old ideas 
were imbedded in the minds of the people ; the deputies of 
Havre, Nantes, and Bordeaux declared that it was " an uncon- 
tested principle that the colonies are created by and for the 
parent-state; they have not the right to buy their provisions, 
nor can they sell the produce of their soil, save in France." 
Tolosan, a much cited authority of the period, says in the same 
vein : " The colonies have been established for the benefit of 
the mother country ; they cannot completely fulfil their destiny 
save in adding to the product of her lands and of the industry 
of the nation under whose immediate power they are, and in con- 
tributing to the increase of her commerce with other nations. 
If they could dispense with the mother country and had the 
means to maintain direct foreign connections for their imports 
as well as for their exports, they would no longer be of use." 
This was the view of the French merchant to whom the 
colonist was in debt; it was also that of the petitioners to the 
Etats generaux in 1789, for they begged the interdiction to 
the foreigner of all trade in their colonies. It was the theory 
of Colbert to the letter. 1 

The complicated question of chartered companies, endowed 
by the state with a monopoly of trade in certain regions, was 
not a new one; the foundation of the French colonial empire 
had been in great part through their aid ; and the principles 
which had guided Richelieu and Colbert in their endeavors to 
make of France the greatest colonial power, could not have 

1 Beausobre : Politique, i. pp. 279-280. Gomel : Causes financih-es, ii. pp. 223 
et seq. Bachaumont: Memoires, xxviii. p. 84; xxviii. pp. 14 et seq. Deschamps : 
op. cit. pp. 21 et seq., 32. Tolosan: op. cit. pp. 117, 118. Arch. pari. ii. p. 472. 
Senichaussee de Brest. Commerce. Art. 5 : * L'interdiction aux etrangers des 
ports et de nos colonies fran9aises ; " iii. p. 534, Tiers £tat de Lille ; cf. i. p. 213 ; 
vi. p. 85, Tiers £tat du Baillage de Troyes. Art. 142; p. 109, Tiers Etat de 
Vannes. Art. 87 ; p. 343, Martignes. Art. 17 ; p. 53, Tours. Art. 27. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 37 

been effective without the commercial company. For com- 
merce was then looked down on in France, and private impulse 
would not have realized the ideal of colonial empire, had not 
the state interfered to ensure government support to new ven- 
tures. But while these companies were needed at the first, it 
was possible for their control to become a tyranny and to check 
the healthy growth of general commerce; this was the idea 
which prompted the various complaints against them, even 
during the seventeenth century. The matter was argued in 
England as well, and, as the contending economists of the fol- 
lowing century evolved their theories and pleaded their reforms, 
the facts to which they could refer, at least in France, gave 
authority to those who opposed the monopoly of a company. 
It is not within our province to give the history of any of these 
corporations ; and the statistics for Asiatic trade which have 
been cited record, as far as is necessary, the influence that the 
great Compagnie des Indes had on East Indian commerce in 
France prior to the Revolution. Rather it is the company as 
a factor in the colonial problems in the days of Louis XVI. 
that demands notice. The old Company had had its critics 
from the first; its financial condition threatening bankruptcy 
had strengthened them ; and, as has been seen, the expiration 
of its monopoly in 1769 was well received. The private traders 
between 1769 and 1785 sent annually to India twenty-one ships 
°f 9>3°9 total tonnage, as compared with seven, of 4,258, sent 
by the Company ; they imported to France nearly forty million 
livres annually, as against about twenty million brought in by the 
Company. The re-establishment of the monopoly for a new 
Company was therefore bitterly opposed by them ; but Calonne 
insisted, and the decree was issued April 14, 1785. The stock 
of this Company was eagerly sought for, and in 1786 was 
increased from twenty to forty million livres, and the term of 
the privilege from seven to fifteen years. The details of its 
trade have already been given ; that it prospered was due in 
great measure to the increased demand for Asiatic goods. 



38 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

At the same time the pamphlet war over its existence was 
carried on with zeal; and it was a subject of interest to the 
deputies in the Assemble constituante, — an interest reflected 
from that taken by the people at large, who in 154 Cahiers had 
discussed its affairs. Some of the arguments used are quoted 
below. The Company's monopoly finally shared the fate of 
other like privileges ; and in April, 1790, free trade to the east 
of the Cape of Good Hope was decreed by a majority of one 
hundred and ten. As in the case of the colonial compact, self- 
interest was a large factor in the decision reached ; that this 
was in accord with the teaching of the economists, while the 
other was in opposition to the logical conclusions of those who 
upheld commercial liberty, is not to be doubted ; on the one 
hand, it was a repudiation of Colbert, and, on the other, confir- 
mation of his system. In both cases the financial interests of 
the French merchant were recognized and supported. 1 

1 The view that participation in commerce was ignoble was opposed by several 
writers, e. g. [Le Monnier] : Le commerce honorable ou considerations politiques con- 
tenant les motifs de nice s sit i, d'honneur et de profit qui se trouvent d, former des com- 
pagnies de personnes de toutes conditions pour Ventrelien du nigoce de mer en France, 
compose par un habitant de la ville de Nantes. Nantes, 1646, 4to. Coyer: La 
noblesse commercante, Paris, 1756, i2mo. Clement: Colbert, i. p. 515. Colbert 
referred to the ** necessite indispensable de le [commerce] restreindre dans les 
mains d'une compagnie ou de quelques particuliers." Bielfeld : Lnstitutions poli- 
tiques, i. p. 302 : * Les Concessions et les Privileges, que les Souverains des 
principales Nations de l'Europe accordent a des Compagnies exclusives ne 
doivent point etre envisages comme des Monopoles, ou comme une infraction 
faite a la liberte du Commerce. Ce sont, au contraire, de nouvelles branches de 
Commerce qu'on ouvre au Public, chaque particulier pouvant, a proportion de 
l'interet qu'il y prend, participer au profit general de l'association. Les objets 
que ces Compagnies embrassent sont, d'ailleurs si grands, si vastes, si dispen- 
dieux, qu'un simple Citoyen, quelque opulent qu'il soit, ne scauroit y atteindre. 
II est vrai que ces Octrois privent ce raeme Commerce de la concurrence, ce qui 
est une perte immense, comme nous l'avons deja remarque. Mais y a-t-il dans le 
monde un etablissement qui ne porte avec soi quelque inconvenient ? C'est dans 
la choix des moindres que consiste la prudence politique." Child: Trade, 
pp. 78-80 : " 1. That ^restrained limited companies are not alone sufficient 
to preserve and increase a trade. 2. That limited companies, though established 
by act of parliament, may lose a trade. 3. That trade may be carried on to any 
part of Christendom, and increased without companies. 4. That we have de- 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 39 

Closely linked to these matters was the commercial treaty 
with Great Britain, which had been negotiated in 1786. Along 

clined more, or at least have increased less, in those trades limited to companies, 
than in others, where all his Majesty's subjects have had equal freedom of trade." 
Saint-Pierre : Fives d'un homme de bien, pp. 206-207 : " C'est pour des com- 
merces lontaines il faut des etablissements, et de grandes depenses qui ne 
peuvent produire que plusieurs annees apres. II faut done un premier fonds 
tres considerable." A company alone could gather the capital. Dareste : Hist, 
de P administration, ii. p. 268 ; pp. 397 et sea. A memoire by a depute of Dun- 
kerque in 1654 complains of the monopoly of certain trades by special cities, and 
especially of that of the Compagnie d' Orient. 409 et sea. A depute of Nantes 
argues strongly against all companies. 412. A deputi of La Rochelle, says : " La 
liberte est le premier mobile de commerce." Vignon : Expansion de la France, 
pp. 50 et sea. Uztariz : Theory, etc. i. pp. 18, 176 et sea., 180-192. Accarias de 
Serionne : Les interets des Nations de I'Europe, i. pp. 88, 352 : " On a souvent 
reclame, surtout en France et en Angleterre la liberte du commerce contre les 
compagnies des Indes. On n'a pas fait attention qu'on reclamait une liberte 
inutile et qu'aucun negotiant particulier ne serait en etat d'en faire usage, si elle 
etait accordee." Montesquieu : Esp. des lois, 1. xx. c. 10. Villars : Memoires, 
iv. p. 265. Bonnassieux: Grandes compagnies, pp. 166-168,454 (a company was 
formed at Paris in 1787 under the Sardinian flag for Indian trade in order to avoid 
French monopoly laws), 481-485. (An interesting memoire of about 1715 is here 
quoted from Arch. nat. liasse F. 502.) D'Argenson : Journal et memoires, v. p. 331 
(Dec. 21, 1748); vii. p. 138 (March, 1752). Gomel: op. cit. ii. p. 151. Condillac : 
Le commerce et le gouvernement, in Melanges d £con. pol. p. 431. " Ce privilege 
exclusif etait une atteinte portee a la liberte, puisqu'il donnait a une seule com- 
pagnie un droit qui appartenait a tous les citoyens. Les negotiants recla- 
merent mais inutilement. La nouvelle compagnie [1785] donna de l'argent 
et le privilege fut confirme." Morellet : Article in Diet, du commerce, i. 
pp. 587, 596, 598. Memoire contre la Compagnie des Indes, pp. 1,2: "La 
nouvelle Compagnie des Indes s'est rendu un objet d'inquietude & d'alarme 
tout a la fois dans le commerce maritime & dans le commerce interieur du 
Royaume. Par l'etendue de son privilege, elle retranche a l'industrie & a l'acti- 
vite nationale le commerce des deux tiers du globe. . . . Et c'est avec vingt 
millions de capital qu'elle veut faire un commerce qui exigeroit un millard, 
& dans lequel les particuliers du Royaume pourroient verser deux cents 
millions ! Elle a surpris au Gouvernement une permission de faire elle seule 
l'approvisionnement de la France, pendant deux ans, de toutes les marchan- 
dises des Indes, en les prenant dans les ports de l'Europe. C'est un commerce 
au moins de cinquante millions, qui excede les forces de son capital. C'est de 
plus un monopole etranger a son propre privilege ; lequel lui accordoit assez, en 
lui donnant le droit exclusif de faire des expeditions dans les Indes, a la Chine, 
dans la mer Rouge, sur les cotes d'Afrique, &c. Ce monopole pesera a-la-fois 
sur la Nation, qui aura moins de ce genre de marchandise, qui les payera plus 



40 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

with the military struggle between the two countries a tariff 
war had been waged ; discriminations in custom duties had led 
to reprisals and prohibitions; since 1690 almost every decade 
had seen changes in the duties levied by one or the other on 
the imports from its rival, till in 1779 the English tariff attained 
an average of seventy-five per cent ad valorem on all French 
manufactures which were not in the first place contraband ; 
and France had on her side taken proportionate measures for 
protection. This policy was based on the theory of the balance 
of trade, which has already been explained ; the principle of 
action being the idea that it was to a nation's advantage to 
purchase little and sell much in the international market The 
new school of economists, however, declared that a balance in 
money was futile to determine the real profit to a nation of her 
international trade, and that entire liberty of commerce was the 

cher, & sur le commerce interieur, a qui il enleve un approvisionnement qu'il 
feroit avec plus d'abondance & d'economie. Pour se soutenir dans ce monopole, 
la Compagnie a fait prononcer contre le commerce les plus dures prohibitions, les 
peines les plus severes, les precautions les plus inquietantes." Cf. Tessier: 
Inventaire des Archives hist, de la chambre de commerce de Marseilles, p. 304 (Pro- 
test of April 9, 1786). For the statistics of this period (1769-89), vide the tables 
previously cited in App. I. Daubigny : Choiseul, pp. 236 et sea. Levasseur : France 
et ses colonies, iii. pp. 177 et sea., 191 et sea. Deschamps: op. cit. pp. 26, 28, 101 
et sea., 113 et sea., 123. Cf. passim. Hernoux: Rapport sur le privilege de la Com- 
pagnie des Indes (March 18, 1790). Arnould: op. cit. i. pp. 270, 280, 286, 287: 
ii. p. 156. (The author is very bitter against East Indian trade; his favorite 
phrase is "le gouffre d'Asie.") Pricis pour la Compagnie des Indes, pp. 6, 7. 
Arch* pari. ii. p. 472 (Art. 4) ; iii. pp. 606, 607 ; iv. pp. 342 (Ballainvilliers, tit. 5, 
Art. 9), 56, 57 (Montpellier ) ; v. pp. 68 (Saint Cloud, Art. 27) : " Que tous privi- 
leges exclusifs, comme ceux accordes a la Compagnie des Indes, seront aussi 
abolis ; " 281 (Noblesse de Paris, Art. 10); 354 (Clerge de Peronne, Montdidier et 
Roye) : " Nous demandons une loi en vertu de laquelle un negotiant ne deroge 
pas lorsqu'il est noble . . . que le privilege exclusif de la nouvelle Compagnie 
des Indes soit revoque, et que ce commerce, qu'il n'est pas possible d'empecher, 
soit declare libre pour tous les sujets du Roi . . . ;" 384 (Senech. de Ploermel ; 
Art. 67), 549 (Senech. de Rennes, Art. 2q8), 596 (Noblesse de Rouen, Art. 65), 739 
(Tiers E\tat de Senlis, Art. 3); vi. pp. 53, 85, 109 (Senech. de Vannes, Art. 86): 
" Interdiction de tout privilege exclusif pour quelque branche du commerce que 
ce soit, notamment celui de la Compagnie des Indes. . . ." These references 
might be continued to greater length were it necessary. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 41 

true maxim of finance. But this teaching had not affected 
the conduct of foreign trade till the treaty of 1786 marked a 
sharp advance toward this position, for the treaty was "so 
radical that none as liberal has since been negotiated between 
the two nations. The violence of the attack upon it was due 
to a variety of reasons ; one in particular was significant of the 
controversy in France over Asiatic matters. The French 
market was a profitable one to importers of East Indian goods, 
and as English success in India had supplied London mer- 
chants with the means to assist French luxury, the new treaty 
broke the last barrier down ; it opened up the whole question 
of the wisdom of further endeavor to compete with Great Britain 
in Indian waters ; if France were to leave this field, a large 
share of Asiatic goods which ultimately reached her cities 
would do so only at the profit of a British middleman. As 
we have seen, the quarrel between those who supported a 
monopoly and those who advocated free trade with India was 
an important one at the time of the Revolution, and this aspect 
of the Asiatic question had a distinct effect on the reception 
of the English treaty in France. Thus many Cahiers asked 
on one page both for the abolition of monopoly, a tenet of the 
physiocrats, and for the abrogation of the treaty of 1786, a 
return to the old school of Colbert and Forbonnais. In Eng- 
land the opposition to the treaty was based somewhat on 
economic, but chiefly on wider political grounds ; the antago- 
nism of the two nations is nowhere made clearer; and yet it 
was the plan of Pitt and Eden to proceed from the negotiation 
of this treaty to the statement of a common principle of action 
between the two countries, which would settle their difficulties 
in India and Holland. These negotiations we will not even 
sketch here, for their place as an index of the tendency of 
national policy in the immediate future is not important. The 
history of the period is so crowded that in this brief summary 
of the situation in France much has been omitted which would 
enter into a more detailed account, but which can scarcely add 



s/ 



42 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

to the strength of the point here made that the French colonies 
were prosperous, and that their fate and all the great issues of 
colonial expansion and administration were at stake in the 
Revolution. The influence which colonial ideas exerted on 
continental policies will be estimated later; at present the 
examination of the British interest in Asia must be under- 
taken. 1 

The history of British India throws light upon many anom- 
alies, none perhaps stranger then the extension of English 
control in India at a period when the mind of the nation was 
largely engrossed in other matters. The theory of an absent- 
minded conquest of India by Englishmen is based on this 
situation ; Sir John Seeley has sent this generalization far and 
wide, and many elements of truth are to be found in it, for the 
growth of British power in that region is certainly not the 
result of an early decision by the nation at large, or by its 
rulers, to make Great Britain the sovereign power in all India. 
On the other hand, blind acquisition was not the policy of the 
Company or of its servants ; the extension of British control was 
in part the result of local conditions in India ; but there is also 
evident the definite purpose to prevent, if possible, the enjoy- 
ment of Asiatic wealth by other European organizations, and as 

1 Gomel : op. cit. ii. pp. 213 et seq. Adam Smith : op. cit. Bk. iv. chaps. 2, 3, 6. 
Fitzmaurice : Shelburne, iii. pp. 323, 386. Morellet had given Shelburne his ideas 
on free trade, which were embodied in the negotiations. Stourm : op. cit. ii. pp. 12 
et seq., 60. Du Quesnay : Maximes genirales du gouvemement, Nos. xxiv., xxv. in 
Daire : Les physiocrates, i. p. 101. Melon : Essai politique sur le commerce, pp. 
130 et seq., 150 et seq., 265 et seq. Auckland : Corr. i. pp. 86 et seq., 123, 149, 154, 
158, 163, 191, 220 et seq., 245-249, 277, 279 et seq. Lecky : Hist, of England in 
the XVIII th Century, v. pp. 37-46. Hansard : Pari. Hist. xxvi. 413 et seq., 488. 
Anquetil du Perron : Dignite du commerce, pp. 157 et passim to the end. A long 
series of extracts from the Cahiers are there given. Arch. pari. iii. p. 534, 606 ; 
v. p. 548, 600 (Art. 57 et seq.) ; vi. p. 109 (Art. 88). Cf. Anisson-Duperon : Essai 
sur les traites de conimerce de Methuen et de 1786 in Journal des Economists, i er ser. 
xvii. (April, 1847). Dupont de Nemours: Lettre a la Chambre de commerce de 
Normandie, Rouen, 1788. Boyetel : Recueil de divers mimoires relatifs au traite 
de commerce avec FAngleterre. Versailles, 1789. Morellet in Diet, du commerce, 
i. p. 587, 596. Beausobre : Politique, i. p. 282. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1798 43 

the interest of the people was aroused expansion became a fixed 
policy. At first in the direction natural to a trading company, 
and later along other lines, drawn by political exigency and 
the genius of the race, the power of England in India grew ; 
fitfully in the beginning, then, under the impulse of expanding 
empire and dread of French attack, the work was pressed on. 
The political and administrative history of this progress would 
carry us too far afield ; and as the scope of this investigation 
shuts out the study of the general colonial question in Great 
Britain at this period, as one involving interests in every 
quarter of the globe, our scrutiny into the problem of British 
dominion in India must likewise be confined to economic and 
international aspects. 1 Our examination of English trade with 
India, while it has the same object as that of the French colo- 
nial trade, must also be somewhat limited, as is natural in the 
affairs of a mercantile adventure, where the interference of the 
state is almost as rare and late as it was both usual and early 
in the history of French enterprises. The value of the results 
must be measured not only by the information gained, but also 
by the bearing it may have on the theory which was universal 
in France, that the wealth and power of Great Britain rested 
in great measure on her Asiatic trade and possessions ; but of 
this more may be said later. The period studied must again 
be the eighteenth century only ; a time when the United Com- 

1 Seeley: Expansion of England,^. 207 : "Our acquisition of India was made 
blindly. Nothing great that has ever been done by Englishmen was done so 
unintentionally, so accidentally, as the conquest of India." Since the view of 
Indian history which is given in the text was adopted by the author, the second 
volume of Hunter's History of British India has appeared ; on p. 4 of the Intro- 
duction, the Editor, Mr. P. E. Roberts, expresses Sir William Hunter's ideas on 
this matter and gives additional evidence to support the statements in this text, 
criticising Sir John Seeley and the " notion that our Indian Empire was an un- 
conscious lapse into greatness." Cf. p. 273, — Letter to Fort St. George, Dec. 12, 
1687 : " The Directors look \ in a most especiall manner ' to the Madras Council 
to * establish such a Politie of civill and military power, and create and secure 
such a large Revenue as may bee the foundation of a large, well-grounded, sur 
English dominion in India for all time to come.' " 



44 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

pany, benefiting by the commercial advances of the old Lon- 
don Company, was able both to increase trade and to extend 
sovereignty. That trade at the end of the seventeenth cen- 
tury was by no means small, nor was the political importance 
attached to its progress the fancy of a pamphleteer. The ser- 
vice of that commerce in helping to a favorable balance of 
trade, and its use in supporting naval power and giving to 
Great Britain a paramount place in international politics were 
recognized by men like Davenant, the best writer of his day in 
matters of trade and politics. He declared in 1698 that what- 
ever country got " the full and undisputed possession " of the 
East India trade would " give law to all the commercial world," 
and later he continues : this trade " has extended and enlarged 
our concerns and interest abroad, begot new traffic to us; 
and . . . this commerce, with the growth of the West India 
plantation, have principally contributed to put of our side the 
general balance between us and other countries ; from whence 
follows, that we shall be confined to a narrow compass, and 
must no more pretend to the dominion of the sea, if by ill- 
conduct, in these two important branches, we should be 
reduced to deal only in our native product and home manu- 
factures." The conduct of this trade, after the Earl of Godol- 
phin's award (1708), settling the claims of rival companies and 
ushering a new period, was both sober and profitable till the 
attack of the Bourbons roused a band of merchants to new 
duties, and won for them the support of the state in a struggle 
for Asiatic dominion. 1 

1 Davenant : Works, i. pp. 126, 138 etseq. (In Lyall : Rise of British Dominion 
in India, pp. 41-43, a mistake is made in saying that Sir William Davenant wrote 
the Essay on the East India Trade ; it was Charles Davenant, his son.) For the 
Award, cf. Bruce: Annals of the Honourable East India Company, iii. pp. 667-771. 
Cf. Hunter : op. cit. ii. pp. 382, 383. The literature of this subject is rich. One 
pamphlet (1681 ) is particularly worthy of note — Philopatris : That the East Indian 
Trade is the most national of all Foreign Trades (publ. in Somers : First Collection, 
iv. pp. 34 et sea.). The main propositions are as follows : " I. That the East 
India Trade is the most National of all Foreign Trades. II. That the clamours, 
Aspersions, and Objections made against the present East India Company, are 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 45 

A statistical inquiry into the Asiatic trade of Great Britain 
and its ratio to her total trade at various times during the 
eighteenth century, will illuminate the economic aspect of the 
problem of Asia, and will at the same time open up the ques- 
tion of foreign policy in these matters. The prosperity of 
Great Britain began to show itself clearly in the closing years 
of the seventeenth century ; British commerce had doubled 
in the thirty years prior to 1699, when it amounted to over 
12,000,000 pounds sterling. The war which broke out in 1702 
injured it somewhat, so that in 17 10 it did not quite touch 
11,000,000 according to the official figures, but as the rates of 
value were still those of 1696, the sale amount was slightly 
larger ; and in the language of the day, a favorable balance of 
trade was created to the extent of £2,679,487. In this com- 
merce the imports of the East India Company after 1708 
averaged annually £758,042, and the exports about £575,000, 
carried, in 1710, in ten ships sailing from England ; it may be 
noticed in passing that the imports from the West Indies 
averaged at this time a little over £600,000. The years that 
followed were full of action and the resources of the Company 
were heavily taxed by the costs of war, though the Govern- 

Sinister, Selfish, or Groundless. III. That since the discovery of the East Indies, 
the Dominion of the Sea depends much upon the Wane or increase of that Trade, 
and consequently the Security of the Liberty, Property and Protestant Religion 
of this Kingdom. IV. That the Trade of the East Indies cannot be carried on 
to National advantage, in any other way than by a General Joynt Stock. 
V. That the East India Trade is more profitable and necessary to the Kingdom 
of England, than to any other Kingdom or Nation in Europe." The opposition 
published tracts trying to prove the East India Trade prejudicial to the manu- 
facturers of England. Cf. Somers : op. cit. iv. pp. 56 et seq. Pollexfen : England 
and East India inconsistent, etc., London, 1697; and Ibid.: A discourse of trade, 
coin, paper credit and of ways and means to gain and retain riches. London, 1696. 
On this subject cf. Fortrey: England 's Interest and Improvement, London, 1673; 
H. T. : Britannia Languens, London, 1689 ; and Child : Discourse on Trade 
(previously quoted). Fifty years later a bitter attack was made by a foreigner 
under the pseudonym of Nickolls: Advantages, etc., pp. 160, 191. He prophesies 
the ultimate and complete ruin of all East Indian trade, and the uselessness of all 
settlements in that region so far as the English are concerned, pp. 176, 177. He 
presents the strongest arguments of the day against Trading Companies. 



46 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

ment bore a large share of them in order to defeat French 
ambition. Yet in 1780, in the heart of a period when the 
French were making a successful stand in India and 
the American colonies were slowly toiling toward victory, the 
sales at the India house in London were over £3,000,000, 
the exports to the East Indies and China were nearly half a 
million, and the shipping owned by the Company was measured 
at over 60,000 tons. The general commerce of the nation 
had also increased, though not in such proportion; in 1780 the 
total imports to Great Britain were valued at £11,664,967, of 
which £2,612,910 came from the West Indies; and the total 
exports were £13,554,093. Of the foreign commerce of the 
kingdom the Asiatic branch was therefore not quite 15 per cent. 
With the peace of Versailles in 1783 an even greater rate of 
increase began, for the strain of the war in India had been 
harder than many English writers have cared to confess ; it 
appears to-day, however, that had it not been for the arrival in 
India of the news of peace, the French would have gained all 
of southern India, the British forces being in sore straits ; but 
the status quo of 176 1 was all France had asked for in the 
treaty, and that opportunity was lost. A change had also 
been made in the character of the British power in India; 
essentially an organization chartered for trading purposes, the 
political functions of the Company were first clearly recog- 
nized in 1773; in 1784, after a hot fight in Parliament, a new 
constitution was drawn up ; and it was in the course of these 
debates that the " English nation first began to realize their 
responsibilities for the government of India." The Charter 
act of 1793 embodied in its provisions the most vital parts of 
Mr. Pitt's famous India Bill ; and the monopoly of trade was 
encroached on to the extent of 3,000 tons annually of private 
trade authorized by law. It is under these new conditions, 
therefore, that Asiatic trade must be studied. 1 

1 In Appendix II. statistical tables will be found to support the figures given 
in the text. The early history of the East India Company is noteworthy for the 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 47 

Beginning in 1783, when the exports of the United Kingdom 
were £14,681,494 and the imports £13,122,235, the East India 

enormous profit on comparatively small investments, — the voyage which lasted 
from 1611 to 1615 bringing a profit of 218 per cent; after the reconstruction of 
the Company in 1657 the dividends paid between that date and 1691 were nearly 
25 per cent per annum. Cf. Craik: History of British Commerce, ii. p. 15. 
Chandler : History of the House of Commons, iii. p. 86. Report of Pari. Committee, 
June 13,1698. (Quoted by Hunter: op. cit. ii. p. 279.) In 1681 stock in the 
Company, of a par value of one hundred pounds, was quoted at 280. Philopatris : 
op. cit. p. 40. For matters treated in the text, cf. also Bastable in Diet, of Political 
Economy, p. 344. Hunter : Indian Empire, pp. 664, 665. M'Arthur : Financial 
Facts, pp. 29, 274 (App., Table III.). Chalmers : Estimate, etc., p. 207 and table. 
Cunningham : op. cit. ii. pp. 532-537. Malleson : Dupleix, pp. 177 et sea., and 
Final French Struggles, pp. 70 et sea. Mill : Hist, of India, iv. p. 292 (note by H. 
H. Wilson). Rapson : Struggle Between France and England for Sitpremacy in 
India, p. 120. For the documents of an administrative nature, cf. Auber : Analy- 
sis of the Constitution of the East India Company. The Acts of importance are : 
13th of George III., cap. 63 ; 21st of George III., cap. 65 ; 24th of George III., 
cap. 25 ; 33d of George III., cap. 52. Kaye : Hist, of the Administration of the 
East India Co. pp. 123 et sea. Cf. also Encyclopedic methodique. Diet, du Commerce, 
i. pp. 96-117. (Statistics of English Trade (1752-73), supposed to be based on 
Whitworth.) Vorontzov : Arkhiv, ix. p. 51 (S. to A. Vorontzov. London, 
May 29 (June 9), 1786): " Apres le commerce des Indes orientales, celui de la 
Russie est celui qu'il importe le plus a l'Angleterre de conserver dans l'etat oil il 
se trouve. . . ." This is interesting testimony to the role of Asiatic trade. 

Note on the Condition of Dutch trade with the East Indies. The Dutch East 
India Company had been very prosperous, paying high dividends until about 
1670, since which date a steady decline had ensued, which nearly became a rout 
after the war of 1780. In 1606 a dividend of 75 per cent is noted ; and from that 
date to 1661, 25 to 30 per cent was a maximum dividend. Shares worth 3000 
florins at par went as high as 18,000. In 1670 a 40 per cent dividend was declared. 
At that time about 150 merchant ships and 40 men-of-war employing 25,000 
sailors and 12,000 troops, were used in the trade and its protection. By 1740 
these numbers had been cut nearly in half, though shortly before this time 
Uztariz thought France, Spain, and England should unite to overcome the Dutch 
in Asia. The war with England in 1780, however, seriously injured them. The 
Company between 1780-90 became a burden to the government and received a 
subvention of 68,000,000 florins; in 1784 the Company's debts amounted to 85 
million and the goods on hand to 20 million florins ; by 1791 the debt had become 
95 million ; and on May 31, 1794, the total liabilities stood at 127,553,280 fl., and 
the assets at 15,287,832 fl. The invasion and conquests of the French as well as 
losses to the English still further ruined the Company, which soon ceased to exist. 
Uztariz : Theory, i. p. 49. Clement : Hist, de Colbert, i. p. 342. Beausobre : Poli- 
tique, i. pp. 266 et seq. Castonnet-Desfosses : Rivaliti de Dupleix et de La Bourdon- 



48 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

trade, including China, amounted to £1,301,495 imports, which 
were sold in the London market for about sixty per cent above 
this, their official value, and £701,473 exports. The continent 
expected at this time to see a decline of British power; it 
hoped that her debt would prove too heavy a burden, that her 
losses in America, and her struggle with the native powers in 
India, secretly aided by the French, would exhaust her vitality 
and leave her commerce and her colonies a prey to others. 
As has been shown, this opinion was common, and a prophet 
of Great Britain's immediate success and financial progress 
was obliged to plead the statistics of her increasing wealth to 
enforce his belief in her destiny; thus a correspondent of 
Count A. R. Vorontzov, the Russian ambassador at London, 
declared that, though few might share his opinion, the condition 
of English trade warranted his statement. Mr. Pitt's speech 
on the Budget in 1790 is to this point, for he said, " The country 
at this moment is in a situation of prosperity far greater than 
at any period the most flourishing before the last war." The 
imports in 1789 had risen to £17,828,000, of which Asiatic 
trade had supplied £3,453,897 of goods to be valued in the 
home market at £6,000,000, and the West Indies nearly £4,000,- 
000 (official value) ; the exports were of a value of £18,5 13,000 
(Macpherson's figure is £19,340,548), of which about £13,000,- 
000 were British manufactures, — a gain of over one million in 
the latter item since 1787, and a gain of three million over the 
annual average of the six years prior to the outbreak of the 
American war. Such welfare was in part the result of peace. 
The condition of trade in 1793, before the Revolutionary 
struggle was thoroughly started, affords a comparison with 
that at the end 6"f the American war, by which to determine 
the effect that was really had on Asiatic commerce and 

nais, p. 14. Leroy-Beaulieu : Colonisation, pp. 64, 74-75. Van Lijnden : Dissertatio 
de commercio, p. 174. " Majoris prosperitatis, qua per breve spatium ante bellum 
Anglicum gavisi sumus, idem bellum, anno 1780 nobis illatum, finem fecit, et 
sequens, quod nobis ab eodem populo bellum suscitatum est, toti fere mercaturae 
nostrae minam paravit/' Bonnassieux : Grandes compagnies, p. 60. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 49 

trade in general. The total foreign commerce of the United 
Kingdom in 1793 was £39,643,944, of which the exports were 
£20,388,828, leaving a balance of trade of over a million pounds. 
These exports included nearly sixteen million (official value) 
of British produce and manufactures and £2,719,246 in bullion 
and merchandise sent to the East Indies. The returns from 
that region were valued at the custom house at three and a 
half million pounds, but were sold at a gross profit of over sixty 
per cent. The West Indies sent over four million pounds, but 
the increase of sale value over official value was not so great. 
Thus the total foreign commerce of Great Britain had increased 
over seventy per cent within a decade, and the East India branch 
had more than trebled. (The imports from the West Indies 
had not quite doubled, the figures for 1783 having been £2,- 
820,387.) The shipping to carry this wealth had increased 
accordingly : as against 8,342 British vessels of 669,802 tons 
manned by less than 60,000 sailors in 1783, Great Britain and 
Scotland had, in 1793, 12,901 vessels, of 1,367,420 tons, and the 
British dominion had 16,329 vessels, of 1,564,520 tons, manned 
by nearly 120,000 sailors. The East India Company had been 
obliged to double its fleet, and, though in 1788 not one tenth 
of the general export trade from Great Britain was carried in 
foreign bottoms, the service of foreign ships was required in 
India to carry the product of individual ventures back to 
Europe. British prosperity, as Lord Auckland wrote, " sur- 
passed all idea." " A degree of opulence is now circulating 
through the country with an unexampled energy and activity 
both in agriculture and manufactures," he wrote to another 
friend; exultation was thus the justifiable note of Mr. Pitt's 
speech of February, 1792, when he gave account of the nation's 
health. Furthermore the ratio of the business done in 1780 
between England and the East, to the grand totals for foreign 
commerce in 1780, as has been shown, was not quite 15 per 
cent ; that proportion was kept up in spite of the degree of 
prosperity to which Mr. Pitt bore witness, so that in 1793 the 

4 



50 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

corresponding ratio was nearly sixteen per cent, calculated 
entirely on official values, and without attention to the greater 
demand for Asiatic produce and the higher prices of the Lon- 
don market. 1 

1 Vide Appendix II. The ideas of Emperor Joseph II. on the decadence of 
Great Britain are typical of opinion on the continent. Arneth : Joseph II und 
Leopold, i. p. 152 (J. to L. Jan. 23, 1783) : M Voila done cette grande puissance 
[England] qui tenait en balance la France, tombee entierement et pour toujours; 
toute consideration et force perdue, et, par un sacrifice volontaire descendue au 
rang de puissance de second ordre, semblable a la Suede et au Danemarc et 
probablement elle ne tardera pas a etre egalement commandee par la Russie, 
commes ces dernieres." Vorontzov : Arkhiv, xxix. pp. 13 et seq. (Pictet to A. R. 
Vorontzov. London, June 9, 1787). Hansard: Pari. Hist, xxviii. 698-700 ; 
xxix. 816-838. Auckland: Corr. ii. p. 457 (Auckland to Sir Morton Eden, 
Oct. 19, 1792). Smyth : Memoirs of Sir Riehard Keith, ii. p. 377 (Auckland to 
Keith, Feb. 9, 1791). Cornwallis: Corr. i. p. 197 (Ewart to Carmarthen, Berlin, 
Sept. 10, 1785). Report of Cornwallis's address to King of Prussia: "That 
although the finances of England had suffered by the late expensive war [Amer- 
ican], yet that had not been in greater proportion than those of her rivals ; and 
by the plan of strict economy, which was adopted, and the flourishing state of 
her commerce, there could be no doubt that England would be able to support 
her weight and dignity with the other powers of Europe." Macpherson : Annals 
of Commerce, iv. pp. 39, 135, 287. Report of Select Committee of East India 
Company, 1792 (p. 243) : "All the foreign companies, except the Dutch, have 
failed or are in a very declining state. Their trade can no longer come under 
the description of commercial adventure ; it depends chiefly upon conveying to 
Europe the fortunes of British individuals ; . . . " Arnould : op. cit. ii. pp. 35, 
36. Bowles: Retrospect, pp. 113 el seq. The revenue of the Government from 
the Company was another item which could not be included in the trade statis- 
tics, yet was an element in the general value of Asiatic connection. In 1773 it 
amounted to ,£2,000,000, annually. Annual Register, 1773, p. 76. M'Arthur: 
op. cit. pp. 31 et seq. During the eighteenth century the trade between Great 
Britain and her " plantations " had increased so that at its close the trade with 
Jamaica was considerably larger than that with all the plantations in 1700. Rose : 
Increase of the Revenue, Commerce, and Manufactures of Great Britain, pp. 40 et seq. 
Anderson: History of Commerce, iv. p. 666. M'Arthur: op. cit. pp. 259 et seq. 
(figures for shipping). Chalmers: op. cit. pp. xxvi, cix et seq., 142 et seq., 207 
et seq., 240 et seq. The share of the China trade in the East India commerce is 
worthy of note. In 1783 £120,000 were exported from England in ships of 6,000 
total tonnage; in 1792 the figures were ,£626,000 and 17,981 tons respectively. 
Tea had increased from an annual importage to England of 5,605,074 pounds in 
1784 to 18,108,533 in 1792. The stock of the United Company had also risen; 
in December, 1783, India stock was quoted at 120, and in 1792 at 191. (Cf. p. 250 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 5 1 

The importance of political problems awaiting solution dur- 
ing these years in India would induce the belief that the mind 
of the English people was struggling with theif intricacy and 
vastness ; but though at certain junctures the fate of a political 
party, hanging on the success or failure of a bill for the admin- 
istration of India, roused the nation to a sense of responsibility, 
the general ignorance shown in England of the real course of 
events in Asia forced Burke to the opinion that " if the whole 
Gentoo race had but one neck, [our countrymen] would see it 
cut with the most perfect indifference." The national attitude 
of the British people toward India, however, must not detain 
us here; and the study of financial aspects must now be fol- 
lowed by a consideration of foreign policy. The period between 
1765 and 1785 was, on the whole, not one of expansion for the 
British in India ; rather were they forced to fight for their 
authority, to intrigue in order to separate their rivals by mutual 
jealousy, even to face the menace which they hoped they had 
removed, — that of French control in regions of great area and 
wealth, a hazard to their safety and a source of aid to their 
enemies. But the collapse of the Mughal Empire and the rise 
of Sikh power in the North freed the hands of the English for 
a time, and they were enabled to deal singly with forces which, 
if united, might have changed their history in Asia. The 
increasing strength of the connection between India and the 
British government, as well as the widening scope of European 

for figures of shipping.) The industrial inventions that crowded the closing years 
of the century, though at first a stimulus to unhealthy speculation and rash in- 
vestment, soon proved their value. Cotton manufacture was installed at a critical 
period, when the American colonies had been lost ; but it was a source of great 
strength for the Napoleonic struggle, the total exports of cotton between 1793 
and 1815 amounting to £225,954,439, official value, and 250,000,000, real value. 
Baines : Cotton Manufacture, pp. 503, 504. Some differences are to be noted in 
the figures given by various authorities and also a variation in the financial year. 
An examination of the tables in the Appendix will show the estimates which 
seemed to be most trustworthy ; and a reference will be found there to the dif- 
ference between the official and real or sale value figures which at first sight seems 
to be misleading. 



52 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

politics, gave rise to speculation on the continent as to the real 
effect of these struggles. Mirabeau was among the first to 
prophesy the interest of Russia in Indian matters, and to augur 
the storm which England would be called to brave should 
Russia press to their logical end her plans for control in Central 
Asia. Of Russian plans, more will be said later; but it is 
interesting to find in this connection that memoranda were 
drafted urging on the Russian government the opportunity for 
trade with India by the Black and Red Seas as well as by land 
routes. The same policy dictated the political mission of the 
Jesuit priests, sent in the Russian interest to China, when, in 
1793, Lord MacCartney was sent out by the British. While 
it was not decisive action on the part of Russia, it clearly 
showed the trend of her policy. 1 

1 Auckland: Corr. i. pp. 77 (Burke to Eden, May 17, 1784), 342, 343. (H. 
Elliot to Eden, Dec. 26, 1783) : " Foreigners in general think we are in danger of 
losing our East India possessions entirely by the intrigues of the French and the 
strength of their allies in Hindostan, and are, consequently, more solicitous to 
learn what military force will be left for the defense of those distant provinces, 
than to follow the different modes of civil government we are so anxious to estab- 
lish. I am not a little tainted with the same principles, and am persuaded that 
the nations of Europe are perhaps more desirous to see us driven out of Hin- 
dostan than they were to divest us of the sovereignty and exclusive trade of our 
colonies in America. Our empire in the East was not originally founded upon 
justice ; it was acquired by force and by force I believe it must be maintained . . . 
[he pleads for a strong government] for ensuring the possession of a distant 
province, the envy of our rivals, and the last remaining source of trade and 
opulence." Teignmouth : Life, i. p. 68. Mirabeau : Histoire de Berlin. Lettre 
No. 29, Dresden, Sept. 26, 1786. During the war between the English and 
Hyder Ali, Bengal traded with Russians to the north; Russia in 1783 had sent a 
fleet to seize Astarabad, but was not successful. " Cette enterprise a echouee ; 
mais elle n'est pas abandonee, et si peu, que Ton voit en ce moment a Peters- 
bourg un plan en relief des ouvrages dont on veut fortifier Astrabat. De tous 
les projets gigantesques de la Russie, celui ci est peut-etre le moins deraisson- 
nable puisque la nature des choses le lui a indique et qu'il y a deja une navigation 
interieure completement etablie depuis Astracan, par le Volga, la Mita, le lac 
Jemen, le Wologda, le canal de Ladoga et la Newa, jusqu'a Petersbourg. Si 
jamais ce plan etait suivi avec succes et activite, il faudrait une de ces deux 
choses ou que PAngleterre songeat serieusement a une coalition avec nous contre 
le systeme du Nord, ou qu'elle laissat prendre toutes sortes d'avantages sur elle a 
Petersbourg , car on y aurait alors des interets tout-a-fait contraires aux siens, 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 53 

The period between 1786 and 1793, during which Lord 
Cornwallis was Governor-General of India, is an important one 
in administrative history by reason of what is known as the 
permanent settlement of the land revenue of Bengal ; by it the 
Zaminddrs, or hereditary government tax farmers, were recog- 
nized, the assessment on land was fixed, at first for ten years 
and later permanently, and the right of the Zaminddr to col- 
lect it was established. Proprietary government was thus the 
principle of action, though appeal was made to native tradition 
and custom. Trade was brisk and the Company prosperous, 
yet Great Britain was not the sovereign power nor even the 
paramount power in India; and when the second war with 
Mysore came on in 1790 the British allied themselves with 
two native sovereigns — the Nizam of Haidarabad in the Dec- 
can, and the head of the Maratha Confederacy — against Tipu 
Sultan. It will be remembered that two years previously this 
ruler had sent an embassy to France, and that his chief aim 
in foreign policy was to unite the enemies of Great Britain 
under his leadership. His defeat, therefore, in 1792 may be 
regarded as a blow to French interests in Asia as well as a 
strengthening of English hands. Of his subsequent career 
more will be said in another chapter. The success of the 
British in the war which had ended in 1783 had proved the 
security of British sea communications with India ; that of the 
second Mysore war (1792) showed that as long as they could 

et il pourrait s'y former de terribles orages contre sa puissance aux Indes.'* 
Vorontzov: Arkhiv, xxiv. pp. 180-187 ; ix. pp. 229 et seq. (S. to A. Vorontzov, 13 
(24) Jan. 1792). He writes of the necessity of Russia's keeping on friendly terms 
with China, and at the same time to "traverser les projets des Anglais a la 
Chine " [MacCartney's mission]. He proposes to send a mission of Jesuits and 
Russian officials, nominally a scientific expedition, to remain in Pekin, thus keep- 
ing Russia well-informed, and enjoins great secrecy. Cf. pp. 253, 288. Plans 
of the English mission dwarf those of Russia : " Je vous avais marque le dommage 
que cela fera a nous si mylord Macartney reussit a Pekin " ; there is need of a 
good Russian ambassador there, of clever Jesuits, etc. Cornwallis : Corr. i. 
p. 315. The plan of sending a British envoy to China was suggested by Dundas 
in July, 1787, in order to improve trade and forestall the French, who were sus- 
pected of plans in that direction, ii. pp. 1 et seq. Further plans in 1789. 



54 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

deal with the native states singly little was to be feared ; the 
combination to be dreaded by them was that of a union of 
native rulers. Such an event, however, as invasion from the 
north, or effective attack by an enemy independent of Europe 
as a base, if attended with war in India on the part of the 
Nizam, the Maratha powers, or Mysore, could prove equally 
dangerous to them. The policy of England, therefore, was to 
prevent either of these contingencies; that of her enemies was 
both to strike at her sea power, thus threatening her line of 
communication with the East, and to foster in India whatever 
conditions would imperil her security there. 1 

If such were the state of the British connections with Asia 

1 Kaye: op. cit. pp. 162 et seq. Cornwallis: Corr. (Administration) i. pp. 211 
et seq., 270 et seq., 298, 304, 448, 532 et seq., 540 et seq., 552 et seq. ; ii. pp. 13 et seq., 
191 et seq., 459 et seq., 542. Idem : i. pp. 333 et seq. (Cornwallis to Malet, Calcutta, 
March 10, 1788). On the close connection between Mysore and France, the 
alliance of the English with the Maratha powers and the Nizam, cf. 343-345, 352, 
390, 423 et seq., 536 et seq. ; ii. pp. 112 et seq., 117-120, 475 et seq. Idem : i. pp. 462 
et seq. (the attack by Tipvi Sultan on the Rajah of Travancore, 1790, and the 
alliance of the English with the Marathas against Mysore) ; ii. pp. 8, 68 et seq., 
92 et seq., 134 et seq., 175 et seq., 490 et seq., 501-540 (the campaign against Tipii. 
Peace signed 1792); Baird: Life, i. pp. 51 et seq., 104 et seq. (the war with 
Mysore, 1790-1792) ; Teignmouth : Life and Corr. i. pp. 97, 148 (Shore [Teign- 
mouth] to Cornwallis, Oct. 4, 1787): "[If we merely act on the defensive] 
Tippoo will destroy our resources, by ravaging the Carnatic, and, when he has 
driven us to the last distress, call in the assistance of the French to complete it/' 
163, 169, 175 et seq.; Mackintosh: Memoirs, i. pp. 194, 195 (Mackintosh to 
Gentz, Feb. 5, 1804). The quality of British rule in India. He refers to "our 
ill-gotten, but well-governed, Asiatic empire." A curious and significant com- 
ment on the lack of ability in English generals and on the light in which Eng- 
land's position in India was viewed by Europeans is given by S. Vorontzov in a 
letter, dated Nov. 17 (28) 1794, to Count A. Razumovski. Wassiltchikow : Les 
Razoumowski, ii. Part. 4, p. 217 : "Les gene*raux anglais ne sont pas faits pour con- 
duire des armees ; c'est bien eux-memes, qui devraient etre subordonnes a des 
generaux allemands, dont le moins capable sait plus de tactique que tous les 
Anglais ensemble. Leux fameux Cornwallis n'est bon qu'a faire la guerre aux 
Indiens, oil encore il n'aurait jamais reussi a vaincre Tippo-Saib sans le secours 
puissant des Marattes." Cf. Dirom: Narrative of the Campaign in India which 
terminated the war with Tippoo Sultan in 1792 ; and, in the " Rulers of India 
Series," Seton-Karr : The Marquess Cornwallis ; and Bowring : Haidar Ali and 
Tipii Sultdn. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 55 

in 1793, in what light were they viewed by Frenchmen; what 
were the ideas current in France regarding Great Britain's 
power as related to India ; and what influence did questions of 
sea-power, colonies, and Asiatic dominion exert at the time 
when the struggle between the two rivals was to be renewed? 
The work of Raynal in spreading the belief that England's 
power was based on her Asiatic commerce and that her posi- 
tion in India was unstable and open to attack on all sides was 
important. More must be said later of his influence, through 
the mind of Napoleon Bonaparte, on the history of the world 
during the next quarter-century. The author of the Histoire 
philosophique et politique des etablissements et du commerce des 
Europeens dans les deux Indes estimated the English occupa- 
tion of Bengal to be one of the great events in the economy of 
history; but he refused to credit any force save that of chance 
with its accomplishment and prophesied the overthrow of the 
British, and the return of the French to power in India. 
" The very circumstances," he wrote, " which have opened 
this career of glory and power to the English, far from prom- 
ising a continuance of their success, foretell for them the 
most fatal disasters." He painted the r61e of France as the 
liberator of India in equally vivid colors. A disciple of his 
writes in the same terms several years later, — that India is the 
Achilles heel of the British Empire; for Great Britain, stripped 
of the wealth she gained from her Asiatic possessions, could 
" lead but a precarious existence " and would " no longer 
excite the alarm of France and of Europe." Arnould, the 
statistician, with all his prejudice against the East India trade, 
wrote that India meant annually about 250,000,000 livres of 
commerce and revenue to the English ; and the oratory of 
the Revolution, forgetful also of the large figures of French 
colonial trade, magnified this statement till the very vitality of 
England seemed to them to rise from an Asiatic, source. 
When the West Indies were included in their speeches, the 
commerce of these possessions was proclaimed as the founda- 



5^ EASTERN PROBLEMS 

tion of British power on the ocean. Indeed the negotiations 
which looked to peace, and even an alliance, between England 
and France were based on the French idea that the words 
" colonies," " sea-power " and " India " were magic terms by 
which the British mind could be controlled. This plan, for 
which Talleyrand stood sponsor, sprang from his strong belief 
regarding the utility of a colonial domain, which he expressed 
several years later in his well known MJrnoire on this subject; 
he advocated colonial expansion as a source of strength, in the 
case of France as a safety valve to rid the home country of 
men whose political passions were too violent, and in general 
to call popular attention to matters beyond the sea; in a word, 
colonial expansion was to be for the modern world what a 
foreign war had been to the classic, — a remedy for internal 
disorder. These views were embodied in a report which 
Talleyrand made early in 1792 urging an alliance between 
France and Great Britain on the basis of a division of colonial 
empire by which their mutual commercial prosperity would be 
secured and their naval power would be used, in conjunction with 
that of the United States, to free the Spanish colonies in South 
America, thus opening them to their trade; to create, in fact, an 
international syndicate whose monopoly would be in colonial 
estates. The instructions given to Chauvelin and Talleyrand in 
April of that year included a proposal for a reciprocal guarantee 
of the possessions of both countries in Europe, Asia, and 
America, and a scheme of attack on Spain should that state 
continue hostile. Talleyrand, on his previous visit to Eng- 
land, had talked with Lord Grenville on these matters, and in 
his account of the conversation to M. Delessart he sounded 
the note familiar to Frenchmen by pointing out that by the 
terms of his plan Great Britain would be protected as to Ire- 
land and India, — the two weak spots in her imperial armor. 1 

1 Raynal: op. cit. ii. pp. 196, 483, 493. Legoux de Flaix: U lndoustan, i. 
pp. 395-96. The writer is inspired by Raynal, who, he says, foresaw the further 
aggrandizement of Great Britain ; he wrote five memoirs on this subject, 1790- 




ONiVEFrsrr 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 57 

When this dream of defensive alliance with Great Britain 
vanished, and when the scope of the Revolution became 

1800. " La France seule, beaucoup plus interessee dans ces resultats que les 
autres puissances europeennes, devait employer toutes ses forces pour s'opposer a 
ces conquetes des Anglais dans l'lndoustan. Et s'il est vrai de dire que les corps 
politiques ont une partie plus sensible, ainsi que les corps humains, sur laquelle 
doivent etre diriges touts les coups d'un ennemi eclaire, c'est sur les possessions 
britanniques de l'lnde que touts nos efforts auraient du se porter. Privee des 
ressources immenses que l'Angleterre obtient de ces possessions, et livree a celles 
de son pays, son existence etait precaire, et les justes sujets des alarmes de la 
France et de l'Europe se seraient naturellement et graduellement evanouis." 
Arnould : Balance du commerce, i. p. 285. Gouy : Vues ginerales, p. 2 : " C'est 
parle commerce des deux Indes que l'Angleterre et la Hollande ont eleve, tour-a- 
tour, leur trone sur l'Ocean. Si naguere la France tenoit le balance entre les 
Souverains de l'Europe, si elle a aneanti pendant un temps les pretentions d'une 
rivale toujours jalouse de sa splendeur, c'est a la prosperite de la culture des 
colonies. . . ." Nairac : Speech in the Assemblee, June 28, 1790: " Jetez les 
yeux sur l'Angleterre ; son commerce de l'lnde est immense. II produit annuelle- 
ment plus de 80 millions de retours. II fournit presque toutes les nations de 
l'Europe ; il fournit a ses propres besoins et cependant les manufactures n'y 
languissent pas." Also the speeches of Begouen and Mirabeau, at the same 
time, on Indian Trade, Marseilles, and the Levant. Talleyrand : Essai sur les 
avantages a retirer de colonies nouvelles, in Memoires de Vlnstitut, etc., ii. pp. 300, 
301. After recommending Northern Africa, various neighboring islands, and 
Egypt as fit to replace French losses in America, he concluded : " De tout 
ce qui vient d'etre expose, il suit que tout presse de s'occuper de nouvelles 
colonies ; l'exemple des peuples les plus sages, qui en ont fait un des grands 
moyens de tranquillite ; le besoin de preparer le remplacement de nos colonies 
actuelles pour ne pas nous trouver en arriere des evenements ; la convenance de 
placer la culture de nos denrees coloniales plus pres de leurs vrais cultivateurs ; 
la necessite de former avec les colonies les rapports les plus naturels, bien plus 
faciles, sans doute, dans les etablissements nouveaux que dans les anciens ; 
l'avantage de ne point nous laisser prevenir par une nation rivale, pour qui 
chacun des nos oublis, chacun de nos retards en ce genre est une conquete ; 
1' opinion des hommes eclaires qui ont porte leur attention et leurs recherches 
sur cet objet; enfin la douceur de pouvoir attacher a ces enterprises tant d'hommes 
agites qui ont besoin de projets, tant d'hommes malheureux qui ont besoin 
d'esperance." The plan of the English alliance had much in common with the 
diplomatic policy of General Dumouriez. Cf. Sorel : Un general diplomatique. 
Dumouriez, etc., in the R. de D. M. 3 ser. Ixiv. (1884), pp. 302-332, 575-606, 
798-829. Pallain: Talleyrand et le Directoire, pp. xlii. et seq., lv. (Memoir by 
Talleyrand) : "... les vaisseaux de la France et de l'Angleterre reunis iront 
ouvrir dans la mer Pacifique, dans la mer du Sud, et dans l'Ocean Meridional le 
commerce libre de cette immense partie des Indes occidentales. . . . Apres une 
revolution, il faut ouvrir de nouvelles routes a l'industrie, il faut donner des 



58 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

apparent in the politics of both nations, the ideas which had 
prompted plans for co-operation to a common end revived 
among the French the old outcry against England. The 
period of confusion and disorganization in the French colo- 
nies, which was in part the legacy of the Ancien Regime 
and in part incidental to the radical policy of the Revolution, 
had been profitable to Great Britain, and as her enmity to the 
extreme phases of the Revolution became known, the furious 
hatred of her which had been inbred in the subjects of the 
Bourbons was renewed in the French mind in its new national 
self-consciousness. Early in January, 1793, Kersaint had de- 
clared that the struggle between the two great rivals would be 
to the death ; and Brissot, in his speech on the war with Eng- 
land, asked " if it were possible that she could withstand well 
directed onslaughts in India " ; he then drew a picture of 
Frenchmen " restoring independence " to India with the help 
of native rulers, re-establishing the India trade " on a sound 
basis, the basis of fraternitf" driving out the English, and thus 
making it easy to undermine " a power whose colossal figure 
revealed weakness and invited ruin." This explosion of feeling 
was the natural result of the same thought which had prompted 
the attempt to concert a plan of action with Great Britain ; 
for, if it were true, as Burke had said, that no combination of 
the powers which did not include Great Britain as leader 
could expect to make any impression on France, the object of 
France must be to isolate Great Britain, and to regard war 
with her as a means to gain sea-power and colonies : " Angle- 
terre — B4U a exterminer" were the terse words of a secret 

debouches a toutes les passions." Pallain : Talleyrand h Londres en 1792, pp. 98 
et sea., 106. (Talleyrand to Delessart, London, Feb. 17), report of a conversation 
with Lord Grenville. Talleyrand said : " [I desire] qu'il s'etablit entre nos deux 
nations une garantie reciproque de toutes nos possessions orientales, occidentales, 
et Europeennes (M. Delessart verra surement la qu'en ecartant toute idee de 
cession j'ai touche les deux cordes sensibles pour l'Angleterre : lTnde oil est la 
guerre, et l'lrlande qui est menacee de troubles) ; pp. 219-242 (instructions of 
April 20), and especially 232. Cf. Lecky : op. cit. vi. pp. 5-12, 47-54. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 59 

note written in the summer of 1794. In crude outline the 
sentence anticipated the history of the next twenty years. 1 
This policy, itself a bequest of the Ancien Regime, got 

1 Barral-Montferrat : Dix Ans, i. p. 8. (The despatches given by this writer 
are taken almost entirely from the Public Record Office, London.) (Hailes to the 
Duke of Dorset, Paris, January, 1784) : H France is so impoverished that we 
shall do well to profit by this and sap her influence, enfeeble and humiliate her, 
though preserving toward her at the same time an outward frankness and cor- 
diality." Malouet : Memoires sur les colonies, iii. p. 244. Villele : Memoires, 
i. p. 52. In 1 791 " l'empressment de nos eternels rivaux, les Anglais, a faire 
tourner au profit de leur puissance l'etat de disorganisation, de demence et de 
faiblesse ou nous avait jetes la Revolution." Page 53 : " L'influence franeaise 
allait etre aneantie dans ces contrees [East Indies], ou elle avait tant grandi 
pendant la guerre precedente par les brillants exploits maritimes de M. de Suffren 
et par l'accroissement de l'empire de notre puissant allie Hyder-Ali." Stephens : 
op. cit. ii. p. 495. Le Moniteur, Jan. 15, 1793. Brissot's speech : "Ilfaut dejouer 
le cabinet anglais comme nous avons dejoue Leopold et Frederic-Guillaume ; il 
faut le forcer de nous donner une explication precise qui nous tranquillise a 
jamais, ou tirer l'epee contre les Anglais ; et, croyez-en le genie de la liberte, les 
matelots francais ne le cederont point aux vainqueurs du Brabant, et la mer aura 
aussi son Jemmapes. . . . Dites-nous s'il est possible qu'elle [England] puisse y 
[India] soutenir des attaques bien dirigees, combinees avec les princes de ce pays, 
et dans un nouveau systeme ; dites-nous si, lorsque les republicains francais se pre- 
senteront dans ces parages, non pour remplacer les Anglais en les chassant, mais 
pour rendre l'Inde a son independance, pour y rappeler le commerce a la vraie base, 
la base de la f raternite, dites-nous si des-lors ils ne trouveront pas et dans les princes 
et dans les peuples autant d'allies, et s'il ne leur sera pas facile de renverser une 
puissance dont la statue colossale accuse la faiblesse et appelle la ruine ? " 
Documents inedits in La Revolution franeaise, xiv. p. 11 12: "Diplomatic de la 
Republique franeaise conf ormement au plan trace par le Comite du Salut public," 
Tan II. Burke: Heads for Consideration, in Works, iii. p. 406 (written in Nov., 
1792) : "That there never was, nor is, nor ever will be, nor ever can be, the least 
rational hope of making an impression on France by any continental powers, if 
England is not a part, is not the directing part, is not the soul of the whole con- 
federacy against it." Le Moniteur, Jan. 16, 1793. Speech of Kersaint in the 
National Convention on Jan. 13: " Citoyens, je crois avoir prouve, le i er Janvier, 
que nousetionsen situation d'opposer a la Nation Anglaise une resistance ferme, 
et de reduire enfin au moins a. l'incertitude cette ambition des Anglais, de dominer 
toutes les puissances maritimes de l'Europe, et de lui faire sentir que si elle nous 
force a la combattre, cette guerre qu'on lui a presentee comme tres-facile, sera 
une guerre terrible ; car un combat entre deux Nations qui veulent etre libres, 
est un combat a mort, et ne peut finir que par la destruction de l'une ou de 
1'autre." 



60 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

ready support in France, for it appealed to the people both as 
brave politics and sound economics ; it was good military strat- 
egy to cut the enemy's line of communication, to attack his 
weak point and to strike at the supposed base of his supplies. 
For it was by protecting these from attack, by pledging their 
security, that Talleyrand had hoped to win Great Britain to 
the side of France, and the same details counted now in war 
as they had the year before in peace. Then Spain was to pay 
the costs for the aggrandizement of the two allies ; now the pro- 
gram of France included her as an ally chiefly in order to pre- 
vent her from being of use to Great Britain. The Frenchmen 
who thought of colonial expansion reckoned on the colonies 
to draw away the soldiers and plotters who endangered the 
young Republic; they planned the acquisition of Louisiana, 
Spanish Santo Domingo, and the Cape of Good Hope, while 
rebellion instigated in India, Ireland, and, if need were, South 
America should distract the enemy; they hoped to keep the 
Spanish colonies from becoming naval bases for the English 
fleets, to increase their own sea-power by forcing an alliance with 
Spain ; in a word, to isolate and maim Great Britain. They were 
acting on Burke's maxim : " Spain is not a substantive power ; 
she must lean on France or on England ; " and Spain was es- 
sential to the Republic, which had succeeded a Louis XIV. and 
had inherited his plans for a Spanish succession, a Latin Med- 
iterranean and a French colonial Empire. As the coalition 
against France began to show signs of breaking up, the signa- 
ture of a treaty of peace with Spain became a matter of impor- 
tance to the French who were influenced by such considerations 
as the above. Such a treaty, providing for an alliance between 
the two nations and looking to common action against England, 
was therefore hailed with joy (August, 1796). The instruc- 
tions to the French diplomats had been to increase the naval 
force, to plan for control of the Mediterranean, and to strike at 
Great Britain with Spanish arms. In addition to the treaty of 
offensive and defensive alliance, the negotiations dealt with 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 6 1 

such matters as united naval action and the cession of Louisi- 
ana to France when Gibraltar should have been won from Great 
Britain. It was proposed that Sweden, Denmark, the Batavian 
Republic, and the Ottoman Empire should be invited to join 
the alliance. When, therefore, a few months later the Span- 
ish fleet arrived at Toulon it was greeted by verses which, 
though crude, clearly reflected the French policy : — 

" Salut, enfants de la Castile, 
A nos voix meles vos accents; 
Formons une seule famille 

Aux yeux des Anglais palissants. {Sung twice.) 
L'inteVet commun nous dclaire, 
Nos mains porteront desormais 
Pour nous l'olivier de la paix 
Et la foudre pour PAngleterre. 

{Chorus :) Espagnol et Francais, nos drapeaux sont unis ; 

Jurons, jurons : paix entre nous, guerre a nos ennemis." 1 

1 Verses written by Poupinet to the air, " Allons, enfants de la patrie," and 
sung in the theatre at Toulon. Quoted by Grandmaison : V Ambassade francaise 
en Espagne, p. 114. Cf. pp. 110-113, 314-317 > 320-321. De Clercq: Recueil, 
i. pp. 245, 287. Martens : Recueil generate, vi. pp. 45 et sea., 124 et sea. Aulard : 
Politique e'trangere, m Revol. franc., xiv. pp. iin-1113. Pallain : Talleyrand h 
Londres, pp. 157 et seq. (Biron to Dumouriez, Valenciennes, March 19, 1792.) 
"... Vingt vaisseaux armes et prets a mettre a la voile pour lTnde en impose- 
ront a toutes les intrigues royales anglaises, et la nation, je le repete, ne permettra 
pas au ministere, au Parlement meme, de courir le risque d'une guerre avec la 
France; une telle guerre peut, en effet, presenter des suites desastreuses et 
probables a une nation qui n'a d'autre hypotheque a donner a une dette immense 
que son credit. Personne ne peut calculer le bouleversement que produirait a 
Londres la chute de la Compagnie des Indes, et tout le monde le sait." La 
diplomatic revohttionnaire,vs\ Rev. de la Revol., ii. p. 361. (Merlin to Goupilleau, 
March 7, 1795), propositions regarding Spanish treaty: "En resume la Repub- 
lique desire dominer sur la Mediterranee et augmenter ses forces sur l'Ocean." 
Sorel : France et Espagne, in Rev. hist., xiii. p. 271 (instructions to French repre- 
sentative, Perignon, March 16, 1796) : " L'Angleterre est Tobjet principal de la 
politique de la France. C'est pour atteindre l'Angleterre que la Republique a 
traite avec l'Espagne." Burke: op. cit. iii. p. 397. Bailleu : Preussen und Frank- 
reich, i. p. 80. Report by Sandoz-Rollin of a conversation with Delacroix, Paris, 
July 12, 1796. Delacroix said: " . . . Le systeme en est arrete; nous chasserons 
les Anglais de la Mediterranee, et nous y reussirons infailliblement, ou en 



62 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

This general theory of politics and commerce, which looked 
on sea-power as the object in the attack on Great Britain, had 
eloquent supporters at this period and in the years which saw 
the rise of Bonaparte. The mission of France was to " wreak 
vengeance on the tyrant of the seas," a state whose " power 
was purely artificial," based on ill-gotten wealth and stolen colo- 
nies, whose policy aimed at the commercial ruin of all others 
by depriving them of their foreign establishments and wrecking 
their prosperous colonial trade ; the Revolution had been their 
opportunity, and battle must be joined with them till France 
was again possessed of her empire over-seas. Poet and pamph- 
leteer joined in the outcry against a state whose downfall was 
their dearest hope, and clamored for colonial conquest as the 
crown of victory and the ideal of an imperial republic. Whether 
their efforts met with failure or success is a matter beside the 
mark; whether their belief in the Asiatic source of Great 
Britain's power was true or false is not important, if it can 
be shown that their ideas influenced the course of events, and 
that their teaching imbued Napoleon Bonaparte with theories 
and purposes which were to move Europe and Asia. 1 

mettant garnison francaise dans lesdits ports, ou en exigeant leur fermeture a 
tout batiment anglais. . . ." Ibid. i. p. 107. Report of Sandoz-Rollin on the 
discussion as to the destiny of the Brest fleet, Paris, Dec. 30, 1796: "Toute 
Tattention du public se porte dans le moment present sur l'expedition de Brest : 
on cherche a en penetrer le secret et on se perd en conjectures inutiles. Tantot 
on veut que ladite flotte soit destinee pour la Jamaique, et qu'elle ait le projet 
d'armer et d'insurger les noirs qui s'y trouvent contre les colons anglais : tantot 
on veut qu'elle soit destinee a reprendre le Cap de Bonne-Esperance et Trinque- 
male ; tant6t on veut qu'elle soit dirigee contre l'etat de l'Eglise, afin de forcer 
le Pape a la paix et d'exiger de lui des contributions considerables. L'Irlande est 
toujours pour moi [Sandoz] le point qui concentre le plus de probabilites pour 
cette expedition." Baumgarten : Gesch. Spaniens, i. p. 72: "Von der Ausbrei- 
tung der britischer Seemacht wurde kein europaischer Staat directer betroffen 
als Spanien, dessen Existence an seiner maritimen Selbstandigkeit hing, an der 
dadurch bedingten Sicherheit seines ungeheuren Colonialbesitzes, dessen Hafen 
jeder fremden Macht zu versperren fiir ein Axiom der spanischen Handelspolitik 
gait," pp. 7$et seq. 

1 Villers : Rapport relatif aux Marchandises anglaises, p. 17. Dubroca : op. cit 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 63 

It remains to examine opinion in England and to trace the 
evolution in her policy. The pleasure that Englishmen felt at 
the disorder in France was natural, for Mr. Storer expressed 
the common idea when he wrote to Lord Auckland : " As long 
as France will but continue in her present ridiculous and mis- 
erable situation, old England is perfectly safe " ; indeed the ex- 
pectation in England was that France would " soon cease to 
be an object of alarm to other nations," and would " sink with- 
in herself into an abyss of horrors of every kind — famine, civil 
war, rapine, massacres, and ultimately a separation of govern- 
ments and various dismemberments." The very policy of 
neutrality to which Great Britain at first clung was guided, 
according to Mr. Burges, by such firm belief in " the immense 
advantages to be derived by this country [England] from such 
a state of anarchy and weakness as France is at present [1790] 
plunged in " that it seemed to him madness " to interfere in 
any measure which may even remotely, tend to put France into 

pp. v-vii, xi, 15-17. Chenier: CEuvres, iii. pp. 186, 187, Eligie, La Mort du 
General Hoche : — 

" L'heure approche ou la France 
Du vainqueur des Anglais remplira l'esperance. 

Debout sur des debris, l'orgueilleuse Angleterre, 
La menace a la bouche, et le glaive a la main, 
Reclame encore la guerre, et veut du sang humain. 
Elle dont le trident, asservissant les ondes, 
Usurpa les tresors et les droits des deux mondes ; 
Rendons aux nations l'heritage des mers ; 
Entendez, mes enfants, la voix de 1'univers 
Deleguer aux Frangais la vengeance publique, 
Voyez Londres palir au nom de Vltalique " [Bonaparte]. 

Wassiltchikow : Les Razoumowski, ii. Part 4, p. 80. (Dietrichstein to A. Razu- 
movski, London, April 6, 1802.) In speaking of the mistakes made by England, 
charging her with having attempted to make use of the Revolution to her own 
ends, he also speaks of the value which the possession of Santo Domingo would 
have been to England, for France would have surrendered the Netherlands, Hol- 
land, Switzerland, Piedmont, or the Cisalpine Republic in order to regain it. This 
judgment, though very possibly at fault, shows the realization of the importance 
attributed to colonial territory by many statesmen of the period. 



64 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

the situation where a long and terrible experience has taught 
us she had the power to injure us." It was with calm interest 
and amusement, according to Lord Auckland, that the average 
Englishmen regarded the Revolution ; even an Under-Secre- 
tary of State for Foreign Affairs wrote in 1792 that England 
had no concern in foreign politics. She was too busy taking 
her profits from her increasing commerce and manufactures. 
There was joy over the news from India of Tipu's defeat, for 
" now the temple of Janus could be closed " without prospect 
of its being opened soon again. These were the views of men 
who regarded only the interest of Great Britain, and who, 
though they might acknowledge with Burke " that France by 
its mere geographical position, independently of every other 
circumstance, must affect every state of Europe," nevertheless 
watched the course of events, not for the checking of this 
philosophy or that democracy, but for opportunity to increase 
the wealth and prosperity of Great Britain, whether by peace 
or war. That this could be done better by neutrality than by 
intervention in the affairs of France at first seemed probable ; 
to " let well enough alone " was the maxim. But Mr. Pitt was 
charged with hypocrisy, with fomenting the hot spirits of the 
French to new orgies of blood ; he would have acted with 
greater honor, wrote Count Pinto, the Portuguese minister, had 
he " declared war against France, demolished Cherburg, de- 
stroyed her navy, and seized her colonies." Yet the policy of 
Pitt, whether it commended itself to Englishmen or to Conti- 
nental critics, was wise beyond doubt ; " he served his coun- 
try well," even Pinto wrote, and waited till popular opinion 
should bear him out in moving against France, and until the 
necessity of checking her plans in the Low Countries seemed 
greater than the profit to be gained by quietly waiting till un- 
wise legislation and economic disorder in the French colonies 
should complete their work. The very aims which were 
attributed to English policy by friends and foes before the 
declaration of war go far to indicate the general idea regarding 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 6$ 

the ends to be gained by Great Britain in the event of hostil- 
ities. While the allied powers fancied themselves as carving 
up France and indemnifying themselves in Europe for the cost 
of the war, the only points on the Continent which the English 
spoke of getting were Dunkirk and perhaps Calais, for their 
spoils were acknowledged to be in Asia, the West Indies, and 
on the Ocean. This was only a recognition of the quality of 
Great Britain's power — " la seul puissance vraiment maritinie" 
as Count Vorontzov said — and of the trend of Pitt's policy; 
in 1 789 he had pushed a plan to fortify in the West Indies and 
to add to the fleets stationed in the East Indies and the Med- 
iterranean. But, though Lord Grenville may have consented 
to the inevitableness of war when in conversation with Count 
Simon Vorontsov, and listened interestedly in 1792 to De 
Curt and his scheme for an English occupation of Guadeloupe, 
the ministry did not move until it was thought the right time 
had come for war with the French ; a time in which, as Lord 
Sheffield wrote (Oct. 21, 1792) "there would be a complete 
opportunity for annihilating their marine and their colonies." x 

1 Cornwallis : Corr. i. p. 349 (Grenville to Cornwallis, Dec. 20, 1787), Auck- 
land MSS. (B. M. Additional, 34,434), J. B. Burges to Lord Auckland, Dec. 28, 
1790. Quoted by Clapham : Causes of the war of 1792, p. 16. Gower : Despatches, 
p. 155 (Paris, Feb. 10, 1792) : "Upon the whole, the rapid increase of anarchy, 
not only in the metropolis but in every municipality of this disjointed kingdom, 
renders a war of some sort necessary, and if a bankruptcy should insue it is to be 
hoped that France will not remain entire." Burke : Works, iii. p. 394 ; Auckland : 
Corr. ii. pp. 377 (Storer to Auckland, Nov. 28, 1790), 398 (Auckland to Lord H. 
Spencer, March 20, 1792) : " This indifference as to foreign affairs is general 
through the kingdom ; you may find it even in our newspapers ; perhaps it may 
be justly attributed to the great prosperity of the country, which confines all at- 
tention to inferior and insular details;" 413 (J. B. Burges to Auckland, July 3, 
1792), 439 (Sept. 4, 1792), 443-444 (Auckland to Morton Eden, Hague, Sept. 18). 
England's answer to requests for intervention had been : " that our neutral con- 
duct gives us no claim to interfere either with advice or opinions unless solicited ; 
and that our general wishes, on the one hand, are, that France may never again 
resume the same restless and troublesome system which has so often been fatal to 
the peace of nations ; and, on the other, that an executive government may exist 
there so as to restrain the present lawless and atrocious spirit;" 458 (Lord Shef- 
field to Auckland, Oct. 21); 464 (Grenville to Auckland, Nov. 6), 485 (Auck- 

5 



66 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Thus when the war did begin in 1793 it was nominally over 
the French invasion of Dutch territory ; apparently the motive 
was strictly European, an infringement of rights which Great 
Britain claimed in the light of continental treaties and inter- 
national law. But the importance of Holland as a neutral or 
friendly state to England had been of steady growth ; the mat- 
ter had become more distinctly a " British interest," as the 
colonial affairs of England had become more and more vital to 
the welfare of the nation. For as France gradually lost her 
own ability to injure British establishments abroad, the con- 
venient weapons which she might use for this purpose, namely 
Dutch sea power and colonial posts, became correspondingly 
more important to her; and the English policy of keeping the 
Republic free from French control became more determined 
and essential to the peace and growth of the British Empire. 
Indeed English diplomacy in Holland had aimed continuously 
at checking the maritime strength of France, while that of 
France had as consistently directed its efforts to employment 
of the Dutch colonies in Africa and Asia as bases from which 



land to Lord Loughborough, Jan. 6, 1793) ; 488 (Storer to Auckland, Jan. 11, 1793) : 
iii. pp. 43 (Crawfurd to Auckland, Brussels, April 29, 1793); 79 (Auckland to 
Grenville, July 14), " It is a question worth consideration, whether, in supposing 
the feasibility of such a conquest, we ought not to insist on holding Dunkirk (and, 
perhaps, also Calais) " ; 86 et seq. (Memoir of M. Jarry, on the " Line of Somme"). 
Burke : Corr. iii. pp. 224, 265, 266, 268, 274, 336, 343, 347 (on Pitt's neutrality). 
Rose : Diaries, i. p. 85. Pitt wrote in Sept. 1788, that the state of France " seems 
to promise us a considerable respite from dangerous projects.'' Cf. p. 108. Mal- 
mesbury: Corr. ii. pp. 437, 438, 441. Hansard: Pari. Hist., xxix. pp. 44, 170, 
767, 919, 929, 940 (the neutrality program in the House) ; xxx. 250-256 (Corr. of 
Chauvelin and Grenville in 1793 just before the war). Vorontzov : Arkhiv, Count 
S. Vorontzov, writing in 1796 of his relations with Lord Grenville before the war 
of 1793. He had a chance " de lui parler souvent sur la necessite de rompre avec 
la France. II a ete longtems sans en convenir et a la fin il avoua que le ministere 
sent cette necessite, mais que la nation n'est pas encore disposee a cette rupture, 
ce qui etait vrai aussi"; ix. pp. 226 (S. to A. Vorontzov, Dec. 2(13), I79 J )> 2 7 2 
{Idem Nov. 7 (18), 1792) ; xi. p. 296 (Pinto to A. Vorontzov, 1792). Lecky : op. 
cit. v. pp. 200, 206, 560 et seq. ; vi. pp. I et seq., 105-106, 123. Wassiltchikow : Les 
Razoumowski, ii. Part 4, p. 80. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 67 

to strike at British prestige, to sow seeds of insurrection and 
war among the native populations of India, and to interrupt the 
progress of English control in that region. In 1787, when an 
ascendency of France in the Dutch states had seemed im- 
minent the English had shown their determination to prevent 
it, by war if necessary ; and the triple alliance of Great Britain, 
Prussia, and the Netherlands had been in part the result of 
that feeling. The character of such a war, in which France 
would have had the support of the provinces of Holland, Gron- 
ingen and Overyssel, was clearly foreseen by Mr. Pitt in 1787 
when he wrote to Lord Cornwallis, then Governor General in 
India, that "in this situation, the first struggle will actually be 
for the foreign dependencies of the Dutch Republic ; and if at 
the outset of a war we could get possession of the Cape and 
Trincomale, it would go further than anything else to decide 
the fate of the contest." The despatches of Sir James Harris, 
afterwards Lord Malmesbury, and of Mr. Eden, afterwards 
Lord Auckland, had been urgent in declarations that the 
policy of France in Holland was directed against England in 
Asia, and, as Count Simon Vorontzov reported, that the " ex- 
istence of the English in the Indies depended on the success 
of his [Pitt's] plan for getting the Dutch out of the hands of 
France, and for allying the Republic to England. " The Dutch 
affair was, as Lord Grenville said, the bond between Great 
Britain and the Continent. The motives which had led the 
English government to oppose the plan of an exchange by 
Austria of her territory in the Low Countries for Bavaria were 
the same which, in 1793, led her to object to any scheme that 
would settle France with a weak rather than a strong neighbor 
on her northern frontier; they also at one time gave some 
reason to suppose that, in the event of any seizure of French 
territory by the allies, England might agree to a partition that 
would lessen the power of France on that part of her border. 
But the successes of the French armies soon led to a proposal 
in England that, after supporting Holland to the utmost of her 



68 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

power, Great Britain should withdraw from continental inter- 
ference, should gain the surrender of the Dutch colonies in 
both hemispheres, and should press with undivided energy a 
naval war destined to ruin the commerce of France and to 
strip her of her colonies, "either till the course of events 
might leave us masters of the sea, or till the French system 
might break to pieces under its own extent and weight." The 
hope of the French, according to English lights, was to create 
in the Netherlands a subservient state ready to their hand in 
every attack on Great Britain; the marine and commerce of 
England were thus to be destroyed, " her colonies taken from 
her and ultimately the standard of anarchy displayed over the 
ruins of London." Naturally there were those both in England 
and France who saw no wisdom in such far-fetched schemes. 
To those who regarded republicanism as a greater enemy than 
France herself, " the distraction of the efforts of England from 
the heart of French power to its extremities " was looked on 
with great disfavor. Yet the very criticisms of Pitt's policy 
are full of meaning ; as Sheridan put it in 1808, " the various gov- 
ernments which this country had seen during that period were 
always employed in filching for a sugar island, or some other 
object of comparatively trifling moment, while the main and 
principal purpose was lost and forgotten." " This war upon 
sugar islands," in the words of Mr. Windham, thus met 
with disapproval from those who failed to see that but 
for such islands and the questions connected with them 
Great Britain might not have gone to war at all. Indeed 
Mr. Wilberforce believed that Pitt was persuaded by Dundas, 
that arch-expansionist, whose influence was later destined 
to have such great effect in the growth of British India, that 
England might "at a small expense" seize and keep all of 
the French West Indian colonies ; in short, that Dundas had 
incited in Pitt "a thirst for colonial conquest." To accept 
this as the only explanation would be both unwise and un- 
necessary, for the desire for colonial expansion as a motive 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 69 

to war is strong enough without seeking to displace all other 
causes of hostility. 1 

1 Auckland : Corr. i. pp. 195 (Pitt to Eden, Sept. 14, 1787 ; on the importance 
of opposing the French in Holland) ; 205 (Carmarthen to Eden, Sept. 28, Idem) ; 
iii. pp. 5 (Grenville to Auckland, April 3, 1793) ; 7, 8 (Loughborough to Auckland, 
April 3) ; 15, 16 (Bentinck to Auckland, reporting Count Mercy, April 10) ; all on 
the question of the future of the Netherlands as related to France ; 23-26 (Dundas 
to Sir James Murray, April 16), a strong letter declaring the policy of England; 
274 (Auckland to Pitt, Nov. 28, 1794, proposing an aggressive colonial policy); 
286 (Auckland to Spencer, Feb. 20, 1795 on the naval program) ; 290-91 (Craw- 
furd to Auckland, Frankfort, March 3, giving the plans of France) ; 397 (H. Elliot 
to Auckland, Dresden, 1798, giving the real purpose of France against England). 
In an anonymous brochure of 1799, entitled " Les nouveaux intSrits de V Europe" 
pp. 58-59, the writer, who is a royalist, declares that in order to completely rob 
France of her colonies, the United States should be induced to seize Santo Do- 
mingo. Pallain : Talleyrand & Londres, pp. xxii, 374-381. Vorontzov : Arkhiv, ix. 
p. 121 (S. to A. Vorontzov, London, May 2 (13), 1788). Barral-Montferrat : op. cit. 
p. 301. Malmesbury : Diaries, ii. pp. 355, 367, 372 ; on Pitt's policy in 1787. Corn- 
wallis : Corr. i. pp. 321-325 (Pitt to Cornwallis, Aug. 2, 1787). The success of 
France in Holland would be a serious matter for the British in India, and was much 
to be apprehended. "... if things unfortunately should come to extremities, we 
shall be engaged in a contest in which France will probably for a time have the sup- 
port of the province of Holland, and perhaps that of Groningen andOveryssel ; while 
we shall have on our side the remaining provinces, making the majority of the 
States-General. In this situation, the first struggle will actually be for the foreign 
dependencies of the Republic ; and if at the outset of a war we could get posses- 
sion of the Cape of Good Hope and Trincomale, it would go further than any- 
thing else to decide the fate of the contest. We should certainly be justified in 
taking possession of these posts on behalf of the majority of the States, and to 
secure them against France. It is therefore much to be wished that on the first 
news of hostilities you should find the means of striking a blow at Trincomale. 
If anything can be tried against the Cape it must of course be from hence." Cf. 
PP- 3 2 7> 3 28 » 337. 35 2 (Dundas to Cornwallis, March 31, 1788) : "A connection 
between Holland and us in India, and the dissolution of the French connection 
with that Republic, are most important events with a view to the strength and 
permanency of our possessions and power in Hindostan. . . . Our principal and 
indeed our only object in an alliance with the Dutch respecting India must be to 
secure ourselves against the danger of our ever being deprived of the use of the 
harbor of Trincomale in the event of a future war." Cf. Lecky : op. cit. vi. pp. 
72-79, 132. Sorel : V Europe et la Revolution, iii. p. 276. "Moore: Sheridan, ii. 
pp. 203-204 (1793) : "The distraction of the efforts of England from the heart 
of French power to its remote extremities, in what Mr. Windham called 'a war 
upon sugar islands,' was a waste of means as unstatesmanlike as it was calami- 
tous, and entitled Mr. Pitt to the satire on his policy conveyed in the remark of a 



yo EASTERN PROBLEMS 

On the continent the course of the Revolution and the for- 
tunes of war obscure for a time the trend of French public 
opinion ; in the changes of her government and the victories 
of her armies France was profoundly interested, but when op- 
portunity arises to judge of her relations to Great Britain, 
apart from strictly European complications and local affairs, 
the prominence of the colonial issue is again made evident. 
The lesson which was to be learned from the events of 1792 to 
1797 bore out the judgment of Burke when he wrote in 
November, 1792, that there was nothing in the internal state 
of things in France which altered " the national policy with 
regard to the exterior relations of that country ; " but that, on 
the contrary, there were " many things in the internal circum- 
stances of France " which rendered the " active assertion " of 
the fundamental principles in her former policy more pressing 
than at any previous time in her history. Thus the central 
fact in the history of France as a world power, had been the 
often conflicting interests of her continental and her colonial 
dominions. The Republic, which was determined to emulate 
Louis XIV. and to attain her " natural limits " in Europe, was 
met with the same difficulties which had checked the Bourbons 
in their desire to fill the r61es of both a land and a sea power. 
The triumph of the old policy would have required the defeat 
of England; and the realization of French republican ideals 
demanded the recognition by Great Britain of a French state, 
larger and more powerful than that which she had gone to war 
to despoil, and insisted on her acquiescence in the supremacy 

certain distinguished lady, who said to him, upon hearing of some new acquisition 
in the West Indies, ' I protest, Mr. Pitt, if you go on thus, you will soon be master 
of every island in the world, except just these two little ones, England and Ireland/ " 
Wilberforce : Life, ii. pp. 10, 391. He thinks Dundas influenced Pitt to the 
French war, — " his persuasion [was] that we should be able with ease and promp- 
titude, at a small expense of money and men, to take the French West India 
Islands, and keep them when peace should be restored ; in truth, but for Mr. Dun- 
das's persuasion that the war would soon be over," the war would never have been 
begun. Burke said to Dundas, " You must indeed go to war ; but you greatly mis- 
take in thinking it will soon be over." Cf . pp. 92, 332. Cf. also above, p. 17, note. 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 fl 

of France as a world power. The events which brought about 
so different a situation from that expected by Englishmen 
when they embarked on a career of colonial conquest at the 
expense of France are part of a political history which need 
not be retold here. The attention of the English to their 
policy had resulted in such advances in both Asia and America 
that they alone of the allies had gained in territory ; but the 
intention of France to isolate them had well nigh been accom- 
plished, and, in spite of an increased commerce, the burdens of 
the war and the popular wish for peace forced Pitt to agree to 
negotiations with the French government. The tortuous prog- 
ress of diplomacy at Lille would not be worth study for our 
purposes did it not show to what extent the plans of France 
clashed with those of England, and above all to what degree 
the hopes of peace were ended by disagreement on colonial 
affairs. The results of the war had given France the control 
of the Netherlands and the alliance of Spain, together with the 
disposal of many ports of entry, which she proposed to shut to 
English commerce. England had captured in the West Indies 
— Martinique, Santa Lucia, Guadeloupe, with its dependent 
islands, Tobago, St. Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad, and on the 
mainland, Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice (Guadeloupe was 
recaptured by the French in 1794); in Asia — Pondicherri, 
Ceylon, with its fine harbor of Trincomali, Malacca, Cochin, 
several smaller ports in India, the Bandas, and Amboina ; and, 
most important of all, the Cape of Good Hope. The English 
came to Lille prepared to acknowledge the new boundaries and 
spheres of influence of France in Europe, to restore all the 
French colonies captured since 1793, and to keep only Trinidad, 
the Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, and Cochin, which was to be 
exchanged for Negapatam in Tanjore. But the French soon 
met this proposal with a demand that all the conquests, made 
not only from her but from Spain and the newly formed Bata- 
vian Republic, should be surrendered by Great Britain. Lord 
Malmesbury, while continuing to negotiate, in hope that the 



72 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

differences among the French representatives would profit him, 
was further disappointed by the news of the Portuguese treaty 
with France, which left England in total isolation. The real, 
though extravagant, hopes of the French were better expressed 
in a memoir which was not presented at the time, but which 
has since come to light. This demanded, in addition to what 
has been stated, the cession of the Channel Islands, the resto- 
ration of Canada, and of the Indian possessions of France 
prior to 1754, together with a resumption of the Newfoundland 
fishery, and the cession of Gibraltar to Spain. This document, 
of which Mr. Lecky has made use, is valuable in so far as it 
shows the political aspirations of France. Peace might easily 
have been consummated on terms easier to Great Britain than 
these; but the determination of Pitt to keep Ceylon and the 
Cape of Good Hope free from French intrigue, to strengthen 
the English control in Asia and on the route thither, was suf- 
ficient to forbid a treaty in the present temper of France. She 
had no idea of agreeing to half-way measures, and, even though 
the West Indian captures should be nullified, the importance 
of the Asiatic position of Great Britain weighed heavily on her 
mind. Whatever additional causes, therefore, may have helped 
to bring on the war of 1793 and may have prevented its early 
conclusion, the influence of the colonial question was great 
and lasting, both in exciting hostilities and in prolonging the 
struggle; whatever had been the conflicting interests of France 
and Great Britain in Europe, and however mistaken were the 
opinion and policy of the two powers as to the objects and 
results of the war, the problem of Asiatic dominion had had 
much to do in fixing its character. The war failed to secure 
the desires of the allies, but it served to reveal them ; the 
wishes of France were realized in Europe, but her larger hopes 
were still unfulfilled. The course of the Revolution, far from 
fastening the attention of all men on Paris, opened new 
avenues for ambition and was destined to turn the eyes of 
Napoleon Bonaparte toward Asia, as the source of power and 



COLONIAL QUESTION AND THE WAR OF 1793 73 

the seat of empire ; the movement was already well on its way 
to turn the Mediterranean into a French sea, to make the 
Levant the scene of action, and to bring the Eastern Question 
into close relation with that of rule in further Asia. The 
progress of that movement is still to be traced. 1 

1 Wassiltchikow : Les Razoicmowski, ii. Part 4, p. 218 (S. Vorontzov to A. 
Razumovski, Nov. 17 (28), 1794), on the temper of the English people as re- 
gards the war; p. 254 {Idem, Nov. 28, 1796), on the purpose of France to 
injure England. Burke: Works, iii. p. 394. Cornwallis : Corr. ii. pp. 222 
et seq. Auckland: Corr. iii. pp. 137, et seq., 371, 372. Teignmouth : Life, 
i. p. 244. Bailleu : Preussen und Frankreich, i. p. 102, Report of Sandoz-Rollin. 
Zusammenkunft und Gesprach mit Malmesbury iiber die Friedensunterhandlung 
zwischen Frankreich und England. Okt. 31, 1796: "Lord Malmesbury ne disait 
rien des pretentions de l'Angleterre : je Ten fis convenir. ' Vous sentirez bien,' 
repliqua-t-il, ' que notre intention est de rendre a. la France quelques-unes de nos 
conqu6tes dans les Indes occidentales, pour contrebalancer les restitutions a 
faire a. l'Empereur : mais on ne saurait exiger que l'Angleterre renoncat au Cap 
de Bonne-Esperance et a quelques autres etablissements dans les Indes orientales : 
cela serait trop injuste.' " Malmesbury: Correspondence, iii. pp. 369, 397, 430, 
434, 464, 489-497, 554, 561-569, 576, 580-589. MSS. in Tome'SuppIementaire, xv., 
Dipt des off. Strang., quoted by Lecky: op. cit. vii. p. 397. Mahan : Sea power 
and the Revolution, i. pp. 1 1 5-1 18. Sorel : op. cit. iv. pp. 460 et seq., 469. Vorontzov : 
Arkhiv, viii. p. 289. 



CHAPTER II 

THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 

The Problem of Asia; its Character — Religion and Politics — The Influence 
of Asia on Europe — The Evolution of the Eastern Question — The Situation 
in 1774 — The First Partition of Poland and the Treaty of Kutchuk-Kainardji 
— The Attitude of Russia ; panslav and Slavophile — The Policy of Russia, 
of Prussia, of Austria, of France, of Great Britain — The Con4ki<wi^of the 
n t f "TP°" Eaajai& JS! r 774^ ~ The Eastern Question and the American War — 
The Austro-Russian Alliance of 1781 — Catherine's " Greek Plan " — Prussia, 
France, and the Porte, 1780-87 — The Policy of Great Britain —The Triple 
Alliance: Prussia, England, and Holland, 1788 — Hertzberg's Plan — Revolu- 
tion at Paris — The Congress at Reichenbach — Russia and the Triple Alli- 
ance, 1790-91 — The Treaties of Sistova and Jassy — Catherine and Europe 
in 1791 — The Condition of Poland, 1772-91 — The Constitution of May 3, 
1791 — The War of 1792 — Prussia, Russia, and Poland, 1791-93 — The Second 
Partition of Poland — The Attitude of Austria — Tnugut and Razumovski — 
Kosciuszko — The Third Partition of Poland — The Austro-Russian Agree- 
ment of 1795 — The Peace of Bale — Russia and the Porte, 1792-96 — The 
War with Persia — French Diplomacy at Constantinople, 1787-97 — The 
Economic Aspect of the Eastern Question — French Trade in the Levant dur- 
ing the Eighteenth Century — The British Levant Trade — The Import ance 
of th e Mediter ranean in World Politics — France and Rome. 

The continuity and importance of the Eastern Question are 
due in large part to geography ; its complexity is increased by 
differences* of race and religion. It is above all in the East 
that commerce joins with race and religion to stir the greed of 
peoples and to guide the policy of states. There are, therefore, 
few problems in history which so present the cumulative force of 
great human motives as does the Eastern Question ; not many 
other political problems of the present depend so largely on the 
past. The Eastern Question is an epitome of history. It pro- 
ceeds from conflicting interests representing the full variety of 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION J$ 

human endeavor ; it tells of movements epochal in the life of 
the world ; and it includes affairs both small and great, which 
are themselves vital in the history of widely scattered peoples 
and states. The form which the larger problem of Asia takes 
in modern history both shows its origin and exemplifies its 
character; in its essence it is caused by the attempt of Europe 
to impress her thought and civilization on Asia. In the past 
the question might well have been called the problem of 
Europe, for the object of Eastern statesmen has been to make 
Europe a part of Asia; to this end labored Persian, Arab, 
Tatar, and Turk. Whether this attempt will be renewed in 
the future is " on the knees of the gods " ; but even if the 
active power of Asia be spent, the record of history must be 
that the influence of Asia on Europe has been greater than 
that of Europe on Asia. The religion of Europe comes from 
the East, though Western standards of judgment, such as cos- 
mopolitan feeling and the objectiveness of life, have greatly 
modified it. The spirit of Asia is one of religious faith ; her 
standards of measurement are not of this world: that of 
Europe is material ; her gauge is of " things done that took 
the eye and had the price." And many of even these material 
conquests, on which Europe so prides herself, are due to Asia 
in the first place. In secular affairs, also, the influence of Asia 
on Europe has been of more continued value than that of 
Europe on Asia; the building of Constantinople was in itself 
an acknowledgment of the power of the East ; the capture of 
that city by the Ottoman Turks was only the final step in a 
long process which had been going on since the death of Alex- 
ander the Great ; it sealed with victory the plan to make Asia 
Minor once more an Asiatic province. In itself it was not an 
abrupt change, for the Empire, of which Constantinople must 
always be the head, had been growing more and more oriental 
in character. The final invasion of Europe by the Turks may 
therefore be regarded merely as the active assumption by a 
Sulaiman, an Amurath, a Muhammad of the mission which 



76 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Darius and Xerxes had failed to carry out. Furthermore, the 
position of an Asiatic ruler in Europe is significant. He keeps 
his Eastern character. On ' the other hand, the attempts of 
Europeans to rule in Asia have been unsuccessful unless their 
system had more of the East than of the West in its structure 
and method. Thus Alexander's genius guided him to orien- 
talize his rule in Persia and Central Asia in order to consolidate 
his power. And in British India, though this may seem to be 
an exception to the rule, only the special conditions of do- 
minion in that region enable the British to govern as they do. 
The measure of their power is set by non-interference in things 
oriental, by the divisions of their Asiatic subjects, and by the 
strength of the British army. The Englishman in India has 
been forced to leave behind him much that is essentially 
European in government and institutions. Were it not for 
this fact and for more important racial differences, an interest- 
ing analogy might be drawn between the position of the Otto- 
man Empire in Europe and that of the British Empire in India. 1 
The upshot of the whole matter is, that so far the Asiatic has 
shown greater static force than the European has dynamic 
force; his conservative power is stronger. He can believe, 
and he can wait. 

On turning to history again it is easy to see that the Asiatic 
with such characteristics has had the opportunity to exercise a 
direct influence on European affairs for many centuries, and 
that in the Eastern Question Asia has had a political tool 
ready to its hand. In the zenith of its power the Ottoman 
Empire took tribute from Hapsburg Emperors and received 
French embassies asking for its alliance. It fought Persia in 
the East and Spain in the West ; the Mediterranean was a 
Turkish sea, and the forces of Islam controlled the trade routes 
between three continents. During the period of Ottoman 
decline this influence on European history was increased, for 

1 Odysseus : Turkey in Europe ', p. 91. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 77 

the political system of Europe, its diplomacy and its law of 
nations were in many ways guided by the necessities of the 
Eastern Question. Thus the policy which raised Prussia to 
the rank of a first-class power had as one of its main supports 
a defensive alliance with the Porte; in like manner France, 
who had called in the Sultan to re-adjust the balance of power 
in southern Europe and the Mediterranean and later urged 
him to intervene in Poland to restore that of the North, was 
impelled by situation and tradition to consider more carefully 
her policy in the East ; in the case of Russia and Austria their 
relations to each other and to every state in Europe have been 
controlled in great part by the varying aspect of the Eastern 

. Question ; and finally, Great Britain renewed her acquaintance 
with that problem and found in the closing years of the 
eighteenth century that her interests in it were also those of 
her imperial future. It is obvious, therefore, that those who 
fix such and such a date in modern times for the beginning of 

\the Eastern Question not only ignore one of the oldest and 
greatest factors in world history, but also forget important 
events in the history of western Europe. In beginning a 
review of that question at the year 1774 such an idea is particu- 
larly objectionable, for all that can be claimed for that date is 
that it marks an important development in the problem. The 
purpose of this chapter is to review the history of Asiatic 
influence on Europe by means of the Eastern Question during 
the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The diplomacy of 
the period has been a subject of study for many historians, and 
in the present investigation both time and method forbid an 
exhaustive treatment of that aspect of the matter, though 
newly published despatches or neglected material may here 
and there be of service. Attention must also be paid to the 
economic side of the question and to the 'nature of the 
Mediterranean problem. It may then be possible to show 
the relation between the Eastern Question, the colonial prob- 
lem, and the still larger matter of Asiatic dominion at a time 



if 



78 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

when each was taking the character it was destined to keep 
till the closing years of the nineteenth century. 

The first partition of Poland (1772) and the treaty of Kut- 
chuk-Kainardji (1774) between Russia and the Porte, were in 
themselves matters to give men pause; yet they were the 
logical result of a system with which Europe was already 
familiar, and dealt with affairs which had long troubled di- 
plomacy. The jealousies of Western nations and in particu- 
lar those between Russia, Austria, and Prussia required that no 
one of them should gain in power by expansion of territory 
unless there were a proportionate increase on the part of the 
remaining states. Thus, unable to expand singly, all must 
agree to do so together ; and the elaborate system of indemni- 
fication, of alliance for partition, which marks eighteenth-cen- 
tury history was utilized by them in various attempts to solve 
the Eastern Question and its corollary, the Polish Question. 
It was the balance of power in motion. 1 The changes which 
these events of 1772 and 1774 effected in the state of Europe 
were slight compared with those to come, of which they were 
a sign; instead of establishing peace or maintaining the in- 
tegrity of states, they showed the 'way to war and conquest. 
Frederick the Great had written of a " fire which lurked 
beneath the ashes " ; but such treaties failed to quench it ; it 
was soon to set Europe ablaze. 2 

Although the limits of this study hinder us from looking 
closely at the matter, a review of the various policies followed 

1 The "balance of power " is an equilibrium in which no one state or alliance 
of states secures a preponderant position to menace the proper and natural political 
policy of any other state or alliance of states. Political ambition required a com- 
plement to such a system ; and there arose a system which we may call that of 
" concurrent partition," by which the territory of some politically isolated or 
weakened state was divided by mutual agreement among two or more other states 
in shares proportionate to their several interests and positions. Cf. Montes- 
quieu : Esprit des lots, x. c. 2 ; xiii. c. 7. Favier : Doutes et questions, in Segur : 
Politique, iii. p. 318. Sorel : U Europe et la Revolution, i. pp. 39 et seq. 

2 Frederic II. : CEuvres, iv. p. 98. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 79 

by the great powers will not lead too far afield and should 
give a starting-point from which to trace the future course of 
affairs. 

The rise of Russia and her advent into the political arena 
where the Eastern Question was under discussion have been 
among the most important factors in the development of that 
question. At that same time, in the end of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, the Ottoman Empire began to decline in power; neither 
movement has been continuous, for the policy of Russia has not 
presented the irresistible and evenly victorious aspect which 
some writers delight to give it, nor have the gradual losses of 
the Turks been so uniform and destructive as the casual ob- 
server might suppose. Indeed the vitality of an oriental state 
is beyond the mind of the average European diplomat, and the 
frequent renewals of strength that have evidenced the real 
might of the Turk have in every instance taken the West by 
surprise. The expansion of Russia has usually been along the 
line of least resistance ; but on the whole it has been none the 
less natural and justifiable. In Europe the endeavor of Russia 
to realize the former ethnic boundary of the Slav race has led to 
conflict with the Germans and Magyars; and the attempt 
to prove a title to Constantinople and to unite under one 
political head the various branches of the Orthodox com- 
munion has placed Russia as the power whose interest in the 
Eastern Question is second to none. These two sides of her 
policy have had much influence in linking central Europe with 
the East ; for Russia's efforts to .satisfy her economic desires 
and to realize her religious and national ideals have greatly 
modified the policy of Austria, and since the Seven Years' War 
have also made the policy of Prussia a distinct factor. In late 
years two movements, the panslavic, and the Slavophile move- 
ments, have had much to do with the interpretation of Russia's 
mission : panslavism aims to unite all Slav populations under 
one political head, and has had a varying but nevertheless im- 
portant effect on the peoples of the German Empire, Austria- 



80 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. The nationalist or 
Slavophile movement has as its basis a conception of the des- 
tiny of Russia and of the meaning of world history which is 
foreign to the mind of the rest of Europe. It supposes three 
elements in the history of the Eastern Question : Europe, 
Asia, and Russia. The greatest Slav state is thus placed in 
antagonism both to the dominant ideas of that world which 
was once ruled from Rome and Aachen, as well as to those of 
a world which held to Asiatic standards. That Russia will 
prove the amalgam between Europe and Asia, and by being 
the greatest power in both continents will guard her Slavic 
traditions, is the hope and belief of these nationalists. The 
Slav extends Hegelianism ; he looks on the Latin and Teuton, 
in whom the Weltgeist of Hegel's philosophy is successively 
manifested, as dying peoples whose mission is nearly over. 
This Weltgeist is to pass to the Slav, whose rule is to be 
world-wide and whose interpretation o( life is the final one ; in 
this Slav world the community is to be sovereign and autoc- 
racy the highest political concept. Whether this process be 
one for all Slav peoples or whether Russia alone will enshrine 
this power is a separate question. During the eighteenth 
century history was in the making which later was to justify 
to the mind of the Russian of to-day such philosophies and 
political theories. By 1774 much had been accomplished. 1 

The way had been prepared for Russian advance in the 
West by the state of affairs in Poland. That country, by its 
geographical situation and the character of its government, 

1 Klaczko : Le congrh de Moscou et la propagande panslavite, in R. de D. M., 
Sept. 1, 1869. Leroy-Beaulieu : Les reformes de la Turquie — La politique russe 
et le panslavisme, in Ibid., Dec. I, 1876; and V Empire des Tsars, i. pp. 208 et seq. 
Wallace : Russia, pp. 414, 580, 598 et seq. Holmstrem : " Ex Oriente Lux" in No. 
Am. Rev., July, 1899, especially, pp. 9, 15, 26. Washburn: The Coming of the 
Slav, in Contemporary Review, lxxiii. (1898), pp. 1-13. Cf. Foulke : Slav or Saxon, 
N. Y. 1898. Pobyedonostseff : Reflections of a Russian statesman, London, 1898. 
Leger: Russes et Slaves, Paris, 1897. Honegger : Russiche Literatur und Kultur, 
Leipzig, 1 880. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 8 1 

lent itself to the designs of greedy neighbors ; the war of fac- 
*e_ tions at home, together with complicated questions of religious 
r*y£\tolerance, only emphasized the anarchy of mediaeval feudalism 
and the inability of native rulers to solve the problems of 
modern life. Poland was ready for the butcher. Her unrest 
was the opportunity of rival powers, who determined that no 
reform should be allowed within her borders. As was said in 
1767 : " Russia is too keen to help in the slightest degree the 
aggrandizement and augmentation of the sovereign power in 
Poland, — for the interests of Russia as well as those of all the 
neighboring states would not permit that that power should 
escape from her present state of feebleness and inertia." * In 
the southeast the recurring outbursts of ancient Ottoman valor 
and the jealousies of powers such as Prussia and Austria, 
together with the prospect of decided opposition by France, the 
traditional ally of the Sultan, had combined to check Russian 
advance in the past. Under Catherine II., who in her earlier 
years had been inspired by Count Miinnich with dreams of 
Eastern dominion, the march to Byzantium was renewed. 
The outbreak of war in 1768 complicated Polish affairs, ulti- 
mately offering a solution to some of their perplexities, for the 
prospect of Poland's downfall had had much to do with the 
Turkish declaration of war, and the cost of that war was finally 
sought in Poland that Turkey might preserve the Danubian 
principalities from the hands of Russia, or of a Poland domi- 
nated by Russia. Instead of Turkey saving Poland, Poland was 
used to save Turkey. Thus Austria, giving a querulous assent 
to a policy which was at best an expedient, was freed from the 
danger of Russian control on the lower Danube ; Prussia was 
able to strengthen and enlarge her eastern borders, and the 
Ottoman Empire preserved to a great extent her territorial 
integrity, though she let an insidious enemy gain treaty rights 
to interfere in her own internal affairs. Russia in four short 

1 Finckenstein and Hertzberg to Solms (Prussian Amb. at Petersburg), 
Berlin, Sept. 19, in Sbornik, xxxvii. p. 92. 

6 



82 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

hours won a battle by skilful diplomacy which has since 
profited her as no war she ever fought. In the hasty negotia- 
tions at Kutchuk-Kainardji Russia was recognized as the pro- 
f tector of the Danubian principalities and guarantor for Tatar 
\ independence. She gained a strong foothold on the Black Sea, 
Vbut gave back her most important conquests. She had inter- 
fered in Poland to protect the Orthodox Poles from Roman 
Catholic persecution, and she became the protector of Greek 
Christians in the Ottoman Empire, thus using religious matters 
to further political purposes. The interpretation of vaguely 
worded articles gave her rights which she has since used with 
ever increasing latitude. But she freed no Christians from 
Muslim dominion, and within a few years added largely to her 
Muhammadan population by including the Tatars of the 
Krimea within her Empire. However uncertain may seem 
her claims as based on this treaty, their tendency was foreseen 
at the time, and though the territory of the Turks was pre- 
served, the Austrian diplomat, Thugut, wrote that the Ottoman 
Empire bid fair to become a Russian province as the result of 
that document. There could no longer be any question as to 
the determination of Russia to realize her ideals of expansion 
in the Balkan peninsula. It remained for the other great 
powers either to sell their acquiescence in that movement or 
to concert measures in order to prevent it. 1 

1 Favier: Conjectures raisonnies, in Segur: Politique, i. pp. y^oet seq., 363-364. 
Rambaud: History of Russia (trans, by Lang, Am. ed.), ii. pp. 87-96. Bruckner: 
Katharina II, pp. 269 et seq. Castera: Histoire de Catherine II, ii. pp. 17, 171 
(Cath. to Henry of Prussia): " J'epouvanterai la Turquie ; je flatterai 1'Angle- 
terre; chargez-vous d'acheter l'Autriche, pour qu'elle endorme la France"; 174, 
183*/ seq., 265. Boukharow: La Russie et la Turquie, pp. 14 et seq. Moltke: 
Poland (trans, fr. German), pp. 75 et seq. Holland : A Lecture on the Treaty 
Relations of Russia and Turkey, London, 1877. Hammer: Gesch. des osmanischen 
Reiches, viii. pp. 562 et seq. (documents). Martens : Receuil des traites conclus 
par la Russie. Prusse, vi. p. 65. Martens : £tude historique sur la politique 
russe dans la Question cT Orient (1877). Sorel : The Eastern Question in the 
Eighteenth Century, passim, and pp. 240 et seq. Zinkeisen : Gesch. des osmanischen 
Reiches, v. pp. 918 et seq. Dohm : Denkwiirdigkeiten, i. pp. 433 et seq. Cor res- 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 83 

The policy of Prussia at this period is too intricate an affair 
to follow with any detail, but the relation of that power to 
the Eastern Question is clearly to be seen a century before 
Bismarck deceived half Europe by declaring that, as far as 
Germany was concerned, the solution of that problem was not 
worth the bones of a Pomeranian grenadier. At the time of 
the Seven Years* War a defensive alliance with the Ottoman 
Empire was one of Frederick the Great's foremost plans. His 
ambition for Prussia forced him to reckon with Russia, Austria, 
and France ; but by means of the Ottoman Empire and the 
Eastern Question he was enabled to carry on his policy of 
aggrandizement. The increase of Russian power in central 
Europe placed him in a dilemma: should he oppose that state 
he would incur a costly war; should he submit to her pleasure 
he would have a still stronger neighbor to contend with in the 
future. The way out of his difficulty was to try to profit by 
her very advance. As he wrote himself, " it was not to the 
interest of Prussia to see the Ottoman power crushed, for if 
necessary it could be useful to make diversions in Hungary or 
in Russia, according to which of the two states might be at 
war." In Poland, therefore, the bargain must be made by which 
Prussia would gain most useful territory, Russia would be 
repaid for the costs of her Turkish war, and Austria appeased 
and relieved from the fear of seeing Russia on the Danube. 
To this end Frederick directed his diplomacy. Before the 

pondence between Frederick the Great and Count von Solms, in Sbornik, xxxvii. 
pp. 2-$$etseq. (Solms to the King, Petersburg, June 16 (27), 1769). The plans 
of Orlov in Greece; 364 (Solms to the King, Jan. 28 (Feb. 8), 1771). He thinks 
Russia will insist only on the independence of the Tatars, the possession of 
Asov, and free navigation in the Black Sea ; 365 {Ibid.) } 380 et seq. (Prince Henry 
to Finckenstein, Petersburg, Jan. 23, 1771) ; 408, 409 (Solms to the King, March 
4 (!5)> J77i). Suggests that Poland be indemnified by the restoration to her of 
Moldavia and Wallachia; 419, 448, 449, {Ibid.)', 461, 462 (Panin's views on 
Turkey, April, 1771), 497. Cf. also de Smitt: FrSderic II, Catherine et le par- 
tage de la Pologne, Paris, 1861. Khrapovitski : Journal of Catherine (ed. Barsukov. 
In Russian). Vide Bilbassov: Katharina II. , Kaiserin von Russland im Urtheile 
der Welt-literatur, trans, fr. Russian by Pezold. 



84 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Porte had determined on war with Russia he had done his best 
to allay the fears of the Turks regarding Russian aggression in 
Poland by explaining that the entire matter was only a quarrel 
between various Christian Churches — Greeks, Latins, and 
Lutherans — in which the Porte could have no interest. After 
the Porte had declared war and was threatened with serious 
loss of territory by Russia, his policy became involved still 
more closely with events in the East. Above all things he 
dreaded a general European war, in which by his treaty of 
alliance with Catherine he would be obliged to take the part of 
Russia ; opposed to him he would undoubtedly find Austria, 
France, and Turkey. Thus the problem before him was to get 
the Polish territory he desired, to save the Ottoman Empire 
from dismemberment, to strengthen his position in Germany 
against his rival at Vienna, and at the same time to avoid a war. 
His solution of this problem proved acceptable not only to 
himself, but also to Austria and Russia. Poland alone suffered. 
The Porte refused to make peace at a time when she might 
have got help from Prussia and by that delay incurred the 
dangers which the treaty of Kainardji brought on her. But 
the partition of Poland, while it relieved Frederick, made the 
influence of the great Slav power still greater in central 
Europe, and brought heavy burdens on his successors. At 
Constantinople he had held in check the forces making for the 
partition of Turkey, and though his immediate interest in the 
Eastern Question lessened in the remaining years of his life, 
the usefulness of the Ottoman Empire to Prussia had been 
clearly shown. In the future Prussia and the Porte were to 
be parts in the same political system. 1 

1 Corr. of Frederick and von Solms, in Sbornik, xxxvii. pp. 38, 59, 80, 81 (Finck- 
enstein and Hertzbergto Solms, Berlin, July r8, 1767). The Porte " a conclu que 
ne s'agissant en Pologne que d'un diff erend de religion il n'etait pas necessaire que 
la Porte s'en melat et qu'il serait assez temps qu'elle y prit un parti, lorsque l'on 
verrait que son interet et sa gloire l'exigeaient " ; 109 (Frederick to Solms, Pots- 
dam, Nov. 6, 1767) : "II pourrait arriver, qu'a l'occasion d'une guerre intestine en 
Pologne, la Porte ottomane s'en melat, ou alors, la Russie aurait sur les bras la 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 85 

In tracing the policy of Austria the Eastern Question be- 
comes a matter of peculiar interest, for both history and 
political prophecy declare that the future of Austria is closely 
linked to that of the Ottoman Empire; and that the solution 
of the Turkish question will at once raise that of Austria- 
Hungary. The Russian program has operated to produce dis- 
order in the Dual Monarchy, where racial and religious antag- 
onisms incite the ambition of every neighbor. The varied 
interests of Austria in the eighteenth century had much to 

guerre contre les Turcs, et moi une contre les Autrichiens et contre les Francais " ; 
144, 145, 150, 164-172. 205 (the King to S., Potsdam, Feb. 1, 2769). The plan at- 
tributed to Count Lynar for the partition of Poland is here given. Cf. also 209- 
211 (S. to the King on the same subject), and 215-218; 278 (the King to Solms, 
April 22, 1770) on the matter of the Russian alliance; 301 et seq. (the Russian 
demands on Turkey in 1770) ; 317 (the hatred of Austria for Russia will profit 
Prussia) ; 323-334 (conversations of Prince Henry of Prussia and Count Panin 
in 1770 over the pacification of Poland) ; 353, 354 (Russia and the Porte in 
January, 1771) ; 394 <tf ^.(negotiations in February, 1771, over the partition); 
432-434 (the King to Solms, Potsdam, March 24, 1771). Prussia's share in 
Poland; 478 (Finckenstein to the King, Berlin, May 14, 1771) : " L'envie d'avoir 
un dedommagement pour les frais de la guerre et les difficultes que la cour de 
Vienne suscitera pour les prendre [by Russia] sur la Moldavie, la Valachie, et la 
Crimee fourniront Toccasion de lui faire sentir qu'un demembrement de la 
Pologne est le seul moyen de couper le nceud gordien et que V. M. est tres-dis- 
posee a y donner les mains, pourvu qu'on lui fasse sa convenance " ; 479, 498- 
502 (dangers of war and the Prussian system in Sept. 1771); 506, 512, 558-661 
(Frederick urges action in Poland, Nov. 1771). Favier : Conj. raisonnies, in 
Segur: op. cit. i. pp. 288, 307. Vergennes : Memoire, in Ibid. iii. p. 123. De 
Rohan : Mes decouvertes, in Ibid. iii. pp. 247, 248. Frederic : GLuvres, iv. (Me- 
moires (1763-1775), pp. 34 et passim. The Prussian side of the negotiations is 
well treated in Reimann : Neuere Geschichte des preussischen Staates, i. pp. 305 
et seq. Duncker: Aus der Zeit Friedrichs des Grossen, pp. 113 et seq. (Die 
Besitzergreifung von Westpreussen), and Ranke : Die Deutschen Machte und der 
Fiirstenbund, Leipzig, 1872. Consult also Zinkeisen : Die orientalische Frage in 
vier Stadion y in Hist. Taschenbuch, 1855 ; Nottebohm : Die preussisch-iiirkische 
Defensivallianz, 1763-1765 ; Wissowa : Friedrich der Grosse und die Turkei ; 
Dopsch : Zur Orientpolitik Friedrichs des Grossen vor Beginn und beim Ausbruck 
des siebenjdhrigen Krieges ; Kleinast : Konig Friedrich II, von Preussen, und die 
Ungarn, and the Politische Correspondenz Friedrichs des Grossen when the vol- 
umes covering this period are published. Cf. especially Porsch : Die Beziehung 
Friedrichs des Grossen zur Turkei bis zum Beginn und wdhrend des siebenjdhrigen 
Krieges. Marburg, i. H. 1897. 



86 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

do with the vacillation of her policy in the Eastern Question, 
and with her attitude toward Russia. In Germany, Italy, the 
Netherlands, Poland, and the Balkans, Austrian interests were 
at stake. At home, two parties with different policies made 
the confusing situation still harder to obviate. 1 The conser- 
vative party of Maria Theresa dreaded fresh expansion, that 
of Joseph and Kaunitz played for high stakes in every quarter, 
though German affairs were more to its liking than other 
matters. The alliance of 1756 with France had been in part 
designed to keep Prussia in check and thus to enable Austria 
to retain her leadership within the Empire. Thus when the 
courts of Berlin and St. Petersburg, who both had historic 
claims in Poland, began to show intention of interfering in 
that country, Austria, fearful lest she might not profit, ordered 
her troops to cross the Polish border and to seize territory to 
which the political imagination of the most patriotic Austrian 
could scarce find title. In regard to the Turkish war, Austria 
stood ready to take up arms for the Porte, signed an alliance 
with the Turks, received a subsidy from them, and then, satisfied 
that Russia would not gain final possession of the Danubian 
provinces, bargained for a large accession of territory from 
Poland, and with Russian acquiescence also took Bukovina 
from the Ottomans. Maria Theresa might deplore the cir- 
cumstances in which Austria was placed and regret the shame- 
less chaffering of the diplomats, but she was forced to agree to 
the plans of Kaunitz and Joseph. As Frederick the Great wrote, 

1 The geographical and political situation of the house of Austria required 
that the aggrandizement of any other power should be balanced by an equivalent 
or proportionate increase in her own strength and size. The partition of Poland 
might not be welcome to Austria, but that she should have a share in it was a 
sine qua non. As Metternich said in 1808 regarding the solution of the Eastern 
Question : " Nous devions beaucoup sacrifier pour la conservation de la Porte ; 
mais notre existence reelle et notre consideration politique, les principaux ele- 
ments de la vie d'un grand Etat, doivent mettre des bomes a nos vceux. Nous 
ne pouvons sauver la Turquie ; il faut done aider a la partage, et tacher d'en avoir 
le plus grand lot possible." Nachgelassene Papieren/xi.y. 153. Cf. also Sorel: 
V Europe et la Revolution francaise, i. p. 444. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 87 

" Still she wept, but still she took." On the other hand, Aus- 
tria, by her insistence on the continued life of the Ottoman Em- 
pire, retained her important position in the southeast and 
postponed the day when Russia might prove a far more danger- 
ous neighbor than had the Porte in recent years. By a policy of 
delay and hesitation she carried her point and increased her 
territory. It remained to be seen if this disgraceful episode in 
her diplomatic history would aid or hinder her in the future. 1 

Closely linked with the policy of Austria was that of France. 
The alliance of 1756 between the two powers had brought 
about a great change in the diplomatic system of France; 
prior to 1756 the Bourbons had sought in the Porte an ally 
whose armies would effect a diversion in the southeast of 

1 The documents are to be found in Beer : Erste Theilung Polens, Wien, 1873. 
Cf. especially pp. 11-32. Arneth : Geschichte Maria Theresias I. vii. and viii., 
Wien, 1877 ; and Maria Theresa und Joseph II, Wien, 1867 ; in Arneth and Gef- 
froy : Correspondance entre Marie-Thertse et le Cotnte de Mercy- Argenteau, Paris, 
1874; and in Hammer : Gesch. des osman. Reiches, viii. Cf. also Corr. of Frede- 
rick the Great, in Sbornik, xxxvii. pp. 233, 234, 242, 293 el seq., 309, 358, 359, 371 
et seq., 469-472*, 518, 564, 565, 575, 641. Favier : op. cit., in Segur: op. cit. i. 
pp. 20, 21, 38, 39. Austria would not let Russia take too much from the Turks, 
for, as Joseph II. said to Segur: " If Austria has been endangered many times by 
the turbans, she would have been in a much more perilous situation if the Russian 
caps were at Constantinople," p. 253, note. Castera: Catherine II. ii. pp. 216 
et seq. Beer : Orientalische Politik Oesterreichs seit 1774, PP- 23 et seq. Arneth : 
Zwei Denkschritfen Maria Theresias, in Archiv fiir Oesterr. Gesch. vol. 47, Wien, 
187 1. Beer: Denkschriften des Fursten Wenzel Kaunitz-Rittberg, in Archiv fiir 
Oesterr. Gesch. vol. 48, Wien, 1872. And Aufzeichnungen des Grafen Williams 
Bentinck uber Maria Theresia, Wien, 1871. Arneth : Die Relationen der Bot- 
schafter Venedigs uber Oesterreich im 18 Jahrhundert, in Archiv fiir Oesterr. Gesch. 
Part 2, vol. 22, Wien, 1863. Wolf und Zwiedineck-Sudenhorst : Oesterreich unter 
Maria Theresia, Berlin, 1884. General books on the first partition are : Ponia- 
tovski : Memoires and Correspondance avec Madame Geoffrin ; Viomesnil : Lettres 
sur les affaires de Pologne ; Dumouriez : Memoires ; Angeburg : Recueil des traites 
concernant la Pologne ; Kareef : Les causes de la chute de la Pologne, in Rev. his- 
torique (1891). Beer : Friedrich II utid von Swieten ; Von der Bruggen : Polens 
Auflosung ; Schlozer: Friedrich der Grosse und Kathearina die Zweite ; Janssen: 
Zur Genesis der ersten Theilung Polens ; Gross-Hoffinger : Die Theilung Polens; 
Ropell: Polen urn die Mitte des XVIII Jahrhunderts ; Rulhiere : Hisloire de 
Panarchie de Pologne, continued by Ferrand : Les trois demembrements de la 
Pologne. Vide the bibliography in this thesis for further details. 



88 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Europe, and who would thus distract the hostility of the house 
of Hapsburg from France. The court of Versailles had de- 
signed Turkey, Poland, Sweden, and Prussia to hold in check 
Russia and Austria, should France again engage in war with 
her old rival, England. To this end Vergennes, the French 
minister at Constantinople, had been instructed in 1755 to 
prevent the Turks from risking a war with Persia which would 
call off their attention from western affairs and to hold the 
threat of interference by Turkey over the heads of the two 
imperial courts in Europe, thus making it evident that France 
held the Ottoman armies in leash at the Danube and kept the 
peace in eastern Europe only so long as Russia and Austria 
refrained from menacing her or her allies. This was the old 
French plan for maintaining the status quo on the continent. 
The treaties of 1756, which reversed this policy and ranged 
Prussia with Great Britain against France and Austria, worked 
great loss to French influence in the Ottoman Empire, for the 
Porte could not see its old ally bound with Austria, a power 
whose plans for aggrandizement at Turkish expense had 
brought them to war many times in the past, without feeling 
that French advice must now be discounted and that the 
Ottoman power must henceforward turn elsewhere for a friend 
in Christendom.* That he might pose as that friend became 
the wish of Frederick the Great, as has been already indicated. 
Thus France was compelled to reverse her policy at Constan- 
tinople; to urge that the Austrian alliance could in no sense 
be regarded as a menace to Turkey, that Prussia instead of a 
trusted ally was an insidious enemy, and that the Turks would 
do well to turn their military energies toward Persia, and above 
all leave Austria and Russia free to co-operate with France 
against Prussia and Great Britain. For these objects France 
was ready to exert her utmost powers by diplomacy and orien- 
tal bribery. 1 This policy was destined to last only as long as 

1 On the alliance of 1756, cf. Broglie : Le sicret du Roi, Paris, 1879. Boutaric : 
Corr. de Louis XV, Paris, 1886. Rousset : Corr. de Noailks et de Louis XV, Paris 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 89 

the artificial system of which it was a part. By the defection 
of Russia and her alliance of 1764 with Prussia, and by the 
treaty of peace with England in 1763, the entire system suf- 
fered a great blow. With the resurrection of the Polish ques- 
tion the inherent interests of France in the East again came 
to the front ; and Vergennes, still the French representative 
at the Porte, was called on to propose to the Turks a third line 

1865. Broglie : V alliance autrichienne. Waddington : Louis XV., et le renverse- 
ment des alliances. Masson : Memoir es et lettres de Bernis. Vandal : Louis XV. 
et Elisabeth de Russie. MSS. of M. Bourges quoted by Bonneville de Marsangy : 
Ambassade de Vergennes h. Constantinople, i. p. 120 : " Dans le systeme de politique 
et d'alliance qui constituait alors l'equilibre europeen, la Turquie devait, avec la 
Pologne et la Suede, balancer au profit de la France l'alliance de l'Angleterre et 
de la Russie." Ibid. i. pp. 197 et sea. (instruction to Vergennes in 1755 in Arch, 
des aff. Strait., Turquie, vol. 129). 204 (Rouille to Vergennes, May 11, 1755) ; 215 
(Vergennes to Rouille, Aug. 17) ; 335 et seq. (Rouille to Vergennes, June 1, 1756) : 
" Le traite de Sa Majeste [Louis XV.] avec PImperatrice [Maria Theresa] n'ayant, 
comme je vous l'ai mande, d'autre objet que le maintien de la paix, ne change 
rien aux principes de Sa Majeste qui l'ont toujours eue pour objet. Nous n'avons 
jamais excite les Turcs a entreprendre la guerre contre aucune puissance chre- 
tienne; vos instructions le portent precisement. Si nous leurs avons fait des 
representations sur le procede de la Russie, elles etaient autant fondees sur leur 
interet que sur celui de la Pologne, dont la liberte est aussi chere a Sa Majeste 
qu'elle doit etre a la puissance ottomane. . . . Les clauses de l'alliance defensive 
entre Sa Majeste et l'lmperatrice pourront deplaire au nouveau Grand Vizir 
[Mustafa Pasha], si par des raisons tirees de sa situation de celle de l'interieur de 
1'Empire ottoman ou peut-etre excite par le roi de Prusse, il determinait le Grand 
Seigneur [Othman III.] a declarer la guerre a. la cour de Vienne. Vous pouvez, 
en ce cas, faire entendre que ces clauses, ordinaires dans tous les traites defen- 
sifs, ne doivent point alarmer les Turcs " ; pp. 343, note, 350; ii. pp. 31, 42 (Bernis 
to Vergennes, Nov. 29, 1757. Arch. aff. etran., Turquie, vol. 133) : " Vous deviez 
tacher de les [Turks] engager a tourner leurs armes contre la Perse, les divisions 
dont ce royaume est agite et le nombre des pretendants au trone leur ouvrant un 
chemin facile a des conquetes assurees." (This is the opposite of the instructions 
given in 1755, c ^ *• P- l 9%) 5 74 (Choiseul to Vergennes, June 11, 1759, Turquie, 
vol. 135); 77 et seq. {Memoire of Vergennes to the Porte, Aug. 15, 1759); 86. 
Cf. on French policy during the century, Bailleu : Preussen und Frank- 
reich, i. pp. ix, x. Favier : Conjectures raisonnees, in Segur : Politique, i. pp. 338, 
339, 344 (note by Segur) : " La destruction de 1'Empire Ottoman est le coup le 
plus funeste qui puisse arriver a la France"; ii. pp. 2, 13. Idem: Doutes et 
questions, in Ibid. iii. pp. 334, 335. Memoire de M. de Vergennes sur la Porte otto- 
mane, in Segur: op. cit. iii. pp. 115, 116, 119, 126, 142; Castera : Catherine II. 
ii. p. 229. 



90 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

of action. This was to regard any interference with Poland 
by Russia and Prussia as a cause for Turkish intervention to 
preserve the liberty and integrity of Poland. As has been 
shown, the endeavors of both Catherine and Frederick were 
to allay the alarms of the Porte regarding Poland, and to oppose 
the policy of France in these respects. When finally the 
Turks did declare war, the French tried to bring about an 
alliance between Austria and the Porte ; but the attitude of 
Austria, shown in her seizure of Polish territory and her be- 
trayal of the Turks, baffled French efforts to bring about a 
successful intervention to save Poland. The French them- 
selves were lacking in power, and, though urging on the Turks 
to war, offered to bargain with Prussia over Polish affairs. 
Their much talked of interest in Poland was thus suffered to 
die away in a diplomacy whose r61e was entirely passive, while 
their ineffective protests had shown to Europe how divergent 
had become the policies of France and Austria, the allies 
of 1756. 1 

1 Saint-Priest: Mimoires sur Vambassade de France en Turquie, pp. 150-177. 
Favier : Doutes et questions, in Segur : op. cit. iii. pp. 338 : * Le traite de Versailles 
ruine egalement a la Porte et dans toutes les cours voisines de la Porte le credit 
de consideration que la France y avoit relativement a la puissance federative ; " 
Memoire de Vergennes in Segur : op. cit. i. pp. 140 et seq., 154. Memoire du comte 
de Broglie (March, 1775), in Idem, i. p. 195. Bonneville : op. cit. ii. pp. 226 et seq. 
(Praslin to Vergennes, Oct. 18, 1763. Arch. off. etran., Turquie, vol. 139). France 
is opposed to a partition of Poland, wishes to secure the help of the Porte, and 
prefers the Elector of Saxony for King of Poland, but is not ready to support him 
by force, p. 241. The Porte answers that the entrance of the Russians into Po- 
land does not affect it ; pp. 277 et seq., 304 (Choiseul to Vergennes, April 21, 1766), 
" Le moyen le plus certain de rompre ses projets [Russo-Prussian alliance as 
assisted by Great Britain and, in particular, Russia], et peut-etre de culbuter de 
son trone usurpe l'imperatrice Catherine, serait de lui susciter une guerre. II n'y 
a que les Turcs a portee de nous rendre ce service. Je n'ignore pas Tetat de 
faiblesse et decadence de l'Empire ottoman, la faiblesse encore plus grande, s'il 
est possible, de son administration ; mais serait-il de toute impossibilite de pro- 
poser et de suivre des moyens qui portassent le Divan a une guerre dont, d'ail- 
leurs, le succes definitif ne nous interesse pas vivement, mais dont la declaration 
et le sort nous mettront a portee de detruire les mauvaises intentions de Cath- 
erine?" 329 et seq.; 375 (Choiseul to Saint-Priest, Nov. 14, 1768, Turquie, vol. 



^ 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 91 

The relation of Great Britain to these matters was decided 
in large measure by her antagonism to France ; whatever the 
system of politics, there were few occasions in the latter half of 
the eighteenth century when these two powers were not ranged 
on opposite sides. Thus the Ottoman Empire was at first 
scarce regarded by Englishmen as an object of interest to 
them, either politically or commercially, save as it entered into 
the scheme of French diplomacy and trade. The partition of 
Turkey, it was felt, would deprive France of an ally, and, while 
there might be other reasons why it should not be hoped for 
or participated in, yet on the whole it was not an event which 
need call for vigorous action on the part of Great Britain to J 
avert. Russia was a most profitable customer; the Baltic 
trade was almost entirely in British hands ; and any measures 
which would strengthen the Northern powers against the 
Bourbons in the South were regarded as likely to be favorable 
to Great Britain. Furthermore, the sincere desire of the Eng- 
lish people was for peace; the condition of their domains in 
America and Asia called for earnest attention ; and the leaders 
at home were not the best fitted to solve hard diplomatic prob- 
lems or deal successfully with great international crises. The 
Seven Years' War had added largely to British territory in 
other continents, but the effect of the war in England had not 
been wholly good. The tide of politics ran high, and disorder 
threatened in every quarter ; the dissensions of a people work- 
ing out the problems of free government were not calculated 

145) : "La guerre [between Turkey and Russia] est done declaree; e'etait le pre- 
mier objet de nos vceux," 385 et seq., Corr. of Fre4erick and Solms, in Sbornik, 
xxxvii. pp. 127-128. French emissaries were working against Russia in the Kri- 
mea(i767); 184, the hostility of Russia and France, Nov. 1768, 224, 312, 334, 
335. Rambaud : Instructions, Russie, i. pp. liv, lviii. Beer : Erste Theilung Pol- 
ens, Documente {Memoire of Choiseul to Mercy, 1769), pp. 5-7. Saint-Priest: 
Partage de la Pologne, passim. Sorel : Instructions, Autriche, pp. 439-446, 449, 
485 (instructions to Breteuil, Dec. 28, 1774) : " On ne peut se dissimuler que 
diffe rents evenements relatifs a la guerre das Turcs et au partage de la Pologne, 
n'aient un peu altere l'esprit de Punion des deux cours " [France and Austria] ; 
493. Broglie : King's Secret, ii. pp. 249 et seq. 



92 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

to make for a strong foreign policy ; and it is scarcely surpris- 
ing that the statesmen of Europe believed Great Britain to 
be travelling toward internal anarchy and political oblivion. 
Indeed the policy of Great Britain in Polish and Turkish affairs 
was so weak and ineffectual that a keener political prescience 
and a more thorough understanding of the British character 
and constitution than those possessed by the continental 
leaders were needed in order to give a more hopeful estimate 
of England's future. The clue to this British indifference as 
to matters so vital to all Europe is to be found in the pro- 
posals in 1766 for an alliance of England, Russia, Prussia, and 
the Northern states against the parties to the Bourbon family 
compact in the South. That compact then in union with the 
Austrian Hapsburgs was declared by Sir Andrew Mitchell, the 
English ambassador at Berlin, to be " the most formidable 
combination ever formed, and the most dangerous to the 
liberties of Europe." In the negotiations for this alliance 
Turkey appears as the stumbling-block, England refusing to 
consider an attack by the Porte on Russia as a " casus foederis" 
which would compel her to assist her Russian ally. Thus 
Great Britain showed her determination to avoid alliances 
which would entangle her in Eastern affairs ; and Englishmen 
in general were indifferent to Russian success against the 
Turks ; some even rejoiced, as Lord Chatham, who wrote to 
Shelburne in 1773 : " I am quite a Russ. I trust the Ottoman 
will pull down the house of Bourbon in his fall." On the other 
hand, while Catherine was cordial in her feelings toward the 
English, she was wiser than many, for she wrote to her ambas- 
sador in London (1769) that, though the English then thought 
but little, they were always traders, and the acquisition by 
"A Russia of territory on the Black Sea might arouse their 
l>j ' jealousy. It was indeed a matter of trade which finally 
^ brought Great Britain to take action,|andfor a time threatened 
^, war between her and Prussia. This was the question of the 
^ trade of Dantzic ; while the English ministers confined them- 



V 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 93 

selves to polite expressions of disapproval toward the entire 
matter of Polish partition, — Lord Suffolk, the Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs, terming it, with insular indifference, " a curious 
transaction," — they endeavored to preserve the freedom of 
Polish trade, and in this secured a partial victory. The trade 
of England with Dantzic was to be on the same basis as in the 
past; this arrangement was concluded in 1774; and with 
regard to all else Suffolk contented himself by writing to 
Gunning at St. Petersburg : " The Business of the Partition is, 
I fear, too far advanced to be, in any great degree, revocable." 
It was indeed by August, 1774, the date of this letter. 1 

1 Chatham : Corr. iii. pp. 30-32, 36 et seq. Mr. Stanley, English ambassador 
at St. Petersburg, wrote in 1766 that " the court of Russia, situated at a great 
distance from the Southern powers, possessed of no colonies, and having little 
trade or navigation, consider themselves as more secure from dangers of every 
kind than any other state in Europe ; * 83, note, 174, 175, 298, 299 (Chatham to Shel- 
burne, Oct. 20, 1773). Martens : Traites conclus par Russie, Angleterre, ix. pp. 278. 
Rochefort, English Amb. at Petersburg, to Cathcart, Nov. 24, 1769 (rejoicing 
over Russian victories), 280 (Catherine to Chernichev, March 3, 1769). Boutaric : 
Corr. de Louis XV., ii. pp. 16 et seq., 176. Sorel : Eastern Question, pp. 78 et seq. 
Beer: Documente, p. 11. Michael: Englands Stellung zur ersten Teilung Polens, 
Leipzig, 1890, passim, and especially pp. 5, 85, 89-91. Macaulay, Essay on Lord 
Chatham, writing of Great Britain in 1768-82, says : u A nation convulsed by 
faction, a throne assailed by the fiercest invective, a House of Commons hated 
and despised by the nation, England set against Scotland, Britain set against 
America, a rival legislature sitting beyond the Atlantic, English blood shed by 
English bayonets, our armies capitulating, our conquests wrested from us, our 
enemies hastening to take vengeance for past humiliation, our flag scarcely able 
to maintain itself in our own seas, such was the spectacle which Pitt lived to see." 
In Sbornik, xxvii. p. 44 (Catherine II. to Madame Bielke, July 30, 1775) : "Je 
souhaite de tout mon coeur que mes amis, les Anglais, s'accommodent avec 
leurs colonies ; mais tant des mes proprieties se sont accomplies, que je crains 
de voir l'Amerique se detacher de l'Europe de mon vivant ; " also p. 147, (the 
same, April 25, 1778) : " Pour vos amis, les Anglais, on peut leur dire ce que 
Moliere fait tant repeter a George Dandin : ' George Dandin, tu l'as bien voulu/ 
Ces gens-la font toujours ce dont personne ne s'avise ; il y a 15 ans qu'ils sont 
partis du pied gauche. Lorsque toute l'Europe etait attentive a voir les mesures 
de vigueur qu'ils allaient prendre, que vont-ils faire ? ils publient un jour de 
jeune ; le beau moyen de relever le courage d'une nation ! A present ils 
pronent partout leur faiblesse." Cf. p. 153. Castera: Catherine II. ii. p. 128; 
*"• P- 55- Arneth : Joseph II. und Leopold von Toscana, i. p. 152. (Leop. to Joseph, 
Jan. 23, 1783), on England's "downfall." 



94 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Such was the relation of each of the great powers to the 
Eastern Question in 1774. The situation of the Porte was 
lamentable indeed, for, as Favier wrote : " Russia crushes her, 
Prussia betrays her, and Austria, after having levied a contri- 
bution on her, seeks the division of her spoils." France had 
used her as a tool and given her poor advice, and Great Britain 
was at best indifferent to her fate. Yet the Ottoman Empire 
was destined to withstand Russia in five wars within a century, 
to see Austria and Prussia reach their nadir of political exist- 
ence, to watch the fall of the Bourbons and of two Napoleons, 
and to number Great Britain among the main supports to her 
existence. The politics of the nineteenth century have been 
largely involved with the fate of the Porte, and those of the twen- 
tieth bid fair to resemble them. In 1774, however, France, the 
ancient ally of the Turks, could find no better way to extricate 
them from the difficulties in which tne execution of the treaty 
of Kainardji had plunged them than to advise them to yield to 
the demands of Russia rather than risk annihilation by war. 
The condition of affairs in Germany offered no encouragement 
to the Turks, for the rivalry of Austria and Prussia had been 
renewed, and the question of the Bavarian succession was soon 
to bring these two powers to the verge of war. Frederick the 
Great had been developing his plans for the Fiirstenbund ; and 
Austria had turned to Russia, hoping to displace Frederick in 
the political system of Catherine, and thus gain her support to 
check the growing strength of Prussia within the Empire. 
The price which Austria would be forced to pay for a Russian 
alliance had already been assessed by French diplomats, who 
judged that Austria would be called by Russia to join in a plan 
for the joint partition of the Ottoman dominions in Europe. 
The French were free in their declaration to their ally at 
Vienna that the interests of France were irreconcilable with 
those of Russia, and that Austria, in entering into an alliance 
with Russia, would place herself in opposition to all that 
France held to be essential in her policy toward the Eastern 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 95 

Question. " We would regard," wrote the diplomats of Ver- 
sailles, " the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, its invasion by 
Russia, or its partition between the two imperial courts, as one 
of the greatest political calamities." But, however serious 
such a catastrophe might appear to the French, it soon became 
evident that in spite of their brave words a policy of obstruc- 
tion was all that they were willing to attempt ; the resources 
of the kingdom were being drained by the war against Great 
Britain in behalf of the American Colonists ; and the French 
ambassadors in the East were therefore forced to use their 
shrewdest diplomacy to persuade the Turks that discretion 
was the better part of valor. The Porte could scarcely be 
expected to welcome this advice, and the prestige of France 
continued to wane, especially so as it became evident that the 
^A-question of a commerce with Russia by the Black Sea ports 
was working in the minds of some Frenchmen to lessen their 
enmity toward Russia. It is curious to note in this connection 
that, though the French had in mind to develop a Russian 
I trade in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the English were 
I thinking to introduce Russia to the Mediterranean as a political \/ 

\force and as their ally. This proposal was discussed between 
Sir James Harris, Lord Stormont, and Prince Potemkin early in 
1 78 1. The Russians were to end the war between France, 
England, and Spain on the basis of the treaty of Paris of 1762 
and of uti possidetis, and to secure the evacuation of North 
America by the French. The American Colonies were not to 
be mentioned in the matter, and England was to be free to deal 
with them alone. As a return a treaty of perpetual defensive 
alliance was to be signed between Russia and Great Britain, 
and the island of Minorca was to be ceded to Russia. With a 
naval station at Port Mahon the Russians would be able to 
hold the French in check. This suggestion, for in the end 
this was all it amounted to, was first made by Potemkin, who, 
looking to the future, was urgent that Russia should again 
attempt the Eastern Question by sea in the south as well as 



96 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

by land in the north. 1 This idea was only an index of Russia's 
intention to raise the Eastern Question in its most serious 
aspect. The plans which were forming in the minds of 
Catherine and her advisers were calculated to settle once and 
for all the most vital points in the entire matter ; they included 
a wholesale partition of Ottoman dominions and the creation 
of a new political situation in southeastern Europe. These 
plans could not be carried out except with the assistance of an 
ally in central Europe. Ten years earlier Prussia would 
undoubtedly have been chosen by Russia, but now Austria 
was far more suitable for the purpose. Her geographical posi- 
tion and the character of the new Emperor, Joseph II., made 
her a more likely partner in schemes for expansion. As 
Rumiantzov wrote in 1783, Russia and Austria had a common 
enemy in Asia and no conflicting interests in Europe. Yet the 
desires of Catherine to carry out this program of aggrandize- 
ment were not at first welcome to Austria, who had hoped to 
keep an entirely passive attitude as regards the Eastern Ques- 
tion, and who preferred to have a weak eastern neighbor in the 
Turks rather than one so aggressive as the Russians were 
certain to prove. It was with this in mind that Louis Cobenzl, 
the Austrian ambassador at Petersburg, wrote an exhaustive 
paper on the policy of Austria. He urged that it was Austria's 
interest to support the Ottoman Empire up to a certain point. 
When, however, such a policy if persisted in would bring about 
a war in which Austria would be compelled to face Russia, 

1 Beer: Orientalische Politik, pp. 32-44. Castera : op. cit. p. 52. Segur: 
Politique, i. pp. 140-145 (the French embassy at Constantinople, 1756-73)- 
Broglie : Observations, in Segur, i. pp. 88, 89, and notes. Favier : Conj. rais, in 
Ibid. ii. p. 23. Vergennes: Memoire, in Ibid. iii. pp. 154, 198. Rambaud : In- 
structions, ii. pp, 338-39, 361-62, 375. Sorel : Instructions, pp. 503 (Instructions 
for Breteuil, March 2, 1777), 527. Dearborn: Black Sea Commerce, i. p. 107. 
Vide Antoine in the Bibliography. Malmesbury : Diaries and Correspondence, 
i. pp. 299, 315 et seq., 323 et seq., 346 et seq. (Harris to Stormont, Petersburg, Dec. 
5, 1780); (Stormont to Harris, London, Jan. 20, 1781), 439. Saint- Priest : La 
Guerre de Baviere et le Congres de Teschen, in Mtudes, i. pp. 299 et passim. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION g? 

Prussia, the Protestant princes of Germany and possibly Eng- 
land, Austria should reconcile herself to the doom of the 
Porte and take steps to profit by the partition of Turkish terri- 
tory. To be sure, Austria would enter such a war allied with 
France, Turkey, Sweden and the Catholic princes of Germany, 
yet the risk of the undertaking would be too great. He then 
enters into an elaborate study of the possible lines of partition ; 
but it is unnecessary to follow him further; the gist of the 
matter as regards the court of Vienna has been shown. 1 

Despite these considerations Austria was nevertheless 
anxious to consolidate a Russian alliance. Prussia was hos- 
tile, France might fail her, but united with Russia she could 
be certain that she would receive her share should the Otto- 
man Empire at last be partitioned. The letters establishing 
this alliance were exchanged between Catherine and Joseph in 
May, 1 78 1. Joint action with respect to the Porte was agreed 
on ; and in September of the following year Catherine wrote 
to Joseph outlining a new settlement of affairs in south- 
eastern Europe. These plans included the creation of an 
independent state formed of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Bes- 
sarabia, as the Kingdom of Dacia, to be ruled by a Greek 
Orthodox prince; in the event of Russian successes in the 
Krimea another state was to be formed south of the Danube 
after the Turk had been expelled from Europe ; this was to be 
a new Byzantine Empire under the Grand Duke Constantine. 
Russia for herself desired Oczakov and the Black Sea coast 
between the Bug and the Dniestr, with one or two islands in the 
Archipelago for naval and commercial purposes, while Austria 
was to increase her territory on the southeast. Joseph 
replied very cautiously, pointing out many difficulties and yet 
asking for himself a great increase in power. He wished to 

1 Vorontzov : Arkhiv, xxvii. p. 92. (N. Rumiantzov to A. Romanovitch, 
Frankfort, March 10, (21) 1783.) Cobenzl's memoir is given in abstract in Beer :j 
Orientalische Politik, pp. 39-43. For Russian progress in the East, 1777-83, c£. 
Herrmann : Gesch. Russlands, vi. pp. 32-80. 

7 



98 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

gain territory which would strengthen his frontiers in Galicia 
and Bukovina, and to take Wallachia as far as the Aluta, the 
cities of Nikopolis, Widdin, Orsova, Belgrade, together with a 
zone of three leagues breadth on the banks of the Danube ; 
from Belgrade he proposed that a line should be drawn, which 
could include Bosnia, Herzegovina, Istria, Dalmatia, and parts 
of Servia and Montenegro, to a point on the Adriatic below the 
Gulf of the Drina. Thus Austria was to regain the territory 
lost by the treaty of Belgrade in 1739 and restore the boundary 
set by that of Passarovitz in 171 8. Furthermore, Joseph stipu- 
lated that Austrian trade via the Danube was to be free ; and 
he proposed to indemnify Venice for Istria and Dalmatia by 
giving that state the Morea, Crete, and Cyprus. It would be 
hard to imagine more reckless juggling with geography than 
this, and yet there are few things in eighteenth-century history 
which better illustrate the political system of the period. 1 

The difficulties of which Joseph had written were serious 
ones, for he feared the attack of France and Prussia. Unless 
an agreement were made with France he felt that the scheme 
could not be carried through, but if that power were given 
Egypt in the coming partition, and Prussia were held in check 
by a display of force, it would be unnecessary to pay the court 
of Berlin the high price he was certain it would demand for its 
acquiescence in the plan. In other matters he agreed with 

1 Tratchevski : Das russisch-osterreichische Biindniss vom Jahre 1781, in Hist. 
Zeit., xxxiv. pp. 361-396. Martens : Traitis, Autriche, ii. pp. 96 et sea. Malmes- 
bury : Diaries, i. pp. 236, 238, 483. Dohm : Denkwiirdigkeiten, ii. pp. 4 et sea., 16. 
Herrmann : Gesch. Russ. vi. p. 461. Ranke : Diedeutschen Machte, pp. 109 et sea. 
Arneth : Joseph II und Katharina, pp. 67-92, 143 et sea., 170 et sea. Beer: Ori- 
entalische Politik, pp. 47 et sea. Bruckner : Katharina II, pp. 331 et sea. Zink- 
eisen : Gesch. osman. Reiches, vi. pp. 268 et sea., 350 et sea. Brunner : Corr. intimes 
de Joseph II, pp. 24, 29. Castera : op. cit. iii. pp. 90 et sea. Wolf : Oesterreich 
und Preussen, pp. 4 (Riedesel writes, March 17, 1780) : " L'appetit des acquisitions 
dans cette cour [Vienna] est insatiable," 6, 9, 94. Rambaud : Hist, oj Russia, 
p. 113. Sorel : V Europe et la Revolution, i. pp. 451, 519, 520. Hassall : The Bal- 
ance of Power, 1715-1789, pp. 362, 363. These three last named writers all differ 
from each other and from the account given in the text above. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 99 

Russia, though he wrote to his brother Leopold in Tuscany 
that Catherine was so possessed with her " Greek plan " that 
she greatly underestimated the difficulties to be overcome. 
Joseph doubted both the weakness of the Turks and the 
strength of the Russians; and, though he was enthusiastic 
over the schemes for Austrian expansion and the acquisition 
of southern ports, he nevertheless incessantly harped on his 
fears of France and Prussia. In writing to Mercy-Argenteau, 
his ambassador at Paris, he elaborated these statements, es- 
pecially with respect to the value of Egypt to France, both 
intrinsically and as a means of injuring British commerce. 
Indeed at one time he hoped that the continuance of the war 
in America between France and Great Britain might keep the 
Bourbons from interfering with his plans, and if it had not 
been for the British surrender at Yorktown it is possible that 
Joseph and Catherine might have been bolder in pressing 
their schemes for partition. Such were the preliminaries of 
this plan, which, if it had been carried out, would have greatly 
changed the history of the nineteenth century. 1 

1 Arneth : Joseph II. und Leopold von Toscana, i. pp. 140 et seq. (Joseph to 
Leopold, Nov. 24, and Dec. 16, 1782). Arneth and Flammermont : Mercy-Argen- 
teau, Joseph II., et Kaunitz, i. pp. 139 et seq. (Joseph to Mercy, Dec. 7, 1782). He 
writes of his plans with Catherine II. and of the services of Saint-Priest, the 
French ambassador at Constantinople, in persuading the Turks to yield to 
Russian demands. He inquires whether France would remain neutral if he and 
Catherine should attempt to partition Turkey, or whether " la France fut capable 
d'entrer en pour-parlers avec les deux cours imperiales et de leurs donner les 
assurances necessaires de la neutralite et en meme temps de se stipuler soit des 
avantages de commerce ou une partie des depouilles de l'Empire Ottoman, dont 
l'Egypte, selons mes observations faites deja depuis quelques annees, surtout 
depuis l'envoi de M. de Tott dans cette province, a fait l'objet des speculations I 
de la France ; et effectivement si cette province riche, fertile et commercante par 
elle meme, devenait une colonie francaise, dans peu de temps la France, moyen- 
nant le port de Suez sur la mer Rouge et en ouvrant une communication bonne 
et assuree contre les brigands sur l'isthme; serait la maitresse de tout le com- 
merce du golfe Persique et des grandes Indes, qu'elle ferait par le chemin le plus 
court et le plus assure savoir par la Mediterranee. Eclairez-moi, mon cher 
Comte, sur ce que vous pensez a l'egard de tout ceci, et si la France prefererait 
dans les circonstances actuelles une guerre de terre avec moi et de rompre les 



\ 



100 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

The two monarchs were not as yet agreed, Catherine soon 
showing her disapproval of Joseph's proposal to take Istria and 
Dalmatia. She wrote to him that the acquiescence of Venice 
was necessary to their other plans, and that the Greek Empire 
would be much injured by the loss of the Morea and the 
neighboring islands, which would have to be used to indem- 
nify Venice. In fact the Empress was dissatisfied that Joseph 
should wish to modify her proposals. The exchange of letters 
on the subject continued, but other more pressing matters de- 
layed a final agreement. These were the affairs of the 
Krimea, where the question of Tatar independence bid fair to 
bring about a war between Russia and Turkey. By the treaty 
of Kainardji these tribes had been freed from Turkish rule, 
though they were Muslim. Catherine now proposed to incor- 
porate them in her Empire. The Porte protested, but both 
the French and British representatives urged submission, 
which was finally though unwillingly yielded. The services of 
France were guided by a fear of a final catastrophe for the 
Ottoman Empire should war actually break out ; but those of 
England were given as from one friendly power to another. 
Mr. Fox offered English mediation to Russia, and even spoke 
of an English fleet acting with that of Russia in the Mediter- 
ranean, but this was only to be on condition of the renewal 
of an Anglo-Russian alliance. In the mind of Catherine the 
English were to be assigned the business of holding France in 
check should the war really break out and the plans for parti- • 
tion materialize. It is hard to say what France could better 
have done, but the results were certainly unfortunate, for the 
Turks were greatly irritated by the French advice to submit 

liens qui nous unissent pour conserver l'Empire Ottoman et empecher la possi- 
bilite de sa destruction. L'acquisition projetee de l'Egypte porterait le coup 
le plus sensible au commerce de TAngleterre, objet qui merite a tous egards 
d'entrer dans la balance des avantages et convenances qui le Roi et son 
ministere pourraient se procurer a cette occasion." Arneth : Joseph und Kath- 
arina, pp. 170 et seq. (J. to K. Nov. 13, 1782). Wolf: op. cit. p. 95 (Kaunitz to 
Reviczky, Oct. 31, 1783). Beer : Orientalische Politik, pp. 65 et seq. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 01 



\ 



to Russian demands in the Krimea and Kuban, and Ver- 
gennes and Saint-Priest began to blame each other for having 
followed a policy which still further lowered French prestige 
at Constantinople. Indeed a curious pamphlet controversy- 
regarding the condition of Turkey and the French policy be- 
came a matter of talk in Paris; and the lines were drawn 
between the admirers of Islam and the Turks and their de- 
tractors. The literature included books by Peysonnel, de 
Tott, and Volney. It is only fair, however, to remember that 
though France and Great Britain had but just ended their 
war, the French diplomats stood ready during the year 1783 
to form an Anglo-French alliance with Turkey to stop Russia 
and Austria in their plans for partitioning the Ottoman 
Empire; but England was unwilling. On the whole there 
was a national feeling of relief in France when it became 
apparent in October, 1783, that Catherine was satisfied with 
the Krimea, at least for the time being. This may be seen in 
the instructions given to de Noailles, the French ambassador 
at Vienna. These declared that the Franco-Austrian alliance 
was seriously threatened by that of Austrian and Russia. 
France intended to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman 
Empire by every means in her power, but preferred pacific to 
hostile measures ; she would continue her alliance with the 
Emperor as long as it were possible without exposing the 
dignity and interest of the state. The object of French policy 
was, therefore, "to keep the peace between the Turks and 
Russians by inspiring the Turks with a spirit of conciliation 
and by insensibly preparing them for sacrifices." A more 
difficult program it is hard to conceive. 1 

1 Rambaud: Instructions, Russie, ii. pp. 361, 362, 375, 392, 393. Martens: 
op. at. Angleterre, ix. pp. 325-327. (Cath. to Simoline, Jan. 23, 1784.) Russia 
must thank the English for their " concours amicale en empechant les Turcs de 
se lancer dans une guerre." Malmesbury : Diaries, ii. pp. 22, 42, 47, 50. Sorel : 
Instructions, Autriche, pp. 526, 534. (Instructions to de Noailles, Oct. 4, 1783.) 
Le Moniteur, June 30, July 1, 1855. The despatches of Vergennes, Barthelemy, 
d'Adhemar, Montmorin, Choiseul, d'Esterno, and Breteuil from Jan. 6 to Oct. 30, 



102 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Other matters assisted this plan of postponing the final 
destiny of the Turks ; Austria and Russia were unable as yet 
to take aggressive action. At the time when it still seemed 
likely that the Porte would show by war her resentment against 
Russia, Kaunitz had outlined Austria's situation, showing three 
possible solutions of her difficulty. Either * she could remain 
passive, or she could oppose Russian views, or finally she 
could make common cause" with the Empress. He advised 
for the last-named line of action, which was in reality that 
already pledged by Cobenzl at St. Petersburg. But Kaunitz 
and Joseph both insisted again that France must be propitiated 
and Prussia must be put "extra statum nocendi " as far as Aus- 
tria was concerned, before any active steps could be taken by 
the two imperial courts to carry out their plans. The Prussian 
diplomats had indeed been alarmed at the prospect both of the 
annihilation of their former ally, Turkey, and of the increase 
in the power of their rival, Austria. The removal of Prince 
Nikita Panin from power at St. Petersburg had been connected 
with the formation of the Austro-Russian alliance, and a com- 
plete reversal in the situation of the past twenty years had thus 
taken place. Prussia had been occupied in strengthening her 
position in Germany, while her relations with France had 
somewhat improved. That she should be prepared to fight for 
this position was necessary, owing to the continual desire of 

1783, regarding a Turko- Anglo- French coalition to stop Russia and Austria from 
partitioning Turkey. Vorontzov : Arkhiv, ix. p. 4 (S. to A. Vorontzov, Venice, 
March, 1784). Stael-Holstein : Corr. pp. 3, 4 (Jan. 5, 19; Oct. 11, 1784). Les- 
cure : Corr. secrete, i. pp. 578, 580, 581 et seq., 459. (A rhyme which appeared in 
Paris, in Feb. 1782, is here given. In part it was as follows : — 
" La France entreprend . . . tout, 

L'Espagne ne fait rien du . . . tout, 

L'Angleterre se bat contre . . . tout, 

L'Empereur tire parti de . . . tout, 

La Russie voudroit balancer . . . tout.") 
Eton : Survey of Turkey, pp. 5-7. Ranke : Die deutschen Machte, p. 106. Sbornik: 
xxvii. pp. 250-252 (Cath. to Potemkin, April 14, 1783). Commenting on Joseph's 
letter : " Quand le gateau sera cuit, chacun prendra de l'appetit." Arneth : 
Joseph und Katharina, pp. 193 et seq. (J. to C, April 8, 1783). 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 103 

Joseph to secure Bavaria in exchange for the Austrian Nether- 
lands. This plan, about which Joseph consulted his ally on the 
Neva, further complicated the oriental projects. In fact the 
varied interests of Austria, as well as the radical internal 
reforms which Joseph was pressing throughout his dominions, 
were destined to weaken Austrian foreign policy in the Balkans. 
Matters thus hung fire, though a brisk interchange of letters 
between Vienna and Petersburg served to keep the diplomats 
of both states busy with suggestions and modifications of their 
respective plans. 1 

The opposition which Prussia would have offered to Aus- 
trian expansion in the Balkans in the years 1780-86 was prob- 
ably over-estimated by Kaunitz, for Frederick declared that he 
had no intention of acting as " the Don Quixote of the Turks." 
Furthermore the relations of France and Russia had in reality 
not been as cool as some would think ; the League of Armed 
Neutrality of which Russia was the head, had shown the 
French that it might be possible to accommodate their desires 
to those of Russia and yet profit in economic directions. 
Frederick was absorbed in his Furstenbwid ; France was tem- 
porizing ; and Great Britain was friendly to the imperial courts 
in spite of Russia's attitude during the American war, for at 

1 Beer : Joseph, Leopold und Kaunitz, pp. xi, 147 (Joseph to Kaunitz. Persano, 
Jan. 16, 1784) : " Les affaires turques paroissent encore tres embrouillees, mais 
je suis parfaitement de votre avis que la Porte finira par ceder. II faut que vous, 
intruisies [sic] bien decidement Herbert [Austrian minister at the Porte] a 
exiger absolu merit l'egalite parfaite avec la Russie relativement au commerce et 
a la libre navigation sur le Danube et par les Dardanelles. . . ." Ranke : op. cit. 
p. 459 (P'rederick to Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Jan. 7, 1782). Lescure : 
op. cit. pp. 460,461 (Feb. 5, 16, 1782). Martens: op. cit. Autriche, ii. pp. 134, 
135 (Kaunitz to Cobenzl, 1785), 188 (Ibid. Nov. 28, 1788). As a " Caterum cen- 
seo " he wrote : " tant que la puissance de la Prusse ne sera pas amoindrie, toutes 
les intentions, les plans et les entreprises des deux cours imperiales seront 
toujours entraves et aneantis par elle." Hausser: Deutsche Gesch. i. p. 223 
(based on Royal Prussian Archives). Dietz, the Prussian minister at the 
Porte in 1784, "hielt es fiir Preussens Pflicht das tiirkische Reich gegen seine 
Bedranger zu schiitzen, schon vvegen des Zuwachses an Macht, der im Falle der 
Auflosung Russland und Oesterreich verstarkte." 




104 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

bottom English statesmen were anxious lest the French might 
supplant them at St. Petersburg and either gain in the Levant 
trade or share in Turkish spoils. The Austrians, however, 
were not ready for war; they wished a more definite assurance 
as to their share in the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire ; and 
the Russians had not completed their acquisition of the Krimea. 
Therefore this delay, and the passing of the critical moment 
for action ; for if the two courts had attacked Turkey in the 
midst of the American war, it is doubtful if France or Great 
Britain would have effected much either for or against the 
scheme of partition, and Prussia would never have acted alone, 
especially when there was a possibility that Austria might 
become more of a Balkan and less of a German power, thus 
giving Berlin greater prestige in the Empire. On the other 
hand, the Turks might have made a strong fight, and unless 
defeat should have come to them earlier than now seems possible, 
they might have held their enemies at bay till time and chang- 
ing politics should assist them. It had so happened in the 
past. In 1787, however, conditions had changed; Frederick 
the Great was dead ; disturbances in the Netherlands were 
tending to bring Great Britain and Prussia together in order to 
preserve Holland from French influence ; Catherine was making 
her oriental progress in the Krimea, thereby moving the Turks 
to hostilities ; and Joseph was no longer hesitating with regard 
to expansion in the southeast. The war between the imperial 
allies and the Porte finally broke out in 1787. These events 
were destined to renew the friendly relations between Prussia 
and the Porte, and to draw England into Eastern matters almost 
against her will. The result of the Dutch troubles, which were 
treated in the previous chapter, was to lead the Prussian and 
British representatives at Constantinople to oppose French 
policy there, and covertly to urge the Turks on to war against 
the two imperial courts, hoping thus to distract the French 
from their interests in Holland. The British government 
declared with respect to the Turkish question that its wish was 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 105 

to take no part in the matter, but that if France should decide 
to reverse her policy and should join with Russia and Austria, 
in the belief that the Ottoman Empire was now doomed, and 
should take steps to secure Egypt and some islands in the 
Levant as her share, Great Britain would then hold herself in 
readiness to take action. What that action might be, not even 
the ministers themselves as yet knew. In the meantime the 
French had continued their efforts to strengthen the Turkish 
army ; and many officers and engineers had been sent by them 
to serve the Sultan. They had also negotiated a treaty, en- 
deavoring to obtain for themselves special trading privileges in 
Egypt, and transit via the Red Sea to India. Indeed in the 
memoirs and correspondence of the period constant reference 
is made to the importance both of the Black Sea trade and of 
Egypt as a station on the road to India. There can be no 
question that France also was uncertain what line of action to 
take, and that she tried to play for Russian favor by her policy 
toward the Porte, while at the same time she intimated to the 
English that it might be wise for the two powers to forget their 
differences in the Netherlands, and to stand together to pre- 
serve the status quo in the East. The Russians, therefore, 
justly distrusted France, and though willing to temporize with 
her, dreaded any break with Great Britain, since Mr. Pitt had 
said plainly to Count Vorontzov, the Russian ambassador, that 
the English would never be offended at any conquests that 
Russia might make, but that they would never permit any 
aggrandizement on the part of France. Curiously enough, the 
British government seems for a time to have been so blinded 
by its dread of France that it stood ready to give Russia a free 
hand in the Levant, reserving India for England, thus dividing 
the oriental trade-world between the two powers. Prussia, 
however, was destined soon to point the way for England in 
another direction. 1 

1 Rambaud : Instructions, Russie, ii. pp. 376, 41 5, 430, 482. Barral-Mont- 
ferrat : Dix ans, etc., i. pp. 143 et seq., 284, 300, 304, 319, 325, 346. Masson : Dipt. 



106 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

With the accession of Frederick William II. to the throne of 
Prussia (1786) there was for a short time a lessening of hostility 
between Berlin and Vienna ; but within the year the old rivalry 
became as bitter as before; and Prussia began to turn to 
the Porte as an ally against Austria and Russia, and to Great 
Britain as an ally against France. The intricacies of European 
politics and the ambition of Hertzberg, the Prussian minister, 
were soon to involve first Prussia, and later Great Britain in 
the tangle of oriental diplomacy. The gist of Hertzberg's plan 
was that Prussia should sign a treaty of defensive alliance with 
the Ottoman Empire and should then propose that, in order to 
escape annihilation at the hands of Russia and Austria, the Porte 
should ask Prussian mediation and should cede Moldavia and 
Wallachia to the Emperor Joseph, and Bessarabia and Oczakov 
to the Empress Catherine. Turkey should then be guaranteed 
its integrity south of the Danube. Austria, under threat of 
rebellion in Hungary and Belgium, should return part of Galicia 
to Poland; Poland in turn ceding some territory to Prussia 
which would further round out the eastern border. This was 
to be accomplished by a union of Prussia, Sweden, Holland, 

des affaires Strangles, p. 49. De Testa : Recueil, ii. p. 76. Zinkeisen : op. cit. vi. 
pp. 552 et sea., 582 et seq., 616 et seq. Arneth : op. cit. pp. 274 et seq. Ranke : 
Serbien, p. 58, note 1. Bruckner: op. cit. pp. 346 et seq. De Ligne : Memoir es, i. 
pp. 41-102. Segur : Memoires ou souvenirs, iii. pp. 9 et seq. Sorel : V Europe et 
la Resolution, i. pp. 528, 532. Martens : Traitis, Angleterre, ix. p. 341. Voront- 
zov : Arkhiv, ix. pp. in, 136, 139, 168; xix. p. 353. Wolf: Oesterreich und 
Preussen, pp. 148 et seq., 210 et seq. Sbornik : xxvii. pp. 377 et seq., 393"395> 4^3» 
472. Auckland: Corr. i. pp. 213, 217, 220-222, 231, 232, 235, 245-249, 262, 263, 
273, 280, 281, 290-296, 299-302. Wassiltchikow : Les Razoumowski, ii. Pt. 4, 
PP- x 35» *3 6 (Morkov to A. Razumovski, July 28, 1787) : "La France negocie, 
interpose ses bons offices, tache d'effectuer un accommodement et de prevenir la 
rupture. Son credit a la Porte est baisse ; les insinuations prussiennes y pre- 
valent. . . . [Speaking of the Dutch complications and French weakness] 
Pour nous je crois, que c'est ce qui nous conviendrait mieux pour rarrangement 
definitif de toutes les affaires que nous avons du cote de l'Orient et de l'Asie. 
L'Angleterre parait tout a fait s'etre jetee dans les bras de la cour de Berlin." 
Briickner : Die Reise Katharines II. nach Sudrussland im Jahre 1787, in Russ. 
Rev. ii. pp. 1-33 ; 97-132. On Prussia and England in 1785, cf. Cornwallis : Corr. 
i. pp. 201 et seq. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION \0J 

Great Britain, and the Porte, who should threaten the imperial 
allies with a general war. Prussia was further to profit by a 
favorable commercial treaty with the Porte. This was not a 
new plan; Hertzberg had suggested at the time of the first 
partition of Poland that Austria should be given her share of 
the booty at the expense of the Turks. But on the whole the 
proposition was manifestly impracticable; Russia was bent 
on the complete overthrow of the Porte, and wished at the 
same time to keep the Danubian provinces free from Austrian 
control ; Austria was unwilling to cede Galicia, and would have 
looked with great disfavor on an increase of Prussian territory ; 
both Sweden and Great Britain were unprovided for; and 
above all, the Ottoman Empire would be unwilling to accept 
the Danube as a frontier unless forced by the necessities of 
defeat. Nevertheless the news of the plan alarmed Austria 
greatly since the Russian troops had proved themselves inca- 
pable, and the Austrian armies, being compelled to bear the 
brunt of the campaign, had been defeated by the Turks. The 
outlook, therefore, seemed dark to the Emperor, and he wrote 
in a despairing tone to his brother Leopold and to Kaunitz. 
The very success of the Turks, however, made them less trac- 
table and more unwilling to agree to the Prussian proposals ; 
in fact they outwitted Hertzberg by persuading his agent, 
Dietz, to negotiate a treaty of offensive alliance, — something 
to which the Prussian government was by no means willing to 

subscribe. 1 

• 

1 Wolf : op. cit. pp. in, 112, 131 et seq., 162 et seq., 223, 226, 232 et seq. Hertz- 
berg: Precis, in Zeits. fur Geschichtswissenschaft, i. pp. 21, 24: " Lorsque la 
guerre s'alluma en 1788 entre les deux cours imperiales et les Turcs, et que 
ceux-ci furent menaces d'etre expulses de l'Europe, ce qui auroit pu procurer a 
la maison d'Autriche, l'ancienne rivale de celle de Brandenbourg, un aggrandise- 
ment trop dangereux, je conseillois au roi, que la Prusse s'y oppose avec ses deux 
allies [England and Holland] et tache de maintenir l'equilibre dans l'orient et le 
nord, d'abord par une declaration vigoureuse et en case de besoin par une inter- 
vention encore plus efficace," p. 26; and Receuil des deductions, i. p. v; iii. 
pp. xiv, 8, 20, 44, 58, 63. Vivenot: i. Kaunitz und Leopold (Kaunitz to Mercy, 
Wien, Jan. 6, 1790), p. 479 : " Wir haben in zuverlassige Erfahrung gebracht, dass 



OF 

1 08 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

In the meantime the Russians had been troubled by the 
prospect of war with Sweden as well as by the manoeuvres of 

der Berliner Hof seit dem Ausbruch des niederlandischen Aufruhrs seinen bishe- 
rigen Plan ganz abgeandert hat und wirklich entschlossen ist, die kaiserlichen 
Hofe zukiinftiges Fruhjahr mit behilfe der Polen anzugreifen ; dass derselbe in 
dieser Hinsicht der Pforte einen neuen Offensiv-Allianz-Tractat antragen lasst, 
welcher von alien vorigen absurden Bedingnissen entledigt ist und keine andere 
Forderung enthalt, als dass die Pforte den Krieg fortsetze und keinen Frieden 
ausser einverstandlich mit Preussen und seinen Alliirten schliesse ; dass sich end- 
lich der preussische Hof nicht nur des dies falligen Beifalls der Seemachte ver- 
sichert halt, sondern auch ihrer Seits Verheissungen erhalten haben will, dass 
sie ihm durch thatige Massregeln freien Rucken verschaffen werden." Duncker : 
Friedrich Wilhelm II. und Graf Hertzberg, in Hist. Zeit. xxxvii. (1877) PP« I- 43« 
Zinkeisen : Gesck, des osman. Reiches,\i. p. 674 (Hertzberg to Dietz, Nov. 20, 
1787) : " Si les Turcs se trouvent pousses et si l'on en vient a une negotiation de 
paix, alors tachez de les porter a demander la mediation du Roi conjointement 
avec celle de France, qui leur convient mieux que celle de l'Empereur," p. 676. 
(Hertzberg to Dietz, Jan. 26and Feb. 9, 1788.) Hertzberg regarded his plan as 
" fonde sur la plus saine et la plus juste politique. . . ." " Mir scheint dass 
kein verniinftiger Mensch diesem Plane widerstehen konnte: Denn da er das 
einzige Mittel ist die Pforte zu retten, so denke ich dass jeder nur einigermassen 
aufgeklarte turkische Minister sich daf iir entscheiden miisste." Cf. pp. 677 et seq. 
Hausser: Deutsche Gesch. i. p. 224 (Hertzberg to Dietz, Nov. 24, 1787). Since 
Dutch affairs had been satisfactorily settled, u so mochte ich wohl, was in meinen 
Kraften liegt, thun, um den gegenwartigen Turkenkrieg zu einer Verherrlichung 
meines Ministeriums zu benutzen. . . . Frankreich wird fiir Sie wenig thun und 
kein anderer Hof wird sich ohne Hoffnung auf grosse Vortheile fiir Sie exponiren 
wollen : . . . Glauben Sie, man konnte die Pforte dazu bringen, dem Kaiser die 
Moldau und Wallachei und den Russen die Krim, Oczakow und Bessarabien 
abzutreten ; jedoch unter der und andere Machte, die ich beiziehen wiirde, dem 
osmanischen Reich seine dauernde Existenz jenseits der Donau in der Weise 
garantiren, dass die Donau und die Unna die ewige Grenze zwischen dem osma- 
nischen Reiche und der Christenheit bilden wiirden ? Ich sollte glauben es ware 
zugleich dahin zubringen, dass um diesen Preis Russland auf die Vassallenschaft 
Georgiens und alles dessen, was jenseits des Flussen Cuban liegt, verzichte, sich 
nicht mehr in die inneren Verhaltnisse der Turkei einmische und seine Handels- 
und Schifffahrts- privilegien auf Grenzen zurvickfuhre, die billig und mit der 
osmanischen Souveranitat vertr'aglich sind. Zugleich habe ich die Idee eines 
guten Aequivalents, welcrfts von Seiten der beiden kaiserlichen Hofe Preussen 
erhalten wiirde ; die Turkei wiirde dabei kein Opfer bringen, sie hatte Preussen 
nur einen recht giinstigen Handelsvertrag zu bewilligen und die freie Schifffahrt 
im Mittlemeere vor den Barbareskenstaaten zu schutzen." Ibid. i. p. 227, Dietz 
thought on March 8, 1788, that it was opportune " den vereinten Vergrosserungs- 
entwiirfen Oesterreichs und Russlands entgegenzutreten ; Preussen meinte er 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 109 

Hertzberg and by the prospect that Great Britain might become 
hostile. Catherine urged Count Simon Vorontzov, at London, 
to secure England's withdrawal from her Prussian alliance. 
This was in vain, for Pitt was more and more inclined to view 
eastern matters with a jealous eye. The treaty with Prussia 
had been signed on August 13, 1788, and Great Britain was 
now committed to a policy which must soon place her in oppo- 
sition to the two imperial courts. These two powers had 
renewed their treaty of 1781, and thus, in 1789, in the very 
month when the Etats Gmeraux met at Paris, Russia and 
Austria signed an agreement to continue the war in the East 
and to press their schemes for Turkish partition. In fact the 
two allies could not but regard the internal condition of France 

musse sich mit Schweden, Polen, und Grossbritannien zur Erhaltung der Turkei 
verbinden und die osterreichische-russische Allianz mit ausserste Energie bekamp- 
fen." Arneth : Joseph II. und Leopold von Toscana, ii. pp. 165, 178, 195. Beer: Joseph, 
Leopold und Kaunitz, pp. 305 et seq. (Joseph to Kaunitz, Aug. 26, 1788). Upon 
the receipt of " inter ceptes" revealing Hertzberg's plan and his instructions to Dietz 
the Emperor was much alarmed. He protested " que de resister a deux ennemis a 
la fois comme la Porte et le Roi de Prusse qui environnent toute la Monarchic 
est chose impossible, et d'autant plus impossible que la foiblesse et la nullite des 
moyens de la Russie sont evidens, et que de la France, ni d'aucune autre part je 
n'ai rien a attendre mais bien au contraire je suis sur de la plus mauvais volonte 
a mon egard. Couvrir et defendre seulement nos frontieres contre les Turcs, 
qui s'etendent depuis la mer Adriatique jusqu'au Dniester, et defendre la 
Boheme, la Moravie et une partie de la Galicie contre le Roi de Prusse en meme 
terns [sic] est de toute impossibilite. ... Si avec cela, le Roi de Prusse et l'An- 
gleterre viennent a s'en meler comme il est clairement exprime dans les intercep- 
tes . . . en nous obligeant a leur faire en meme terns la Guerre alors ... la 
Monarchie est perdue, parcequ'il faudroit diminuer le nombre de troupes qui se 
trouvent actuellement contre la Porte pour empecher seulement le Roi de Prusse 
de ne pas occuper toute la Boheme et la Moravie et marcher sur Vienne." 
Herrmann : Gesch. Russlands, vi. pp. 199-209 ; Phillipson : Gesch. des preuss. 
Staatswesens, i. pp. 177, 291 ; Sybel : Gesch. der Revolutionzeit, i. pp. 157 ; Sorel : 
op. cit. i. p. 524; Arneth : Joseph und Katharina, pp. 298 et seq. (J. to C. Aug. 30, 
1787); Martens: Traitis, Autriche, ii. p. 186; Beer: Ortentalische Politik, pp. 80- 
110. It is interesting to compare the oriental plans of the present expansion 
party in Berlin with those of Hertzberg. Cf. Vambery : Germany and Turkey, in 
the Independent, Aug. 17, 1899 1 Asia Minor, in Edinburgh Review, vol. 189, es- 
pecially p. 529 ; Deutschlands Anspriiche an das tiirkische Erbe, Munich, 1896. 
(Publ. by the All-Deutschen Verband.) Cf. also Moltke : Gesam. Schriften, ii. pp. 
279 et seq., 306, 307, 313 ; viii. pp. 239, 257-260. 



110 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

as useful to them. France " could be looked on as non-exist- 
ent " as far as Russia was concerned, wrote the Russian am- 
bassador in Paris. Austria was likewise convinced that, instead 
of an ally whose wishes might hamper, she had in France an 
enfeebled enemy, whose protests might be disregarded and 
whose acquiescence was not worth buying. 1 Prussia also wel- 
comed the fall of the Bourbons, since her plans for the East 
might now progress without fear of France; indeed it seemed 
possible at one time that the new French government, in its 
hostility to Marie Antoinette and the Austrian alliance, might 
join with Prussia to attack the Hapsburgs. Encouraged by 
these prospects, Hertzberg negotiated a treaty with Poland by 
which Austria was to be compelled to return part of Galicia to 
the Poles, who were in turn to cede Thorn and Dantzic to 
Prussia. But the death of the Emperor Joseph II. and the 
accession of his brother Leopold were the first steps to impede 
Hertzberg's plans ; Leopold proposed to separate the allies of 

1 Vorontzov : Arkhiv, ix. p. 163 ; xvi. pp. 255 et seq., 262 et seq. ; xxviii. pp. 79 
et seq. Martens : op cit. Angleterre, ix. pp. 338 et seq. Allemagne, iv. p. 137 ; 
Autriche, ii. pp. 189, 190. Ranke : Die deutschen Mdchte, pp. 330 et seq., 336, 536. 
Beer : Leopold LI., Franz LL, und Katharina, pp. 13, 44-45. Arneth : Joseph und 
Katharina, pp. 333-335- Revue de la Revolution, vii. Documents inedits, pp. 2, 3. 
Beer : Joseph, Leopold, und Kaunitz, p. 349. Sorel : op. cit. i. p. 454. Wertheimer : 
Marie Antoinette, in Revue historique, xxv. p. 331. Mercy-Argenteau wrote, 
Aug. 17, 1789: " [Cette monarchic (France)] craque de toutes parts; la nation 
manifeste une cruaute, une sauvagerie qu'on ne lui connaissait pas jusqu'ici. 
Les decrets de l'Assemblee temoignent un veritable affolement, d'une complete 
ignorance des choses du gouvernement ; ils produisent un despotisme et des 
injustices qui, par suite de Immigration, de Tentiere disparition du com- 
merce et des arts, doivent mener peu a peu la France au neant . . ." Beer : 
Orientalische Politik, pp. m, 121, 135. Wassiltchikow : op. cit. ii. pt. i. pp. 104, 
108-110, 120, 122 (Razumovski from Stockholm, Sept. 7 (18), 1788): "II en 
resulterait l'affaiblissement de 1'influence francaise, cette veritable vermine, si 
j'ose me servir de ce terme, puisqu'elle se glisse dans tous les rangs, et sans la 
destruction de laquelle nous ne verrons jamais ce royaume [Sweden] adopter 
une politique conforme aux liens qui devraient assurer la paix du Nord," p. 126, 
and Pt. 4, p. 150, note 3. Bruckner : Russia, England, and Prussia in 1789-91, in 
Ruski Vestnik, Oct. and Nov. 1887. (In Russian) and Schweden und Russland, 
1788, in Hist. Zeit., xxii. pp. 356-386. Sbornik, xv. p. 152 (Cath. to Paul, Aug. 25, 
1788). 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION III 

Prussia, and so worked on the British government by threaten- 
ing to cede Belgium to France, that Mr. Pitt decided Great 
Britain could not follow Hertzberg's lead much longer ; in fact 
the treaties Prussia had signed with Poland and Turkey were 
seriously objected to in Great Britain. As long as Austria 
would consent to a congress where the status quo ante should 
be the basis for peace negotiations with the Porte, England was 
satisfied. To this Leopold agreed. Thus at the congress at 
Reichenbach in 1790 Hertzberg was checkmated as far as his 
plans for Prussian expansion were concerned, and Leopold, 
who had been preparing for a war with Prussia, was enabled to 
hold his own with dignity. The English people were relieved, 
and upon hearing of the final treaty of peace between Austria 
and the Porte, signed at Sistova the year following, they felt 
themselves well rid of an unwelcome burden. 1 

1 Artois to King of Prussia, Turin, Feb. 14, 1790, in Hist. Zeit. (1895) P- 2 & l : 
** V. M. veut affaiblir la maison d'Autriche, c'est le voeu de mon cceur, . . . 
En secourant le Roi de France, V. M. etouffe dans l'instant jusqu'aux germes 
des horreures qui ravagent un si beau royaume ; et s'occupant avant tout d'un 
objet si pressant, elle s'acquiert des droit immortels a la reconnaissance et a 
l'alliance de mon frere ; elle porte a la maison d'Autriche le coup le plus mortel." 
Stael-Holstein : Corr. p. 153, Jan. 7, 1790. It is hard to judge what French 
policy will be, "mais si Ton pouvait juger les evenements futurs d'apres la 
disposition des esprits du moment, il ne serait point douteux que la nation ne 
rompit l'alliance avec la maison d'Autriche. Rien n'est plus marque que l'aver- 
sion des Francais contre cette alliance. Les Turcs, les Prussiens, et les Suedois 
sont les peuples avee lesquels on voudrait etre lie et pour lesquels on ne cesse de 
former des voeux." Neumann : Recueil, i. p. 454. Clapham : War of 1192, pp. 72, 
73. Smyth: Memoirs of Keith, ii. pp. 267 et seq. Kalinka: Der Polnische 
Reichstag, i. pp. 624 et seq. ; ii. chaps. 1, 2, 4. Stern: Das Leben Mirabeaus, ii. 
p. 256. Buckingham : Courts and Cabinets, ii. p. 96. Ranke : Die Deutschen 
Machte, pp. 407, 418, note, 548 et seq. Beer : Joseph II, Leopold II, und Kaunitz, 
P- 345- Sybel : op. cit. i. pp. 161 et seq. Sorel : op. cit. ii. pp. 22, 25, 34, 67 et seq. 
Phillipson : op. cit. i. p. 177. Vivenot : Gesch'tsquellen, i. Kaunitz und Leopold, 
PP- 3> 477 & seq., 484, 491. (Spielmann and Reuss to Kaunitz, Reichenbach, 
June 29, 1790) : " Es ist unnothig und wurde eben so zeitversplitternd als beinahe 
unmoglich sein, die wahre Hollenmarter zu beschreiben, welche une wahrend der 
bisherigen Unterhandlung die Grobheit, der Stolz, die Aufgeblasenheit, die 
Zudringlichkeit und die unglaubliche Irraisonnabilitat des Grafen Hertsberg 
ausstehen gemacht hat. Wolf : op. cit. pp. 182 et seq. Beer : Orientalische 



1 1 2 EAS TERN PROBLEMS 

There could now no longer be question of pressing the larger 
plans for a complete partition of the Ottoman territories in 
Europe; since the new Emperor Leopold by his acceptance of 
the Reichenbach decisions had returned to the passive attitude 
which Austria had so often taken. The truth is, Leopold 
realized more clearly than Joseph that a Russian Grand Duke 
ruling on the Bosphorus could never be handled as an Ottoman 
Sultan, and that however advantageous to Austria might be 
the gain of Bosnia and Servia, it could not be equal to that 
which would accrue to the Slav peoples by the extension of 
Russia's political influence to the iEgean and Mediterranean. 
In the words of Vergennes, " Une partition de FEmpire-otto- 
man n'est pas difficile, mais je ne vois pas la compensation 
pour Constantinople." This feeling, with a fear of Prussia's 
interference in Poland and the prospect of trouble with France, 
were strong motives to check Austria ; yet they did not prevent 
her from continuing to support her ally Russia in the fresh 
crisis which arose in 1790-91. This was caused by Russia's 
,1 refusal to accept Anglo-Prussian mediation to end the Turkish 

Vwar on the basis of the status quo ante bellnm. Russia had 
early made known her intention to hold part of her conquests 
and at least to retain Oczakov and the neighboring Black Sea 
coast as the fruits of her war with the Turks. The demands 
of .the Triple Alliance (Prussia, England, and Holland), that 
she should surrender these and accept the same conditions as 
had Austria, were peculiarly galling to Catherine; and her 
preparations for war, as well as her firm reply to the allies, 
showed that the integrity of Turkey could be maintained only 
at the cost of a European war. For a time Mr. Pitt seemed 
ready to meet even this eventuality; nor was this a sudden 
decision on his part. The English suspicions of a Franco- 
Russian agreement had had a strong effect in bringing about 
the change in British policy; and since 1788 the government 

Politik, pp. 135, 144. Cf. also, Creux : Pitt et Frideric-Guillaume IL, Paris, 
1886. 



( 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 113 

had interested itself in Sweden as well as Turkey. With a 
view to the Levant trade, Catherine's Mediterranean ventures of 
sftt 1789 had been closely watched; and Mr. Pitt finally took the 
stand that on the grounds both of the alliance with Prussia 
and of Great Britain's political and commercial interests the 
expansion of Russia at the expense of the Porte_ must be f 
checked. This position is of especial interest because later it 
became the traditional policy during the latter half of the nine- 
teenth century. There were indeed a few writers who then 
prophesied Russia's advance to the great sphere she fills to- 
day. Her endeavors to cultivate the good wishes of the Italian 
* states with the hope that she might increase her influence in 
I the Mediterranean, and her wish to extend her frontier toward 
I Constantinople were then said to be part of her general scheme 
to obtain an opening to southern waters and the Levant trade ; 
in Sweden it was thought she was preparing another Poland ; 
and upon the prospect of war with Great Britain, an overland 
invasion of India in order to strike at British power in the 
East was discussed. It was declared that the realization of » 

Catherine's plans involved a Russian Empire stretching from • 
the Baltic to the Pacific, and from the Arctic to the Medi- ~~T 
terranean. But these shrewd prophecies were not valued in * 

London and the Opposition in Parliament attacked Mr. Pitt's 
proposals to enforce the British demands on Russia. There 
was indeed a strong pro-Russian party, among whom were 
many city merchants engaged in the Baltic trade; the influence 
of these men and of leaders such as Fox and Burke, together 
with the lack of interest shown by the nation at large, revealed 
to the government that the country was not ready to fight for - 
the Turks. The advice of Lord Auckland that Oczakov was 
not worth a war, had weight with Mr. Pitt, who, convinced 
that Parliament would not support him, decided to moderate 
his demands, and finally to let the matter take its own course. .. 
This step was not as unwelcome to Britain's ally, Prussia, 
as might be supposed, for she was not so desirous for a war 



fi 



1 14 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

with Russia as she had been for one with Austria. There was 
far less to be gained. Nevertheless, she had stood ready to 
support Great Britain in the event of hostilities, for the protec- 
tion of the Porte. After Great Britain had thus receded before 
the threat of war and the protests of Parliament, it is scarcely 
surprising that Prussia should turn again to Russia to secure 
territory in Poland which all her combinations with Great 
Britain had failed to give her. But before sixty years should 
pass, the British public would change its views, and the pro- 
Russian speeches of Fox and Burke be recalled with a derision 
greater even than the approval which they had originally 
excited. These speeches were extreme even for the occasion ; 
and declarations from Mr. Burke that he then for the first time 
heard it maintained that the Turks had anything to do with 
the balance of power in Europe showed a disregard both for 
history and geography of which Mr. Pitt was quick to take 
advantage in the defence of his policy. 1 

1 Martens : TraitSs, Autriche, ii. p. 194. Angleterre, ix. pp. 345, 353. Auckland: 
Corr. i. p. 221 ; ii. pp. 381, 383. Browning : Leeds, pp. 150 et seq. Herrmann : 
Gesch. Russlands, vi. pp. 278-2S9, 552 et seq. Hansard : Pari. Hist. xxix. 39, 44, 
52-76, 170, 767, 816-838, 919, 929, 932, 940, 996. Morris: Diaries, ii. p. 266, 
Feb. 3, 1797. Elliot told Morris that " in the Russian business [of 1790-91] if 
Pitt had not been frightened he would have gone through. He says that in the 
1 beginning, viz., inciting the Turk to war, Pitt was the tool of Hertzberg, and 
j afterwards was prevailed on by Lord Auckland to commit the treachery of aban- 
doning the Turk. This, I have formerly heard, was the prime cause of coldness 
] on the part of Prussia, who has ever since thought herself justifiable in retaliating 
\ upon England." On the possibility of Russia's taking Corsica, cf. Revue de la 
^l?evol. vi. : Documents inedits, p. 185 ; and Malmesbury : Diaries, ii. p. 409. Eton : 
Survey of Turkey, pp. xi. 501. Masson : Memoires, iii. pp. 20 et seq. Cf. on 
general Russian schemes, Boulger : Central Asian Question, p. 40 ; Schuyler : 
Peter the Great, ii. p. 512; and Berkholtz : Das Testament Peters des Grossen, in 
Russische Revue, x. (1877) pp. 1-33. Geffroy : Gustave III., ii. pp. 65 et seq. Hertz- 
berg : Recueil, iii. pp. 50 et seq. Russell : Life of Fox, ii. p. 208. Stanhope : Pitt, 
ii. pp. 115 et seq. Vorontsov : Arkhiv, ix. p. 190 (S. to A. Vorontzov, March 29, 
1791); xvi. pp. z^etscq., 262 et seq., 2$$ (Russian attitude is here very clearly 
shown); xviii. p. 59 (Kotchubey to S. Vorontzov, Oct. 3, 1792. The legacy of 
hard feeling between Russia and England) ; xx. pp. 13 (Morkov to S. Vorontzov, 
Jan. 4, 1788. The relations of France, England, and Prussia to Russia), 15 
(Idem, March 31) : " La nouvelle que vous nous avez annoncee des mauvaises 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 15 

r v The victories of the Russian armies over the Turks had 
strengthened Catherine in her determination to permit no in- * 
terference with her plans by Great Britain. These successes 
had been desperately won, however, and the Ottoman Empire, 

\i which had begun the war in a much enfeebled condition, had 
made a stand surprising to Europe. The Porte was fighting 
for existence, and managed to emerge from the war with a 
comparatively slight loss of land. Austria secured old Orsova 
and the territory of the Unna (treaty of Sistova, 1791) ; and 
fRussia by the treaty of Jassy (1792) retained only Oczakov 

'H^nd the Black Sea coast between the Bug and the Dniestr. 
Guarantees were also stipulated for the favorable treatment 
by the Turks of the Danubian Principalities.^ Turkish affairs, 
however, could not monopolize the attention of Russia. The 
anarchy in France, if it spread in Europe, was bound to help 
the Turks, Catherine had written in 1790; her fear of liberal- 
ism was undoubtedly genuine, but she also dreaded any inter- 
ference in her own plans by complications in western Europe. 
Her views of the French Revolution were singularly acute, yet 
she was destined by her policy in the East to assist that cause 

dispositions des Anglais a notre egard, a cause ici Timpression la plus vive. On 
les regarde comme une boutade qu'a peine le caractere connu de cette nation 
peut excuser." 19 {Idem, June 6,7791, the Russian answer to Pitt); xxviii. 
pp. 79 et seq. (Cath. to S. Vorontzov, Dec. 9, 1788) ; xxxiv. pp. 466 et seq. 
(The work of S. Vorontzov in 1791 to prevent English interference in behalf of 
the Turks.) Lecky : op. cit. v. pp. 273 et seq. It is asserted in Kalinka : Austria's 
policy in the Affairs of the Polish Constitution of May 3 (Polish), p. 15, that Cathe- 
rine's agents offered to pay Fox's debts in London. Kalinka : Der Polnische 
Reichstag, ii. pp. 688 et seq. Beer : Orientalische Politik, p. 146, 147. Leopold held 
strongly that the Russian alliance was a necessity to Austria, but the internal 
condition of Austria would not have let him continue in an aggressive eastern 
policy had he so wished. Sbornik : xxiii. pp. 431, 434, 437, 485, 487 ; xlii. p. 162. 
Bruckner: Katharina II, pp. 388 et seq. Castera: op. cit. iii. pp. 345 et seq. 
Wassiltchikow : op. cit. ii. Pt. 1, pp. 58, 59, 104, 125, 137 ; Pt. 4, pp. 146 (Morkov 
to A. Razumovski, April 4, 1788). BrUckner: Russlands Politik im Mittlemeer 
1788 und 1789, in Hist. Zeit. xxvii. (1872) pp. 85-115. Cornwallis : Corr. i. pp.; 
360, 361 (Grant to Cornwallis, April 6, 1788), England still hostile to Russia because 
of Armed Neutrality. Creux : Pitt et Fred eric -Guillaume II, pp. 102 et seq. 



1 1 6 EAS TERN PROBLEMS 

in the West, which she so thoroughly detested. She wrote in 
November, 1790, that France had twelve hundred legislators 
whom no one obeyed save the King, and added later that the 
revolutionists who aimed to bring back the Gaul of Csesar 
would in turn be laid low by Caesar. " Caesar will surely 
appear," she declared ; and " if the French Revolution takes 
in Europe, another Jengis or Tamerlane will come to bring it 
to its senses ; such will be the fate " of Europe. Only " a 
hundred thousand men and martial law " to re-establish the 
" power of the King " would save France " from utter ruin," 
she wrote in 1792. To her mind these men should be supplied 
by Prussia and Austria; she wrote later in 1791 : "Je me 
casse la tete, um den Berliner und Wiener Hof in die fran- 
zosischen Angelegenheiten hineinzubringen ; " and on March 
7, 1792, to Osterman, "I wish to have them busy in order to 
have a free hand myself." This freedom she intended to use 
in Poland. She wrote to Grimm that she would fight the 
Jacobins of Paris in Warsaw, and protested her devotion to 
the cause of the allies. Yet, as Morkov wrote (May 14, 1792) 
to Simon Vorontzov, " the interest which we have declared in 
French matters will no longer seem exaggerated to you, when 
you know that we have thought it necessary to turn all the 
attention of the neighboring powers to France to leave us 
elbow room in Poland." As Catherine wrote to Rumiantzov, 
" My post is taken and my r61e assigned. I charge myself to 
watch over the Turks, the Poles, and the Swedes." In ad- 
dition to the desire she had to see Prussia and Austria occu- 
pied in the West, Catherine was ready to see France humiliated, 
but not dismembered. She still hoped to fill the r61e of medi- 
ator and to end her reign by settling the affairs of Europe. 1 

1 Rambaud: Hist, of Russia, ii. pp. 116, 117. Annual Register, 1786, pp. 151 
et sea. Sbornik, xxiii. pp. 503 (Cath. to Grimm, Jan. 13, 1791), 520 (April 30), 555 
(Sept. 1), 567 (May 9, 1792) : " Apparemment vous ignorez que la jacobiniere de 
Varsovie est en correspondance reguliere avec celle de Paris . . . Enfin, ces Ja- 
cobins de Pologne cherchent a repandre partout la confusion des langues, car tous 
ces arrangements polonais vont avec leur lois sur toute matiere comme une selle 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION WJ 

The situation in Poland during the years between 1788 and 
1 79 1 was in many ways a peculiar one. Earnest efforts to 

a une vache, selon le proverbe russe. Et vous voulez que je plante la mes inte- 
rets et ceux de mon allie la republique et mes amis republicans, pour ne m'occu- 
per que de la jacobiniere de Paris? Non, souffre-douleur, je la battrai et 
combattrai en Pologne, mais pour cela je ne ni en occuperai pas moins des affaires 
de France, et j'aiderai a battre le ramas des sans-culotte. ..." xlii. pp. 117 (Cath. 
to A. Mordvinov, Oct. 4, 1790), 126 (to Prince de Ligne, Nov. 16); 197 (to 
Schonberg); 229 (to de Meilhan, July 8, 1792). Forneron: Les Emigrees, i. 
p. 292. Khrapovitzkij : Diary, Dec. 14, 1791 : March 7, 1792. Quoted in Bruck- 
ner : op. cit. p. 413. Lariviere : Catherine II. etla Revolution, p. 106. Beer -.Joseph 
II., Leopold II, und Katharina, pp. 172-175. Sybel : Franz. Revol. i. p. 478. 
Vivenot: Quellen, ii. Cobenzl und Franz, p. 105; (Kaunitz to L. Cobenzl, June 
21, 1792) : " Alle Umstande geben klar zu erkennen dass der russische Hof un- 
serem und dem Berliner Hof so vielen Eifer in den franzosischen Anglegenheiten 
nur darum bezeugt hat um beide darinnen ernstlich zu verwickeln und sich in 
Polen freie Hande zu beschaffen. Ebenso klar est es, dass derselbe mit der 
angetragenen eingeschrankten Herstellung Frankreichs nicht zufrieden ist, son- 
dern eine so vollkommene wiinschte, dass der franzosische Hof mit der Zeit 
wieder zu einem bedeutenden Einfluss in dem europaische Systeme gelange." 
Pallain : Talleyrand H Londres, p. xiv, de Noailles, French ambassador at Vienna 
reported on Feb. 13, 1792 : " L'Imperatrice de Russie cherche toujours a echauf- 
fer la Roi de Prusse pour les emigrees, mais je crois fermement que le zele de 
cette princesse pour leur cause n'est qu'un voile pour couvrir et pour servir de 
plus grandes vues. Elle brule d'engager l'Empereur et le Roi de Prusse dans 
une guerre contre nous, parce qu'alors elle serait maitresse d'agir en Pologne 
comme elle le voudrait et d'y reprendre son ancienne influence. Elle craint, si la 
Pologne devenait puissante, de redevenir elle-meme une puissance asiatique. En 
effet, n'ayant plus de chemins ouverts pour le passage de ses troupes, elle per- 
drait alors son influence en Empire ; . . . " Rambaud : Instructions, Russie, ii. 
pp. 533 et sea. Genet to Dumouriez, St. Petersburg, July 1, 1792, tells of Cath- 
erine's plans on Poland ; her intention to check partition of France, to prevent 
Prussia or Austria from gettng too much. She is indifferent to France. " Ne 
croyez pas malgre cela, que la cour nous veuille du bien. Ne croyez pas non plus 
qu'elle souhaite tout le succes possible au projet des princes. [Comtes de Pro- 
vence et d'Artois] ; vous seriez dans Terreur. Elle ne veut point que la France soit 
demembre ; mais, comme elle se rapelle que la France a ete longtemps sa rivale, 
elle n'a nulle envie de la voir se relever par sa Constitution on par la despotisme. 
Ce qui excite son ambition, ce qui flatte son amour-propre, c'est de se venger du 
roi de Prusse en le librant de toute maniere au mepris public ; c'est de s'opposer 
a l'aggrandissement de l'Autriche et de finir glorieusement son regne en pacifiant 
l'Europe." Vorontzov: Arkhiv, xx. p. 27 (Morkov to S. Vorontzov, May 14, 
1792). Wassiltchikow : Les Razoumowski, ii. Pt. 1, pp. 134, 137 ; Pt. 2, pp. 153 
(Morkov to Razumovski, Russian representative at Vienna, Aug. 15, 1791), 158 



Il8 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

promote a Polish renascence after 1772 had been in part suc- 
cessful ; and the Diet which met in 1788 continued its labors 
till it produced the Constitution of May 3, 179 1. This was 
designed to strengthen the power of the Crown, to make it 
hereditary, and to do away with the liberum veto, the " legal 
anarchy " which had made Poland a prey to her neighbors. 
The Diet became a Confederation ; the army was raised to 
60,000 ; and the house of Saxony was declared the heirs of 
Poniatovski. Russia was at war with Sweden and Turkey, 
and at odds with England and Prussia ; Prussia and Austria 
were alarmed by the crisis in France : might not the Poles be 
permitted to accomplish a revolution in favor of royalty in the 
East while the French in the West wrought one in favor of 
democracy? Anything which would tend to strengthen the 
central power, to make either nation once more a force in 
Europe, was distasteful to Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Cath- 
erine, who had guaranteed the old and inadequate Constitution 
in Poland was much opposed to the new one, which had been 
drafted without her permission, and which threatened to make 
Poland a nation, thus closing to Russia her road to central 
Europe. As soon as the Turkish war was ended Catherine 
welcomed the Polish party who were also against the new 
order of things, and at their request ordered her troops to 
invade Polish territory to assist these reactionaries, who wished 
for a feeble republic rather than a strong hereditary monarchy, 
and who had organized themselves into a Confederation at 

{Ibid., Feb. 17, 1792) : " L'objet de l'expedition presente porte sur les affaires de 
Pologne ; celles-ci sont d'un interet bien superieur pour nous aux affaires fran- 
caises;" 166 (Dec. 8). Herrmann: Gesch. Russ. Erganzungs-Band, pp. 15, 21, 
26, 32, 225 el seq. Vivenot : Kaunitz und Leopold, p. 358 (Kaunitz to Reuss, 
Aug. 25, 1792); Polish affairs. The plans of Russia : " . . . macht es nicht die 
Vermuthung wahrscheinlich, dass derselbe [Russia] nur wartete, bis sein Friede 
mit der Pforte geschlossen sei ? — bis Oesterreich und Preussen mit den fran- 
zosischen Handeln beschaftigt w'aren, um alles in Polen Geschehen auf die eine 
die andere Art wieder iiber den Haufen zu werfen ? " Beer : Leopold, Franz, und 
Katharina, p. 146. (Leopold to Katharina, June 18, 1791 ; promising to abide by 
his alliance with her.) Eton : Survey of Turkey, p. 193. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 119 

Targovicza. At the same time negotiations at Berlin and 
Vienna dealt with Polish matters to a degree which was soon 
to show that of the three questions before Europe at this time 
— the French, the Polish, and the Turkish ■ — that of Poland was 
at least for the moment the most interesting to the three con- 
tinental powers in the north and east ; each, however, requires 
attention. Under the Emperor Leopold, Austria had at first 
showed herself unwilling to interfere in France ; he had said 
in 1790 that no sovereign had a right to ask another nation to 
give account of her own constitution : were it a good one, so 
much the better for her ; were it a poor one, her neighbors 
would profit by it. In fact a study of the historical relations 
of France and Austria showed clearly to the mind of Kaunitz 
that nothing could be better for Austria than internal compli- 
cations and disorders in France. The spread of revolutionary 
opinion throughout Europe was, of course, to be checked, and 
the fear of such principles, as well as the danger to the royal 
house in France, did much to bring about a change in policy at 
Vienna. It was thought that unless Prussia and Austria 
should combine against France, it might be possible for France 
and Prussia to combine with the Porte against Austria. 
Furthermore the interests of Leopold as Emperor were con- 
cerned in the attitude of France toward the States of Germany, 
and, as a Hapsburg ruler, in the influence of France in Bel- 
gium. The old struggle for the Rhine border and the Low 
Countries was to be renewed. With this in view a defensive 
and offensive alliance was negotiated between Austria and 
Prussia. The strength of action of these powers against France 
was counterbalanced to a certain degree by the neutrality of 
Great Britain ; it was rightly supposed, however, that she could 
not but watch with relief the collapse of Bourbon power. At 
the same time it was just as well from Austria's point of view, 
bound as she was by a treaty with Russia, that Prussia and 
Great Britain should be separated, and that any possibility of 
such a situation as had confronted the two imperial courts in 



120 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

1790 should be obviated. Another restraining thought was 
that if France should be utterly crushed there would remain 
no maritime power to hold Great Britain in check. Now in 
addition to these perplexities came the crisis in Polish affairs. 1 
The'death of the Emperor Leopold on March 1, 1792, and 
the declaration of war by France against Austria on April 20 
cleared away the last obstacles to an aggressive Russian policy 
in Poland. On May 18, Catherine published her protest 
against the new Polish Constitution, and soon after Suvorov 
invaded Polish territory with a force of 100,000 men. While 
the Poles were being defeated by the Russians, negotiations 
were going on at Vienna for the renewal of the old alliance 
between the two imperial courts. The new Emperor Francis 
II., a pupil of his uncle, Joseph, agreed to this arrangement 
by a treaty of defensive alliance on July 3. On July 27, a sim- 
ilar one was signed at Berlin between Russia and Prussia. 
Austria was bent on profiting by the war with France and 
particularly on the acquisition of Alsace and Lorraine, and the 
exchange of the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria; and Philip 
Cobenzl even told Razumovski, the Russian ambassador at 
Vienna, that, in order to secure Bavaria, Austria would consent 

1 Kalinka : Der Polnische Reichstag, ii. books 5 and 6. Rambaud : Hist, of 
Russia, ii. pp. 1 17 etseq. Sbornik : xiii. pp. 280, 285, 288, 290 ; xiv. pp. 256, 263, 267 ; 
xxiii. pp. 72, 519, 534; xxvii. p. 353 ; xlii. pp. 126, and especially 157 (Catherine's 
attack on the Constitution of May 3). Bruckner: Katharina, pp. 408 et seq. 
Wassiltchikow, Les Razoumowski, ii. Pt. 1, pp. 137, 138. Augeard : Mimoires, 
p. 240. Interview with Leopold at Frankfort in 1790. Sorel : V Europe et la 
Revolution, i. p. 258. Sybel : Franzbsische Revolution, i. p. 281. Beer: Joseph II, 
Leopold II, und Kaunitz, pp. 410, 420 (Kaunitz called the Austro-Prussian treaty 
the second volume of the treaty of Versailles (1756)). Vivenot : op. cit. i. pp. 7, 
187-192 (Kaunitz to L. Cobenzl, July 8, 1791); 203 (July 23); 271 etseq. (Nov. 
12). Zinkeisen : op. cit. vi. p. 814. Lenz : Preussische Jahrbiicher, Oct.-Nov. 1894, 
and p. 294. Arneth : Marie Antoinette, Joseph II, und Leopold II, pp. 130 (Marie 
Antoinette to Mercy, June 12, 1790); 148-150 (Mercy to the Queen, March 7, 
*79 l )> 152—156, 163 (Ibid., March 29, April 5, April 21, May 11, 1791 ; and the 
Queen to Mercy, April 20), 181 (Leopold to the Queen, July 2). The Emperor 
here promises troops and money ; 186 (Mercy to the Queen, July 28). Herr- 
mann : op. cit. vi. p. 390. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 121 

to a partition of Poland which would give Prussia what she 
wanted there. However, until the war with France had fairly 
begun, Austria had trusted her new ally, Prussia, and had 
even suggested to her that each power should have a force 
on the Polish frontier to check Russian aggression there. 
But soon the jealousy between Berlin and Vienna broke out 
again; the allies were unsuccessful, and Austria began to 
vacillate as of old. Cobenzl saw that Russia was trying to use 
the mutual rivalry of the two powers to her own advantage. 
From the Russian side the situation was also critical. The 
old and feeble Polish Constitution had been restored, but the 
results were still uncertain. Morkov, writing to Vorontzov in 
London on Nov. 8, described the situation well : " We had 
scarcely entered on these questions, when our old ally 
[Austria] and our new ally [Prussia], incited by us to embark 
in this fine French business, came to us, the one with her old 
scheme of the Bavarian exchange, and the other with a new 
plan for the partition of this republic [Poland] which we have 
pretended to restore. All these proposals were made to us 
when it was possible to promise ourselves all sorts of victories 
over France. The reverses which have taken place have 
neither chilled the ardor of Prussia, nor lessened her appetite ; 
on the contrary, they have increased it. On our side, we are 
divided between the desire for the finest acquisition that the 
Empire has ever made or ever can make, the inconvenience of 
the expansion of a dangerous neighbor [Prussia] already too 
formidable, the fear of (public) opinion, and conscientious 
scruples. Opinion is divided and nothing is as yet decided." 
In the mean time Austria was doing all in her power to dis- 
cover what secret negotiations were going on between Berlin 
and St. Petersburg. In November, Spielmann had written to 
Philip Cobenzl that every one expected Prussia would soon 
leave Austria in the lurch. In reality the matter of the Polish 
partition was decided. In October, Goltz, the Prussian am- 
bassador at St. Petersburg, had written most encouragingly to 



122 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

his King, and finally on January 12 (23), 1793, the treaty was 
signed. Russia gained Volhynia, Podolia, and a part of Lithu- 
ania ; Prussia gained Dantzic, Thorn, the territory of Posen, 
and a narrow strip of land near the Silesian frontier. Austria 
gained nothing; as Morkov said, she was " mired in her affairs 
with France." When Cobenzl was informed by Razumovski 
of the actual facts he seized a map and on understanding the 
acquisitions made by Prussia and Russia, " he could do noth- 
ing in his distress and surprise but stammer out incoherent 
phrases. ' The entire political system of Europe is over- 
thrown,' he said. ■ The French revolution is nothing but 
child's play compared with the enormous importance of this 
partition.' " l 

1 Arneth : Marie Antoinette, Joseph II, und Leopold II, pp. 224 (Mercy to the 
Queen, Nov. 21, 1791); 249-52 (Ibid. Feb. 14, 1792); 262 (April 16), 264 (the 
Queen to Mercy, April 30). Neumann : Recueil, i. p. 470. Ranke : Ursprung,etc. 
pp. 165 et sea., 276 et sea. Herrmann : Forschungen, iv. p. 429. Schlitter : Briefe 
Marie Christinas an Leopold, in Arch, fur Oester. Gesch. vol. 48, p. 255 (Leopold 
to Marie Christine, Feb. 18, 1792). Clapham: War of 1792, pp. 214-217, 230, 
238. Chuquet : Premiere invasion prussienne, p. 145. Massenbach : Memoires, 
i. p. 32. Vivenot : op. cit. i. pp. 370, 406 ; ii. Cobenzl und Franz, pp. 55 (Reuss to 
Spielmann, Berlin, May 22, 1792). " Bei dem so gliicklichen, guten und so vertrau- 
lichen Einverstandniss zwischen unsern beiden Hofe scheine ihm auf keine Art 
zu besorgen zu sein, dass weder Russland zu viel alleinige Gewalt uber Polen 
sich anmassen konne, noch einseitige Eroberungen werde machen konnen. Aus 
mancherlei Beobachtungen werde es wahrscheinlich, dass Russland grosse Lust 
habe, sich die Ukraine zuzueigen, und endlich mit diese versteckt liegenden 
Absicht wohl hervorriicken werde. Sollte sich das verificiren, so konne vielleicht 
durch ein solches Ereigniss das allerseitige Dedommagement wegen der Unkos- 
ten fur den franzosischen Krieg gefunden werden, in dem Preussen sich ebenfalls 
in Polen zu arrondiren suchte, und wir uns am Rhein entschadigten. Diesen Plan 
aber mussten wir freilich ganz in Geheim fiir uns behalten und bios unter uns 
einverstandlich und vertraulich erwagen und festsetzen." 120-121 (P. to L. 
Cobenzl, Wien, July 2, 1792), 129-130 (Ibid. July 16) : " . . . Die bisherige 
Spannung Oesterreichs und Preussens hat dem russischen Hof den unschatz- 
baren Vortheil verschafft, dass beide um seine Freundschaft in die Wette buhlten, 
derselbe immer in Ermanglung des einen auf den andern zahlen konnte und 
dadurch alle Umstande und Gelegenheiten zu dem Ende beniitze, um seine eige- 
nen Vergrosserungplane durch Hilfe eines aus ihnen, meistens einseitig, auszu- 
fahren. Einen ahnlichen Vortheil, obschon in einem weit minderen Grade, fand 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 23 

The partition had not been accomplished save at the expense 
of the coalition and the gain of France. Troops sadly needed 
at the front had been diverted to Poland by the Prussians ; 
and the Austrians, fairly caught at their own game, turned on 
their allies charging them with bad faith and ending whatever 
pretence of good feeling existed between the two states. Many 
Russians, among whom was Count Simon Vorontzov, the 
Russian ambassador in London, regretted the partition. He 
said that Russia attacked Poland because of the connection 
between the Republic and the Porte; and that the partition 
was very irritating to Englishmen, who might not have 
objected to the allies reimbursing themselves for the cost of 
the war at French expense; but who certainly looked on 
Polish complications as likely to divert attention from mat- 
ters at Paris. In fact, as Lord Auckland expressed it, one 
consolation to England was that " whatever the Emperor 
[Francis II.] may be seeking to acquire must be more or less 
at the expense of the strength and possessions of France." 
This opinion was soon found to be mistaken, though the 
Bavarian exchange was still busily argued between the various 
courts. Austria had set about retrieving her mistakes at the 
beginning of the war, and was pressing the Russians, anx- 
iously hoping to oust the Prussians from their newly won 
point of vantage. She had previously sounded England by a 

Russland bei mehreren Gelegenheiten in der Rivalitat der Kronen England und 
Frankreich. Letztere hat durch den Untergang der franzosischen Grosse sein Ende 
erreicht, und Russland fangt schon an zu fiihlen, dass es fur seine eigene Vergros- 
serung von England vielmehr Hindernisse als Unterstutzung zu erwarten haben 
wird. Den empfindlichsten Stoss aber wiirde der Petersburger Hof erfahren, 
wenn die Freundschaft zwischen uns und Preussen wirklich Stich hielte, wie sie 
nach den geanderten Weltumstanden in der That sich halten konnte." 338 
(Spielmann to L. Cobenzl, Nov. 6). Vorontzov : Archiv, xx. pp. 28-29 (Morkov to 
S. Vorontzov, May 14, 1792), 31-32 (Nov. 8), 34-36 (Jan. 17, 1793). Herrmann: 
Gesch. Russ. Erganzungs-Bande, pp. 319^ seq., 335 et seq. Wassiltchikow : Les 
Razoumowski, ii. Pt. 1, pp. 139-144 ( Razumovski's despatches to Ostermann, July, 
1792— Jan. 1793); Pt- 4» PP- J 66 (Morkov to Razumovski, Dec. 8, 1792); and 
especially 167-170. (Ibid. Feb. 25, 1793.) Cf. a * so PP- 78-79 (Dietrichstein to 
Razumovski, London, April 6, 1802). 



124 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

proposal to unite with her in preventing the aggrandizement 
of Russia and Prussia in Poland on condition that Austria give 
up the plan of exchanging Bavaria for the Netherlands. Lord 
Grenville had refused to commit himself, but had suggested 
that since Austria was so alarmed by the condition of affairs 
in eastern Europe, she should ally herself with the Porte, where 
Great Britain was profiting by the disorder in the West to 
usurp the place formerly held by France in the councils of 
the Turks. Stadion, the Austrian minister, had replied that it 
was impossible for Austria to break so completely with Russia. 
Thugut, the new leader at Vienna, continued to press Russia 
for some compensation and delayed the ratification of the 
second partition. The attempts of the Poles to withstand the 
mutilation of their country were in vain, and Austria soon 
saw that she must also accede to the business were she to gain 
the good-will of Russia. Thugut by skilful diplomacy finally 
succeeded in persuading Razumovski himself to name Italy as 
a region where it might be possible for Austria to find idemni- 
fication for the aggrandizement of Prussia. This indeed was a 
favorite scheme of Thugut's. His hopes in that direction were 
to bear fruit later. In the mean time the quibblings over 
Poland, and the disorder in that country had done their work 
in creating further discord between the members of the 
coalition. Prussia made demands for further Polish territory 
as the price of her services in the war. The disturbances in 
Poland soon became so serious as to lead both Prussia and 
Austria to be sparing of the troops sent against France. The 
King of Prussia in fact openly rejoiced at news of an Austrian 
defeat, and before the year 1794 had ended it was rumored 
that he might even make a separate peace with the French, 
leaving the Austrians to continue the war. Austria fretted 
over the possibility of a final division of Poland in which 
she again would be ignored, and was especially fearful 
lest her plans of aggrandizement in Italy should become 
known. The "hatred felt toward the Prussians refused to be 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 12$ 

modified by Russia's mediation, and, rather than reach an 
agreement with the court of Berlin, even Austria stood ready 
to sign a peace with France. The endeavors of the English to 
end this unfortunate rivalry were also useless. In truth, the 
English ministers suspected that Russia might be planning 
another war against Turkey, and wished to renew their defen- 
sive alliance with Prussia in order to forestall any such crisis in 
the East. Furthermore, it was imperative for England's in- 
terests that the war against France should be kept up by the 
allies in order that her plans for ruining French commerce 
and gaining French colonies might be pressed with energy and 
success. It is true that a treaty between Great Britain and 
Russia had been negotiated by which the coalition was 
strengthened ; but Russia in turn now set about the busi- 
ness of separating Prussia and Great Britain. There can be 
no question that the aggrandizement of Prussia was alarming 
to Catherine, and that, though she had assisted it, the step 
was taken largely of necessity ; and she now wished to have 
Great Britain on her side rather than on Prussia's. 1 

1 Herrmann : op. cit. pp. 340, 341 (Eden to Grenville, Jan. 16, March 2, 6, 
13, 1793), 365 (King of Prussia to Goltz, Jan. 25, 1793), 383 (English represent- 
ative in Berlin to Grenville, May 21, 1792), 396 (Volkersahms writes, Aug. 16, 
1793, fr° m St. Petersburg), 397 (Goltz to King of Prussia, Sept. 27, 1793). Vo- 
rontzov : Arkhiv, ix. pp. 286 (S. to A. Vorontzov, Jan. 10 (21), 1793). England, 
strongly opposed to Polish partition, agrees to indemnification of the powers for 
the French war, but insists that it should be at the expense of France and not of 
Poland, 302 (May, 1793). Vorontzov thinks Polish partition is wrong, and says 
that Russia attacks Poland because of her connection with Turkey; xviii. p. 75 
(Kotchubey to S. V., Vienna, Jan. 18, 1794). The policy of Russia is to abide 
by the alliance with Austria, to manage Prussia, to seek a close concert with 
Great Britain, and to keep peace with Turkey, she being too poor now to try to 
do anything else there. Instructions are to hold the Turks to their treaties. 
" Mais nous y tenons-nous ? " xiv. pp. 253, 254 (Morkov to S. V., April 23, 1793), 
xx. pp. 38 (Morkov to S. V, April 12). " Elle [Catherine] s'accorde avec tout 
le monde dans le projet de reduire la puissance de France, mais elle voudrait 
qu'on n'y employat qu'un seul moyen, auquel elle donne la plus grande latitude, 
et non pas celle de l'abandonner ensuite a une inertie de gouvernement qui 
la rendit tout-a-fait nulle dans les affaires generates de TEurope. Or, comme 
elle soupconne, et non pas sans raison, et l'Angleterre et TAutriche de viser 



126 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Events in Poland, culminating in a revolutionary outbreak 
on April 17, 1794, under the leadership of Kosciuszko, forced 

a ce second but, elle voudrait le parer, s'il est possible," 42 et seq. (April 18). 
An important letter on the relations of Prussia and Austria to Russia, 46-54 
(July 27). Ditto, xxiv. pp. 263, 264 (Rostoptchin to S. V., March 9 (20), 1794). 
"II parait que les affaires de France ont deja ennuye lTmperatrice ; car 
on ne parle plus des evenements de ce pays et on ne s'en occupe que par 
bien seance." Cornwallis : Corr. ii. p. 232. Windham reported to Pitt, Sept. 4, 
1794, concerning "the dreadful duplicity of the Austrians, and the unfeeling 
and unprincipled indifference with which they sacrifice the greatest public in- 
terests to their private emoluments and animosities." Cf. pp. 244, 255. Lede- 
bur : Mittheilungen, i. p. 155. Denkschrift betreffend die Vergrosserungs-Projecte 
des Wiener Hofes, etc. Lucchesini scripsit, March, 1793. Zeissberg: Quellen 
zur Gesch. Oesterreichs, :. pp. 65 (Lucchesini to Reuss,*May 15, 1793), 72 (Stadion 
to Starhemberg, London, May 21), 85-95 (L. Cobenzl to Thugut, St. Petersburg, 
May 31), 102, 134 {Ibid. July 5) ; ii. pp. 65, 154, 216 etseq., 355, 429 (Discussions 
in 1794 over Polish partition, giving Austrian policy) ; iii. p. 13 (Thugut to L. 
Cobenzl, Nov. 4, 1794). Prussia is negotiating a separate treaty with France. 
The infamy of this. Tell Russia of it and try to gain advantage in this matter 
for Austria. Malmesbury : Diaries, iii. p. 34. Dec. 28, 1793. King of Prussia 
"told me of bad news from Wurmser's army, — that he had lost two battalions 
and twenty-one pieces of cannon. He seemed rather pleased with this bad news, 
but admitted it would do harm by raising the spirits of the Jacobins." p. 73. 
Malmesbury to Grenville, Berlin, March 1, 1794: " The most difficult and hope- 
less part of the important measure now under negotiation is to keep the two 
courts of Berlin and Vienna on anything like even terms : extreme suspicion and 
envy pervade them both; and their mutual prejudices are so strong that it is 
impossible to believe them when speaking of each other." Auckland : Corr. ii. p. 
432 ; iii. pp. 35, 36, 40, 50, 53, 55, 57. Aulard : Diplomatic de la Com. de Salut 
Public, in Revol. franc, xviii. p. 343. Vivenot : Vertrauliche Brief e Thuguts, i. 
p. 35 (Thugut to Colloredo, Aug. 26, 1793). ..." Nos allies prussiens sont vrai- 
ment insupportables dans leur intarissable chicane et surtout dans leur fureur 
actuelle contre Wurmser, de ce qu'il a ose chasser l'ennemi de Jockrin. Heu- 
reusement il a reussi ; il faut s'armer de patience, car nous devrons boire jus- 
qu'a la lie le chalice amer de notre monstrueuse alliance avec eux . . ." pp. 85, 87, 
SS, 107, 116, 117, 237. The plans for Poland and Italy are here fully discussed. 
Cf. particularly Vivenot : Thugut und sein politisches System, in Arch.filr oestcrr. 
Gesch. xlii. pp. 363-493; xliii. pp. 103-197. Wassiltchikow : Les Razoumowski, ii. 
Pt. 1, pp. 152-163, 167, 170 (the account in the text above is largely based on 
these despatches): Pt. 2, pp. 14 (Rosenkrantz to Razumovski, March 15 (26), 
1793), 177-180 (Morkov to Razumovski, June 18, 1794), 214 (S. Vorontzov to 
Razumovski, Aug. 14 (25), 1794). "Mais il n'est pas de l'interet de la Prusse 
de finir ces affaires ; elle entretient et recrute 40,000 hommes aux depens des 
Polonais : c'est un pretexte de ne pas donner des troupes contre la France et par 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 27 

the interested powers to take action. The urgency of Prussia 
for still another share of Poland was redoubled ; the Russian 
troops captured Parga and entered Warsaw ; and the Austrians, 
V again panic-stricken lest Prussia should once more outwit them, 
threatened to withdraw their troops from the Netherlands to 
Poland in order to prevent Prussia from profiting there. The 
news of the capture of Cracow by the Prussians still further 
disturbed them. Defeat at the hands of the French had 
driven the Emperor and Thugut to look for the costs of the 
war in the East and not in the West ; and Austrian troops 
were ordered to cross the Polish frontier. This step was very 
irritating to the Russians, who did not fail to show it. The 
intentions of Austria remained hid ; Thugut tried to draw 
Russia into active operations against France, postponing action 
in Poland till it might be possible to oust Prussia from the 
present favorable position ; and by his demands for the with- 
drawal of Prussian troops from Polish territory brought on 
himself a storm of anger both from Berlin and St. Petersburg. 
At the same time the Austrian and Russian troops in Poland 
were on the point of actual collision. On Sept. 16, 1794, the 
King of Prussia added fuel to the flame by announcing that he 
must recall his troops from the Rhine to use them in Poland. 
Thugut, who with true Austrian vacillation had returned to his 
old plans of getting Alsace and Lorraine and exchanging the 
Netherlands for Bavaria, was greatly alarmed at the thought that, 
deserted by the Prussians and unassisted by the Russians, the 
Austrians would face the French alone. He told Razumovski 
that Austria would consent to the immediate partition of 
Poland, but she must first know how much Prussia was to 
receive ; he especially insisted that the Polish question was 
vitally connected with French affairs, and asked that Prussia be 

la continuation de ne ces maudites affaires qu'elle prolonge expres, elle nous em- 
peche de donner des secours effectifs a l'Autriche et a l'Angleterre. Je ne serait 
pas etonne du tout, qu'elle ne fomente encore sous mains la Porte contre la 
Russie et l'Autriche. En un mot, si l'Europe perit par le systeme francais, c'est 
la Prusse seule, qui en sera la cause unique." 



128 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

compelled to take her share again in the war. Catherine 
finally lost patience with Austria, and threatened to carry out 
the partition with Prussia. This brought Austria to terms, 
and at the same time the recall of the Prussian troops from the 
scene of disturbance in Poland to Prussian Poland showed the 
Empress that she could not depend even on the court of 
Berlin to assist her in crushing the insurgent movement. 
The final treaty was then drawn up in December, 1794. It 
was now Prussia's turn to protest ; and this she did both against 
the evacuation of Cracow and the size of Austria's share in 
the partition. But Catherine, having other matters to settle in 
which Austria's aid was necessary, upheld her ally at Vienna. 
The work which began in 1772 was thus finished in January, 
1795. By the final partition of Poland Russia gained the rest 
of Lithuania as far as the Niemen and of Volhynia to the Bug ; 
later Kurland, old Lithuania, and Samogitia were added. 
Prussia gained all eastern Poland, including Warsaw; and Aus- 
tria took Cracow, Sandomir, Lublin, and Chelm. The terri- 
tories of the three powers now had a common point of contact. 1 
The fate of Poland had barely been settled when it became 
certain that all the rumors regarding a peace between Prussia 
and France were to be verified. The treaty of Bale was signed 
on April 5, 1795, and Prussia confessed to all the world that 
since she had profited by the territorial revolution in the East 

1 Wassiltchikow : Les Razoumowski, ii. Pt. I, pp. 170 et seq. to 195. De- 
spatches of Razumovski to Ostermann of March 22, 29, May 10, 22, July 5, Sept. 
22 (to Catherine), Nov. 25, 1794. Morkov to Razumovski: Aug. 27, Oct. 7, 
Dec. 24, pp. 197 et seq. Razumovski to Morkov, Jan. 13, 23, 1795. Vorontzov : 
Arkhiv, xx. pp. 54-63 (despatches of Morkov to S. Vorontzov, Aug., Nov. 6, 
1793, Aug. T 5> l 794> Feb. 9, 1795). Sbornik, xxiii. pp. 611, 617, 620, 626, 632, 
633, 647, 659, and xvi. pp. 91 et seq. Cf. Bruckner : Katharina, pp. 416 et seq. 
Hiiffer: Diplomatische Verhandlungen, i. pp. 131 et seq.; i. Erganzung, pp. 81 et 
seq., 233. Cf. for correction to usual dates given for letters of this period. 
Auckland: Corr. iii. pp. 194 (Eden to Auckland, March 24, 1794), 200 {Ibid. 
March 31) : "I have ever thought that the conduct towards Poland did more to 
hurt the cause of Kings than the most violent acts of the Jacobins." Page 288 
(H. Spencer to Auckland, Feb. 23, 1795). Herrmann : op. cit. pp. 456 et seq., 497 
et seq. (the third partition). Beer : Orientalische Politik, pp. 149 et seq. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 29 

she would have nothing more to do with the social and po- 
litical revolution in the West. Count Simon Vorontzov in 
London had recognized the inevitableness of this step in the 
policy of Prussia. That power felt herself relieved of all obli- 
gation to continue the war because of the jealousy of Austria 
and the aggressive policy of Russia in eastern Europe. In 
truth, the near approach of Russia to the heart of Europe had 
alarmed the court of Berlin ; the Prussians required time and 
peace to assimilate their new acquisitions in Poland ; the final 
partition of the Polish Republic had materially altered the 
political situation, and Prussia must needs end her half-hearted 
struggle with the French. It was not for love of the French, 
however, as Caillard, the new French minister at Berlin, 
said, but to accustom herself to new conditions and to profit by 
following the middle road in her political relations. Without 
a Poland to partition Prussia must learn her politics anew. 1 

1 Vorontzov : Arkhiv, ix. pp. 337, 338 (S. to A. Vorontzov, London, April 21, 
1795). Ledebur: Mittheilungen, i. p. 285 (Lucchesini to Hardenburg, Aug. 26, 
I 795)' Bailleu : Preussen und Frankreich, i. pp. 18 (Bericht Hardenberg's, Basel, 
Aug. 26, 1795). " Sans entrer avecla France dans des liaisons offensives ou dans 
ses vastes plans d'aggrandissement, il faudrait toutefois se rapprocher d'elle afin 
d'etablir, s'il est possible, un concert sur la pacification et les affaires qui vous 
interessent, Sire, afin *de maintenir et faire respecter la neutralite du Nord de 
l'Allemagne, ou d'abandonner d'un commun accord cette mesure ; il faudrait du 
moins menager la France et ne rien faire qui pourrait contrecarrer ses vues," 
p. 27 (Instruction fur den Gesandten Preussens in Paris, Sandoz-Rollin, Berlin, 
1795, Oct. 21). "En effet, S. M. le Roi se trouvant en alliance avec l'Angleterre, 
l'Autriche et la Russie, elle est resolue de maintenir le systeme de ses anciennes 
liaisons, a moins que des evenements imprevus et invraisemblables ne la forcent 
a agir en sens contraire. Elle compte done en rester, au moins pour le present, 
avec la France aux relations de bonne intelligence retablies par la paix et que 
l'accord effectif des interets fondamentaux des deux empires pourra affermir de 
lui-meme sans aucune stipulation expresse ; influer, autant qu'il dependra d'elle, 
sur la pacification de l'Empire, surtout en vue du recouvrement de ses fitats 
d'outre-Rhin, et ne contracter des engagements formels avec la France que pour 
les rapports de commerce," p. 431 (Report of Caillard, Berlin, Dec. 5, 1795). 
Speaking of Prussia : " Mais un tresor epuise, une guerre a soutenir en Pologne, 
des rapports politiques entierement nouveaux amenes par le voisinage immediate 
de la Russie et qui appelaient la majeure partie des forces militaires de la Prusse 
a son extremite la plus eloignee de la France, toutes ces raisons ne permettaient 

9 



130 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

This formal acceptance by Prussia of the results of the 
French Revolution excited the greatest indignation among the 
other powers. It was thought possible that Prussia might now 
join with Sweden, Denmark, the Porte, and France in a 
league whose direct object would be to oppose the Austro- 
Russian alliance. If this had been done it would have been 
only a counterstroke to the important step taken by the two 
imperial courts in a secret treaty signed by them at the same 
time that a third partition of Poland had been consummated. 
This "secret declaration" (Jan. 3, 1795) was based on the 
previous defensive alliance against the Porte. Prussia was 
now to be placed in the same category with the Ottoman 
Empire, and in the event of Prussia's attacking either of the 
two allies the other was pledged to give all its support. 
Furthermore, should a new war break out between Austria, 
Russia, and the Porte, the two allies should endeavor to carry 
out the plans agreed between Joseph II. and Catherine in 1782. 
A Dacian Kingdom was to be created of the Danubian prin- 
cipalities ; and Russia agreed to Austria's favorite scheme for 

pas de continuer plus longtemps la guerre contre nous. La paix fut done faite, 
mais ce ne fut certainement pas pour l'amour de la France. . . . Mais ce mal- 
heureux esprit d'envahissement qui avait determine le roi de Prusse a manquer a 
ses engagements les plus solennels envers les Polonais ; l'invasion des palatinats 
en 1793: l'impossibilite ou la guerre contre la France l'avait mis de resister aux 
progres des Russes ; la necessite qui en resulta de les favoriser meme et d'acce- 
der au partage general de ce qui restait de la Pologne : la position topographique 
oil la Prusse se trouve par le contact immediat avec la Russie et la Maison 
d'Autriche : toutes ces circonstances amenerent des elements nouveaux dans le 
systeme prussien et introduisirent a Berlin une influence etrangere qui n'y avait 
pas ete connue jusqu'a. present. La consideration publique se partage done en- 
tre le ministre de la Republique et celui de la Russie : et la politique prussienne, 
lorsqu'elle est obligee d'obeir a la fois a deux impulsions aussi differentes ne 
peut guere que suivre une direction moyenne, qui exprime les managements 
qu'elle veut avoir pour Pun et pour Pautre," p. 448 (Report of Caillard, Dec. 9, 
1798). " II n'y a pas a Berlin un homme de sens qui ne convienne aujourd'hui 
que le dernier partage de la Pologne a ete une operation desastreuse pour la 
Prusse, et on se rappelle avec amertume la maxime connue du grand Frederic 
que l'existence d'une Pologne quelconque etait necessaire a son repos." Sorel : 
op. cit. i. p. 502. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 13 1 

the seizure of Venetian territory in case Austria failed to 
secure any French provinces. Thus, while Prussia made peace 
with the Revolution, Austria and Russia turned their backs on 
it and looked for new territory in Poland, Bavaria, Venice, 
Servia, and along the Danube. The joy of the Austrian diplo- 
mats, Thugut in particular, was great. Austria's prestige was 
restored ; the second partition was forgotten ; Prussia was 
completely outplayed, and Austria might now look to desirable 
acquisitions in several directions. Lord Whitworth had written 
to his government from St. Petersburg (Jan. 4) that in the 
minds of the continental powers Poland stood before France. 
Now it was not only Poland but the entire Eastern Question 
that claimed the first place. As Catherine told Morkov in 
1793, the peoples of the West had forgotten the Turks. Russia 
could never do so, and Catherine claimed she had kept them 
" from seizing Austria by the tail " by her policy in Poland and 
on the Black Sea. The Turks had been quiet for a year or so 
since the treaty of Jassy ; but rumors had been frequent that 
the Porte was preparing to profit by the crisis in western 
Europe; and urged on by Prussia she had even offered her 
mediation between Austria and France. The Russian diplo- 
mats were watching the situation carefully, and pressing on the 
building of Odessa and the strengthening of fortresses on the 
Black Sea coast. Negotiations were also kept up with Mon- 
tenegrins and other disaffected peoples in the Balkan peninsula. 
Rostoptchin believed that the Empress was bent on war, and 
that Zubov, the favorite in 1794, was thus to be given his chance 
to win military fame. She had recently said (March, 1794), that 
" some day she would lose patience and would show the Turks 
that it was as easy to go to Constantinople as to the Krimea." 
In fact, her explanation of her policy in Poland was a frank 
statement that she needed to strengthen her frontier for the 
next war against the Porte. 1 

1 Vorontzov : Arkhiv, xx. pp. 55, 63, 64, 65 (Morkov to S. Vorontzov, 1793, 
and Feb. 9, May 5, June 1, 1795), 33 l (Grimm to S. Vorontzov, March 11 (22), 



V 



132 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

The end of Catherine's reign is characteristic of the woman. 
Poland could no longer threaten to bar her road in the West ; 
and she turned again to the East, looking to increase her 
Asiatic domain and to hasten the day when her troops should 
enter Constantinople. The instructions given to Kotchubey, 
the Russian ambassador at the Porte, had been to preserve the 
peace, though insisting on the execution of treaty stipulations. 
In common with the British representative he watched the 
endeavors of the French to induce the Sultan to join with 
them against the coalition, and also interested himself in 
Persian matters ; it is evident he expected a crisis in east- 
ern matters. He had been told to observe the treaties ; but 
"will we abide by them ourselves?" he questioned. With 
the establishment of the alliance with Austria (Jan. 1795) 
Catherine was ready for action. Her interest in France was 
confined to the formation of a new coalition against her in 
which Russia would have but light burdens to bear. Yet 
Catherine was not satisfied with the policy of her ally. The 
court of Vienna seemed incapable of adhering to a definite line 
of action for six months at a time. Should she choose this 
opportunity to attack the Porte, the attention of Austria would 
be centred in the East and South, and France would support 
the Turks and urge on Prussia the necessity of fomenting dis- 

1798); xxiv. pp. 260-264 (Rostoptchin to S. Vorontzov, March 9 (20), 1794); 
xxix. pp. 334-338 (L. Cazzioni to A. Vorontzov, June 25, 1792). Vivenot, Vertrau- 
liche Briefe, i. pp. 175 (Thugut to Colloredo, Jan. 22, I79S)> 2 7& {Ibid. Dec. 15). 
Zeissberg: Qaellen, iii. p. 79. Bruckner: op. cit. p. 413. Hausser: Deut. Gesch. 
i. p. 584. Bailleu: op. cit. i. p. 123. Miliutin : Gesch. des Krieges Russlands, 
i. pp. 296 et seq. Martens : Recueil, Autriche, ii. pp. 228 et seq. Herrmann : op. 
cit. pp. 508 (Whitworth to Grenville, Jan. 6, 9, I79S), 5 J 6 (Eden to Grenville, 
April 20, and Whitworth to Grenville, July 7), 519-520 (Spencer to Grenville, 
April 11, May 9), 521 (Gray to Grenville, Aug. 18). Sbornik, xlii. pp. 317, 318 
(Catherine to Zubov about the treaty of Bale). Wassiltchikow : op. cit. ii. Pt. 1, 
pp. 196-201 (Despatches of Razumovski to Catherine and to Morkov, Jan. 13 (23), 
Feb. 28, April 5, 1795, and of Morkov to Razumovski, April 22) ; Pt. 2, pp. 38- 
42 (Ribas to Razumovski, April 13, 1795), 197 (Morkov to Razumovski, June 26), 
229, 230 (S. Vorontzov to Ostermann, March, 1795), 240, 241 (S. Vorontzov to 
Razumovski, June 1 (12), 1795). Eton : Survey of Turkey, p. 438. 



<* 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 33 

turbances in Poland. It seemed advisable, therefore, to take 
advantage of the attack of Persia on Georgia, a state protected 
by Russia, to begin a war which while not directed against the 
Turks would nevertheless favor the growth of Russian power 
in their direction. Zubov had projects of pushing the Russian 
frontier till it might be possible not only to attack the Turks in 
the rear through Anatolia, but also to gain Northern Persia and 
Turkestan, establishing a line of forts in Central Asia and 
along the Caspian, and drawing the caravans which now made 
their way by land from India to the Mediterranean to Russian 
ports on the Black Sea. This program might well have 
alarmed the Porte, for, as Rostoptchin wrote in respect to 
Persian affairs : " On veut toujours finir par aller a Constanti- 
nople ; c'est la ou tendent les voeux de notre Imperatrice, que 
l'Sge a transformed en conquerant." The program was that of 
Peter the Great. 1 

Till now our attention has been directed to the attitude of 
the coalition to the Eastern and the Polish Questions. We must 
examine that of France. As far as the power of France and 
the success of the Revolution were concerned, the policy of the 
coalition toward these more eastern matters had been highly 
satisfactory. France had profited by the crisis in eastern 

1 Vorontzov: Arkhiv, viii. pp. 137 (Rostoptchin to S. Vorontzov, Feb. 24, 
1796), 151 {Ibid. Nov. 5 (16)), 132 {Ibid. Feb. 22). We are to have war with 
Persia. " Si vous me demandez pourquoi on entreprend cette guerre, on serait fort 
embarrasse de vous donner la-dessus une bonne reponse. Mais voila les raisons : 
i-ere, pour eluder Particle de alliance avec l'Empereur, auquel nous devons four- 
nier 30,000 h. de troupes ou de l'argent en cas qu'il en demande (cet article est nul 
aussitot que nous avons guerre nous-memes) ; " 2. Desire of Platon Zubov to be- 
come a marshal. Idem, xviii. The despatches of Kotchubey to S. Vorontzov 
from 1791 to 1797 are to be found in pp. 1-128 of this volume. Kotchubey was 
under appointment to go to the Porte in 1792, and finally did go in 1794. Nearly 
every despatch deals with matters treated above in the text. xx. pp. 68 et seq. 
(Morkovto S. Vorontzov, April 19, July 12, Aug. 10, 1796). Sbomik,x\\\. pp. 125, 
126 (Catherine to de Ligne, Nov. 16, 1790). Waliszewski : Roman d'une impe- 
ratrice, p. 426. Bruckner : Peter der Grosse, pp. 72, 73. Herrmann : op. cit. pp. 536, 
(Whitworth to Grenville, June 7, 1796), 599 (Eton to Grenville, Dec. 21). 
Auckland: Corr. iii. pp. 324, 347 (Eden to Auckland, Dec. 7, 1795, June 13, 
1796). Wassiltchikow : op. cit. ii. Pt. 1, pp. 202 et seq. 



134 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Europe, and had turned to advantage every development in 
the situation in Poland and Turkey. At the outbreak of the 
Revolution her prestige in the Orient had been greatly injured; 
it became one of the earliest duties of her diplomats to restore 
it. The French Republic was now to carry on a direct and 
consistent policy as regards eastern matters. In fact, the 
Revolution marked a return to traditional French policy in 
the Orient. In the place of the Austrian alliance of 1756 the 
French leaders of 1792 hoped to establish one with Prussia, 
whereby Prussia was to attack Austria in Bohemia and help 
the Poles against Russia. The Turks were to be induced to 
declare war against Austria, moving on the same lines as in 
1788. While French armies met those of Austria on the Rhine, 
in Piedmont, and in Lombardy, a French fleet was to support 
the Turks in an attempt to recover the Krimea from Russia. 
The entrance of Prussia into the coalition prevented the fur- 
ther development of this plan ; but from this time on French 
representatives were working in Poland to incite trouble there 
for Russia and Austria, and in Prussia to excite jealousy over 
Russia's schemes against the Porte. Austria and Great Britain 
were regarded by France as implacable enemies for whom ex- 
termination was the only end. This was to be accomplished 
with the aid of the Ottoman Empire. Russia was regarded 
as unconsciously playing the part of a friend to France by 
stirring up discord between the members of the coalition; 
against her a league of Sweden, Denmark, and Poland was to 
be created. The post of French ambassador at the Porte was 
therefore a most important one for the success of the entire 
scheme. Choiseul-Gouffier, who filled this place, had acted for 
the two imperial courts during their recent war with Turkey, 
and was given over to the Bourbon cause ; in his place, there- 
fore, was appointed Semonville, a devoted Jacobin, yet imbued 
with the ideas of Favier. His instructions now tallied with 
those which had been given time after time by the kings of 
France to their ambassadors" at Constantinople; both Du- 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 35 

mouriez and Lebrun wished to convince the Porte that the 
Revolution was irTessence a reaction against the Austrian al- 
liance of 1756, and that France was now ready to return to 
her traditional policy in eastern matters. In fact, almost an 
exact parallel can be drawn between these plans and the policy 
of d'Argenson in 1746 and of Rouil.le in 1755. Both had urged 
on Turkey the necessity of supporting France against Austria, 
and both had planned intervention in Hungary to distract the 
house of Hapsburg from its interests in Italy, Germany, and 
the Low Countries. Semonville v/as sent in October, 1792. 
Beside his instructions he was told to suggest the possibility 
of an offensive and defensive alliance with the Porte, which 
would also include Prussia, Sweden, and Poland. As might 
have been expected, when the representatives of the other 
European powers in Constantinople received news of Semon- 
ville's commission, they united in protests to the Porte against 
his reception. Under this pressure, and with the connivance 
of Choiseul-Gouffier, the Porte refused to receive Semonville. 
Shortly after he was officially recalled; and a secret agent, 
Descorches, formerly the Marquis de Sainte-Croix, was sent, 
under the alias of Daubry, to prepare the way for a second at- 
tempt to secure reception for a French ambassador. Semon- 
ville was in fact reappointed May 11, 1793, and started for his 
post, hopeful that he might overcome the hesitations of the 
Turks. Unfortunately he and his papers were captured by the 
Austrians; and the allies, thoroughly alarmed by what they 
had discovered of French plans, now endeavored to secure de- 
cided action by the Porte against France. In this they failed, 
for the Sultan would pledge nothing save neutrality. Even 
that soon seemed doubtful ; by September Descorches had so 
far overcome the prejudices of the Grand Vizier that an out- 
line treaty had been drawn, pledging joint military action be- 
tween France and the Ottoman Empire. The representatives 
of Russia, Austria, and Great Britain again took the matter in 
hand, and by vigorous protests prevented further progress. 



136 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

With the fall of Robespierre Descorches was succeeded by 
Verninac. This representative was assisted by the fact 
that Prussia was about to leave the coalition and sign the 
treaty of Bale (April, 1795). He proposed a quadruple alliance 
of Prussia, Sweden, Turkey, and France, and strengthened 
his assertions of French interest in the welfare of the Ottoman 
Empire by introducing a number of French officers to reform 
the Turkish military system. This matter brought to light 
the oriental dreams of Napoleon Bonaparte, then a young 
artillery officer. The extreme Jacobinism of Verninac had im- 
peded his success, however, and within the year he was suc- 
ceeded by Aubert Dubayet. He died in December, 1797, and 
was in turn succeeded by Ruffin, as secretary; he remained till 
the Egyptian expedition aroused the anger of the Porte, who, 
as usual on the outbreak of war, imprisoned this diplomat in 
defiance of all comity. The work of these later agents was 
helped by Knobelsdorf, the Prussian minister, who hoped to 
see Austria humiliated, though he also dreaded the effect of 
Revolutionary opinion on the internal politics of the Empire. 
By this renewal of friendly relations with Prussia, France had 
materially changed her position as regards Poland. Though in 
1 794 she had instructed Parandier, the French agent in Poland, 
that she was working with the Porte, Sweden, and Denmark to 
maintain the independence of Poland, by her treaty with Prus- 
sia she had tacitly acknowledged the validity of the Polish par- 
titions ; and in the instructions to Caillard, who was sent to 
Berlin in 1796, there was no longer serious mention of guar- 
anteeing the integrity of Poland, but only of that of Sweden, 
Denmark, and the Ottoman Empire ; Poland had ceased to ex- 
ist. The failure of the committee of Public Safety to consent 
to the end of Polish integrity may, in fact, be regarded as one 
reason why French diplomats at Constantinople were not more 
successful. At that time Prussia had great influence with the 
Porte, and could the French have come to terms earlier with 
Prussia, recognizing the inevitableness of Poland's extinction 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 37 

they might have profited by Prussia's prestige to create a 
counter demonstration against Austria in eastern Europe. 
On the whole, French influence at the Porte, though it almost 
suffered annihilation under Choiseul-Gouffier, was strengthened 
during the closing years of the century, and at the time when 
Turkish spies were working in Poland, it excited great alarm 
in Austria and Russia. In fact, after the final Polish partition, 
the plans had been drawn up in St. Petersburg and approved 
by Catherine for a third war against the Ottoman Empire. 1 

1 Masson : Dipt, des affaires itranglres, pp. 27, 267. Dumouriez : Vie, liv. iii. 
c. 6, 7; iv. c. 1. Roland: Memoires, i. p. 169. Lescure: Corr. ii. p. 613 (Aug. 4, 
1792). Thiirheim : Mercy-Argenteau und Stahremberg, pp. 38, 39 (M. to S., Jan. 
19, 1793). Anon. : Diplomatie revloutionnaire \ in R. de la Revo/, iii. p. 114. Bailleu : 
Preussen und Fran kreich, i. pp. 450, 474 (Instructions and reports of Caillard and 
Sieyes at Berlin, 1796-97). De Testa: Recueil, i. p. 542 ; ii. pp. 202-252. (These 
despatches of French representatives at the Porte are useful. ) Daru : Hist, de 
Venise, v. p. 168. Zeissberg : Quellen, i. p. 340 (Thugut to Cobenzl, Oct. 21, 
1793). Vivenot: Vertrauliche Briefe, i. p. 35 (Thugut to Colloredo, Aug. 27, 
I 793)« Cf. pp. 380, 381. And Quellen, ii. Cobenzl und Franz, pp. 224 (Memoire of 
Choiseul-Gouffier to the Porte, Sept. 24, 1792), 225 (Herbert to P. Cobenzl, Sept. 
25). Aulard: Documents inedits, in Revol. franc, xiv. pp. 11 11 et sea. Pin gaud : 
Choiseul-Gouffier, pp. 175 ^/ sea., 200, 215, 217 et sea., 246 et sea. Bonneville de 
Marsangy : Vergennes, i. pp. 229 et sea. Bruckner : Katharina, p. 422. Cf . Russ. 
Arkhiv, 1876, i. p. 218. Farges: La Pologne, ii. pp. 326 et seq. Instructions to 
Parandier, 1794. "Le gouvernement de la Republique se dispose a agir aupres 
de la Porte, et raeme aupres de la Suede et du Danemark, d'apres un systeme 
dans lequel le soutien de l'independance de la Pologne sera l'un des principaux 
objets des operations politiques et militaires dans Pest de l'Europe." Eton: 
Survey of Turkey, p. 193. Grosjean : Semonville, in Revol. franc, xiii. pp. 888-921. 
This is a long and satisfactory article. Masson : Diplomates de la Revolution, 
p. 165. Zinkeisen : op. cit. ii. pp. 846 et seq., 859, 862 et seq., 875 et seq., 881. 
Aulard : Dipl. du ComitS de Salut Public, in Revol. franc, xviii. p. 237 (a plan 
drawn up in Lebrun's office, Oct. 1792): " Les Turcs s'avanceraient egale- 
ment du cote de la Pologne ainsi que dans le bannat de Temesvar et en Croatie 
en suivant le plan de leur premiere campagne de 1788 et a l'aide des Valaques, 
qu'il ne serait pas impossible de faire insurger. . . . Notre flotte de la Mediter- 
ranee entrerait dans la mer Noire et faciliterait un debarquement des Turcs dans 
la Crimee." Page 345 (Soulavie to Barere and Danton, April 24, 1793) : " Celles 
puissances qu'on ose appeler neutres sont les amies naturelles de la France, des 
amies de tous les temps, des amies sures, des amies qui ont pris les armes pour 
la France, toutes les fois qu'elle l'a voulu : Savoir, la Turquie, la Pologne, la 
Saxe, la Suisse, la Danemark, Genes t etc., etc." Pages 434, 435, 456, 437 : " La 



\J 



138 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

The diplomatic aspect of the Eastern Question has been 
treated; we must now turn our attention to the economic 
situation which in large part constituted the importance of this 
diplomacy. It will be possible to show the commercial 
interests of France and England in the Levant, and to trace 
the development of sea power as a modern factor in the history 
of the Eastern Question. The evolution of this problem to a 
marine stage was largely due to the French policy aiming at 
control of the Mediterranean. This policy was not a new one, 
but its connection with the great problem of Asia was now 
shown for the first time; the Mediterranean became the scene 
of combat between rival powers whose interests were world- 
wide, and whose antagonism then seemed implacable. This 
struggle between France and Great Britain was in turn given 
a new character by the introduction of Levantine questions ; 

Suede, le Danemark et la Turquie formaient les elements principaux du systeme 
d' alliances que la France voulait, en 1793, opposer aux puissances coalisees, en 
vue d'operer une diversion puissante sur leurs derrieres ou tout au moins de main- 
tenir la Russie dans l'inaction." Sybel : Propagande revolutionnaire, in Rev. Hist. 
xl. p. 112. Sorel : V Europe et la Revol. iii. pp. 301 et sea., 396, 403, 435 et seq. ; 
iv. pp. 67 et seq., 247 et seq., 393. Auckland : Corr. iii. pp. 200, 201 (Eden to Auck- 
land, Vienna, March 31, 1794) : " It is a most alarming business [Polish insurrec- 
tion] for this country [Austria], as Galicia is not without its malcontents, and 
there are not 1,000 troops left in the whole province, of which old Wurmser 
is the commander. Indeed, it may be fatal to us all if it be, as is suspected, con- 
nected with Descorches' intrigues at Constantinople. . . . Perhaps the desire of 
keeping Poland in subjection, a jealousy of Prussia's aggrandizement, and the ap- 
prehensions of the machinations carrying on between the French and the Swedes, 
with the increasing influence of France and Denmark, may show her Imperial 
Majesty [Catherine] the expediency of at least deferring the execution of her 
designs against Turkey. Should this be the case, the uneasiness of this court 
would be removed." Vorontzov : Arkhiv, xviii. pp. 53-63, 67-79, %3> 85, 87, 88, 
92, 94-96, 103, 105-108, no, 113, 115, 1 17-120, 130, 132. (Despatches of Kotchu- 
bey to S. Vorontzov: Oct. 3, 12 (23), 1792; Jan. 18, July 10, Sept. 10, 14 (25), 
29 (Oct. 10), 1794; May 30 (June 10), July 30 (Aug. 10), 1795 5 Dec - 2 9 (J an - 9). 
Jan. 14 (25), Oct. 10, 30 (Nov. 10), 1796; Feb. 10, 14 (25), 1797.) These letters 
are invaluable for this period. Wassiltchikow : op. cit. ii. Pt. 1, chaps, xi., xii. 
Pesenti: Diplomazia Franco-Turca, pp. 15-66. This very interesting pamphlet 
(1898), based on the despatches of Venetian diplomats, throws light on several 
important points. Further use will be made of it. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 39 

the prestige of each nation at Constantinople and their respec- 
tive commercial interests in the nearer East became important 
to their general welfare, and to their success as world powers. 
The alliance between France and the Ottoman Empire was a 
-^matter of history. The combinations of European politics had 
made it valuable to both countries ; tradition and ambition had 
fostered it; geographical situation had given it permanence. 
From the economic point of view, the Levant played the part 
of a colonial empire to France ; and the zenith of her influence 
in the East was reached at the treaty of Belgrade in 1738-39, 
when Villeneuve, the French ambassador to the Porte, so suc- 
cessfully negotiated the treaty between the Ottoman Empire 
and Russia and Austria. As a direct result of this, the capit- 
ulations of 1740 gave France a pre-eminence that lasted till 
after 1756. 1 The Republic clung to the traditions of the 
Ancien Regime in the matter of Levantine trade. Indeed the 
adoption of the principles of war against Great Britain, and 
the permanence of the underlying causes in foreign policy 
required that the protection of French commerce in the Levant 
should follow as a corollary to the assumption of the obligations 
of monarchical France in the duel against her maritime rival 
for world empire and colonial trade. Henry IV. had placed 
French Mediterranean commerce in the front rank ; and Fran- 
cis I., Louis XIII., Vaubans, Chauvelin, and d'Argenson had 
followed in the footsteps of Charles VIII. in the endeavor to 
free Italy from German domination that a road to the Orient 
might be opened to them. Under the numerous capitulations 
with the Porte French mercantile interests had prospered 

1 Vandal : Villeneuve, pp. ix, x, 16, 31, 50 et seq., 416 et seq. Saint-Priest : 
Ambassade de France, pp. 269 et seq. De Testa : Recueil, i. pp. 186 et seq., 525, 
notes. D'Argenson: Memoires, i. pp. 190, 361 etseq. Hammer : Gesch. des osmani- 
schen Reiches, viii. p. I. Segur : Politiques de tous les cabinets \'\. pp. 18, 88 et seq., 
140 et seq., 195, 344; iii. pp. 115, 116, 119, *26. Boutaric : Correspondance de 
Louis XV. i. p. 386; ii. pp. 182 et seq. Sorel : V Europe et la Revolution, i. pp. 
246, 307 et seq. Delaville de Roulx : La France en Orient, i. p. 514 et seq. La- 
valee : Les frontilres de France, p. 119. 



\ 



\ 



140 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

greatly ; but under Louis XIV. there was no very even devel- 
opment. 1 About 1740, thanks to Villeneuve, the figures began 
to rise. The importations from the Levant increased by five 
million livres during the fifth decade of the century, and a 
total French trade of over forty million (nineteen export and 
twenty-one import) grew to forty-eight million livres just prior 
to the treaty with Austria in 1756. Though the political influ- 
ence of France waned thereafter, the commercial losses of 
Austria in Italy, the suspension of Russian trade by the closing 
of the Black Sea by wars, and the steady decrease in Venetian 
and Dutch mercantile power left the markets open to her in a 
way of which she soon took advantage. England's trade in 
the Levant had suffered greatly between 1735 and 1745, and 
her representatives and agents were withdrawn from many 
ports; ten French ships were seen to one British. The total 
exchange between France and the Ottoman Empire and de- 
pendencies was estimated at seventy million in 1788, and a year 
after the Revolution it had suffered but little, though French 
political prestige was at its lowest point. From 171 5 to 1789 
the imports to France from the Levant had grown thirteen fold, 
and the exports twelve fold ; and in 1787, of the total trade of 
Smyrna, the largest port of Western Asia Minor, over forty-two 
per cent was in French hands, a figure which is twenty-five per 
cent above that of 1885. In 1700 it- had been supposed by 
Savary that the English and Dutch held seventy-five per cent 
of the total trade of the Levant, and the French only twelve 
and one-half per cent. The enormous gain of France is thus 

1 Fagniez : Le commerce exterieur de la France sous Henri IV, in Rev. Hist. 
xvi. pp. 1-48. Pouqueville : Commerce de la France, in Mem. de VAcad. des inscrtp~ 
lions, x. pp. 573, 574. Saint-Marc Girardin : Les origines de la question d? Orient, in 
R. de D. M. li. pp. 40-72; liii. pp. 709-739; lv. pp. 671-71 1. Phillipson : Hein- 
rich IV. und Philip III. i. pp. 239, 279, 284 et seq., 290, 296; iii. p. 353. Char- 
riere : Negociations de la France dans le Levant, i. pp. 69 et seq., 283 et seq. De 
Testa: op. cit. i. pp. 22 et seq., 43, 99 et seq., 113, 175. Saint- Priest : op. cit. pp. 
29 et seq. Pingaud : op. cit. p. 2. Flassan : Hist, de la dipl. fran$. i. p. 360 ; iii. 
p. 402 ; iv. p. 57. Seeley : British Policy, i. p. 147. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 41 

apparent. The Greek trade with Europe amounted, in 1798, 
to 8,821,320 piastres exports, of which France took sixty-five 
per cent and England not quite seven per cent, and 4,970,670 
piastres imports, of which France supplied about twenty-two 
per cent and England sixteen per cent. 1 

The interests of English trade in the Levant were not large 
in 1789, though they had greatly increased during the past 
few years. In 1783 imports from Turkey and the Levant had 
figured in the customs reports at £48,983 and the exports to 
those regions from the United Kingdom at £42,666. By 
1789 the imports were £223,424, and the exports £ 136,207. In 
1792 they had risen to £290,599 and £273,785 respectively. 
These figures, however, are the highest in a period of nearly 
twenty years, from 1783 to 1800. The average is much lower, 
and for Turkey is less than two per cent of the corresponding 
annual average of the French trade; the proportion for the 
entire Mediterranean, however, is only a little over three to 
one in favor of the French. There are, furthermore, frequent 
fluctuations of such a character as to show-that the British trade 
was by no means so firmly established as the French. The 
influence of war naturally was great, and in the years when 
Bonaparte was fighting for dominion on the Adriatic and 

1 Favier in Segur : op. cit. iii. p. 303. Saint-Priest : op. cit. pp. 269 et seq., 327 
et seq., 335, 342. Vandal : op. cit. pp. 416 et seq., 430, 442. Arnould : Balance du 
Commerce, i. pp. 240 et seq., 249, 254. Georgiades : Smyrne ct I'Asie Mineur, pp. 
220 et seq. Zinkeisen : op. cit. v. pp. 872 et seq. Beaujour : Commerce de la Grfre, 
xx. pp. 162 et seq., 229. Beer : Geschichte des Welthandels, 3te Abth. ii. H'dlfte, 1. Th. 
p. 508. Jackson : Commerce of the Mediterranean, pp. ^etseq., 48. Holland : Travels 
in Greece, pp. 21, 36, 84, 149, 288. Macpherson : Annals, iv. p. 135. A much smaller 
figure for French commerce is here given. Beausobre : Politique, i. pp. 330 et seq. 
Diet, du Commerce, pp. 637, 638. In 1778 Holland had 100 ships in the Levant trade, 
and in 1779, in ships. Mayer : Considerations politiques et commercials, pp. 41-43. 
The author (1790) gives the annual trade of the Port of Marseilles as follows : — 

Exports to Levant 30,000,000 francs. 

Imports from Levant 50,000,000 francs. 

Exports to West Indies, etc 17,000,000 francs. 

Imports from West Indies, etc 21,000,000 francs. 

Commerce of East Indies 3,500,000 francs. 



142 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Mediterranean, British trade in those waters was lower than at 
any time since 1783. Nelson's victory in Abukir Bay effected 
a corresponding increase, the imports to Great Britain rising 
from £42,285, in 1798, to £i99>773> in 1800, and the exports 
from £62,168 to £166,804. It is also fair to say that the exports 
for 1797 were £23,532, and for 1799, £226,078, and that the 
imports for 1799, when the results of the victory had not been 
sufficiently realized to affect trade in Turkey, were only £33,091. 
The attempt of the English to improve their Mediterranean 
commerce and to utilize the Red Sea and the Isthmus of Suez 
as a route for their Indian trade, had met with serious opposi- 
tion from the Porte. A decree had been issued (1779) declaring 
that the Red Sea was the sacred highway of Islam to the holy 
city of Mecca, and was therefore barred to all infidels. With 
these facts in mind, it can be clearly seen that the extent of 
the British interest in the Levant was not due to the economic 
value of that trade, at least on its positive side. On the nega- 
tive side, however, the Eastern Question became a matter of 
great significance, for when Great Britain expected to renew 
the struggle with France, as in 1785-87, the importance of the 
Mediterranean trade to France aroused British endeavors to 
injure that lucrative source of their rival's wealth. The work 

rof Saint- Priest, the French ambassador at the Porte, in stimu- 
lating trade between France and Russia via the Black and 
Mediterranean Seas, had excited alarm in the ports of northern 
Europe. The conquests of Catherine, at the expense of the 
Turks, had given her a southern littoral, and there was a pros- 
pect that she might gain ports in the -^Egean and open the 
Bosphorus and Dardanelles to whom she would. This possi- 
bility is, in fact, the secret of French vacillation at Constanti- 
nople. Should a trade route be established between Russia and 
the south of Europe, in waters where English shipping was 
comparatively weak, a serious blow would be struck at that 
most profitable branch of the British commerce, the Baltic 
V trade. Austria had declared that she considered free access 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 43 

to eastern markets a necessity, and was expecting to share 
with Russia a sudden development in her Adriatic and Black 
Sea trade. Under these circumstances, France was not pre- 
pared to oppose Russian expansion by force. On the other 
hand, Frederick the Great had already established a Levant 
Company, and Prussia was determined that she would utilize 
her prestige at the Porte to further her commercial interests, 
while at the same time she increased her trade with Russia in 
the North. The Dutch states were influenced by similar con- 
siderations; and Great Britain's interest was larger than both. 
That France should secure the major part of Russian trade was 
a bitter possibility to Great Britain. These views had in all 
probability an appreciable effect on the formation of the Triple 
Alliance of Great Britain, Prussia, and Holland (1788). In 
the event of war against Russia and Austria, the Turks could 
be counted on to injure Russian commerce in-4bo~ElackSea, 
and thus to aid the three Northern powers, who could, in ad( 
tion, expect help from Sweden. Such a war would have a 
disastrous effect on French trade, for it would check the devel- 
opment of that very branch of commerce, — the exchange with 
Russia via the Black Sea, — which Saint-Priest and Segur had 
labored so hard to encourage. France, therefore, opposed the 
outbreak of hostilities in the East, and while Prussian and 
British diplomats strengthened the Turks to resist the de- 
mands of Russia, Choiseul-Gouffier, then at Constantinople, 
was instructed to persuade the Porte to yield to the desires of 
the imperial allies, surrendering some small portion of territory 
rather than risk the fate of the Ottoman Empire as a Euro- 
pean state in a war, which, it seemed certain, would drive the 
Turks back to Asia. 1 

1 For English trade statistics, cf. App. ii. For English Levant Company in 
1720-40, cf. Plumard de Dangeul [Nickolls] : Remarks on the advantages and dis- \ 
advantages of France and Great Britain, pp. 173, 174 ; Dearborn : Black Sea, i. pp. 
107, 116; Bonnassieux : Grandes compagnies, p. 467, quoting Gazette de France, 
July 1, 1765 ; Beer : Oesterreiche Handelspolitik, p. 396; Favier, in Segur : Politi- 
que, i. pp. 288, 326, 365 et sea., and Vergennes in Ibid. iii. p. 154. Cf. Antoine : 



y 









144 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

The proposal to increase French trade in the Mediterranean, 
and thus to indemnify the losses of France in America and 
India, was practically a plan to make Levantine commerce a 
national monopoly and to close the Mediterranean to English 
ships. Favier had expressed this idea as a redressal of the 
balance of economic power ; it had been the policy of Francis 
I. and of Henry IV. when engaged in their struggle with Spain ; 
and it found its most eager exponents in men like Arnould, 
whose book was cited on every hand during the days of the 
First Republic. The Revolution then seemed destined to be 
coincident with the solution of the Eastern Question. It had 
been welcomed by the great Powers of Europe before they 
realized that it was to become a movement of such widespread 
importance and danger to them ; each had hoped that under 
cover of the Revolution it might be able to deal with oriental 
affairs, whether in Poland, Turkey, India, or in Eastern waters, 
so as to gain in territory or trade. The people of France, 
however, far from obliterating their country as a political factor 
in Europe, handled the affairs of the world with enthusiastic 
patriotism and successful genius. Realizing the vital connec- 
tion of sea power and commercial progress in the Mediter- 
ranean with the Eastern Question, with dominion in Asia, and 
with control of the world's trade routes, they set themselves to 
the task of creating a greater France abroad, while trying to 
create a new France at home. The city of Marseilles, in 
whose harbor was concentrated the French trade of the Medi- 
terranean, demanded that France should secure the major 
share of commerce or an equable proportion of territory in the 
coming struggle over the spoils of the East; and that, above 
all, English predominance in the waters which that rich city 

Commerce de la mer Noire, and Ferrihres-Sauvebceut : Memoires historiques,politiques 
et geographiques des voyages f aits en Turquie, en Perse et eft Arable depuis 1782, jus- 
qifen 1789, Paris, 1790, 2 vols.; Chattischerlf osla Rescrltto Imperiale di Sultan 
Abdul Hamid emanato latino 1779 per proibire agV Ingle si ed altre nazioni Europee 
il commercio delF mare rosso, in Hammer : Fundgruben des Orients, i. pp. 429*/ seq. 



THE EASTERN QUESTION AND THE REVOLUTION 1 45 

had so long regarded as tributary to her merchants, should 
become an impossibility. The belief in France was that Great 
Britain aspired to the commerce of the whole world ; that of 
the Levant, which was so peculiarly French in its economic 
and political history, must, therefore, be preserved to France at 
any cost. In respect to the fate of the Ottoman Empire 
opinion was divided. It was felt that the realization of any 
plan for the destruction of that power would be a serious blow 
to France ; but in case the day had come when a final partition 
of Turkish territory was to be accomplished,- it was essential 
that France should receive a just share of that territory ; or, to 
be more definite, that she should take possession of Egypt and 
several Greek islands, — a share which diplomats, scholars, and 
travellers had tentatively assigned to France in the past. If, 
however, it should appear that more was to be gained by a 
firm support of a weakened ally, it behooved France to become 
a bulwark to protect the Porte from the aggression of the rest 
of Europe. In the mean time greater power on the Mediter- 
ranean and along its coasts was necessary, whichever policy 
France might eventually decide to follow. The pamphleteers 
discussed these points and debated the character of Turkish 
rule and the vitality of Islam. Yet, however they might 
differ as to the method, they united as to the object. France 
had interests in the Orient which must be cherished and pro- 
tected from Great Britain. It was the opinion of Frenchmen, 
therefore, that by increasing her influence and trade in the 
Levant France would thwart Great Britain, would follow the 
policy which history and tradition had marked for her, and 
would best realize the ideal of a Roman imperial republic; in 
the words of Chenier : — 

" En vain vous [England] pr^tendez encor 
Appesantir sur l'onde un sceptre tyrannique 
Rois, ministres, guerriers, vainqueurs avec de For, 
Triomphant par la foi punique ! 
L'universe souleve : il remet en nos mains 
10 



146 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Le soin de recouvrer le public heritage ; 
Et les bras des nouveaux Romains 
Renverseront l'autre Carthage. 

" Sur ton sein [the sea] geneYeux porte-nous des tre'sors 
De l'onde adriatique et des mers de Bysance 
Appelle et conduis dans nos ports 
Les doux attributs de l'abondance ! " > 

1 Arnould : Balance du commerce, i. p. 258 : " Ce commerce du Levant, reunit, 
comme Ton voit, tous les avantages. II devient une ecole de matelots ; il soutient 
de nombreux atteliers ; il encourage l'agriculture ou le nourissage des bestiaux, 
en favorisant l'emploi des laines recoltees dans nos provinces meridionales ; il 
fait valoir le sol de nos colonies d'Amerique ; il apporte l'abondance des subsis- 
tances dans le midi de la France ; il grossit par les benefices de la reexportation, 
les capitaux destinees a la reproduction du revenu annuel ; enfin, il met perpetuelle- 
ment de nouveaux poids dans la balance de 1'industrie francoise, en alimentant 
sans cesse nos manufactures de matieres premieres." Barral-Montferrat : op. cit. 
i. pp. 325 et sea., 346. Beaujour : op. cit. i. pp. 4 et sea. ; ii. pp. 305 et sea., 321, 331. 
•Dubroca : Politique du gouvernement anglais, pp. 67, 69. Delafonte : Lettre & 
M. Herault, pp. 3, 4, 12, 18, 19, 21, 24-31. Bailleu : op. cit. i. pp. 54, 102, 113, 
123. Mayer: Considirations sur Pordre de Malte, pp. 6, 7. "Que le clef du 
Commerce du Levant et de la Mediterranee est dans les mains de l'Ordre, 
Qu'un nouveau souverain place sur ce point [Malta] central des deux continens, 
ouvriroit et fermeroit a son gre le passage a nos vaisseaux: que par la 
preponderance absolue que l'alliance de l'Ordre nous assure, le Commerce du 
Levant enrichit six de nos Provinces, soutient nos Manufactures, occupe une in- 
finite d'ouvriers, alimente notre Commerce d'Amerique, entretient Marseille dans 
l'etat le plus florissant, que par cette preponderance, la France 'conserve une alli- 
ance intime avec la Porte, et par elle jette des contrepoids toujours surs dans la 
balance de l'Europe," p. 43. He closes with an appeal for a Franco-Turkish 
alliance directed against England in the Levant. Russia and Austria could also 
be checked in their plans for the despoilment of Turkey, and Russia could be 
induced by trade to cooperate with France against England. A number of other 
pamphlets of a similar character to those above cited are to be found noted in the 
bibliography. Chenier : (Euvres, iii. p. 362, " Hymne — La Reprise de Toulon." 
(Dec. 30, 1793.) 



CHAPTER III 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT : THE EGYPTIAN 
EXPEDITION 

The New Factors in Politics — Tendencies of the Period : the Classic Revival, 
the Oriental Revival, the Revolutionary Spirit, the Legend of Charlemagne — 
Their Influence on Napoleon Bonaparte — His Early Training ; his Books and 
Notes — Raynal — Analysis of the Histoire philosophique — Colonies, Com- 
merce, and Sea Power ; the Trinity of the New Politics — Bonaparte and 
Charlemagne — The Condition of the Ottoman Empire, 1797 — France and 
Venice — Bonaparte in Italy — His Interest in the Orient — The Ionian 
Islands — The Fall of Venice — Malta — Bonaparte and the Directory — The 
Partition of Turkey — France versus England — The Mission of Poussielgue 
— The Invasion of England — Bonaparte in Paris, 1798 — The Discussion of 
Plans — The Egyptian Expedition is decided, March — The Authorship of the 
Plan — Bonaparte's Information about Egypt — Motives for the Expedition — 
Sketch of the Events — Bonaparte's Policy toward the Porte ; toward the Peo- 
ples and Rulers of Egypt, Syria, Greece, and the Barbary States ; and toward 
the Directory — Bonaparte and Islam — The Mahdi — Egypt and India — The 
Situation in India, 1793-98 — Tipii-Tib of Mysore — The French in India — 
Tipu and the Directory — British Opinion regarding the Egyptian Expedition ; 
its Menace to British Power in Asia — The Khalif, Tipu, and the British Au- 
thorities — The Last War with Mysore, 1798 —Tipu and Bonaparte — The 
French at Suez and on the Red Sea — The Death of Tipu — British Policy in 
India, in Persia, and toward the Far East — The Evolution of Asiatic Politics 

— The Situation in Europe — The Second Coalition — Success of the Allies 

— Their Jealousies — Bonaparte's Return to France — The Reasons for the 
Failure of the Expedition — Its Influence on the Eastern Question. 

We have followed the diplomatic and economic development 
of the Eastern Question during the last quarter of the eigh- 
teenth century; we have seen how great an influence oriental 
affairs had on the policies of Europe; ^and we have observed 
that Asiatic problems themselves changed in character under 
pressure from the political expansion of Europe and the econo- 



148 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

mic demands of the West. Each of the great Powers of Europe 
had now become interested in oriental matters; colonial and 
Asiatic questions were now to be linked in a vast world-prob- 
lem. Statesmen could no longer depend merely on land 
power ; they must recognize in sea power a factor unknown to 
the Eastern Question since the sixteenth century; and they 
must perceive that dominion in Asia was both a prize worth 
fighting for and an important element in the history of Euro- 
pean nations. It was the fate of France at this juncture to be 
both served and led by Napoleon Bonaparte, a. man whose 
interest in the Orient were deep and lasting. He touched 
the Eastern Question and the colonial problem, as he did all 
the nearer questions of Europe, with a touch which is felt to 
this day. The ideas which he brought to his task and the 
conditions under which he was trained for his career thus had 
much to do, not only with his own personal treatment of these 
matters, but also with their historical development. For a 
better understanding of these things, therefore, it is necessary 
to glance at certain tendencies of the period in which he was 
born. First among these is the classical revival. The eigh- 
teenth century was marked by the heralding of a new propa- 
ganda in philosophy and by a return to the ideals of the ancient 
world. Rome exerted an incomparable influence in the midst 
of an essentially modern society. The French, made familiar 
through wonderful translations with the best of classic authors, 
absorbed the spirit of a literature that was imperial — Augustan 
— in its mission. The classicism reproduced in French writ- 
ings may have been false ; but politically the revival was of great 
importance. Every device which strengthened the impression 
that the new Republic was but continuing the mission of the 
old, received joyful and passionate acclaim. The great struggle 
of the ancient democracy had been with Carthage, the mistress 
of the sea; the mighty empire of the Phoenicians had fallen 
before the insignificant naval power of Latium. That in such 
and such a year of the French Republic, England, the modern 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 149 

Carthage, the second queen of commerce and trade, should fall 
before the successors of the Scipios seemed not impossible to 
French ambition. 1 

The progress of oriental studies was a cognate movement. 
The missionary work of the Jesuits, the commercial and colo- 
nial development, the expansion of the Russian Empire, the 
numerous explorations in Asia, Africa, and Oceanica, and the 
growth of a scientific spirit of investigation had all combined 
to make the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries an epoch in 
oriental philological and historical investigation. France had 
played no small part in this movement. Her writers were 
authorities, and her government and people were in sympathy 
with the advancement of knowledge regarding the East. Both 
the Peysonnels, de Tott, Volney, and many others were busy 
preaching the new evangel of the Orient. The star of the 
French Empire was to be seen moving eastward, and French 
travellers and scholars were the new astronomers. The po- 
litical developments in eastern Europe and in India at once 
stimulated interest in the peoples and institutions of Asia and 
led to the rehabilitation of ancient and oriental history, both as 
a subject for serious study and as a text for contemporary 
events. Catherine's " Greek Plan " and Napoleon's Egyptian 
Expedition undoubtedly led to a scientific revival of the study 
of Ancient Greece and Egypt ; but they were also directed them- 
selves in large measure by the scientific and literary interest 
which was part of the spirit of the age. The importance of 
the Orient and the necessity for knowledge concerning it were 
manifested by the establishment in Paris of a " School for the 
Study of Modern Oriental Languages." Langles was largely 
instrumental in accomplishing this ; and he was placed at the 

* Texte : Rousseau et le Cosmopolitisme, pp. 418 et seq., 423. A short list is 
given of some of the works published. Paulin Paris : Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in 
Bibliophile Jrancaise, i. pp. 228 et seq. Masson : Dipt, des aff. Strang, pp. 330, 
410. Malmesbury : Diaries, iii. p. 544. Chenier : OZuvres, iii. pp. 186, 187, 362, 
391. Pingaud: Choiseul-Gouffier, pp. 18 et seq., 67 et seq., 137 et seq. Renard: 
L'lnjluence de FantiquitS classique sur la litterature francaise {passim). 



150 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

head of the institution for which he had appealed, almost 
entirely on political and diplomatic grounds (1795). Volney, 
the scholar and traveller, was attached to the foreign office ; and 
ten thousand copies of his " Simplification des langues orien- 
tales " were distributed by order of the Committee of Public 
Safety. The School was of the greatest value to the French 
people ; its pupils became the emissaries of Napoleon, and its 
history is intimately connected with that of a diplomacy which 
has operated in India, Persia, Egypt, Algiers, and Turkey. The 
intimate relations existing between politician and philosopher, 
statesman and scholar, make these intellectual movements of 
still greater importance. The Frenchman reading his Caesar, 
his Livy, his Plutarch, or his Strabo, was a practical politician. 
He was guided by geography and history. 1 

Geographical situation has given permanence to the political 
genius of France. Even before Charlemagne, her kings were 
summoned to redress the balance of power in lands beyond 
her eastern border. The subsidies drawn from the Emperors 
at Constantinople for this -and like services and the trade de- 
veloped with the Levant became a source of steadily-increasing 
income to her people. The great personality of Charlemagne, 
whose shadow reaches across the centuries to Philip Augustus 
and Napoleon, was used as a lay figure, about which were 
twined the ideals and ambitions of a nation. It is the 
legend of his work and policy which impressed the minds 
of men. It was he, according to the story, who received 
an embassy from Harun-al-Rashid, presenting the titles to 
the shrines of Christendom. He was the first royal Crusa- 
der and pilgrim. After leaving an army in the north to ward 
off any attack of the Normans, he set sail for the Orient with 

1 Benfey: Gesch. der Sprachwissenschaft, pp. 239, 263, 326. E. Charavay : 
L\Orientaliste Langles, in Revolution frangaise, xvi. (1889), p. 136. Masson : Aff. 
etrang. pp. 314 (note), 331, 412. I have included in the Bibliography the titles 
of a few of the works on oriental subjects which appeared at this time in France, 
which either exerted any influence in directing public attention to the East, or 
which were of political significance. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 151 

a fleet collected in the harbors of Venice and Ancona. He 
fought the Saracens, destroying their false gods, conquered Eng- 
land for the Church, and received " Costentinnoble " at the hand 
of Roland. He achieved in story and song that which every 
ruler of France since his day has hoped to realize in fact. 1 
These ancient traditions, old as France herself, were not oblit- 
erated by the Revolution ; rather were they enlivened till they 
became political ideals for guidance in coming crises. Though 
it is impossible to discuss here the spirit of the Revolution, 
one fact must be pointed out, that the Revolution itself made 
no break in the course of French foreign policy. It is true 
that the Revolutionary spirit became for a time a kind of new 
religious faith, yet its propagation was carried on by applying 
old political principles, by maintaining the traditions and the 
system of the France of history. 2 



1 Procopius: De bello gothico, lib. i. c. 5 in Niebuhr : Corp. Scrip. Byz. xix. 
p. 27. Agatthias : Historiarum, lib. ix. c. 20,62. Barbeyrac, in Dumont: Supple. 
i. part 2, art. 179. Mezeray : Hist, de France, i. p. 238. Sorel : V Europe et la 
Revol. i. p. 246. Poeto Saxo : Ann. de Gestis B. Caroli Magni, lib. iv. ind. 9. 
Pertz: Mon. Ger. iii. p. 710. Leibnitz: Alberici, Ann. 802, ii. p. 133. Tudebodus; 
Hist, de Hierosolymitano Itinere, in Du Chesne, iv. p. 777. Eginhard : Vita Carol. 
Mag. ann. 797. Graetz: Gesch. der Juden, v. pp. 184, 185. Dubois: De recupera- 
tione, pp. 5, 8, 18 (cf. Lebceuf in Hist, et mem. de FAcad. des inscrip. xxi. p. 126, 
and in Leber : Collection, xviii. pp. 86-106. Foncemagne in Leber : Ibid, xviii. 
pp. 107-116). Auracher: Pseudo-Turpin, p. 24. Paris: Hist. poetique de Charle- 
magne, p. 295. Michel: Chanson de Roland, p. 15 (str. xxvii. v. 8), p. 90 (str. 
clxix. v. 16). Roland, dying, tells of his conquests for Charlemagne. 

" Jo Ten cunquis Baiver e tute Flandres 
E Burguigne e trestute Puillanie 
Costentinnoble, dunt il ont la fiance, 
E en Saisonie fait-il 90 qu'il demandet ; 
E Engleterre que il teneit sa cambre." 

CJf. Forster : Christian von Troyes sdmtliche Werke, Cligte, v. 30-44. 

2 Burke : op. cit. iii. p. 394. Stern : Das Leben Mirabeaus, ii. p. 246. De 
Tocqueville : VAncien Regime, 1. i. c. 3, p. 1 5. Taine : VAncien Regime, 1. iii. c. 3, 
p. 267, and La Revolution, ii. p. 67. Mallet du Pan : Corr. ii. p. 135. Montegut : 
La Democratie et la Revolution, in R. d. D. M. cc. pp. 425 et seq. Aulard : Dipl. 
de la Comiti de Salut Public, in Revolution franc, xviii. p. 130. Lavalle'e : op. cit. 



152 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

What then of the training of the Corsican lad who was to 
bridge the gulf between an artillery subaltern and a French 
Emperor ? His boyhood was spent by the shores of the 
Mediterranean, where the world's trade passed by, rich with 
supplies from the mysterious East; his youth was occupied 
with study, especially that of history, and his mind was fasci- 
nated early by things oriental. Born again of the spirit of the 
Revolution, its child and heir by right of that birth to the 
history and traditions of which it was a part, Napoleon Bona- 
parte was destined to become a rival to Alexander and the 
Caesars. Nature had done her share in moulding the boy; the 
printed page stimulated and guided the youth. Thus the 
man spoke from a full mind, yet as no pedant, but as a well- 
trained workman in politics. There is indeed no study of any 
part of Bonaparte's career which is so self-revealing as the 
examination of the books he read and the notes he wrote while 
in school and as a young officer. General works on practical 
politics and philosophy and the principles of artillery tactics 
form a group by themselves ; they are greatly outweighed by 
the vast amount of purely historical literature which he made 
his own. Plutarch's Lives, Strabo, and the Republic of Plato, 
were books he loved. Among more modern volumes, history of 
every description ranks first, and in his own notes it again 
takes the major place. The classical and oriental revivals and 
the colonial and economic questions of the day had their in- 
fluence with him and guided him in his choice of books. An 
examination of his notes, based on his reading, reveals much. 
Masson's edition of Bonaparte's notes has fifty-two printed 
pages on the Republic and Rollin's Ancient History. On the 
latter there is a detailed syllabus treating of Persia, Assyria, 
Scythia, Thrace, Greece, Crete, Greater Greece, and Egypt. 
Bonaparte comments : " It is at Alexandria, founded by 
Alexander on the Nile, that the commerce of the Orient is 

pp. i, 2. Sorel : L Europe et la Revol. i. pp. 238, 258, 321 et seq., 334, 545 ; ii. pp. 
532 et seq.f'm. p. 144. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 53 

carried on." 1 The most careful analyses are those regarding the 
Persians, Greeks, and Arabs. Seventy-four pages are devoted 
to an outline of English history and a brief minute on the 
finances of the French East India Company. At Brienne he 
read and committed to memory long passages of Vertot's His- 
tory of the Knights of Malta. Baron de Tott, whose travels in 
Central Asia, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt were famous at the 
time, was a favorite author, and his book was carefully digested 
and annotated. Such passages as this, " Egypt is so situated 
as to combine the commerce of Europe, Africa and the East 
Indies" apparently made an impression on the mind of the 
reader, as did the generally favorable description of that coun- 
try. 2 Volney is another writer on the same general subject, 
and at a later period he was enabled to influence Bonaparte 
more directly by personal intercourse along a line distinctly 
sympathetic with the Egyptian Expedition. The history and 
government of Venice were also matters which he thoroughly 
investigated. 3 Sixteen pages of Masson are occupied with 
notes on Marigny's History of the Arabs; and we also find a 
story of oriental adventure by Bonaparte himself, entitled " Le 
Masque Prophete." St. Helena is mentioned among various 
notes on geography, and an estimate of the earnings of the 
British East India Company gives the figure at 79,874,872 

1 Masson : Napoleon Inconnu, i. pp. 2S5 et seq., 318, 319. Bonaparte writes : 
" Le commerce de la Perse, de lTnde, de l'Arabie s'est fait pendant plusieurs 
siecles par la voie de la mer Rouge et du Nil. Le passage par le Cap de Bonne- 
Esperance que les Portugais ont decouvert a fait negliger absolument l'ancienne 
voie." Notes on Charles Rollin : Histoire ancieime, Paris, 1734-40, 13 vols. Du 
Casse : Memoires de Joseph, i. p. 32. 

2 Masson : op. cit. i. pp. 340 et seq., 431, 433 et seq. John Barrow : Histoire 
d'Angleterre (translation), Paris, 1771, 10 vols. Chuquet : Jeunesse de Napoleon, 
i. pp. 105, 129, 136. De Tott: Memoirs, ii. pp. 251, 274 et seq. (on the Suez 
canal) ; 287 et seq. (Egypt is described as possessing a rich soil, salubrious 
climate, a wretched people, and a weak government.) 

3 Masson : op. cit. ii. pp. 20 et seq. Amelot de la Houssaie : Histoire du 
gouvernement de Venise avec des notes historiques et politiques, Lyon, 1740, 
3 vols. Sainte-Beuve : Causeries de Lundi. (Berger : Volney) vii. pp. 408, 427. 



154 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

livres. Voltaire's writings on China, India, Babylon, and 
Muhammad received greater attention than did his philos- 
ophy; though the preaching of the political and social re- 
formers of the time did not fall on deaf ears. A mass of notes 
on almost every conceivable subject is remarkable in that over 
half of them treat of matters east of the Adriatic. Cyrus, 
Alexander, and Muhammad were the three men who most 
appealed to him from the pages of oriental history. 1 

There is one work, however, which at that time ranked 
among the great productions of a great age. If Favier's famous 
book, " Les conjectures raisonneez sur Vetat de V Europe" de- 
serves to be called " the Bible of the true diplomat," the Abbe 
Raynal was its inspired interpreter. The Histoire philoso- 
phique et politique des etablissements et du commerce des 
Europeens dans les deux Indes f was to the Conjectures raison- 
nees what the fiery eloquence of the Contrat social was to the 
measured power of the Esprit des Lois, Sorel calls Raynal 
" the prophet of the diplomacy of the Revolution." He applied 
geography and political economy to history and turned the 
study of statistics and descriptions of the tropics into a manual of 
practical politics. He invoked Peace, but caused War ; he was 
among the first writers of economic history, world-wide in its 
plan, recognizing the new conditions which made war a struggle 
for bread, and commerce and colonies the pledges of power. Yet 
he was not the sole representative of this point of view ; the 
very fact that edition after edition was exhausted shows the 
great demand which the public were making for an interpre- 
tation of the new politics of the world. His views on India 
were shared by many other writers ; his clearness of thought 
and power of expression drove them home to the hearts of 

1 Masson : op. cit. ii. pp. I et seq., 17 etseq.,49 (" Ste. Helene, petite ile "), 5r, 52, 
258 et seq., 268 et seq. Marigny : Histoire des Arabes, Paris, 1750, 4 vols. Lacroix : 
La Geographie moderne, Paris, 1747. Voltaire : Les annales de V Empire depuis 
Charlemagne, and VEssai sur les mceurs et Vesprit des nations. These were natu- 
rally the two works which appealed to Bonaparte peculiarly. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 155 

men. It is, then, but natural that the young Napoleon should 
have received this book with the greatest eagerness, read it 
with the closest attention, annotated it and pondered over its 
pages, dedicated to their author in youthful, yet sincere flattery 
his own literary production, the History of Corsica, and finally, 
possessed by the theories which Raynal had propounded, en- 
deavored to realize in the history of the next quarter-century 
the ideas he had received in the unforgotten student days at 
Valence. 1 

The general scheme and argument of Raynal's work are as 
follows : The author surveys in an introductory chapter the 
history of colonial enterprise in the past, and then treats in 
turn the establishments of each European nation in both 
hemispheres, concluding with a general discussion of the un- 
derlying causes for the present situation and of the methods 
in vogue. Here he says with regard to England's success 
and its causes : " It is not, as has been hitherto imagined, 
war alone that settles the superiority of nations ; for the last 
half-century commerce has had a much greater influence in 
it. While the continental powers measured and partitioned 
Europe into unequal shares, which diplomacy balanced by 
its leagues, treaties, and combinations, a maritime nation 
formed, as it were, a new system, in which by their industry 
the land was made subject to the sea, as Nature herself has 
decreed by her laws. They created or developed this exten- 

1 Masson : op. cit. i. pp. 334 et seq. ; Grosjean : Mission de Simonville, in 
Revolution francaise, xiii. p. 891. Sorel : V Europe et la revolution francaise, i. pp. 
308, 309. Arnould : Balance du commerce, i. p. 48. Gomel : Causes financieres, ii. 
p. 27. Segur : Mimoires, souvenirs et anecdotes i. p. 150. Legoux de Flaix : Uln- 
doustan, i. pp. 395 et seq. Breton : Notice sur Raynal, in Mem de Vlnstitut, i. p. xv. 
et seq. Raynal was not the real author of the entire work. Diderot was respon- 
sible for much of the philosophy, and Raynal's position was in some respects only 
that of a compiler. Diderot : OEuvres, i. p. xvii ; iv. p. 107 ; xx. pp. 103, 104. 
Jung: Bonaparte et son temps, i. p. 162. Mallet du Pan: Memoires (ed. Sayous, 
Eng. trans.), i. pp. 45 et seq. G. T. Raynal : Histoire philosophique et politique des 
itablissements et du commerce des Europiens dans les deux Indes. Geneva, 1780-81. 
10 vols. 8vo. 



156 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

sive commerce, founded upon an excellent agriculture, flour- 
ishing manufactures and the richest possessions in the four 
quarters of the globe. It is this sort of universal monarchy 
that Europe ought to wrest from England, thereby restoring 
to each maritime state the liberty and power that it ought to 
have upon that element which surrounds it." 1 The funda- 
mental principle of the book is that commerce is power, and 
that the strength of a nation lies in a colonial empire sup- 
ported by trade. Trade routes and strategic positions are 
discussed. The English had strengthened the Cape of Good 
Hope route to the East by fixing upon St. Helena as a port 
of call. The French, if guided by La Bourdonnais, would 
have taken two of the islands off the East coast of Africa, 
and, on the outbreak of hostilities, with the He de France 
as a naval base, could have cut England's communications 
with India. 2 The routes to India from the eastern end of 
the Mediterranean are described at length. Two in particu- 
lar are mentioned: one, from some Syrian port across the 
desert to Persia via Aleppo and Baghdad, and thence either 
by land to Malabar, or down the Euphrates to the Persian 
Gulf, and by sea to India; and the other, via Egypt and the 
Red Sea. Especial attention is paid to the latter; and a 
glowing description of Arabia and Arabian trade, together 
with a discussion of the strategic value of the Red Sea, give 
it peculiar interest. It appears to have attracted Bonaparte, 
for he comments at length on this chapter. 3 As regards 

1 Raynal: op. cit. x. p. 152. 

2 Raynal : op. cit. ii. pp. 184, 185. 

8 Raynal : op. cit. ii. pp. 48-155 , p. 61. " The situation of its [Aden ] harbour, 
which opened an easy communication with Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and Persia, 
had rendered it for many ages one of the most flourishing factories in Asia." 
Masson : op. cit. i. pp. 334, 335 ( Bonaparte's notes on Raynal ) : " Sous les Ptole- 
mies, l'Egypte fit le commerce par la mer Rouge, mais les uns passaient par le 
Golfe Persique et les iles de Madagascar, les autres s' arretaient a l'ile de Ceylon ; 
quelques-uns allaient au Coromandel pour remonter le Gange. Leurs voyages 
duraient six ans, tandis que nous le faisons en six mois." Here follows a list of 
commodities carried by the Egyptians. "Toutes les nations commercantes 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 157 

access to India from the north, the statements are also well 
worth consideration, for the writer shows with great clear- 
ness the invulnerable position of Russia and the natural 
advantages which would accrue to her, at comparatively 
little expenditure of men or money, as soon as the plans 
formulated by Peter the Great should be pushed to comple- 
tion. The history of the rise of Russia is perhaps the most 
suggestive piece of work in' the book, and reveals a master 
hand. It was claimed that Russia and China were united in 
a natural way, which must, in the end, be for the advantage 
of the European power. In this region, also, the trade-routes 
were partly by water. The connection by them between 
east and west is shown to have been of ancient origin, and, 
according to the writer, they formed a series of avenues for 
approach to the southeast either for trade or war. 1 

allaient dans les ports d'ligypte prendre les merchandises des Indes. La naissance 
de l'Empire mahometan affaiblit le commerce d'ligypte, et le commerce des Indes 
prit deux autres routes : la premiere par Constantinople, la mer Noire par 
l'Euphrate jusqu'a Serapana; de la, par le moyen de quatre ou cinq jours de 
voiture, ils arrivaient au fleuve Cyrus, puis a la mer Caspienne, oil Ton remontait 
l'Oxus ; ensuite, par l'lndus. L'on revenait par le meme chemin. L'autre moyen 
etait moins complique ; le golfe Persique, l'Euphrate, de la a Palmyre par terre 
ou des caravanes allaient jusqu' aux bords de Syrie. Lorsque Palmyre fut 
detruite, les caravanes prirent la route d'Alep et du port d'Alexandrette. Dans 
les derniers temps, les Venitiens avaient persuade aux Mamelucs, souverains 
d'ligypte, moyennant une retribution, a leur laisser tenter le commerce de l'Inde. 
Les Genois, les Pisans, les Florentins, les Catalans en profiterent. Tel etait 
l'etat du commerce lorsque les Portugais decouvrirent le passage du Cap de 
Bonne-Esperance." 

1 Raynal : op. cit. iii. pp. 129 et seq., 147. It is fair to suppose that passages 
such as these may have had some influence upon Napoleon in directing him to 
invade Russia, with possibly India as an ultimate destination. At a time but 
little subsequent to the reading of this book he did endeavor to secure his trans- 
fer to the Russian service. Waliszewski : Autour d'un trdne, p. 62. Masson : 
op. cit. ii. p. 526. Mention must be made here of Bonaparte's attempt in 1795 to 
enter the Turkish artillery service. Napoleon: Correspondance, Nos. 56, 61, 64, 
65* J ur »g ' Bonaparte et son temps, iii. pp. 58 et seq., 408, 409. It was the age 
when the peculations of Anglo-Indian officials were the theme of parliamentary 
discussions. Napoleon himself broached the plan of entering the English service 
in order that he might return from the Indies " rich as a nawab." Jung : Lucien 



158 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

From the conflict between France and Great Britain which 
began in 1744, Raynal drew several lessons. In India the 
English had previously defeated the Dutch and Portuguese, 
and against France their methods of attack were the same. 
Everywhere they aimed at their enemy's commerce, while 
the French exhausted all their strength in a struggle to seize 
territory from which they could not hope to profit. At the 
conclusion of peace in 1763, the English were practically in 
control along the coast of Arabia, on the Persian Gulf, in 
Malabar, Coromandel, and Bengal, while the French had 
everywhere sunk into inactivity. The stakes for which 
France and England had waged a war upon so wide a field 
were those which in the past had "tempted the first con- 
querors of the world." The Empire of the Great Mughal, 
it was alleged, exceeded in wealth and luxury the wildest 
dreams of western kings. As regards the future, Raynal 
was hopeful. He recalled the fact that France still had a 
number of possessions in the East ; her defeat had been due 
rather more to chance, and to lack of co-operation at home, 
than to the prowess of English arms. In fact, since 1763 
the oppression of the victors had already alienated the Indian 
princes. " A fatal reverse of fortune " threatened the Eng- 
lish. At the sight of French standards the afflicted native 
sovereigns of India would gladly spring to arms, and the 
present tyrannical foreign rulers would be assailed by land 
and sea, did France but accept the opportunity offered to her. 
With victory, the French would emerge from their present 
humiliating condition; "they would become the idols of the 
princes and peoples of Asia"; and profiting by past mistakes 
the great rival power might at last be overthrown. 1 



Bonaparte, i. p. 74. Lucien, the same year in which this happened, tried to 
secure a place with Semonville, then under appointment for his second attempt 
to reach Constantinople. Jung : op. cit. i. p. 100. The Orient apparently had 
strong attractions for the entire family. 

1 Raynal : op. cit. ii. pp. 46, 196, 382, 389, 493. The He de France was a con- 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 59 

The opening proposition of the work is that commercial 
nations are those which have civilized the world. The con- 
clusion is an eloquent apostrophe to sea-power as a force 
which has revolutionized history, and made tributary to the 
harbors of Europe the richest and most distant lands of the 
globe. The position which Great Britain occupies, the writer 
continues, is due to her navy, which she regards as her ram- 
part, "the source of her riches," and the pivot of her hopes. 
The balance of power has departed from the continent; it 
rests with the maritime nations, and upon their fleets de- 
pends the destiny. of many peoples. 1 Bonaparte acquired 
from this book a share in that community of French thought 
whose development we have traced. He learned to consider 
England as the most dangerous rival of France, to regard her 
as injured when India, the alleged source of her riches, had 
been wrested from her ; and as conquered only when, shorn 
of sea-power and colonial possessions, her empire of trade 
had passed across the channel to the ports of France. In 
his own words many years later, — to win he must have sea- 
power, and that only as the result of an attack upon England 
at home and abroad. It was the task of a new Charlemagne. 2 

Bonaparte had read also in Voltaire that " Charlemagne, le 
plus ambitieux, le plus politique, et le plus grand guerrier 
de son siecle, fit la guerre aux Saxons trente ann^es avant de 
les assujetir pleinement. . . . Enfin, Charlemagne, maitre 
dTtalie, comme de l'Allemagne et de France, juge du pape, 
arbitre de 1' Europe, vient a Rome a la fin de l'annee 799. 

stant menace to England's line of communication, and at the outbreak of war 
France must expect an attack upon that important position, p. 483. 

1 Raynal : op. cit. x. pp. 197 et seq. 

2 Vandal : Napolion et Alexandre I. i. p. 6 : " Napoleon avait tout conquis, 
sauf la paix. Derriere chaque ennemi vaincu, il retrouvait l'Angleterre en 
armes, preparant contre lui des nouvelles coalitions." Napoleon : Commentaires, 
iv. p. 441 : " Qui [la Republique] etait en 1800 tout aussi inferieure sur la mer 
qu'en 1798.. Si Ton eut ete maitre de la mer, on eut marche droit a la fois sur 
Londres, sur Dublin, et sur Calcutta, c'etait pour le deviner que la Republique 
voulait posseder rEgypte." 



160 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

. . . Ldon III. le proclame empereur d' Occident pendant la 
messe, le jour de Noel." 1 Napoleon I. wrote to Cardinal 
Fesch : " Pour le Pope, je suis Charlemagne, parceque, 
comme Charlemagne, je reunis la couronne de France a celle 
des Lombards, et que mon empire confine avec 1' Orient. " 2 
Repudiating the rights and position which belonged to the 
Kings of France of the second and third dynasties, he dated 
his heritage back to the time when the Pope was only the 
Bishop of Rome, and the spiritual power rested on the tem- 
poral. Bonaparte crossed the Alps before his "thirty years" 
of war against the descendants of the Saxons had barely 
begun. He reversed the search of Columbus, who had 
sailed into the West to secure the wealth of the East, and 
marched to the East to reach the power of France's rival in 
the West. The propaganda of the Revolution changed in 
his mind to the mission of a Pro-consul carrying with his 
legions the rule of Rome, upon his eagles the law of a con- 
quering republic. 3 They likened him to Epaminondas, to 
Miltiades; he in turn proclaimed to his soldiers that, in con- 
quering Italy they had struck at England ; in defeating the 
army of Austria they had beaten its ruler, the imperial em- 
ployee of London store-keepers; and in seizing Ancona, that 
they were within twenty-four hours' sail of Macedonia. The 
image of Alexander of Macedon, encamped on the banks of 
the Indus, may have risen before his eyes. He received the 
Italian bishops with friendliness, as befitted one who was to 
become the "Sword of the Church," "Her eldest Son," "the 
protector of Christianity in the Orient," the successor to 
the "Most Christian Kings." 4 By the treaty of Pressburg 

1 Voltaire : Essais stir les mceurs, ch. xv., xvi. 

2 Napoleon : Correspondance, No. 9656, Jan. 7. 1806; cf. No. 9805 (to the Pope, 
Feb. 13, 1806). 

8 Napoleon : op. cit. Nos. 10237, 10399, 9^3!. 997 r - 

* Napoleon: op. cit. Nos. 1511, 1552, 9762, 9929, 6273 (to the Pope, Aug. 
28, 1802. The position of France as protector of Oriental Christianity is to be 
restored) ; 6274 (to the Archbishop of Paris) : " J'ai reunis sous notre protection 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT l6l 

the dream of Francis I. of France was to be realized. Aus- 
tria had not an acre of ground in Italy; but the time had not 
yet come for that. The "war to the death" was with Eng- 
land, whose fleets ranged the Mediterranean. The Spaniards 
had been won over, as has been told. They were to receive 
Gibraltar at one end and France was to secure Egypt at the 
other; then indeed the Latin lake of Louis XIV. would be 
a reality. In the meantime the Venice of which Napoleon 
had read in the pages of Amelot de la Houssaie demanded 
his attention. Her ancient sea-power might be restored, 
and, in his giant imagination, her insular possessions became 
stepping-stones to the Levant. As we shall see, he knew 
nothing of Leibnitz and his Consiliacum cegyptiacum ; but he 
had read Raynal, de Tott, Marigny, and Rollin. Their his- 
tories had been his nourishment. His military power he had 
gained independently from his politics; now they were com- 
bined in the mind of the successful leader. 1 

He was a leader, because as a student he had recognized 
the new conditions of political success. The policy of eco- 
nomic aggrandizement, which had found its expression in the 
political writings of the eighteenth century was based on the 
maxim that the commercial progress of a nation depended on 
the extension of its political system to the territory from 
which it was to draw its supplies, and to the markets in 
which it hoped to sell. The doctrine of the natural boun- 
daries of political sovereignty expanded at the command of 
this economic system. It was the age when trade followed 
only the flag, and when the flag was welcomed only in the 
harbors which recognized it as the emblem of political 
sovereignty. Trans-marine possessions had entered into the 

speciale le Saint Sepulcre et tous les Chretiens de 1'Orient"; 6495 (Chinese 
missions). Sorel : Bonaparte et Hoche, pp. 31 etseq., 73, 86. Metternich: Nach- 
gelassene Papier e, i. p. 280. 

1 Masson : op. cit. ii. pp. $06 et seq. Metternich : Nachgelassene Papiere, ii. p. 4. 
Pisani : La Dalmatie {1797-1815), pp. 145, 146. Segur: Hist et memoires, ii. p. 
478. Lumbroso : Napoleone I. e Inghilterra, pp. 456 et seq. 

II 



1 62 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

sphere of the old system. The legend of Charlemagne had 
come down across the centuries, but if France were to have 
an emperor he must be greater than Charlemagne; he must 
build an empire which should take into consideration mod- 
ern conditions and ideals. The science of war had changed ; 
printing had succeeded writing; the new astronomy had made 
the radius of politics a circle of latitude; the obligation to 
protect commerce and to foster industries had supplanted 
that of bearing the crusader's emblem. The new empire 
must claim oriental potentates as vassals; it must have a 
navy to drive the enemy from tropical harbors, and ships to 
bring home the gold and spices of the Indies. History itself 
had expanded, and Napoleon recognized it when he said: 
"Vivre sans commerce, sans marine, sans colonies, et sou- 
mis a l'injuste volonte de nos ennemis, ce n'est pas vivre en 
Francais." It was the voice of a new Charlemagne. 1 

Such was the training of Napoleon Bonaparte. We must 
now turn to examine the condition of the Orient whose em- 
pire he coveted, and to follow the preparations made by 
him for his first attempt to realize his early hopes. The 
Ottoman Empire was in a most critical condition. The 
plans for its partition had not been accomplished; but the 
treaty of Jassy, signed January 9, 1792, had ended a bloody 
and exhausting war with Russia by a further increase of 
Russian territory, which now extended as far as the river 
Dniestr. The accession of Selim III. in 1789, and the con- 
clusion of hostilities with a foreign foe had been the signal 
for widespread internal dissensions. The new Sultan was 
bent on reforming the government, introducing European 
methods and ideas, and practically abolishing the entire 
feudal system with one decree. Many provinces were prac- 
tically independent of Constantinople; every Pasha, who felt 
himself strong enough, refused either taxes or tribute to the 
Sultan; and the corruption and oppression of irresponsible 

1 Napoleon : Corr. Nos. 9216, 9929. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 63 

local officials increased the sufferings of the people tenfold. 
It was the anarchy of tottering feudalism without a strong cen- 
tral power to absorb and control. As regards religious affairs 
the Druze and Matawali sects were in rebellion in Mount Leb- 
anon; and all Arabia, save Mecca and Medina, was practi- 
cally subject to the Puritan Wahhabis, who fought with the 
traditional courage and dash of early and uncorrupted Islam. 
It was the period when the empire would have been most 
vulnerable to foreign attacks; but Bonaparte's Italian cam- 
paigns had called all the forces of Austria to the west, and 
Russia was not prepared to move alone, until her last acqui- 
sitions in Poland were more thoroughly amalgamated with 
the Empire. The hope of freedom from Turkish rule which 
the "Greek plan" of Catherine II. had aroused in the minds 
of the subject population south of the Balkans had been 
almost extinguished by her abandonment of those who had 
risen as her allies in rebellion against the Porte. The poorer 
Greeks, influenced by the religious ties which united them to 
the great northern power, had looked to her for help in the 
struggle toward a national existence. The educated and 
commercial classes, however, under the inspiration of the 
Revolution, were ready to turn to France, as the founder of 
republics in Italy, and as a possible deliverer from Ottoman 
rule in Greece. There were, therefore, in Turkey three ele- 
ments, with which any power having an oriental policy in 
view, must reckon, and which she might use to her own 
advantage: the weakness of the central government, which 
exposed it to foreign intervention thrust upon it in the 
guise of friendship to terminate the internal disorders; the 
strength of certain rebellious Pashas such as Passwan Oglu 
of Widdin, Ali Pasha of Janina, or Djezzar of Acre, who 
might intrigue with a foreign force to secure their own com- 
plete independence even at the expense of the destruction of 
the Empire; and the disaffected and revolutionary spirit in 
the entire Balkan peninsula, which was ready to burst into 



1 64 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

open rebellion with the slightest encouragement. Bonaparte 
and his agents availed themselves of all these methods in 
turn. He invaded Egypt with the excuse that the Mame- 
lukes were in rebellion against the Sultan, and that he was 
about to restore Egypt to her rightful ruler; he intrigued 
with Ali, encouraged Passwan Oglu, and tried to seduce 
Djezzar; he sent revolutionary agents into Greece, used, 
among others, the poet-patriot Rhigos, and allowed himself 
to be hailed as the future liberator of Greece. It was a mas- 
terly use of every tool at a period when Ottoman power was 
at its nadir. 1 

In 1793 the French had warned Venice that the realization 
of Austria's schemes for expansion on the Adriatic must be 
the death blow of that republic ; we have seen that the secret 

1 Vorontzov: Arkkiv, xviii. pp. 134-140 (Kotchubey's despatches in the 
winter of 1797-98). Pisani : La Dalmatie, pp. 41, 49 et seq., 114, 115. Rodoca- 
nachi: Bonaparte et les iles ioniennes, pp. 68, 91. Stephanopolos : Voyage en 
Grece, i. pp. 3, 69 et sea., 75, III, 185, 188-194 ; ii. pp. 138 et seq., 150 et seq., 213. 
Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2104, 2105 (to Pasha of Scutari) ; 2047, 2056 (to Chief of 
the Maniotes), 2061, 2106, 2196, 2684 (to Ali Pasha from Malta, June 19, 1798), 
2719. Swanton-Belloc : Napoleon et les Grecs, pp. 54, 56, 64-102, 373. Eton: 
Survey of Turkish Empire, p. 495 (a very instructive passage). Antonopou- 
los: Bonaparte et la Grece, in Nouvelle revue (1889), lx. pp. 254-261. Wilkinson : 
Dalmatia and Montenegro, ii. pp. 361 et seq. Buckhardt : Notes on the Wahabeys, 
pp. 273 et seq., 277, 425. Arnold: The Preaching of Islam, pp. 153, 158 et seq., 
230, 265, 299, 345 et seq. Hughes r Albania, ii. pp. 149 et seq. Holland: Travels, 
pp. 66, 103-133, 274. Hobhouse: Travels, i. pp. 101-112; ii. pp. 46 et seq. 388. 
Coquelle : Hist, de Montenegro, pp. 249, 255. Mendelssohn : Griechenland, i. pp. 
70 et seq., 92 et seq. Zinkeisen, Gesch. des osman. Reiches, vii. pp. 3-17, 34-45, 
84-94, T94 et seq., 318-328. Juchereau de St. Denys : Histoire de V Empire otto- 
man, ii. pp. 59 et seq., 387 et seq. Finlay : Hist, of Greece, vi. pp. 33 et seq., 39, 97. 
Hertzberg: Griechenland, hi. pp. 255 et seq., 287, 299 etseq. Rhizos: Hist, de la 
Grhe moderne, pp. 137 et seq., 241, and Cours de la littirature grecque, pp. 45, 157, 
179. Rangabe : Hist, littiraire de la Grece, i. pp. 104, 1 14, 187. Legrand : Chansons 
grecques, pp. 105-116. Byron: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, pp. 223 etseq., 273. 
Fauriel : Chants de la Grece, ii. pp. 15 etseq. Liibke : Neugriechische Lieder, pp. 
317 et seq. Leake : Travels in Northern Greece, i. pp. 54, 463, 507, and Travels in 
Morea, i. p. 314, and Researches in G?'eece, pp. 83 etseq., 92, 140, 153. Raybaud : 
Memoir e sur la Grhe, pp. 488 ei seq. Pouqueville : Voyage e?i Morie, ii. pp. 176 
et seq., and Regeniration de la Grece, i. p. 124; ii. pp. 388 et seq. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT l6$ 

treaty of January, 1795, between Austria and Russia included 
such plans. In time the intention of the Directory became 
more earnest; they wished to draw Venice from her neutral 
position. Sandoz-Rollin, the Prussian ambassador at Paris, 
spoke of an alliance with Venice in order to check Austria; 
and with similar views the French representative at the 
Porte, Verninac, suggested a defensive alliance of France, 
Spain, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire. This matter was 
urged on the Venetian diplomats at Madrid, Constantinople, 
and Paris; but Venice still declared her desire to maintain 
her neutrality. The offer of a defensive alliance with France 
was also refused, in the summer of 1796; and though, on May 
29, Bonaparte had assured Venice that her neutrality would 
be respected, he soon made demands for supplies to be fur- 
nished the French armies. A little later the general wrote 
to the Directory of the weakness of the ancient city, of her 
potential naval strength, and of the importance of her port 
to English trade. Other events also had effect in the mat- 
ter. The evacuation of Corsica by the English a few weeks 
later aided the plan for French domination in the Mediterra- 
nean ; and the French in Italy hastened their efforts to gain 
control of the Adriatic. The Directory in the meantime, 
while considering terms of peace with Austria, had sug- 
gested the abandonment of Italy and indemnification for 
France on the Rhine and in America. This, however, was 
by no means Bonaparte's plan. He talked of marching on 
Vienna and inciting rebellion in Hungary. In any event 
the economic, political and naval decadence of Venice, her 
importance strategically, and the value of her transmarine 
and insular possessions, had marked her for a sacrifice to 
either French or Austrian greed! It had become a matter 
of purely political expediency. The Venetian territories 
and Dalmatia and Albania were open roads to the heart of 
the Ottoman dominions; they outflanked Austria, strength- 
ened the control of Italy, and, with the Ionian Islands, 



1 66 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

formed an unrivalled approach to the Levant. 1 The capture 
of Ancona by the French revealed the train of thought in 
Bonaparte's mind. He wrote that, after Venice, it was the 
only harbor of importance on that coast ; that a sail of twenty- 
four hours ended in Macedonia; that Constantinople was but 
ten days distant; and that the possession of Ancona was 
essential to France, giving her power on the Adriatic, in- 
creased influence with the Porte, and a strong military posi- 
tion. The people of France, however, cared more for the 
left bank of the Rhine than they did for the coast of the 
Adriatic; and, realizing this, the victorious and politic gen- 
eral insisted as a sine qua non in the peace negotiations with 
Austria that the theory of the natural boundaries should 
receive its practical accomplishment. Nevertheless, though 
at first glance sacrificing much in Italy, he kept a 
line open to the Adriatic along the River Po, secured the 
Ionian Islands, and pillaged Venice before abandoning her 
to Austria. 2 

At the same time that the fall of Venice was preparing, a 
similar scheme for seizing Malta was maturing in Bonaparte's 
mind. Indeed, the young general, victorious in battle and 
council, was seeing oriental vistas open before him; there 
were those about him who even suggested for him an in- 
dependent rule in Italy, including the domination of the 
Adriatic and the Mediterranean and the restoration of 

1 Pesenti : Diplomazia franco-turca, pp. 45 et seq., 65, 66, 78 et seg., 100, 102. 
Bonnal : Chute d'une republique, pp. 89, et seq., 359, 363. Gaffarel : Bonaparte et 
les ripubliques italiennes, pp. 115-117. Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 514, 582, 889,926, 
1060, 1061, 1096, 1099, 1235. Daru : Hist, de Venise, v. pp. 227, 245, 250, 264, 433 
et seq. ; vii., pp. 269 et seq. Pisani: La Dalmatie, pp. xiii., 18, 22, 127 et seq., 136, 
145 et seq. 

2 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 1475, J 494, 1497, '544, 1686, 1691, 1703,1712, 1714, 
1715. l 735> J 743> J 744, 1745. ^65, 1766, 1791, 1793, J 797> I799> l8o 3> l8o 4> l8 |4- 
Du Casse : Mimoires du Prince Eugene, i. pp. 34, 460. Daru : Hist, de Venise, 
vii. pp. 349, 355, 356 (Direct, to B. May 19, 1797, ordering him to secure naval 
supplies from Venice, repeating Bonaparte's language to them of some months 
earlier). Cf. also Bonnal : op. cit., and Gaffarel : op. cit. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 67 

the ancient commercial power of central southern Europe. 
Thus would he hold Austria and France in balance. But 
Bonaparte had become a Frenchman ; the iron crown was not 
for him, save as an appanage of the Imperial. In Italy his 
mind was big with plans; the genesis of that against Malta 
may be assigned to the early spring of 1797. The Order of 
Malta had fallen into decadence during the latter half of the 
eighteenth century, but the strategic value of the island gave 
to the policy of the Order an importance greater than its real 
power and condition would have warranted. The diplomatic 
intercourse between Valetta and Paris had been impaired by 
death and by the Revolution. When finally a representative 
of the Directory was established in Malta during the winter 
of 1796, it was with the intention of preserving French influ- 
ence and of preventing the island from becoming a point of 
vantage for the allies. The suppression of the French com- 
manderies of the Order by decrees of the Assemblee constitu- 
ante (June 30, 1791, Sept. 19, 1792) had involved the fortunes 
of the Order and injured the prestige of France. Through 
this situation the various continental powers endeavored to 
profit, and on January 4 (15), 1797, a convention was signed 
with Russia for the transformation of the old priory in 
Poland to one for all Russia. This close relationship de- 
veloping between the Knights of St. John and the Tzar was 
revealed to Bonaparte by the capture of some despatches in 
February; he then proposed to excite the fear of the Porte 
at Russian intrigue in the Mediterranean, and to draw the 
Turks toward France. Within two months the signature of 
preliminaries of peace at Leoben between France and Aus- 
tria (April 18), was to give an unexpected importance to 
these negotiations of the various powers at Malta. The 
proposed sudden increase of Austrian power by the fall of 
Venice necessitated for France the possession of islands such 
as the Ionian in the Adriatic or Malta in the Mediterranean, 
in order to protect her commerce and to support her policy. 



1 68 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

In a letter of May 26 Bonaparte expressed these ideas, and 
suggested the capture of Malta. His letters clearly showed 
his appreciation of the value of both Malta and Corfu to 
France. With regard to the latter island a decision had 
already been reached. Ancona and Corfu were to be kept 
by If ranee, and Admiral Brueys with his fleet was hurried 
from Toulon to complete the control of the sea. Bonaparte's 
letters of this period are a curious compound of classical and 
oriental phrases, revolutionary catch-words and political and 
economic maxims, all showing the strong influence exerted 
on him by the tendencies of the period. In August was des- 
patched that well-known series of wonderful letters, which 
in graphic language repeated the personal and national long- 
ings of all Frenchmen, — ■ the policy was outlined which Bona- 
parte was to follow for the next two years. The Ionian 
Islands were worth all Italy to France, so Bonaparte wrote, 
and as the Ottoman Empire was soon to fall, France should 
be ready to seize her share of the spoils. England could be 
destroyed only if Egypt were in French hands, and the trade 
of the Levant preserved to the Republic. The power of the 
Pashas of Albania and Bosnia, the weakness of the Sultan, 
and the value of the Ottoman domain had been impressed 
anew upon Bonaparte's mind. He believed that the day 
destined for the downfall of that Empire was at hand, and 
the struggle of a few Greeks for independence revealed to 
him the agent he had to his hand should the time come when 
France, abandoning her traditional attitude of friendly alli- 
ance with the Porte, would claim the richest portion of the 
Levant. The Directory, reversing its previous propositions, 
now talked of the total expulsion of Austria from Italy, the 
union of Venice to the " Republique italique" under French 
protection, and in every event the absolute possession of the 
Ionian Islands by France. Talleyrand in much the same 
language that Bonaparte himself had used, wrote, on August 
23, "Nothing is more important than that we should gain 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 69 

a good footing in Albania, Greece, Macedonia, and other 
provinces of the Turkish Empire in Europe, and even all 
which border on the Mediterranean, such as Egypt in par- 
ticular, which may some day be of the greatest value to us." a 
On September 13, Bonaparte made his second proposition 
to seize Malta. Once in possession of that island, of St. 
Pierre, already ceded by the King of Sardinia, and of Corfu, 
France would be mistress of the Mediterranean. In case at 
the next peace with England, the Cape of Good Hope should 
pass from French control, it would be necessary to secure 
Egypt, which could be held by twenty-five thousand men sail- 
ing from Italy. He asked Talleyrand to inform him what 
effect the invasion of that country by the French would be 
likely to have on the Porte; and curiously enough he stated 
that Egypt did "not belong to the Grand Seignior." At 
about this time Desaix visited Bonaparte at Passeriano, and 
his notes of the conversations are suggestive of what was 
absorbing the mind of the great leader. The resources 
of Egypt were discussed ; the results of the travels of Savary 
and Volney were talked over; a plan was outlined for an 
expedition to Egypt of eighteen thousand men, sailing from 
Venice; and the advantages of Egypt as a permanent French 

1 De la Jonquiere : Expidition d' Egypte, i. pp. 19-21,22 (France and Malta in 
1794, Arch. etr. France, vol. 652) : " Lorsque Toulon fut pris, l'Ordre de Malte pa- 
rut vouloir se declarer. II est ni ami ni ennemi. Si Ton eut recherche la conduit 
de l'Ordre de Malte, peut-etre eut-on trouve qu'il inclinnait d'avantage du cote de 
nos ennemis que de notre ; mais il importe de ne pas multiplier les ressources 
des Anglais et de conserver en etat de neutralite une ile que Ton doit considerer 
comme le clef du Levant." pp. 23-31, 651, 653-56 (Doublet to Lafont, Malta, 
May 12, 1796). Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 1475, J 8i6, 1828-32, 1835-36, 1852, 
1854-55, 1867,1871, 1912-16, 1949-50, 1980, 1990-92, 1998-2000, 2020, 2047, 2050, 
2053, 2056, 2061, 2072-75, 2103, 2106, 2135-36, 2186, 2235, 2247, 2339. Daru : 
op. cit. vii. pp. 369 et seq., 392 et seq., 398 (Carnot to Bonaparte, Aug. 17, 1797), 
399 (Talleyrand to Clarke, Aug. 19), 408. Rodocanachi : op. cit. pp. 60 et seq. 
Marmont: Memoires, i. p. 182. Miot de Melito : Memoires, p. 133 (at fault as 
to Bonaparte's intentions in 1797). Pallain : Talleyrand et le Directoire, pp. 117, 
124, 145 et seq., 159, 207. Doublet: Mimoires, pp. 12 et seq. Cantu : Hist, de 
cent ans, ii. p. 105. Mayer: Considerations politiques (pamphlet), passim. 



\/ 



170 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

possession were detailed. Desaix was informed of the in- 
trigues which Bonaparte was carrying on with Turkish 
Pashas in the Balkan peninsula and with the Albanians. 
With regard to Malta Bonaparte wrote: "An island which 
sooner or later will belong to the English, if we are stupid 
enough to let them forestall us." From these statements 
and from the letters of this period, it is easy to see that 
Bonaparte's plan in 1797 was quite different from his final 
project in 1798. He had been impressed with the weakness 
of the Porte ; he had learned that Russia wished to win the 
holders of Malta to her side; he saw the eagerness with 
which Austria grasped the opportunity of strengthening her 
position on the Adriatic; and he made up his mind that 
under his guidance France must outwit the other Powers by 
anticipating them in a partition of Turkish territory. Above 
all and behind all stood Great Britain, who must be vitally 
injured, preferably in the Orient. Yet these Egyptian 
schemes were, in 1797, nothing more than further applica- 
tions of the same sort of intrigue which he was then carry- 
ing on in Greece and Albania. The grand plan had not 
been developed, although he had written to Paris for in- 
formation regarding the East, and had questioned the men 
about him. The mfonoires of Monge, who had been in the 
Orient in 1787, of Truguet (1784), of de Castries on com- 
merce with India via Egypt (1785), of Consul-General Mure, 
of de Tott on the Isthmus of Suez, and of many others, to- 
gether with various maps, were furnished him by Admiral 
Rosily. In the meantime the Directory had responded 
promptly that it approved the plan of seizing Malta, at- 
tributing to Austria rather than to England or Russia the 
most ambitious schemes for control of the Mediterranean, 
though it was believed France would also earn the gratitude 
of the Porte by checking the Anglo-Russian plans for ex- 
ploiting the weakness of the Turks. The Directory also 
wrote protesting against the cession of even Venice to Aus- 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 171 

tria, declaring the intentions of that power, as shown in Italy, 
pointed toward a too dangerous expansion in the Levant. It 
seems probable, however, that they knew the fate of Venice 
was already decided, and wished to throw the onus of this 
deed on Bonaparte. At all events, the treaty of Campo 
Formio was signed before the letter reached him; and its 
terms were his own. Shortly before, Talleyrand had written 
him that his plans against Malta were authorized by the 
Directory, adding later, "Quant a l'Egypte, vos idees, a cet 
dgard, sont grandes." He said that "Egypt as a colony 
should in time replace the productions of the Antilles, and 
as a trade route should give us the commerce of India;" he 
also inserted a statement of his views regarding Malta, which 
he feared would soon fall into English or Russian hands. 
Bonaparte, in reply to these letters, and in order to defend 
his policy in regard to the treaty with Austria, declared that 
that power could not harm the French Republic, — England 
alone was the foe. " Our government must destroy the Eng- 
lish monarchy, or else expect to be destroyed itself by the 
corruption and intrigues of these active islanders. The 
present time gives us a good chance. Concentrate all our 
activities on the navy, and we will destroy England. That 
done, and Europe is at our feet." To Talleyrand he wrote 
that he saw no limit to the possibilities of the future; as 
France had the Rhine border, the city of Mayence in the 
northeast, and Corfu in the Levant, what more was to be 
expected for the present ? The reply of the Directory to the 
news of peace was the appointment of Bonaparte as general 
commanding the army destined to invade England. Of these 
plans it will be possible to speak later; at present we must 
examine the proposals to secure Malta for France. 1 

1 De la Jonquiere : op. cit. i. pp. 31-41. Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2195, 2212, 
2240, 2244, 2292, 2296, 2303-09, 2312, 2318, 2338, 2386, 2395. Rodocanachi : op. 
cit. p. 61. Pallain : op. cit. pp. 154 et seq. Boulay de la Meurthe: Le Directoire 
et T Expedition d'Egypte, pp. 275 et seq. (Talleyrand to Bonaparte, Sept. 27, 1797). 



172 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Bonaparte's plan for the surprise of Malta in the autumn of 
1797 had been criticised by Pleville de Pelley, the minister of 
marine, who doubted the success of bribery and declared that 
the neutrality of the island was all for which France could 
hope. Nevertheless, Bonaparte felt certain that Malta was for 
sale to the highest bidder ; and in October he had been author- 
ized by the Directory to take steps to secure the island for 
France. The Directory was fully cognizant of these plans and 
the statements of La Revelliere-Lepeau to the contrary are at 
fault. The sum of 600,000 francs was then named as the 
price. He despatched Poussielgue, secretary of the French 
legation at Genoa, to complete the bargain for the betrayal of 
the island to a French force, and, though, in December, he 
countermanded these orders, Poussielgue had already left for 
Malta; and Bonaparte's hesitation on this occasion, owing to 
the preparations for the invasion of England, was unavailing 
to prevent the completion of his intrigues with various mem- 
bers of the Order. Poussielgue arrived at Malta on Decem- 
ber 24. It is hard to say just why this coup de main was not 
then attempted; it is possible, as Jonquiere thinks, that the 
Directory feared its effect on the negotiations at Radstadt. It 
now seems certain that Austria did not have serious intentions 
of profiting both by the German nationality and the venality 
of Hompesch, the new Grand Master of the Order, and that 
the plans of Russia to this end have also been exaggerated; 
but Great Britain was not so doubtful a factor in the case. 
English diplomats appear to have dreaded a French attack and 
to have asked both de Rohan and his successor, Hompesch, 
to commit the defence of the island to British forces, a step 
which would undoubtedly have anticipated by several years 
the permanent British occupation of Malta. Returning to the 
examination of Poussielgue's mission we find that the wretched 
condition of Bruey's fleet at Corfu would have made impossible 

Daru : Hist, de Vetiise, vii. pp. 412, 413, 418 et seq., 432, 436 et seq. De Clercq: 
Recueit, L pp. 335, 336. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT lj$ 

the endeavor to seize Malta in January, 1798, even if Bonaparte 
himself had not been backward in pressing the matter to the 
end. It is now possible, however, to read the published report 
of Poussielgue's mission, dated from Milan, February 8, 1798. 
In this long document he discusses the personal characteristics 
of the leading Knights, the strength of the various parties on 
the island, and the international intrigues which were being 
carried on. He also describes at length the resources of the 
Order, the fortifications, and the chances of success in an at- 
tempt to capture the island. The importance of the position 
to France he states in the strongest terms ; and he concludes by 
saying that the financial embarrassments of the Order and of 
Hompesch were such that the Government could not long con- 
tinue without assistance from the outside. These facts, he 
pointed out, could be utilized by the French, as the other 
Powers were already endeavoring to profit by them, each in its 
own interest. This report was made to Bonaparte and not to 
the Directory. It served as the basis for action in May of 
this year, when the final move was made. 1 

The plan for an invasion of England was in the meantime 
engaging the attention of all classes of society. Bonaparte 
himself had first mentioned the possibility of such a scheme to 
Bernadotte in May, 1797, and again, a few days later, to Ber- 
thier ; throughout the summer his thoughts had centred on 
the south and east ; and it was only when, as victorious dic- 
tator of peace at Campo Formio, he received his new commis- 
sion from the Directory that he again turned his attention to 
the matter. A few days later Sandoz-Rollin, the Prussian 
minister in Paris, reported that the appointment of Bonaparte 
to the command of the " Armee cT Angleterre" was regarded 
either as a means to destroy that general's power and prestige, 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2354, 2355. De la Jonquiere: op. cit. i. pp. 35, note 
1, 39, note 3, 50, 51, 73, 74, 125 et seq. (Poussielgue's report), 136-38, 656-58. 
Ckronique in La Rivol. fratif. iii. p. 89. La Revelliere-Lepeaux : Mimoires, ii. 
p. 367. Barras : M6moires y iii. p. 63. 



174 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

or to cause alarm in England. Bonaparte himself, while ac- 
cepting the commission, wrote that, to invade England with any 
probability of success, a strong naval force, a large army well- 
led, perhaps by Desaix, and thirty millions of livres were in- 
dispensable. He would not refuse to fulfil his duty to his 
country, though sorely in need of rest. The distribution of 
troops in Italy and the Ionian Islands required twenty-five 
thousand men ; thirty-six thousand would be needed for Eng- 
land ; and the remainder could stay in the south of France and 
in Corsica. The plan for the invasion necessitated the move- 
ment of troops to the Channel coast, and this was rapidly car- 
ried on, while elaborate preparations were being made at various 
points to equip the expedition. Bonaparte, however, did not 
abandon the fortification of Corfu, nor did he fail to report in 
full to Talleyrand the intrigues and negotiations with various 
Turkish officials which he had carried on while in Italy, and 
which are recorded but here and there in his letters. Talley- 
rand himself early showed Sandoz-Rollin that he did not expect 
Bonaparte to attempt the invasion of England, — all the prep- 
arations being designed to frighten that Power into a peace. 
Metternich, at Radstadt, prophesied failure if the scheme were 
attempted, and sneered at the wild schemes which filled the 
mind of the populace at Paris. This populace, always ready 
for a new hero, was already beginning to question Bonaparte's 
long stay at Paris. That general was no longer a sensation, 
and his popularity was on the wane. A failure in any great 
venture, if accomplished before the eyes of all Paris, meant 
annihilation to his hopes ; his politics, or " calculation of com- 
binations " as he termed them, showed him this, and, further, 
all the chances he would run in following the orders of the 
Directory. His quarrels with that body were already known 
to many; and an open break between the Government and the 
general seemed imminent. Such was the situation when, in 
February, Bonaparte decided to investigate the preparations 
which were being made on the coast and at the naval arsenals. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 75 

A week's trip showed conclusively that the demand he had 
made in the preceding November for good officers, plenty of 
men, and many ships, could not be met ; the French navy had 
not recovered from the disorder and weakness for which the 
Revolution was largely responsible. The inefficiency of the 
Directory had become more apparent. Bonaparte, therefore, 
ordered Najac to recall all the ships of the Mediterranean 
squadron to Toulon, and sent a report of his trip to the Direc- 
tory, in which he made an elaborate exposition of the difficul- 
ties and dangers which blocked the way to an invasion of 
England. The time was passed, he declared; nevertheless, 
with that affectation of modesty which was his wont at this 
period, he stated the amount of money needed, the naval 
stores, the sailors, and the ships, knowing full well that to sup- 
ply them was beyond the power of the weakening Government. 
There were, however, two other means, he said, of harming 
England, — an invasion of Hanover and the seizure of Egypt; 
or else, if all three plans proved impossible, peace must be 
concluded. This, again, he knew was past accomplishment ; 
the Directory must stultify itself by renewing the negotiations 
at Lille, which it had so recently terminated with the declaration 
of war to the bitter end. Bonaparte presented this dilemma 
on February 23 ; but Pleville de Pelley, minister of marine, 
had for days previous, made no secret of the fact that the navy 
was inadequate to any such operation as the invasion ; and 
Talleyrand, directly on Bonaparte's return to Paris, had told 
Sandoz-Rollin that an expedition was to be made against 
Egypt. The latter welcomed the idea and drew the analogy 
of Leibnitz's advice to Louis XIV. to quit his Dutch war and 
strike in the Levant. In reality, Bonaparte was not finally de- 
termined on the Egyptian expedition. The principle of alterna- 
tives in action was one that he had adopted early in his career ; 
and this was the period when he was balancing carefully the 
chances of success in each of the various plans. By March 5, 
however, he appears to have told the Directory that he had 



176 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

decided for Egypt. People gossiped of Portugal, Ireland, 
Greece, Constantinople, and every point that French imagi- 
nation might fancy a weak spot in England's armor ; constant 
in one thing they remained. The cry still was, Delenda est 
Carthago. Bonaparte had estimated thirty thousand troops as 
needful for Malta and Egypt ; and the plans for mobilization 
show the usefulness of the stepping-stones to the Levant which 
he had garrisoned and fortified along the northern Mediter- 
ranean and in the Adriatic during his Italian campaigns. Rollin 
had guessed, as early as March 24, that Malta was included in 
the plan; and the secret negotiations begun by Poussielgue 
were now to be utilized. 1 

Before continuing, however, with the history of the Expedi- 
tion we must consider two matters of importance : first, the 
author of the plan ; and, secondly, Bonaparte's sources of infor- 
mation regarding Egypt. We have seen that Bonaparte during 
his youth had been greatly interested in the Orient, that he 
had been subject to those influences which not only made him 
a Frenchman, but a Frenchman alive to all the possibilities of 

1 Napoleon : Corr Nos. 1808 (first mention of the invasion of England) 1881, 
2320, 2321, 2325, 2326, 2343, 2362, 2364, 2371, 2377, 2388, 2391, 2396, 2397, 2400, 
2409, 2418, 2419, 2426. Pallain: op. cit. pp. 41 et seq. Rodocanachi: op. cit. 
p. 77. Marmont : Mimoires, i. pp. 213, 215 et seq. Bailleu : Preussen und Frankreich, 
i. pp. 156 (report of Sandoz-Rollin, Paris, Nov. 2, 1797), 162 (ditto, Dec. 8), 172, 
173 (ditto, Feb. 18, 1798), 174 (Feb. 28), 176 (March 10), 179 (March 18), 180 
(March 24). Hiiffer : Dipt. Verhandlungen, \\. pp. 372 et seq., 27 6- Metternich : 
Nachgelassene Papiere, i. pp. 357 (Radstadt, Dec. 22), 364 (March 27, 1798). 
Segur : Hist, et mimoires, i. pp. 392 et seq. De Testa : Recueil, i. p. 519. Mahan : 
Sea Power and the French Revolution, i. pp. 35 et seq. Jurien de la Graviere : 
Guerres maritimes, i. pp. 329 et seq. Boulay de la Meurthe : Le Directoire et V Ex- 
pedition d'Egypte, pp. 4, 9, 13, 23. Troude : Batailles navales, ii. pp. 252, 264. 
Michel : Corr. de Mallet du Pan, ii. p. 416 (Feb. 26, 1798). " Ce general [Bona- 
parte] decline rapidement; Merlin et Rewbell vont achever de l'enterrer dans 
1 'expedition d' An gleterre." Millon: Histoire des descentes qui ont lieu en Angle- 
terre, Ecosse, Irlande et isles adjacentes, depuis Jules Char Jusqu'd nos jours ; and 
Tardieu : Notice historique des descents qui ont itefaites dans les Isles Brittanniques, 
depuis Guillaume le Conquerant jusqu'd Pan VI. de la Ripublique francaise. Both 
are Paris, Tan VI. 1797-98. De la Jonquiere : op. cit. i. pp. 17, 43 et seq., 69 et seq., 
87 et seq. to 123, 172 et seq. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 77 

French control of the Mediterranean, and French prestige and 
dominion beyond the Alps and the Adriatic. We have studied 
his career in Italy, and have seen how, early in his conquering 
progress, he himself suggested a French occupation of the Ionian 
Islands and a French expedition to Egypt. In view of these 
facts, and of the failure which he predicted for an invasion of 
England, it has been the habit of some writers to assign to 
Bonaparte alone the first conception of a conquest of Egypt, 
and the final decision to carry out the scheme. Such a theory 
is not only oblivious of the facts of the case, it is also bur- 
dened by a view of history which makes the genius of one 
man, however remarkable, responsible for a marvellous attempt 
to anticipate history by nearly a century, and to demonstrate 
political and economic problems which were as yet unknown 
to the vast majority of people. In the first place, we have 
seen in a previous chapter that the diplomats of the Ancien 
Regime were in the habit of tentatively assigning Egypt to 
France in the event of a partition of Turkish territories 
between the European Powers. Expansion in the Mediterra- l 
nean basin was recognized as a wise and natural policy for 
French statesmen to follow. Even if we go no further back 
than the middle of the eighteenth century, we find Choiseul 
suggesting the occupation of Egypt to Louis XV. as a com- 
pensation to France for the losses of the Seven Years' war; 
similar ideas inspired the acquisition of Corsica (1768), a 
step which was to make Bonaparte a French citizen. Saint- 
Priest, the French ambassador at the Porte from 1768 to 1784, 
wrote two memoires in which a French occupation of Egypt 
was discussed ; in one as late as 1789 he said that France had 
a choice between either supporting the integrity of the Otto- 
man Empire or letting it go to pieces, — " En s'appropriant le 
ddbris le plus a la convenance de la France, donnant en ce cas 
la preferance a l'Egypte, a raison de sa fertility, de la facility 
de la conquerir et ensuite de la defendre, finalement a. cause 
de la courte communication aux Indes par la mer Rouge, dont 

12 



f 




178 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

elle a le clef." French travellers and officers who journeyed 
in the Levant on various errands all spoke to the same pur- 
pose. Any man who had ever been connected with the French 
foreign office was, therefore, familiar with at least the idea of 
such an expedition, and some had studied the practical details 
involved. Talleyrand, among others, had followed the plan 
with interest, and had written of it in 1796. He also went 
further, and in July, 1797, presented three memoires, based on 
information at the foreign office regarding the condition of 
India, the power of the British there, and the means of expel- 
ling them from that region. A little later it was suggested 
that, while continuing the preparations for an invasion of Eng- 
land, the troops should in reality be equipped for an Asiatic 
campaign. The difficulties of the passage from Suez to India 
by sea were either ridiculed or greatly exaggerated in the 
various mhnoires. One proposed the seizure of Egypt, an 
alliance with the Porte, and a land invasion of India via Persia 
by a force of twenty thousand French troops assisted by native 
allies. Jourdan was familiar with, and advocated, the idea of 
/ an expedition to India which would arouse the Indian princes 
against the English. All of these ideas were embodied in a 
report, " Stir le conqnUe de VEgypte" made by Talleyrand to 
the Directory on February 14, 1797, while Bonaparte was 
absent from Paris. This document, which De la Jonquiere 
publishes for the first time, does not seem to have received the 
attention which it deserves from students of the period. After 
summarizing the history of Egypt in the past, the government 
of the Mamelukes is described, and the injuries done to French 
citizens by the Beys are enumerated. Next the commerce and 
produce of Egypt receive attention, and the immense import- 
ance of its geographical situation is emphasized. " N'oublions 
jamais que les nations anciennes et modernes qui on eu le 
commerce de lTnde sont toujours parvenues au plus haut degre 
de richesse." The opposition of the Porte and of the Powers 
of Europe is lightly treated; and it is declared that French 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 79 

diplomacy will do much at Constantinople. The actual con- 
quest of Egypt, it was estimated, could be safely accomplished 
by twenty thousand to twenty-five thousand men, and with 
but the slightest loss of life. The despatch of fifteen thousand 
additional troops from Egypt to India is then discussed. They 
were to operate with Tipu Tib of Mysore against the British, 
but were not to attempt a regular conquest of India. General 
observations end the paper. They are to the effect that two or 
three persons serving on a commission should be in charge of 
the expedition ; generals need expect no glory as the campaign 
would be an easy one, and military talents would be wasted ; 
the native population would welcome the invaders with delight. 
In fine, the conquest would be a just punishment for wrongs 
inflicted on Frenchmen ; it would be easy, failure was impos- 
sible ; it would be inexpensive, of immense value to the Re- 
public, and presented many other favorable aspects. Reference 
is made to Magallon, for many years French Consul at Cairo. 
It is clear from a comparison of this report, signed by Talley- 
rand, and the writings of Magallon that many of the latter' s 
ideas were utilized by the French statesman. This document 
was annotated by Bonaparte after his return from Egypt with 
the most bitter and sarcastic expressions, which, while not proof 
positive*, points to the fact that he was not in Talleyrand's con- 
fidence when the memoire was being prepared. The contradic- 
tions of each of the characters on the stage at Paris regarding 
the authorship of the plan render this matter still more puz- 
zling. The question as to whether Bonaparte seriously intended 
at any time to attempt the invasion of England is another 
complication. The truth seems to lie between the extremes of 
the various conflicting statements. The idea of a French ex- 
pedition to Egypt occurred to Bonaparte while in Italy; he wrote 
of it to Talleyrand, who sympathized with any movement which 
would tend to realize for France the ideal of empire based on 
sea power and oriental dominion. Talleyrand thus continued 
in the policy which the tradition of his office had outlined for 



j 



180 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

French statesmen. Bonaparte, returning from Italy, pressed 
matters on for the invasion of England, being unable to usurp 
the supreme authority and fearful to cross the determination of 
the Directory and the passionate desire of the French people. 
The insufficiency of the means supplied him for the attempt 
gave reasonable excuse for him to oppose its execution ; in the 
meantime the Directory, already informed of the backwardness 
of the preparations, aware of their own growing weakness, and 
urged on by Talleyrand, who advocated the conquest of Egypt, 
agreed to give up the plan against England and to unite with 
Talleyrand in stimulating the ready imagination of Bonaparte 
for oriental ventures. Bonaparte was thus enabled to return 
to his true ambition, and to realize more fully than ever before 
the wishes and ideals of French foreign policy by deciding on 
a conquest of Egypt. 1 

The next matter to consider is the information which 
Bonaparte secured regarding Egypt. We have already noted 
his own wide reading, the documents sent to him in Italy by 
Rosily, and the m'emoires presented to the Directory during 
the years 1797-98. All of these, except perhaps Talley- 
rand's mjmoire of February 14, he had in his possession by 
March 10. He then made requisitions upon the " Ecole des 
langues orientales" for interpreters of Arabic, Persian, and 
Greek, and for type to issue proclamations in these lan- 
guages : the war office furnished him maps; Monge was his 
right-hand man at this time, and at Rome secured the Arabic 
printing outfit of the Propaganda. Say collected a library of 

1 De la Jonquiere : op. cit. i. pp. 147 et. seq. Numerous documents are here 
printed in extenso. Saint-Priest : Memoire militaire et politique sur VEgypte, in 
Revue (TEgypte, April and May, 1896. The statements in Botta: Hist. cTItalie 
(Fr. trans.), iii. pp. 160-162, are refuted by De la Jonquiere, pp. 152,153. Talley- 
rand's Memoire is to be found pp. 154-68. Without accepting De la Jonquiere's 
conclusions as to Bonaparte's intentions with regard to the English invasion, his 
work presents in many aspects the most satisfactory, and certainly the most com- 
plete, book on the Egyptian Expedition. It is a matter of regret to the writer 
that at the date of writing the succeeding volumes had not appeared. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT l8l 

Bonaparte's selection, which was taken to Egypt, and which in- 
cluded the Vedas, the Old and New Testaments, and the Kuran. 
Talleyrand examined the archives of the foreign office, and 
gave Bonaparte the reports of Choiseul, of Lazousky, French 
political agent in the Levant, of Prix-R6al, a French merchant 
resident at Cairo in 1796, and of many others. Magallon, 
Consul-General at Cairo for many years, had been summoned 
home by Delacroix a short time previous, and had submitted 
a long report on Egypt. These documents Bonaparte read, 
supplementing them by books of travel and history, with 
many of which he was already familiar. Thus he formulated 
his ideas and developed his plans. Magallon told him that 
the Porte had not the shadow of authority in Egypt, and 
drew no revenues from that province. The rule of the 
Mamelukes was hated by the population; the French had 
suffered greatly in the matter of trade and of personal safety; 
and a French invasion would find ready support from all 
classes save the Beys. The consul drew a flattering picture 
of the richness of the country, its unique and valuable situa- 
tion, and the probability that under French control it would 
resume its ancient office of gateway to Indian commerce, by 
drawing to the Red Sea the trade that then followed the 
Cape of Good Hope route to Europe; he unconsciously 
quoted the words of old William of Tyre regarding Eygpt: 
" forum publicum utrique orbi." The threatened rebellion in 
the Balkans and Greece, properly stimulated by French 
agents, would, in his opinion, effectually prevent any seri- 
ous opposition by the Porte. Magallon thought success 
almost certain. A book suggestively entitled "Route de 
VInde" published shortly after Bonaparte had sailed, en- 
forces the favorable descriptions. 1 Sir John Seeley is the 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2452, 2454, 2458, 2471, 2473, 2479, 2500, 2731, 2784. 
Reybaud: Histoire scientifique, iii. pp. 21 et seq. Mason: Aff. Strangles, p. 
428. Jomard: Souvenirs sur Gaspard Monge. De Testa: Recueil, i. pp. 521- 
535. Merruau: EgypU contemporaine, pp. 197 et seq. (Magallon's report is 
given here). Magallon accompanied Bonaparte to Egypt. Intercepted Corr. 



1 82 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

most recent writer who is in error regarding the influence 
upon Napoleon Bonaparte of Leibnitz' book, the " Consilium 
ALgyptiacum" The philosopher had endeavored to divert 
Louis XIV. from renewing a devastating war in Europe by 
urging the conquest of Egypt. Bonaparte never saw the 
complete original work of Leibnitz, nor was it published 
until 1864. The Summa, or abridgment, of this book has 
been repeatedly referred to as the real memoir presented to 
Louis ; but neither did Bonaparte see even this abridgment, 
which is only some twenty-five printed pages in length, until 
August, 1803, when it was forwarded to him by General Mor- 
tier, then in Hanover, who had secured a copy from Feder, 
the librarian of the State Library in that city. This was 
then read by Bonaparte and sent to Paris with the comment 
"tres curieux." Fourier, in the "Description de V Egypte" 
referred to the work, but understood that only the shorter 
manuscript was in existence. 1 

i. p. 104. Henry : Route de I y Inde, ou description giographique de I 'Jigypte, la Syrie, 
I' Arabic, la Perse, et VInde. Paris, an VII, 8vo, pp. v-viii, 6 (" L'ligypte etoit le 
grenier de l'Empire romain "), 31 et sea., 42 ("Les Mamlouks ne connoissent rien 
de notre art militaire . . . Le luxe des M. est extreme. II n'y en a point dont 
l'entretien ne coute 2500 liv. par an "), 139 (Suez), 141 et seq. (The commerce of 
Egypt is rich. The income from its exports has made it a gold mine. The author 
draws a marvellous picture of its future prosperity), 153 et seq. (The routes to 
India. That via Suez and the Red Sea is very easy). Cf. Aegyplen-was es war- 
ist-und sein kb'nnte, Berlin, 1799, i2mo. Boulay de la Meurthe : op. cit. pp. 169, 230, 
note 2 (Distinguish between several Magallons). Cf. Pongerville : Gaspard 
Monge et I ''expedition d'Egypte. Heyd : Gesch. des Levanthandels, i. p. 417. Guil. 
Tyrensis. lib. 19, c. 27. De la Jonquiere : op. cit. i. pp. 148 et seq. It is interest- 
ing to note that Dubois de Thainville, French agent in the Levant, reported to 
Verninac at Constantinople in September, 1796, that "l'Egypte est devoree par 
l'anarchie. Le moment du revolution ne semble pas e'loigne. ... Si jamais le 
commerce de lTnde s'ouvre par la voie de Suez, le Caire deviendra la plus impor- 
tante place du monde. Les Anglais profitent deja de cette voie." 

1 Seeley: British Policy, ii. p. 168. Foucher de Careil : GEuvres de Leibnitz, 
v. pp. xiv-xix, 65. It is interesting to note the mention of Malta made by Leibnitz 
as an "island of great value, connected with France by many ties," pp. 345, 346. 
A letter of Leibnitz to Louis XIV. in 1671 contains the following: " ^Egyptus 
omnium regionum ad dominum non maris tantum sed et orbis opportunissima, et 
ipso situ incredibilique fertilitate et populositate gentis mater scientiarum, mirac- 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 183 

It will be wise, now at the actual start of the expedition, 
to summarize, even at the risk of being repetitious, the per- 
sonal_motives which actuated Bonaparte in undertaking the 
expedition. In the first place it was necessary for him to 
leave Paris and to accomplish some successful feat of arms. 
Secondly, he wished to realize his own oriental ambitions 
by following in the footsteps of the great world-conquerors. 
The imperial vistas had been opened to him in his youth; 
Bossuet's description of the passing of the empires had torn 
the veil before him ; he had seen the mysteries ; now he was 
to become an Alexander. Thirdly, as a French statesman 
he felt that the peace with Austria left no adequate means of 
harming England save by a direct blow at London, the heart, 
or at India and Ireland, the limbs, of the mighty sea- 
monster. He believed with all Frenchmen that England's 
stability lay in her trade, which fattened on her foreign 
possessions. A move toward the Orient would call the 
British naval forces from the Atlantic and scatter them to 
various points, so that, in case a more direct attempt to 
attack her should appear wise, the Channel might be par- 

ulorum naturae materia, asylum perfidiae Mahometicae, cujus solius neglectio 
effecit, ut Christiani terram sanctam amiserint; Asiae et Africae vinculum. 
Oceani et Mediterranei maris agger interjectus, horreum Orientis emporium 
commune Indiae et Europae." (The original larger work covers 300 printed 
pages.) It was a repetition in more modern language of the appeal of Pierre 
Dubois. Fourier : Description de I 'Mgypte, p. ii. Napoleon : Corr. No. 6976 (Aug. 
4, 1803). Cf. Guhrauer: Leibnitz, Erne Biographie, i. pp. 93 et seq. f and MSmoire 
sur le projet d? expedition en JSgypte presente en 1672 & Louis XIV. par Leibnitz, in 
Mini, de T Acad, des Sci. morales et politiques. Savants Etrangeres, i. pp. 679-767. 
The following passage is so remarkably prophetic that it deserves quotation. 
Leibnitz : OZuvres, v. p. 47 : " II y a d'abord Tisthme principal du monde qui 
separe les plus grandes mers, l'Ocean et le Mediterranee, qu'on ne saurait eviter 
sans faire le tour des sinuosites de toute l'Airique. C'est le lien, la barriere, la 
clef, la seule entree possible de deux parties du monde, l'Asie et l'Afrique. C'est 
le point de contact, le marche commun de lTnde d'une part, de l'Europe de l'autre. 
Je conviens que l'isthme de Panama, en Amerique pourrait rivaliser avec lui, si 
cette partie du monde etait aussi fertile et si les autres richesses lui etaient pro- 
diguees avec la meme abondance." 



1 84 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

tially unprotected. He believed that the capture of Malta 
and Egypt would make possible a French Mediterranean, 
and that the possession of Egypt would be of great value to 
France intrinsically and potentially. It would recompense 
her for the loss of her American possessions; it would 
restore to Levantine trade its former position, and add to it 
the commerce of Asia; it would widen the political view at 
home, by checking that passionate promulgation of revolu- 
tionary principles on the continent of Europe which made 
every monarchical government the secret if not the open foe 
of the Republic, and inevitably postponed the day of final 
peace. Fourthly, it would appeal to every Frenchman who 
had read history, who had been influenced by the renascence 
in classic and oriental studies, or who believed in the eco- 
nomic and political principles which required the resurrec- 
tion of a French Empire on land and sea as the incarnation 
of the spirit of French traditions and ambitions. 1 

The Directory forwarded his plans, and gave the final orders 
in a series of secret despatches during the second week of 
April, 1798. The " Armee d } Orient" was to be, as in Bona- 
parte's words, a wing of the " Armee d' Angleterre; " to seize 
Malta and Egypt was to injure England in a vital spot, to 
make France supreme on the Mediterranean, to add to her 
colonial empire, to increase her trade, and to open the door 
to India. Kl^ber was to be second in command; the delay 
which the events at Radstadt and Vienna necessitated was 

1 Bailleu: op. cit. i. pp. 183 et seq. (Despatches of Mar. 28, Apr. 7 and 19). 
Marmont: Memoires, pp. 216 et seq. Mathieu Dumas: Notes sur le precis des 
evirtements militaires, ii. p. 171. Though not of direct value as evidence, the pas- 
sages in the Commentaries form interesting parallels. Napoleon : Comm. ii. pp. 
184, 285, 330, 360, 362; iii. pp. 20 etseq., 144. Of the same nature is the work of 
Fourier in 1809, eleven years later. Champollion gives the corrections which 
Bonaparte himself suggested at that time. Fourier : op. cit. pp. i, xxiii. Champol- 
lion: Fourier, pp. 83, 88-172. Napoleon: Corr. No. 2502. Intercepted Corr. L 
p. 137 (Letter of Boyer, July 28, 1798). Cf. ii. p. ix, note. Dubroca : Politique, etc. 
pp. 90-92. Fonvielle : France et Angleterre, pp. 183-186. The question of India 
as a possible ultimate destination will be considered later. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 85 

not long; and the circumstances only showed more clearly 
the strained relations between the Directory and the Gen- 
eral. The former desired to be rid of a too successful sol- 
dier; the latter foresaw the ruin of the present government, 
and wished to be neither a direct accomplice to it nor a vic- 
tim of its fall. 1 

As this is an historical study of motives, methods, and 
effects, it is without its scope to trace the course of events 
in any detail. In particular it is unnecessary to record the 
history of a period so well known as is the one under discus- 
sion. It will be the object of the latter half of this chapter 
to treat the schemes of Bonaparte in the East, the means he 
used to forward them, especially the political and religious 
agencies employed, the ultimate effect that these had upon 
the course of events, the evolution which the Egyptian Ex- 
pedition engendered in the political character of the Eastern 
Question, the results in India and their significance for the 
future, and the reasons for the failure of the expedition to 
accomplish the objects assigned to it. The fleet with the 
army on board set sail from Toulon May 19. The great 
secrecy as regards its preparation and destination aided the 
success which attended its first moves. Malta yielded to the 
combined forces after a perfunctory struggle, and the design 
which Brueys had not been able to realize in the previous 
February was easily accomplished. Malta, the strongest 
fortified position in the Mediterranean, with perhaps the 
exception of Gibraltar, was in French hands. It seems 
scarcely possible to doubt that intrigue and bribery had 
prepared the way for the capture, and that it was no reckless 
chance of war which made Bonaparte risk so much on its 

1 Napoleon : Corr. Nos. 2491-2496, 2502, 2533, 2547, 2548, 2562, 2570, 2608. 
2710. Intercepted Corr. i. p. 99. De Testa: Recueil, i. p. 535 (Directory to Bona- 
parte, March 5, 1798, giving him the orders "pour remplir le grand objet de 
l'armement de la Mediterranee " ). Pajol : Kleber, p. 269. Hurler : Dipt. Verh. 
"• P- 377* Masson: Dipl. de la Rivol. pp. 211 et seq. Boulay de la Meurthe: 
op. cit. p. 23. 



1 86 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

fall. 1 Proceeding to Egypt, Alexandria was captured with 
ease, and some days later Cairo fell before Bonaparte's army. 
The succeeding months were occupied in extending French 
control toward Upper Egypt, in the Delta and toward Syria. 
Nelson destroyed the French fleet in Abukir Bay on August 
i ; and in September the Porte joined the coalition of Euro- 
pean powers against France. In February Bonaparte set out 
to invade Syria, marching rapidly toward Acre, where the 
defence of that city by Djezzar Pasha, assisted by the English, 
who had captured part of Bonaparte's siege artillery, forced 
him to return to Egypt. A Turkish army was routed in the 
early summer of 1799 at Abukir, but the blockade of Alex- 
andria, defeats, unproductive victories, plague, and lack of 
reinforcements completed the tale. On receiving confirma- 
tion of the success of the allies in Europe, and of the 
weakness of the Directory, Bonaparte stole away from Egypt 
and, barely escaping capture by the English, landed at Frejus 
on the Mediterranean coast in November, accompanied by 
only a few officers. The army had been left under the com- 
mand of Kleber in Egypt. Such is the bare outline. 

Returning now, we must consider, first, Bonaparte's policy 
toward the Porte ; second, with regard to the native popula- 
tions and rulers of Egypt, Syria, and Greece; third, with 
regard to the Barbary States, and lastly, toward the Direc- 
tory. On landing in Egypt Bonaparte announced that he 
had come to restore the enfeebled authority of the Sultan, 
and the insignia of that ruler were preserved on every hand. 
The Mameluke Beys, he declared, were his only enemies, 

1 Vivenot: Brief e von Thugut, ii. pp. ,46, 106, 109. Hiiffer: Dipl. Verh. ii. pp. 
384 et seq. Reumont: Letzten Zeiten desjoh. Ordens, pp. 24 et seq., 28, 32, 36, 175 
et seq. Doublet : MStnoires historiques, pp. 370, 372. Ballou : Story of Malta, 
p. 307. Villeneuve-Bargemont : Monuments des Grand-Maitres, ii. pp. 277, 280, 
283 et seq., 321, 391, 400 et seq. Marmont : Memoires, i. pp. 220, 221. De Clercq : 
Recueil, i. p. 361. Convention for the surrender signed, June 12, 1798. Napo- 
leon: Corr. Nos. 2629, 2634, 2636-2638, 2641, 2642, 2645-2647, 2667. Jurien de 
la Graviere : Guerres maritimes, i. p. 359. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 87 

the oppressors of a people whom he professed to protect and 
guard. The French, who had destroyed the Pope, the enemy 
of Islam, and captured Malta, the stronghold of those who 
were sworn to war against all Muhammadans, believed in 
complete religious tolerance, and came to Egypt as allies of 
its rightful lord, the Khalif of all true believers. "I love 
the Kuran," he told the people, "and my armies are at the 
service of the Sultan. " Before leaving Paris Bonaparte had 
understood that Talleyrand would proceed to Constantinople 
as French ambassador. He sent a ship from Malta to con- 
vey him to this important point, where his talents would be 
strained in the endeavor to appease the alarm and anger of 
the Porte at the invasion of Egypt. Talleyrand, however, 
recollecting that the Sultan did not recognize the immuni- 
ties of diplomats, concluded not to go. Descorches was 
under appointment when the Sultan declared war. Ruffin, 
secretary and charge" at the embassy, was imprisoned by the 
Turks, and all French consuls throughout the Empire were 
arrested. Ignorant of this, Bonaparte wrote to both Talley- 
rand and Descorches at Constantinople. His letters to the 
Grand Vizir proclaimed his cordial relationship to the Sul- 
tan and the traditional friendship of France; the common 
enemies of both, he said, were Austria and Russia; there 
was a basis for an amicable arrangement in this situation. 
When he learned of the co-operation of the Russian and 
Turkish squadrons at the siege of Corfu, he warned the Porte 
that the advent of the former in the Mediterranean could 
only mean danger to the integrity of the Empire. The 
Sultan, after hearing of Nelson's victory, had yielded to 
the pressure of Russia and Great Britain, and had issued a 
proclamation in September, 1798, declaring a Jihad, or Holy 
War, against the French incumbent upon Muslims the world 
over. Upon the invasion of Syria a second was promulgated, 
and a Hatti-Sharif regarding the French operations at Suez 
and on the Red Sea, renewed the statement that that sea was 



1 88 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

a sacred highway of Islam. The burst of Muslim fanaticism 
throughout the Levant brought serious loss to many French- 
men; their persons and property were seized, and French 
trade was almost annihilated. In vain Bonaparte wrote re- 
peatedly to Constantinople, even to within a few days before 
he left Egypt ; the Porte, provoked by the invasion, at the 
mercy of its enemies, with French diplomatic prestige at an 
end, and fearing its allies as much as it did the French, had 
become an unwilling combatant in the gigantic conflict which 
stirred all Europe. 1 

With regard to the people and local rulers of the Levant, 
Bonaparte's policy is very interesting. It reveals the great 
value of scholarship to public policy, the intimate relations 
existing between religion and politics in the East, and the 
use of methods of oriental diplomacy which were mentioned 
in the opening pages of this chapter. The proclamations 
issued on landing in Egypt were translated into Arabic by 
the oriental scholars who accompanied the expedition. The 
religious observances of Islam were protected and maintained 
in the hope that a political ascendency might be gained; 
Menou and some of the French officers accepted Islam ; and a 
French tricolor inscribed with a sentence of the Kuran was 
given to a native officer who took service with the French. 
Small bodies of Egyptian troops were organized, and mild 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2608, 2674, 2703, 2719, 2721, 2723, 2734, 2761, 2767, 
2777, 2778, 2785, 2819, 2824, 2878, 2880, 2934, 3075, 3076, 3127, 3183, 3206, 3280, 
3 2 8i, 3373. 343 6 > 35^1, 35^2, 3573. 3594~3596, 3744"3748, 39 2 8. Cf. Napoleon: 
Comm. ii. p. 330. Intercepted Corr. i. pp. 235, 244. Broglie: Memoir es de Talley- 
rand, i. p. 268. Pouqueville: Voyage en Morie, ii. p. 219. De Testa : Recueil, i. 
pp. 548 et sea., 572 et sea., 583. The proclamation of the Porte to all Muslims 
(Feb. 15, 1799) contained passages such as the following: " Purify your hearts, 
that your thoughts may be worthy of praise ; unite yourselves to our brother- 
believers against the evil infidels ; work for the triumph of Islam, for by the help 
of the Almighty you will be the conquerors of your enemies, who are also the 
enemies of God," ii. p. 73, Hatti-Shereef of 1799; cf. Boulay de la Meurthe, 
Le Directoire et V Expedition d'£gypte, pp. 36 et sea., 64, 65. Masson : Aff. etrang. 
p. 428. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 89 

terms were offered to those who would submit. The Arabic 
printing-press which Bonaparte had imported issued accounts 
of the pomp with which Muhammadan feast days were cele- 
brated by the French; and in the Courier (T Egypte, a French 
newspaper published at Cairo, there appeared the story of an 
alleged revelation received by a Muslim Holy-man of Egypt. 
Muhammad and Fate are supposed to be conversing together ; 
while standing on the shores of the Mediterranean, they des- 
cry the French fleet approaching. The prophet is filled with 
dismay at the sight. Fate reassures him by foretelling the 
conquest of Egypt by this force, the establishment of a 
strong government, and the acceptance of Islam by every 
Frenchman. Muhammad then expresses himself as com- 
pletely satisfied. 1 



1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2710, 2723, 2765, 2817, 2818, 2834, 2837, 2840, 
2880, 2902, 2907, 2921, 3045, 3127, 3151, 3157, 3176, 3221, 3243, 3244, 3284, 3478, 
3484, 3669, 3672, 3850, 3951. Cf. Lumbrose: Miscellanea Napoleonica, ii. p. 333. 
The long rule and remarkable position which the Mamelukes maintained in Egypt 
are in themselves striking phenomena. This community of slaves, ruling a rich 
land distant from their own original home, reinforced from time to time by addi- 
tions to their numbers, slaves who were destined to become sovereigns, preserved 
their identity and power for several centuries in a country in which all races and 
interests mingled. The rise of the race was due to the weakening Khaliphate of 
Egypt, which followed the example of the Abbassids at Bagdad in calling Barba- 
rian peoples from the north to support their tottering rule. This system was 
adopted by Saladin and the Ayoubite dynasty in order to protect themselves 
from the servile community which had already been created in Egypt. These late 
comers overthrew the Ayoubites, and formed an oligarchy which remained in its 
singular isolation and dominant position even after an Ottoman Sultan, in 151 7, 
had usurped the title of Khalif from its unworthy titular holder. Crushed but 
not extinguished by the establishment of Turkish rule, the wane of that power 
was marked by the lessening influence of its representative, the Pasha of Cairo, 
and the corresponding ascendency of the Mameluke Beys. They imported their 
slaves from Central Asia, and made those slaves the rulers over the oppressed 
indigenous population. A few years before Napoleon invaded Egypt, their chief, 
Sheik Ali Bey, had taken advantage of the war between the Porte and Russia to 
dismiss the Ottoman Governor, after increasing his own force of Mamelukes, 
then defeating the Arabs and conquering Syria, he received the title of Sultan 
and Protector of the Holy Places from the Sharif of Mecca. He had died, and 
Ibrahim, the ruling Bey in 1798, was by no means as powerful. The " Demo- 



190 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

An Arabic poem in honor of Bonaparte was also written 
about this time, praising the destruction of the Mamelukes, 
and hailing him as the "favorite of victory" and "the right 
eye of God the Exalted." In some of the letters to the 
Sheiks of Palestine certain vague powers of Kismet were 
attributed to Bonaparte ; fate directed his armies, and oppo- 
sition was useless. It was an idea common throughout the 
East. In the proclamation of December 21, 1798, to the 
people of Cairo after their brief revolt there is a strong 
suspicion of Messianic language. Bonaparte claimed in it 
divine inspiration and prescience. Whoever wrote the 
document perhaps recalled that the Fatimide dynasty of 
Egypt had been Alyite, and of the transcendental Shiah 
sect, and it is possible that he desired to insinuate the idea 
that the French general might be called to fill the position 
of Vicar to the Mahdi, which, it was believed by the Mus- 
lim, Jesus was to occupy at the coming of the former; or it 
is even possible that he wished to pose Bonaparte as a Mahdi 
himself. He certainly claimed that his arrival and conquests 
had been prophesied in writing, which in the Muhammadan 
East can only mean that they were mentioned in the Kuran 
or the Hadith. Though the Kuran does not speak of the 
Mahdi, tradition has ascribed to Muhammad the promise of 
a leader who should establish a just rule and banish oppres- 
sion; and the mission of Jesus as a prophet and co-worker 
with the Mahdi is recognized. It is very interesting to com- 
pare the language of this proclamation with that of any of 
the famous Mahdis of Islam. 1 

cratic slave-soldiery " still existed. Though redoubtable enough to an Asiatic 
enemy, it was totally unable to meet the French upon an equal footing. Muir : 
The Mameluke or Slave Dynasty, pp. 215, 223, 225 (App. II., a valuable memo- 
randum by Yacoub Artin Pasha). Miiller : Die Beherrscher der Glailbigen, p. 45. 
1 Kermoysan : Recueil, i. p. 241. Mimoires sur VE~gypte (edition of 1800), i. p. 
118. La Dicade £gyptienne (Proceedings of the Institute of Cairo), i. pp. 83 et 
sea. Courier d'JSgypte, No. 21. Napoleon : Corr. Nos. 3785, 4020, 4022, 4096, 
4188 (Mention of the alleged Mahdi who appeared at this time, June, 1799). 
Darmstetter : Mahdi, pp. 13 et seq. In Islam Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 191 

Bonaparte also wrote several times to the Sharif of Mecca, 
the Imam of Muscat, and the Sultan of Darfur. The great 
annual pilgrimage to Mecca is a religious, political, and com- 
mercial event of the first rank in the Muhammadan world. 
From every quarter the little knots of pilgrims gather until 
they unite in several immense caravans ; those from Northern 
Africa and Damascus are among the most important. The start 
of the pilgrims from Cairo is a great occasion ; and the nomina- 
tion of the Emir-al-Hajj, or leader of the Pilgrimage, for that 
year is an important function. Bonaparte appointed a man 
to this office the year after he reached Egypt; and a letter 
was sent to the Sharif of Mecca by the Divan of Cairo ask- 
ing that the nominee be accepted. He was accepted, and 
the reply of the Sharif addressing Bonaparte as the "Pro- 
tector of the ' Ulema ' and the Friend of the Holy Ka'aba " 
was published. In addition to the religious influence of 
such conduct the trade of the Red Sea was important to the 
French; it was their only channel of communication with 
India. Bonaparte promised the caravan from the Barbary 
States that there should be no interruption to its passage 
through Egypt; but after proceeding some distance on its 
way, it dispersed, not trusting his assurances. He also 
wrote to the Mullah at Damascus to the same effect; but 
fanaticism was rife, a Jihad had been declared, and it was 
no longer possible for the French to win over to their side 

Jesus are prophets, each greater than his predecessor, and having a fuller revela- 
tion from God to man. Muhammad supersedes all. In the great day of final 
conflict Jesus will be the helper of the Mahdi, or " well-guided one," who is to end 
the fight by leading the hosts of Islam to victory. He must be of Muhammad's 
family, and possess certain special characteristics. There have been many who 
claimed to be such. Among the Shiahs or followers of AH, the idea is still more 
complicated (p. 57). In May, 1799, a Mahdi did arise who came from Tripoli. He 
was probably in Turkish employ, and his campaign against the French was of 
short duration (p. 78). It appears to me somewhat forced to say with Darmstetter 
that " the revolutionary idea among the French, and the idea of the Messiah 
among the Mussulmans spring from the same instinct, the same aspiration.'* 
Cf. Hughes : Dictionary of Islam. Article : Mahdi. 



f or THE ' 

V t-A OF J 

192 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

wholly on religious grounds any large body of Muslims. A 
marked change, therefore, is to be noticed in Bonaparte's 
policy as the year 1799 wore on. He continued writing to 
Constantinople of his friendship to the Porte, but it was an 
unprofitable business ; and he resumed the endeavors, which 
he began soon after his capture of Cairo, to win over Ahmad 
Pasha of Acre from his titular allegiance to the Sultan. 
That governor had deluged Syria with blood and earned the 
surname of Djezzar, or Butcher. Bonaparte wrote him that 
Islam was to be protected ; that the Mamelukes, his enemies, 
were destroyed, and that if he would support the French his 
own personal authority would be increased. To the Pasha of 
Damascus a letter of the same tenor was sent. These incite- 
ments to treason were neglected, and Ahmad with the sup- 
port of the English met the French in most determined 
manner at Acre, and effectually stopped the progress of 
Bonaparte's army. Failing this, overtures were made to all 
who had suffered despoilment at the hands of Ahmad, prom- 
ising revenge. To the Druze and Matawali sects in Mount 
Lebanon, at enmity alike with Sultan and Pasha, Bonaparte 
extended his protection, and guaranteed complete indepen- 
dence from the Porte, with an increase of territory, giving 
the former the seaport of Beirut and nearly all Lebanon. 
The Christian population probably supported a nation which 
had been their protector for centuries, but the Greeks may 
have been directed by their clergy to oppose the French; the 
Greek Patriarch at Constantinople, under Russian guidance, 
had issued a virulent document against the French Republic 
in the autumn of 1798. 1 

With the capture of Malta the perusal of an agreement 
between the Tzar and the Knights which pointed to a re- 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 3050, 3077, 3078, 3110, 3136,3138, 3148, 3205, 3215, 
3644, 3899, 4020, 4022, 4026, 4041, 4044-4047, 4049, 4063, 4077-4080, 4096, 4235, 
4268. Courier d'£gypte, Nos. 6, 24, 35. Marmont: Mhnoires, i. p. 155. De 
Testa : Recueil, i. pp. 572 et seq. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 93 

newal of Catherine's Mediterranean plans had assured Bona- 
parte that he would have Russia to reckon with in the future. 
When therefore the alliance between the Sultan and the 
Tzar was consummated, he turned his fulminations upon 
the Russians, as polytheists, the traditional and implacable 
enemy of every Muslim ; then, continuing the campaign of 
letters and documents sent throughout the Levant and into 
Arabia, he reversed his attitude toward the Porte, and im- 
peached the orthodoxy of a ruler who was in alliance with 
other Christian nations against a general who had always 
protected Islam. He declared that Selim III. had betrayed 
the faith, that Osmanly rule in Egypt was at an end forever; 
he questioned his title as Khalif, stirred up the ever latent 
jealousy of the theological doctors of Cairo against Constan- 
tinople, and appealed to the Sharif of Mecca, as the "Head 
of Islam," the Descendant of the Khalifs," the "greatest and 
best of Princes." Egyptian nation there was none; but such 
an appeal which asserted the religious and political suprem- 
acy of Mecca over the Porte could find a large audience. 
The Muslim of Muhammad was an Arab; the Muhammadan 
of Amurath was an Ottoman Turk. Jealous of the prestige 
of Constantinople, recalling the glories of the Arab Khali- 
fate of Baghdad, united in an Islam which was far purer than 
that of the Ottoman, the Arab tribes of the South, under the 
leadership of the Sharif of Mecca, would have been fit tools 
for Bonaparte's use. Race, religion, and politics were on 
his side. The success of the Wahhabi rebellion showed the 
possibility of a purely Arab Islam, fighting with puritanic 
zeal and godly courage; it was a movement that could well 
be likened to the Protestant Reformation in the West. But 
Semitic fanaticism would have prevented their alliance with 
the French ; and an agreement between Bonaparte and the 
Sharif to raise the Arab tribes in opposition to the Turks 
was probably also impracticable; yet the idea was undoubt- 
edly in the mind of Bonaparte; and such a scheme under 

13 



194 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

different circumstances is not solely of speculative value, 
as students of the Eastern Question and of Islam will 
recognize. 1 

The potential value of the ports in Italy and the Ionian 
Islands, which attracted Bonaparte's attention during the 
campaigns in 1796 and 1797, becomes evident when we con- 
sider his policy with reference to Greece and the Balkan pen- 
insula. The propaganda of revolution which he began while 
still in Italy was carried on by the Directory after he sailed 
for Egypt. One of the cleverest political and religious doc- 
uments which has appeared in connection with the history of 
the Eastern Question was published in October, 1798. It 
was an appeal to the Greeks to support the French; it re- 
called the abandonment of the Greeks by Catherine in 1791, 
and cited the alliance between Paul and the Sultan as proof 
that the only hope of Hellenic freedom lay in France. The 
intrigues with Ali Pasha were also continued by Bonaparte 
while at Malta; and French agents encouraged Passwan Oglu 
to rebel against the Porte. The betrayal of the French by 
Ali, and the failure of demonstrations in that region to de- 
tract from the strength of the coalition was a bitter disap- 
pointment, as was the siege and capture of Corfu by the 
combined Russo-Turkish forces. In the early stages of the 
expedition Bonaparte had depended for supplies and informa- 
tion on that island ; he urged later that a second French 
squadron be formed with Malta and Corfu as bases, that the 
Spanish and Dutch fleets be used to decoy the English ships 
to the Atlantic, and that in case the Irish expedition had 
failed, an invasion of the Morea should be attempted. The 
haste with which the allies moved to the attack of both these 



1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2676, 2687, 4224, 4238, 4265, 4296, 4297, 4350, 4362. 
Courier d'Egypte, No. 16. Villeneuve-Bargement : op. cit. ii. pp. 267, 277. Mon- 
iteur, Jan. 30, 1803. Annual Register, 1803, p. 746. Torrens : Wellesley, i. p. 172. 
Selim III. to Tipu Tib, Sept. 20, 1798 : "from intercepted letters it appears that 
the design of the French was to break up Arabia into separate republics. . . ." 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 1 95 

islands shows how invaluable their possession and free inter- 
course would have been to the French. 1 

Upon the capture of Malta letters were sent to the French 
consuls at Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis with news of the re- 
lease of the Barbary slaves owned by the Order. In Algiers 
the destruction of the Knights was hailed with joy, until it 
was learned that Bonaparte was bound for Egypt. The news 
of Nelson's victory on August 1, the outbreak of open war 
between the Porte and France and the direct command of the 
Sultan to his vassal provinces that all Frenchmen were to be 
treated as enemies, worked wide-spread disaster to French 
interests in that state. All the Frenchmen in Algiers were 
arrested in December, 1798, and their property seized. This 
possible ally or agent of communication with France was 
thus rendered totally useless to Bonaparte. Yussuf Pasha, 
of Tripoli, on the contrary remained friendly; and Beaussier, 
the French consul, was enabled to send provisions to Malta, 
and to communicate with Egypt and with Italy. The Eng- 
lish soon interfered, however, seized the consul, and forbade 
the Pasha to assist Bonaparte, who had been sending many 
letters via Derne to Tripoli. In Tunis there had been no 
such outbreak as at Algiers, but the English acted there as 
they had at Tripoli. Morocco had also refused to obey the 
instructions of the Porte; but distance prevented it from 
being of service to France. 2 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2615, 2662-2663, 2683, 2687, 2960-2964, 3034, 3036, 
3056, 3063-3065, 3146, 3245, 3749-3750, 3764, 3774-3775' 3777- Intercepted Corr. 
i. p. 242 ; ii. p. 232. Rodoconachi : op. cit. pp. 86, 92, 98, 102. De Testa : op. cit. 
i. pp. 557 et seq. Zinkeisen : Gesch. Osman. Retches, vii. pp. 42, 84 et seq. 

2 Mercier : Hist. d'Afrique, iii. pp. 448 et seq., 452 et seq., 468, 489. Ber- 
brugger : Alger sous le Consulat, in Revue Africaine, xv. pp. 258, 324, 329 et seq., 
401, 411 et seq. Devoulx : Rats Hamidou, pp. 35 et seq. (The denunciations of 
the Porte against the French were bitter). Cf. R. Afric. xix. p. 24. Ferand : 
Ephimerides cfun secretaire, in R. A. xviii. pp. 305 et seq. Extract from the 
Arabic diary of a secretary to the Dey of Algiers (1775-1805): "The French, 
enemies of God, captured by treason the city of Alexandria during the month of 
Muharrem 1213. . . . Islam has suffered a blow, and the enemy of God has won 



V 



196 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

So much attention has been centred on the history of the 
relations between Bonaparte and the Directory that it is 
unnecessary to dilate upon them ; the situation of the army 
in Egypt and the work accomplished by it have also been 
thoroughly discussed by many writers. When approaching 
Egypt, Bonaparte had addressed his soldiers as Frenchmen, 
representatives of a country whose interest in the East was 
a corollary to its national existence. The reports he sent 
home were for the most part exaggerated and fancifully col- 
ored accounts which magnified a skirmish into a battle and 
changed a retreat into strategy. Distance lent enchantment, 
and the "great desertion" ended with a triumphal progress 
across France. The disaster which cut the communications 
with France was the annihilation of the French navy in the 
Mediterranean. Prior to this battle Napoleon had written 
despondently to his brother Joseph, speaking of a possible 
sudden return to France. Before sailing, October had been 
mentioned in Paris as the date when he expected to come 
back; but the defeat of August 1 instead of hastening his 
departure confirmed him in the intention to remain longer 
in Egypt. It is unfair to say, therefore, that Bonaparte fore- 
saw disaster soon after his arrival, and desired to desert his 
army for months prior to his stealthy departure. He was 
supreme on land, and for some months his losses continued 
to be insignificant. There was in war and politics an uncer- 
tainty; and either in East or West there might have arisen 
at almost any time contingencies which would have deprived 
the coalition of its strength. These chances Bonaparte took. 
In Egypt he declared that " if the English continue to hold 

a victory. May God in his omnipotence free his children from this calamity." 
This is an interesting illustration of the solidarity of Islam. Ferand : Annates 
Tripoli tat nes, in R. A. xxvii. p. 219. Napoleon : Corr. Nos. 2665, 2966, 3043, 3050, 
3 1 %3> 35°4> 373°-373 2 > 4349» 435$, 4359- Pajol : Kleber, p. 303. Nelson: 
Despatches, iii. pp. 293, 301, 338 ; iv. p. 125. The'English also posed as the friends 
of Islam and the Porte, and declared they fought against the French as atheists 
and robbers. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 197 

{inonder) the Mediterranean they will perhaps compel us to \ / 
do greater things than we intended." Early in the campaign 
he recurred to the position which had been taken by some 
with regard to the projected invasion of England in 1798, 
and suggested that if the war showed no sign of coming to 
an end the evacuation of Egypt might be the price of peace. 
He asserted from first to last the great value of that province 
to France as a menace to Great Britain. From another point 
of view it is no exagggeration to say that the invasion of 
Syria was a radical move toward a settlement of the Eastern 
Question. It is useless to discuss the possible results if 
Acre had fallen; yet it seems probable that the immediate 
effects of a successful campaign in Syria with all that was 
bound to follow would have done much to alter the history 
of Europe and Asia at least for the succeeding quarter- 
century. 1 

Turning now from West and North, we must examine con- 
ditions and plans in the further East ; the Egyptian Expedi- 
tion loses its true significance if it be treated wholly as 
European history; indeed the study of the eighteenth cen- 
tury is not complete if the contemporary history of Asia be 
neglected. The present Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, has 
well expressed the inherent fact in the history of Asiatic 
dominion: "The possession of India is the inalienable badge 
of sovereignty in the Eastern hemisphere. Since India was 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 2710, 2765, 2874, 3045, 3051, 3059, 3065, 3083, 3084, 
3°9 r > 336S 35 28 > 353 8 > 3 88 6, 3 8 97> 393 8 » 4012, 4021, 4035 (the grandiloquent 
announcement — On Feb. 23, " nous couchames en Asie "), 4086, 4087, 4091, 4092, 
4101, 4102, 4124, 4136, 4138, 4156, 4323, 4329. Marmont: Memoires, i. pp. 261, 
278. Segur : Hist, et Mimoires, i. pp. 439, 440 (the famous passage in which Bona- 
paite speaks of marching on Constantinople, establishing a new Eastern Empire, y/ 
overthrowing Austria and returning to Paris across Europe). Intercepted Corre- 
spondence, i. p. 137 ; ii. p. ix., note. Du Casse : Mem. et Corr. du Roi Joseph, i. p. 
189. Napoleon to Joseph, Cairo, July 25, 1798: "Egypt is a rich country, but 
there is no money to pay the troops. I can be with you in two months. I desire 
to retire from public life and live in the country. For me at 29 glory has faded." 
There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of this letter. 



198 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

known, its masters have been lords of half the world. The 
impulse that drew an Alexander, a Timur, and a Baber east- 
wards to the Indus was the same that ... all but gave to 
France the Empire which England " won. Annihilation or 
Empire was the principle that governed the struggle which 
decided that there should be English and not French domin- 
ion in India. Whichever won, the victorious side could not 
remain either a trading company or a band of military adven- 
turers; it must become a political sovereign. The Egyp- 
tian Expedition was an important factor in the conclusion of 
that struggle; and its results were in fact more important 
than the events themselves. 1 

The works of Colonel Malleson have rehabilitated the his- 
tory of the period; but it is still common enough among some 
students to regard the struggle between France and Great 
Britain in India as ended by the time of the Revolution. It 
appears, however, that if France had almost abandoned the 
contest, Frenchmen were by no means so ready to withdraw 
from the field. The military adventurers who served in 
India at this time were a continual source of anxiety to the 
British ; and their presence, in command of strong native and 
European forces, together with the connection which some of 
them maintained with the states most antagonistic to Great 
Britain ; whether in Europe or Asia, sufficed to call forth the 
energies of the men who directed the affairs of that country 
in the East, in a determined effort to exclude all persons of 
French blood from the service of native princes, to cripple 
the power of the greater Indian states, and to extend the 
political ascendency of Great Britain over* an ever increasing 
area. 2 

1 Curzon : Persia, i. p. 4. Rapson : Struggle between France and England, 
pp. 3 et sea., II, 106. Seeley: Expansion of England, pp. 40 et sea. 

2 Malleson : French in India, and Final French Struggles in India, pp. 158, 175 
etseq., 195 et sea., 241, 244 et sea. Compton : European Military Adventurers of 
Hindustan, pp. 7 et sea., I$et sea., 221 et sea. Malcolm : History of India, i. p. 195. 
Bar be : Le Nahab Reni Madec, passim. Kirkpatrick : Select letters of Tippoo Sultan, 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 199 

The weakness of the French navy has also led many to 
suppose that the English flag was supreme on the Indian 
Ocean; yet prior to the Revolution the contest on sea be- 
tween the rival powers had been by no means unequal. 
Some of the English naval historians have suppressed and 
distorted the history of this period ; and it has only been of 
recent years that research and fairness have secured to 
French sailors their meed of praise. At the outbreak of 
war in 1793 the regular naval forces of France were un- 
doubtedly inferior to those of her enemy; but the privateers 
which were despatched from the lies de France and de Bour- 
bon made this preponderance avail English Asiatic commerce 
but little; between 1793 and 1797 they captured 2266 Eng- 
lish merchant ships as against 375 French, taken by the 
English. The profits were enormous, and while the French 
home ports suffered greatly during the war, these colonies 
grew rich. Thus it will be seen, that if the Republic were 
herself weak in India, the possible united strength of the 

Appendix L. An outline of Tippoo Sultan's military establishment. During the last 
years of the century Tipii Tib, an inveterate Anglophobe, seemed about again to at- 
tack the English establishments ; French soldiers were in power with the Nizam and 
Sindhia. The court of Puna was under the control of the latter chief, and the Raja 
of Berar was certainly not friendly to the English. Tipii could bring into the field in 
Mysore between 50,000 and 75,000 men, including the " European or French force " 
of nearly 600 officers and men. The Nizam of Haidarabad, Ali Khan, had some 
70,000 irregular infantry and a trained body of 14,000 men and guns under Piron, 
who had succeeded the famous Raymond in the Nizam's service ; and Daolat 
Rao Sindhia had 40,000 disciplined infantry, 380 guns, and 300 European officers 
under Perron, who had taken command of this splendid fighting machine, which 
the talents of De Boigne had created for his predecessor Madhaji Sindhia. The 
dream of the last named ruler had been to unite all the native princes of India 
under Maratha leadership against the English. He had disapproved of Tipii's 
first war against them, for he realized that no native sovereign could successfully 
fight them alone. The total strength of the Maratha powers under the Peshwa 
had amounted to 140,000 men at the battle of Kardla in 1795, of which 23,000 
horse, foot, and artillery were officered and trained by Europeans, for the most 
part Frenchmen. Teignmouth : Life, i. pp. 261, 267, 285, 319, 327-329, 333, 334.' 
Cornwaliis : Corr. ii. pp. 53 et sea. Castonnet des Fosses, in Rev. de la Revol. i. 
P- 337- 



200 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

enemies of England offered to the French a strong weapon 
for attack, while at sea the trade of their rivals suffered 
serious injury. 1 

In 1798, of the three strong native powers of India, each 
possessed bodies of well disciplined troops under the com- 
mand of French officers; the Sultan of Mysore, Tipu Tib, 
was the one most relied on by the French to create a diver- 
sion in the far East, thus assisting the French cause in the 
Levant, and threatening English dominion in Asia. Indeed, 
Bonaparte's imagination may have carried the plan still fur- 
ther; before leaving Paris he had asked for a copy of Ren- 
nell's work and for maps of the River Ganges; he had 
ordered Piveron, formerly in the employ of Tipu to accom- 
pany the expedition; and the naval forces of the lie de 
France had been directed to report at Suez and await his 
orders, with as large a number of transports as could be 
gathered in those waters. Previous to this, Tipu, who had 
been on intimate terms with the French in the past, as has 
been noted in a preceding chapter, had written to the Direc- 
tory and expressed a desire for the cementing of their "an- 
cient alliance." Tipu was a fanatical Muslim, and his call 
to the other princes for & Jihad against all infidels, together 
with the arrogant tone he often assumed even toward his 
allies, the French, show that his union with France against 
England was only a stronger sign of his intense hatred of the 
latter power. The tentative draft of a treaty of offensive 
alliance between Mysore and France was sent with the above 
letter to the Directory. At this time, April, 1797, there 
existed in his capital, Seringapatam, a French Jacobin Club, 
which held ecstatic meetings, discharged cannon, and swore 

1 Villele : Memoires, i. pp. 86 et seq., 92, 101, 107. Malleson : Final French 
Struggles, p. 8 1 . D'Epinay : Renseignements pour sei-vir a Phistoire de Vile de France, 
pp. 369 et seq. The daily entries from June 3, 1793, on m tn ^ s curious and other- 
wise very faulty book, show beyond a doubt that the damage inflicted on English 
commerce was enormous. The figures given in the text, however, are from Eng- 
lish sources. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 201 

allegiance to Tipu and the French Republic, but eternal 
hatred toward the British. Some months later Ripaud, one 
of the leaders in the club, was sent to the He de France with 
ambassadors bearing letters from Tipu. Three days after 
their arrival, January 18, 1798, Malartic, the Governor, for- 
warded the despatches to France. They were in the main 
identical with the letter of ( the previous April, and reached 
Rochefort on September 5, 1798. On January 30, Malartic 
issued a proclamation setting forth the intentions and desires 
of Tipu Tib, calling on all Frenchmen for aid; enlistment 
in the Sultan's service was urged, and liberal pay promised; 
war against the English was to be carried on until the 
latter were expelled from India. On the receipt at Paris of 
Malartic's enclosures the Minister of Marine presented a 
report on the situation (September 18, 1798). It recounted 
the celebrations under the auspices of the Jacobin Club at 
Seringapatam and stated the proposals of Tipu Tib " to make 
joint war with France until no English remain in India." 
The report then went on to review the offers previously 
made by the Sultan. In October, 1794, and in April, 1796, 
identical proposals had been presented by that Prince. The 
minister advised acceptance of the plans as given, and sug- 
gested a demonstration by the forces of Spain and the Bata- 
vian Republic in the Indies to assist him, "whose only 
object is to destroy the power of England in India. It is 
to the interests of the French Republic to second him in 
his designs." On October 26, the Directory approved in- 
structions given to Louis Monneron to send a ship from the 
He de France to the Red Sea in order to open communica- 
tions with Bonaparte, and to secure information regarding 
the course of events in India, particularly of the position of 
Tipu Sultan, and also to take steps to maintain the present 
friendly relations with that Prince. He was to assure Tipu 
that the Directory would count upon him when the time 
came to act effectively against the common enemy, and that 



202 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

he would be informed when to prepare for this. On Novem- 
ber 4, the Directory attempted to communicate to Napoleon 
what had occurred, and to lay before him several plans of 
action. They pointed out that since the control of the 
Mediterranean was in the hands of the English, a return to 
France would be difficult. The critical situation of Turkey 
seemed to indicate the speedy dissolution of that Empire and 
the consequent partition of its territories; Russia, Austria, 
and Prussia were intriguing at present to profit by such an 
event, and if France were to secure her portion, a march on 
Constantinople would be necessary. A treaty with Tipii 
Sultan had been negotiated but not yet signed, and if Napo- 
leon's eye had turned toward India, Citizen Louis Monneron 
would be able to assist him. With the General alone, how- 
ever, rested the decision. Three plans suggested themselves : 
To remain in Egypt, establishing there a position secure 
against the attacks of the Turks, though remembering that 
certain seasons of the year were very injurious to Europeans ; 
to penetrate into India, where he would doubtless find men 
ready to join him in overthrowing the rule of the British; or 
finally to march toward Constantinople to meet the enemy 
who menaced him. This letter reached Bonaparte in March. 
In India Tipu had received letters from many French officials 
at the lie de France promising aid and urging an attack on 
the East India Company; on July 20 he had written again 
to the Directory, outlining a treaty of eleven articles, and 
appointing Dubuc, a Frenchman, his ambassador at Paris. 
That officer proposed a union of native forces in India to 
oust the English; it was a plan such as Mahadji Sindhia had 
dreamed of; the possibility of its realization was a nightmare 
to British officials. 1 

1 Napoleon : Corr. Nos. 2473, 2498, 2509. (Piveron did not reach Egypt. 
Boulay : op. cit. p. 227.) Henry: Route de I'lnde, pp. 386, 404 et seg., 431 (the 
French had exaggerated ideas regarding the strength of Tipu). Wellesley : 
Despatches, i. p. viii. (proclamation of Malartic, Jan. 30, 1798), p. 710; ii. pp. 57, 
note (Dubuc to Tipii, Dec. 16, 1798), 740 et seq.\ v. pp. 1 (Tipu to the Direc- 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 20$ 

Returning now for a short time to trace the course of pub- 
lic opinion in Great Britain, we find that a French expedi- 
tion to India did not appear impossible to the English 
ministry in 1798, nor to the East India Company. The 
effect of this feeling has a value in history independent of 
the fact whether it appears to-day that Bonaparte did or did 
not plan to attack India. The military and naval experts 
may or may not consider it possible for him to have suc- 

tory. April 2, 1797), 6 (Tipu to French officials at lie de France, April 21, 1797), 8 
et seq. (replies to the above, March 1798), 14 (Tipu to the Directory, July 20, 1798, 
enclosing a treaty of eleven articles. This did not leave Tanquebar till Feb. 1799). 
Salmond : War in Mysore, pp. 52 et seq., 56; Appendix A, Document No. 1 (Tipu 
to Directory, Oct. 9, 1797) ; Appendix A, No. 15; Appendix B, No. 1 (treaty of 
20 articles proposed by Tipu, April 2, 1797). He engaged on his part to provide 
with food all French troops immediately upon their arrival on his coast, to ad- 
vance money for equipments on land and sea, to secure bullocks and camels for 
the artillery train and baggage, to supply lack of gunpowder and ammunition, 
and to co-operate in all campaigns with the French with 30,000 cavalry and 3,000 
infantry, fully equipped. They, on the other hand, were not to make peace to 
his exclusion or without his consent, he was to be a party to every treaty made 
by them, and the French generals were not to take the initiative in any action with- 
out his approval. France was to reimburse him at the termination of the war 
for expenses into which he had entered, and an equal division of territory and 
spoil should be faithfully carried out, except in the case of such lands as were 
formerly his. Goa should be his, but the Directorate was to have Bombay. The 
French were to supply between five and ten thousand regular troops, and twenty- 
five to thirty thousand " new citizens," or free native colonial militia for the war, 
which was to be directed against the English and Portuguese, and if necessary 
against the Marathas and the Nizam. Pledges were to be immediately exchanged 
to carry out this treaty. As Ripaud did not leave India till the autumn, these 
articles were probably not forwarded in April. Salmond, Appendix B, No. 12 
(Gen. Cossigny to Tipu's ambassadors, Pondicherry, March 5, 1798) ; Appendix B, 
Nos. 22, 23. Asiatic Annual Register, 1798-99. Supple, to the Chronicle, pp. 246 
et seq. Mill : Hist, of India, vi. pp. 70 et seq. (an unsatisfactory account). Miles : 
History of Tipii Sultan, pp. 252 et seq. Boulay de la Meurthe : op. cit. pp. 59 et 
seq. (Bonaparte had received letters of credence addressed in blank for the Indian 
princes, April 22, 1798), 227 et seq., 281, 283 et seq. (Some of the letters are given 
from the French sources.) To secure a good understanding of Tipu's feeling 
toward the French and English it is well to read some of his other letters. Cf. 
Kirkpatrick : Select Letters, pp. 13, 139, 178, 291, 369,376, 395, 435, 456, 462. See 
also, Asiatic Annual Register. Col. Kirkpatrick has given 44 more letters. Ren- 
nell : Carte generale de FInde, etc., trans, from Eng. by J. Bernoulli. 



y 



204 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

ceeded if he had tried it; but in this matter as in many 
others, it is as important to note what one power thought 
its opponent might do as to record the actual events which 
took place. Mr. Udney had written to Lord Grenville from 
Leghorn on April 16, 1798, saying that he had certain in- 
formation that Alexandria or some port in the Black Sea 
was the destination of Bonaparte's expedition, which was to 
number fifty thousand men. The Ottoman Empire would 
not oppose it, for the blow was eventually to strike at the 
power of the East India Company in India. Whether access 
to that country should be obtained by the Gulf of Persia, by 
land from Egypt, or by the Red Sea, troops could be for- 
warded now or later; for with Alexandria, Cairo, and Suez 
in French hands, even in time of peace, opportunity for 
hostile alliances and rebellions in India could be greatly 
increased and English control weakened. In May Henry 
Dundas, President of the Board of Commissioners for Affairs 
in India, had received like information with the more definite 
statements that the Ottoman Empire was reported to have 
consented to a plan which included the seizure of Egypt; the 
French army was to march north to Persia, and on to the 
Indus, " crossing near where Alexander did, and from thence 
advance into British territories." His correspondent con- 
tinued that French agents had been at work throughout the 
East for some time past, securing concessions from several 
princes, and had concerted with Tipu Tib for a joint cam- 
paign. Bonaparte's personal ambition, and the prospect of 
establishing himself in a more independent position than 
was possible in Italy, were thought to be prime factors in 
this attack on England. Mr. Dundas wrote to Lord Gren- 
ville forwarding a brief memoir in which he portrayed the 
advantages which the possession of Egypt held forth to the 
French ; and he analyzed in his own letter the various reports 
current concerning Bonaparte's plans, rejecting the Black 
Sea route to India as impracticable unless with the co-op- 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 20$ 

eration of Russia and pointing out that the strength of the 
English squadron in Indian waters rendered the sea passage 
from Suez too hazardous for the French to attempt; but he 
acknowledged that the land route was traversable, and that it 
presented no insuperable obstacles. To meet an attack from 
this quarter a rapid increase of the English forces in India 
was urged. He recalled the fact that the possession of 
Egypt had been for a long time an object in French politics, 
and that Baron de Tott had been sent several years before to 
survey the levels and report on the roads practicable across 
the Isthmus of Suez. To his mind the belief on the part of 
the French Government that a seizure of Egypt would be 
the most effectual means of undermining the British power 
in India, was at the root of the matter. Mr. Dundas wrote 
on June 16 to the Earl of Mornington (Richard Wellesley), 
the new Governor-General of India, that if Bonaparte's ex- 
pedition were actually destined for Egypt, he considered it 
" to be a great and a masterly stroke, and if successful [one 
that] would be attended with very pernicious consequences 
to the interests of this country." Jacob Bousanquet, Chair- 
man of the Court of Directors of the Company, wrote to the 
Governor of Bombay that while he doubted the success of 
Bonaparte, he was greatly alarmed for Egypt and India, for 
the projects did not seem wholly impossible to him. Nelson, 
while searching for the French fleet in the Mediterranean, 
had also expressed his anxiety by writing Earl Spencer on 
June 15, 1798, that if the French fleet had gone east of Sicily 
he should believe that they were bound for Alexandria, and 
were set on "getting troops to India — a plan concerted with 
Tippoo Saib, by no means so difficult as might at first view 
be imagined." The last week of June he was firmly con- 
vinced that such was the plan, and wrote inquiring if any 
transports had been collected in the Red Sea to carry the 
French troops. His thought, after the destruction of the 
French fleet on August 1, was to despatch news of the victory 



206 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

to India, for he reasoned that Bonaparte's Indian schemes 
would be spoiled by the loss of his Mediterranean squadron. 1 
In India directly upon the receipt of this news the Earl of 
Mornington wrote to Tipii reporting the complete defeat of 
the French. The news of Malartic's proclamation of Janu- 
ary 30, had reached India some months previous, and a pro- 
test had been sent to the Sultan of Mysore; but that ruler 
had declared his friendship for the English while at the same 
time he continued his correspondence with the French. The 
British representative at Constantinople had influenced the 
Sultan, Selim III., as Khalif of the Muslim world, to write 
to Tipii warning him that the French were bent on "effacing 
the religion of the Prophet from the face of the earth." 
This letter was forwarded by the Governor-general of India 
to Tipii on January 16, 1799. The Sultan of Mysore replied 
in a letter to Selim on February 10 that "in forty years the 
English had successfully subverted the Mohammedan powers 
in the Carnatic, Bengal and Oude . . . ," and concluded by 
asking, "What respect could a nation [England] have 'for the 
religion of the Koran who everywhere had butcher-shops 
open for the sale of pork?" Before arriving in India Morn- 
ington had been warned that the bodies of French troops in 

1 Wellesley : Despatches, i. pp. 350, 651, 688, 692. Cf. Intercepted Corr. i. p. 1 1 1. 
Auckland: Corr. iii. p. 425. Vorontzov: Arkhiv, x. pp. 23, 28-30. Nelson: 
Despatches, iii. pp. 31 (Nelson to Earl Spencer, June 15, 1798), -^etseq. (Nelson to 
Baldwin, Eng. consul at Alexandria, June 26 : "I am so persuaded of the inten- 
tion of the French to attempt driving us from India in concert with Tippoo Saib, 
that I shall never feel secure till Mangalore and all of Tippoo's coast is in our 
possession "), 40, 96, 97, 112 (Nelson to Lord Minto, off Rhodes, Aug. 29 : " I lost 
not a moment in sending an officer overland to India," after the battle of the Nile) ; 
vii. p. cxlii (Nelson to Admiral Sir John Jervis, H. M. S. Theseus, June 18, 1797 : 
*' . . . Tippoo is as much our natural enemy as the French. . . .") James : Naval 
History, ii. pp. 183, 388. An account of Lieut. Duval's trip to India after the 
battle of Aug. 1. Buckingham: Courts and Cabinets, ii. p. 401. (Grenville to 
Buckingham, June 13, 1798) : " It really looks as if Bonaparte was after all in 
sober truth going to Egypt: and Dundas seems to think the scheme of attacking 
India from thence not so impracticable as it may appear. I am still incredulous 
as to the latter point, though as to the former I am shaken." 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 207 

the employ of native rulers must receive the most careful 
attention by the British. The status of the Nizam of Haida- 
rabad in particular was a source of anxiety to him ; the chief 
officers in the Nizam's service, he wrote, "are Frenchmen of 
the most virulent and notorious principles of Jacobinism; 
and the whole corps constitutes an armed French party of 
great zeal, diligence and activity." When he reached India, 
the situation seemed to him much more serious; if the 
French should succeed in landing any body of troops in 
India, the general co-operation of all the foreign adventurers 
with their native masters might be dreaded by the English, 
and the only way to prevent a landing of French within the 
disaffected region would be the possession by the English of 
the coast of Mysore. In addition to the danger of a union of 
the Niz&m, Sindhia and Tipu, there was the possibility of an 
invasion of India by Zeman Shah from the northwest, which 
would receive the support of Tipu. This was an alliance of 
two Muslim rulers against the English, and also against the 
non-Muslim native states of India. There had been consid- 
erable correspondence between the two rulers, and though 
this was suspected by the English they did not receive the 
full confirmation of it till the capture of Tipu's private docu- 
ments in May, 1799, put them in possession of all the facts. 
Col. Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, who 
was at that time in India, however, urged that no war with 
Tipu was necessary till it should appear that the French 
could be of aid to him, or till he definitely refused the Eng- 
lish offers of amicable agreement. He wrote later to his 
brother the Governor-general, not to press Tipu into a war 
till an alliance had been concluded by the English with the 
NizSm and the Maratha powers. In that way the Nizam's 
force of French-led troops might give way to a correspond- 
ing force under English control. This was done as regards 
the NizSm, and as Tipu's attitude remained secretly hostile 
to the English, demands were made of him which, if granted 



208 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

by him, would have effectually placed his state in a position 
subservient to the English. He refused and war ensued. 1 

The operations of Bonaparte at Suez and along the Red Sea 
now receive a wider meaning. That General had concerned 
himself with the survey and occupation of the Nile Delta and 
of the Isthmus of Suez within a few months after the capture 
of Alexandria ; and he had written to the Directory that "mis- 
tress of Egypt, France would in the end be mistress of the 
Indies." In December he ordered the fortification of Suez, 
and accompanied by the French scholars of the expedition, he 
explored the ancient water-courses of the Isthmus, and ex- 
amined the ground which separated the Red Sea from the 
Mediterranean. Several small ships were secured and equipped 
for service on the Red Sea, a move which was hastened by the 
report of a courier from India announcing that Tipu Tib was 
about to take the field against the English. Preparations were 
made to secure good anchorage for vessels arriving from the 
lie de France, and an. expedition was sent to seize Kosseir, on 
the Egyptian coast about a third of the distance from Suez to 

1 Torrens : Wellesley, i. p. 172. Wellesley : Despatches, i. pp. 1, 3 (Mornington 
to Dundas, Cape of Good Hope, Feb. 23, 1798), 61, 92 (M. to Dundas July 
6), 98 (M. to Kirkpatrick, July 8, " The junction which might thus be effected 
between the French officers with their several corps in the respective service of 
the Nizam, of Scindiah, and of Tippoo, might establish the power of France and 
India upon the ruin of the states of Poonah and of the Deccan "), 109, 125 (M. 
to Palmer, July 8), 138 (M. to Gen. Harris, July 18), 170, 171, 185 (the French 
force at Haiderabad, Aug. 12), 204, 321, 413 et seg. (M. to Tipu, Jan. 16, 1799), 506 
(Chief Justice of Bengal to Mornington, March, 1799), 7 I0 J v - PP- *4> J 6 et seq. 
(Tipu to Zeman Shah, Feb. 5, 1797. Plan of co-operation of these rulers), 21 
(reply to the above), 22 (Tipu to Zeman, Jan. 30, 1799), 24 (Tipu to Sultan Selim 
iii. Feb. 10, 1799), 36 (M. to Gen. Anker, Jan. 18, 1799). Wellington : Supplemen- 
tary Despatches, i. pp. 52 et seq., 71 et seq. (Memorandum on the French force at 
Haiderabad), 96, 97 (French at Calicut), no (considerations on the war with 
Tipu), 127, 128 (the invasion of Zeman Shah and the northwest frontier), 152 
et seq., 222, 230. Mills : Hist, of India, vi. p. 73. An instance of the unfairness of 
this writer with regard to the Earl of Mornington, which Prof. Wilson corrects in 
a footnote. Salmond : op cit. p. 75. Cf. Beatson: The War with Tippoo Sultan, 
passim. Bignon : Hist, de France, i. p. 241 (comment on Pitt's Speech of Nov. 
27, 1800). 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 209 

Suakim. Every effort was made to develop the commerce of 
that region, and letters were sent to Muscat and Mecca to be 
forwarded to Tipu in India and to the lie de France. The one 
for Tipu was secretly communicated to the English by a native 
secretary at about the time when Mysore was attacked. Bona- 
parte attached great strategic importance to Kosseir, and 
choice of it by the Anglo-Indian Expedition in 1801 as a base of 
operations against the French confirms his judgment. After 
the return from Syria Bonaparte made still further efforts to 
communicate with the East, but by this time Tipu was dead 
and the English cruisers were patrolling the mouth of the Red 
Sea. It does not appear then that there was any definite plan 
to press on to India; in fact even if there had been, the victory 
of Nelson, the formation of the new coalition in Europe, and 
the difficulties of the situation in Egypt would have effectually 
prevented any decided move in that direction. On the other 
hand, in view of the cast of Bonaparte's mind, the political 
dreams of France, and the romantic and marvellous success of 
many soldiers of fortune in India at that very period, it is fair 
to believe that a continuation of the Expedition to India with 
the slightest possible prospect of success would have been 
welcomed by Bonaparte either for himself or for a subordinate, 
whose glory in victory would have been credited to his superior, 
and whose failure would not have dimmed his superior's fame. 
Often worthless as direct historical evidence, yet of weight in 
a study of the ambitions and imaginative characteristics of 
Bonaparte, his Commentaries, written at St. Helena, furnish 
interesting testimony on this point. The invasion of India 
from Egypt is worked out with detail, and the attempt is made 
to treat the entire Expedition to Egypt as in the nature of a 
preparatory move toward an ultimate destination beyond the 
Indus. 1 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 291 1, 3252, 3259, 3264, 3270, 33°4, 3336, 3375, 3439, 
3490, 3519, 3602, 3624, 3649, 3697-3699, 374o, 3741, 3452, 3767, 3781, 3782, 3799-3810, 
3820, 3821, 3824, 3830, 3835, 3842, 3855, 3900, 3901, 3910, 3913, 3934, 3944, 3949, 

14 



210 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Whether Bonaparte planned an invasion of India or not, the 
effects of his invasion of Egypt were very marked in India. 
Indeed one of the clearest signs of the intimate relation be- 
tween the Levant and India is the correspondence which was 
maintained so assiduously between the Earl of Elgin, the 
English diplomatic representative at the Porte, and the Earl 
of Mornington, and between the latter and Sir Sydney Smith 
of the English naval force operating in Syrian and Egyptian 
waters. It must be remembered that the English ministry 
could best gain the support of the country by catering to the 
popular fear and hatred of the French, that Bonaparte was the 

395 2 » 3953, 4*79> 4187, 4188, 4205, 4225, 4234, 4236, 4237. Courier d'Egypte, 
No. 22. Tipu was reported to have 260,000 infantry and 130,000 cavalry. 
Reybaud : Mimoires, etc. iv. pp. 216 et seq. Asiatic Annual Register, 1798. 
Suppl. to State Papers, p. 259. Bonaparte to Tipu, Jan. 26, 1799 (No. 3901). 
Salmond : op. cit., page 14, and App. B, No. 25. A letter from Bonaparte to the 
Sharif of Mecca, which is not found in the Correspondance, asking that a letter 
be forwarded to Tipu. It is shown here how the English secured these letters 
from the Secretary to the Sharif. The letter, as it was read by the English, is as 
follows : — 

French Republic. 
Liberty. Equality. 

Bonaparte, member of the National Convention, General-in-Chief, to the most mag- 
nificent Sultan, our greatest friend, Tippoo Said. 
Headquarters at Cairo, 7th Pluvoise, 7th year of the Republic, one and 
indivisible. 

You have already been informed of my arrival on the borders of the Red Sea 
with an innumerable and invincible army, full of the desire of delivering you 
from the iron yoke of England. I eagerly embrace this opportunity of testifying 
to you the desire I have of being informed by you, by the way of Muscat and 
Mocha, as to your present political situation. I would wish even that you could 
send some clever man to Suez or Cairo, possessing your confidence, with whom 
I might confer. 

May the Almighty increase your power and destroy your enemies. 

(Signed) Bonaparte. 
A true translation. (Signed) F. Wappers. 

Napoleon: Comm. ii. pp. 184, 285, 330; iii. pp. 20 et seq., 144. If these pas- 
sages could be admitted as evidence, the case for India would be very strong. 
Cf. also, Roseberry : Napoleon, the last Phase, pp. 180 et seq., 217 et seq. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 211 

bogey of English and Anglo-Indian politics, and that any 
measure might be made to appear wise or defensible provided 
it could be shown that it was destined to thwart the schemes 
of that leader. Mornington's ejaculation to Dundas after Tipu's 
death, and after the alliance with the Nizam had broken French 
paramountcy in that court, is full of this feeling. He wrote, 
" The French influence in India, thanks be to God ! is now 
nearly extirpated." He pleaded that at the conclusion of peace 
neither France nor Holland might receive any restoration of 
territory in India. He believed that Nelson's victory on 
August i was what saved India from an invasion by the 
French; and he set about the definite policy of undermining 
French influence with Sindhia, thereby reducing the military 
strength of the Maratha leader, freeing the Peshwa at Puna 
from his control, and ejecting from one native court after an- 
other the various French adventurers, who to his mind repre- 
sented the slightest menace to absolute English hegemony in 
that portion of Asia. The treaty which was negotiated on 
February 21, 1798, with Oudh is an earnest of this policy, and 
Article XV. is the forerunner of similar provisions to ex- 
clude Europeans from Indian service unless by consent of the 
East India company, which are to be found in every treaty or 
convention negotiated with any Asiatic power during the next 
fifteen years. This political scheme could be best followed to 
its completion by treating it as a complement to the struggle 
over the treaty of Amiens (1802-03). For the present we 
must notice the other directions in which this English expan- 
sion moved as a result of the war with France. Arthur Wel- 
lesley was one of the first of the English officers to advocate 
measures which looked beyond the mainland of India; as 
early as July, 1797, he wrote to his brother: "Mauritius [lie de 
France] ought to be taken. As long as the French have an 
establishment there Great Britain cannot call herself safe in 
India." He likewise advocated the possession of Pulo Penang 
Straits on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, as the future 



2 1 2 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

mart of India and China, the repair shop of the East. That 
office is now filled by Singapore in the Straits Settlement ; but 
the far look ahead toward China and the Philippines was 
characteristic of the determination of the British to allow no 
strategic point, no important market to escape their control. 
Mornington was bent on securing all Ceylon for England for the 
same reasons. Persia's relation to India was also within his 
range of view; here the fear of Bonaparte may be admitted 
as the direct principle of action. It had been advocated by 
some that Persia's weakness was Great Britain's strength ; but 
Mornington felt that the exclusion of French influence was the 
great political object to be gained by a treaty with the Shah of 
Persia, especially in view of the possibility, as he viewed it in 
February, 1799, that the French might endeavor to penetrate 
through Persia to the Indus ; another object was the creation 
of a hostile power to attack Zeman Shah in the rear, should he 
move to an invasion of India. The Red Sea, in General Stuart's 
words, had become an " avenue to India " and the Persian Gulf 
had received a new political importance. To these problems 
the Indian Government addressed itself. Capt. Malcolm was 
despatched to negotiate a treaty with the Shah and also with 
the Imam of Muscat. This he did in 1800-01 ; it was the be- 
ginning of the Persian Question with all its fluctuations. The 
decision to despatch an army from India to secure the evacua- 
tion of Egypt by the French is also a forerunner of future 
events. The success attending its operations undoubtedly 
contributed to develop a policy which has now become the 
formula of English politics and the key to the problem of 
Asiatic Empire. 1 

1 Wellesley : Despatches, i. pp. 31 (Mornington to Dundas, Feb. 28, 1798, about 
Ceylon), 188 (Zeman Shah), 295, 296 (M. to Dundas, Oct. II, 1798. Bonaparte in 
Egypt), 322 (M. to Lord Clive, November 5, 1798. Expresses the con- 
viction that Nelson's victory saved India), 433 (M. to Duncan, Feb. 19, 1799, 
Persia and Zeman Shah), 581 (M. to Gen. Harris, April 23, 1799. The reasons 
for attacking Tipu: 1. His adherence to the French. 2. Bonaparte's possible 
situation in Egypt. 3. Lack of English naval strength in the Red Sea. 4. Atti- 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 213 

Such was the development of Eastern history under the 
stimulus and at the time of Bonaparte's Expedition to Egypt. 
The influence of the Expedition upon the evolution of the 
Eastern question per se is naturally even more direct ; and the 
events on the continent, and in the Mediterranean and Adriatic, 
which may be considered as a part of its history, were fully as 
important. They are better known than those in India ; it 
remains, therefore, only to point out the relationship between 
them and their effects rather than to summarize the actual 
happenings. The treaty of Campo Formio was in reality 
only a truce ; the second coalition was in the germ before 
Bonaparte sailed for Malta. Russia had been the first con- 

tude of Zeman Shah. 5. Ditto of Sindhia. 6. The Peshwa becomes subservient 
to the latter), 671 ; vol. ii. pp. 36 (M. to Dundas, June 7, 1799. Victory over 
Tipu), 39 (ditto. The extirpation of the French), 40, 69 (M. to Col. Palmer, Eng. 
Resident at Puna, July 4, 1799. The English system), 70, 89 (M. to the Court of 
Directors, Aug. 3, 1799), 98, 139, 142, 205, 207, 224, 252, 299, 304, 309, 415, 438 
et seq., 469, 49 2 > 5°5> 539. 5 6 5> 5 8 7, 633, 715; vol. v. pp. 82, 85 (Kirkpatrick to 
Malcolm, Dec. 10, 1779), 179 (Gen. Stuart to Dundas, Jan. 1800. He believed an 
invasion of India by the French from Egypt would have been practicable and 
successful " had the Turks been in alliance with the French, or had the enemy 
pushed on immediately after he reached Cairo")- Aitchison : Treaties and Con- 
ventions, ii. p. 102. " Treaty with Nabob Vizier Saadet Ali Khan Behauder," 
Feb. 21, 1798, Art. XV. The Nabob of Oudh " engages and promises that he will 
not entertain any European of any description in his service, nor allow any to 
settle in his country without the consent of the Company." Wellington : Supple- 
mentary Despatches, i. pp. 13 et seq. (" I have observed since my arrival here that 
he [Tipu] is a constant object of fear to the English, and whenever they want to 
add a little colouring to a statement, they find out that he has an army in motion. 
. . . They likewise say that Zemaun Shah will attack Hindoustan in the next season ; 
but that I equally disbelieve, from a conviction of its difficulties, and of its inutil- 
ity even if he should succeed." A. Wellesley to Mornington, July 12, 1797), 24 
et seq.; vol. ii. pp. 334 et seq., 346, 356 et seq., 408. Mill and Wilson: Hist, oj 
India, vii. p. 220. Kaye : Life of Malcolm, i. pp. 105^ seq., 516 et seq. Hertslet : 
Treaties with Persia, pp. I, 8. Eton: Survey of Turkey, pp. 497,498. Curzon: 
Persia, ii. p. 435. Low : Indian Navy, i. p. 325. A treaty had been negotiated in 
August, 1798, with the Imam of Muscat directed against the French and Dutch. 
Brydges: Mission to Persia, ii. pp. 16, 177. English agents in the interior of 
Turkey and at Bassora were instructed to operate against French influence. 
Malleson : Final French Struggles, pp. 253 et seq. The Anglo-Indian Expedition 
to Egypt in 1801. 



214 . EASTERN PROBLEMS 

tinental power to feel that the Expedition was a menace to 
her ; in April, 1798, reports had been received at St. Peters- 
burg which aroused the Tzar to decided action. Fearful lest 
an attack upon the Balkan peninsula might again raise the 
Polish question, he strengthened the Black Sea fleet, and 
made preparations to resist any attempt on the part of the 
French to injure Russian prestige in the southeast. An 
alliance was offered to the Porte in May, and in August 
military and naval support, to fight the French or to suppress 
Passwan Oglu of Widdin was proposed. It afforded a wel- 
come opportunity to intervene in the Ottoman Empire and to 
resuscitate an oriental policy which consisted in alternating 
between friendship and war with the Porte. Great Britain 
co-operated with Russia to urge the Porte to join the coalition 
against France, to accept Russian assistance, and to permit the 
Russian Black Sea fleet to pass through the Bosphorus to the 
Mediterranean. Thus there arose the anomalous situation of 
a Russo-Turkish armament attacking and capturing Corfu, 
while England, at first alone, afterwards temporarily assisted 
by the Russians, blockaded Malta. There was in that very 
situation the seed of disruption. Russia had her own ends 
to serve and, feared by the Turks, offensively slighted by the 
Austrians, and distrusted by the English, it was in the nature 
of events that Russia should drift away from the allies and 
turn toward France, who had already, in 1797, made the 
endeavor to win her over. The outbreak of this war of the 
second coalition against France, while Bonaparte was in 
Egypt, did the work by which that General was ready to 
profit, since the defeat of the French armies, and the weak- 
ness of the Directory, made for him an opportunity to secure 
the supreme position at home, which had been denied him 
in the winter of 1797-98. The failure of the attempt to placate 
the Porte, and the naval supremacy of England were factors 
which must render abortive Bonaparte's plans in Egypt. The 
preliminary successes of the coalition aided him in the end 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 21$ 

by creating the situation which raised him to power. Once 
in control, the victories of the French armies in Italy and 
Germany, and the jealousy of the powers in the Mediterranean 
were the tools which he used to disintegrate the coalition and 
to secure the peace which was needed. Even in October, 
1798, Nelson had warned the Porte not to let the Russian 
fleet approach Malta. " I hate the Russians," he wrote Capt. 
Ball on January 21, 1799. Malta was an apple of discord 
that was destined to bring war, not peace, to the courts of 
Europe during the coming years. 

The alliance between Russia and the Porte was not durable ; 
the tone of the parliamentary debates in England showed that 
all was not smooth between Great Britain and Austria, and 
direct antagonism to Russia was but thinly veiled; the future 
of the Ionian Islands was a matter in which every power was ]/ 
deeply interested and the question might easily create bad feel- 
ing between Austria and Russia; such was the real situation 
in August, 1799, when Bonaparte set sail from Egypt. 1 

1 Bailie u : Preussen und Frankreich, i. pp. 247, 558. Rodocanachi : Bonaparte 
et les iles ioniennes, pp. 120, 147, 170, 175-179. De Testa: Recueil, i. pp. 537, 539, 
542, 548 et sea., 553 et sea., 567, 577, 586. Pallain : Talleyrand et le Direc- 
toire, pp. 244 et sea., 289, 294 et sea., 335 et sea., 374 et sea., 382 et sea., 394 
420 et sea. Nelson: Despatches, iii. pp. 145, 146, 203, 205, 224, 236, 255, 256, 297, 
312, 316; iv. pp. 3, 72, 75, 77, 108; vii. p. clxxvii. Pouqueville: Voyage en 
Moree, ii. pp. 7 et sea. Intercepted Corr. i. p. no; iii. pp. 122 et sea. Harcourt: 
Correspondence of Rose, i. p. 215. Tatischeff : Paul I. et Bonaparte, in Nouvelle 
Revue, xlvii. pp. 650 et sea., 660, 664. Vivenot : Vertrauliche Briefe, ii. pp. 28, 29, 
77 > 96, 135, 156, 157, 166, 178, 189, 199, 201-203, 333, 346. Stael-Holstein : Corr. 
p. 394. Miliutin: Gesch. des Krieges, i. pp. 67-69, 74, 323 et sea., 367 ; iv. pp. 164, 
J 73; V 'PP- 1 S3> 161, 203 et sea. 207, 213. Wassiltchikow : Les Razoumowski, ii. 
Pt. 1, pp. 266 et sea., 270 et sea., 337 et sea. Pisani : Les Russes h Corfou, in Rev. 
d'hist. dipl. 1888. Vorontzov : Arkhiv, viii. p. 238 (Rostoptchin to S. Vorontzov, 
Gatchino, Aug. 25, 1799) : "Elle [England] se reserve le droit de faire la paix 
maritime a son gre, et si elle a en vue les possessions des francais et hollandais 
aux Indes, ne sera-t-elle pas deux fois plus riche et plus puissante apres la guerre 
qu'elle ne l'etait avant ? Ayant Gibraltar et TEmpereur etant maitre de Malthe 
apres avoir detruit la marine francaise et espagnole, ne sera-t-elle pas la maitresse 
du commerce du Levant ?" Cf. pp. 188, 200, 218, 236 et sea., 240-242, 252-256, 259, 
et seq., 263, 264, 269, 287-291, 308; x. pp. 40, 62, 63, 68-70; xi. pp. 6, 12, 20, 21, 
38, 39> 49» 97, 102-105, 107, 112-119, 121, 318-320; xviii. pp. 178, 179, 182, 



2l6 EASTERN PROBLEMS 

Bonaparte had learned of the condition of affairs in Europe, 
and stole away, leaving Kleber in command, with orders to 
hold on till May in the hope of reinforcement or until he had 
lost fifteen hundred men by the plague. One more effort 
was made to arrest Turkish hostility by a letter to the Grand 
Vizier in which Bonaparte endeavored to pursuade the Porte 
to negotiate with France without English mediation or in- 
terference. He returned to France claiming that the perils 
of his country had summoned him to her defence ; his progress 
to Paris became that of a victor, and the " return of the 
Hero," who many believed had been sent to the East by his 
enemies that he might disappear in oblivion, changed the 
desertion of the army into the triumph of a pro-consul. 1 

The motives for undertaking the Expedition have been 
analyzed ; and the methods employed in it have been studied. 
It failed primarily because of the superiority of the English 
navy over that of France, and secondarily because Bonaparte 
was unable to overcome the passive resistance of the na- 
tive population in Egypt, and because the Porte joined the 
coalition, which was in turn due more to the moral effect of 
Nelson's victory than to anything else. Had not the English 
navy prevented the capture of Acre it is fair to assume 
that Bonaparte stood more than an even chance of reducing 
all Syria, where the population differed from that in Egypt. 
It was not divided into two classes, ruler and oppressed, 
as in Egypt, but was instead a mingling of irreconcilable 

190, 191, 196, 220-224, 233, 234, 342 et sea.; xxii. p. 85; xxix. pp. 279, 289, 377. 
Bruckner: Materialy dlya chizneopisanlya Graf a N. Ranina, ii. pp. 115, 116, 497, 
498 ; iii. pp. 1-6, 93, 215, 233 et sea., 326-328, 375, 433, 521, 638, 647 ; iv. p. 276. 

1 Napoleon: Corr. Nos. 4341, 4361, 4364, 4374, 4375, 4380-4382. Inter, 
cepted Corr. vol. iii. pp. 19, 171 et sea. De Testa: op. cit. vol. i. pp. 587 et sea. 
Napoleon : Comm. iv. p. 441. Bailleu : op. cit. i. pp. 206, 221 (Bericht Sandoz. 
Rollin, Paris, Aug. 5, 1798. Talleyrand remarks to him in a low voice : " Ce 
n'est pas que le Directoire serait fort afflige de l'echec qu'il [Bonaparte] pourrait 
recevoir ; la gloire de ce general a trop retentie , et il ne serait pas fache de la 
voir un peu ternie ")• Boulay de la Meurthe : op. cit. p. 241. This seems to be 
the final word on the subject of the secret information which Bonaparte is alleged 
to have received in Egypt prior to the desertion. 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE ORIENT 217 

elements, many of which were ready to join a victorious 
European leader. With Acre, the key, the " bridge-head " 
of Palestine, as Captain Mahan calls it, in his hands, and Syria 
no longer hostile, Asia Minor lay open to him, and nothing 
short of a European army could have stopped him. Ibrahim 
Pasha proved this in 1832. But Acre was not captured, and 
the dream of empire faded. Furthermore Bonaparte never 
really understood the science of sea-power, however much he 
desired to possess it. He attributed to India England's 
superiority and wealth, and based his plans for the Egyptian 
Expedition, as for the continental blockade, on the theory 
that a commercial power trading to the ends of the earth could 
be struck in a vital spot, even when the fighting machine of 
its rival was limited in its efficiency by the waves of the sea. 
In the very failure of the Expedition, therefore, there lay the 
answer to the riddle of Bonaparte's career; though he had 
failed once, he tried again and again to secure the same end, 
the- ruin of England. 1 The ultimate results of the Expedition 
were to place the question of Egypt in the forefront of 
European politics, to give to England in Malta a position 
unequalled in the Mediterranean, to show her statesmen that 
India must become solely English, and to reveal the close 
connection between Egypt and India, between the Eastern 
Question and the larger problem of Asia. Bonaparte had 
not called the Eastern Question from the recesses of Europe ; 
it was a serious problem under the Ancien Regime and at 
the time of the Revolution. His keen political insight, how- 
ever, bade him make of it a stumbling-block to the alliance 
of his enemies ; and the ambition and ideals of his chosen 
country, as well as his own genius, directed him to seek its 
solution. Touched by his hand it took the form and charac- 
ter which it has preserved to our day. 

1 Mahan: Sea Power (1793-1812), i. pp. 299, 324; vol. ii. p. 27. Beer: Gesch. 
des Welthandels, 3te Abth. i. Halfte, p. 369. Adair : Mission to Vienna, p. 94. 



APPENDIX I 



TABLE A 

Tableau du Resultat des Bilans de la Compagnte 
des Indes, 1724-40. 



Dates des Bilans. 



Fonds Capital. 



livres. 



Augmentation. 



livres. s. d. 



Diminutions. 



livres. s. d 



15 mars, 1724 
21 mars, 1725 

29 mars, 1726 
11 juin, 1727 

30 avril, 1728 
30 avril, 1729 
29 avril, 1730 

29 avril, 1 731 

30 juin, 1 73 1 
30 juin, 1732 
30 juin, 1733 
30 juin, 1734 
30 juin, 1735 
30 juin, 1736 
30 juin, 1737 
30 juin, 1738 
30 juin, 1739 
30 juin, 1740 



143,000,000 
139,385,940 
138,360,864 
138,814,398 
141,246,001 
142,093,835 
143,425,124 
142,630,610 
146,380,370 
135,886,602 
139,606,744 
142,948,892 
WS> 1 93> 221 
i47,753>93o 
152,042,396 

154,875,785 
159,420,571 
i6i,938,537 



453,533 
2,431,603 

847,833 

3,749,760 

3,7 2 o,i4i 
3,342,147 
2,244,3 2 9 
2,560,708 
4,288,466 
2,833,388 
4,544,786 
2,547,955 



3,614,059 
1,025,075 



749»5H 
10,493,767 



These figures are from a table in Dernis : Histoire des compagnies de commerce, 
MSS. in Arch, du Ministre de la Marine. They are quoted by Bonnassieux : 
Grandes Compagnies, pp. 281-82. The Company borrowed over 55 million 
livres between 1747 and 1770, having gone into liquidation once, Nov. 18, 1764, 
pp. 325, 326. 



220 



APPENDIX I 



« 3 



■ a 

U c/j 

z 

M 

S5 

O 

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222 



APPENDIX I 
TABLE D 



A similar table in Daubigny : Choiseul et la France d'otttre-mer, p. 339, gives 
the cost price of goods in India and China in addition to their sale value in 
France as in the above tables. On this basis the gross profit was as follows : — 





India Trade. 


Per cent. 


China Trade. 


Per cent. 


1725-36 


49,001,519 


9$ 


9,688,549 


IO4-I 


1736-43 


42,824,315 


93$ 


13,822,407 


*4*i 


1743-56 


58,269,331 


93& 


22,443,427 


i66| 


1757-63 










1764 






2,377,186 


85 


1765 






2,002,249 


8*1 


1766 


2,716,536 


88^ 


2,973,214 


7*1 


1767 


3»896,394 


59* 


2,042,376 


68 


1768 


5,835,060 


58^ 


2,356,488 


6Si 



APPENDIX II 



TABLE A 

Anglo-East India Trade, 1710-1807/ 
Macpherson: Indian Commerce, pp. 419, 420, "An account of the ships em- 
ployed by the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East 
Indies [including China], of the merchandise and bullion exported by them, and 
of the merchandise imported and sold by them, since the year 17 10, as far as can 
be ascertained from accounts already made up." The amounts are in pounds 
sterling. The " total exports" include Merchandise and Bullion ; and the " total 
imports" include Company's goods, Private Trade, Neutral property, — all being 
given at sale amount in England. 



Year. 


Ships Sailed. 


Ships Arrived. 


Total Exports. 


Total Imports. 
Sale Amounts. 


I7IO 


10 




575.920 




I7SO 


16 




1,121,378 




1780 


20 




401,166 


3,378,134 


1790 


25 


32 


1,461,488 


6,035,438 


1795 


76 


60 


1,298,921 


8,098,495 


1800 


49 


53 


2,304,786 


10,323,452 


1 801 


39 


38 


2,512,779 


9,i53>5" 


1802 


52 


50 


3»826,7SO 


9,628,142 


1803 


55 


44 


2,861,037 


8,425,268 


1804 


5 1 


54 


3>7 59,227 


8,044,392 


1805 


49 


50 


2,597,054 


8,79i»37o 


1806 


46 


35 


2,317,594 


6,938,952 


1807 


46 


53 


2,245,690 


8,140,499 



224 



APPENDIX II 



TABLE B 

The comparison of these figures with those which are official is of interest. 
The table given below is condensed from Hansard : Parliamentary Debates, vii. 
p. xv., and has been cited by Lumbroso and others. It is " an account of the 
value of all imports into, and exports from Great Britain for eighteen years, 
ending the 5th January 1806. . . . The real value of British Produce and Manu- 
factures Exported in as far as the same can be ascertained under the Ad Valorem 
Duties or computed at the average Prices Current amounted in the Year ending 
the 5th January 1805 to ;£4°,349,642. And in the Year ending the 5th January 
1806 to ^4 1,068,942." The tables giving Foreign Merchandise exported have 
been omitted below. The significant point to be noted is the difference between 
the sale value of imports and exports as given in Macpherson's table of Indian 
commerce and the official value given by Hansard. Attention should also be 
called to the fact that the financial year in Hansard is one year ahead of that 
represented in the larger table compiled from Macpherson's Annals of Com- 
merce, iv. Thus 1790 in Hansard is 1789 in Macpherson. 





Official value of Imports. 










Official value of British 


Year. 






Produce and Manu- 




From East Indies 
and China. 


From all other Parts. 


factures Exported. 


1789 


3453,897 


14,573,272 


12,724,719 


1790 


3,362,545 


14,458,557 


13.779,506 


1791 


3, r 49,87o 


15,981,015 


14,921,084 


1792 


3,698,713 


15,971,069 


1 6,8 r 0,01 8 


1793 


2,701,547 


16,957,810 


18,336,851 


1794 


3,499,023 


15.757,693 
17,830,418 


13,892,268 


1795 
1796 


4,458,475 


16,725,402 
16,338,213 


5,760,810 


16,976,079 


1797 


3,372,689 


19,814,630 


19,102,220 


1798 


3,942,384 


17,071,572 


16,903,103 


1799 


7,626,930 


20,230,959 


19,672,503 


1800 


4,284,805 


22,552,626 


24,084,213 


1801 


4,942,275 


25,628,329 


24,304,283 


1802 


5,242,441 


27,37I,"5 


25,699,809 


1803 


5,794,906 


25,647,412 


26,993,129 


1804 


6,348,887 


21,643,577 
23,986,869 


22,252,027 


1805 
1806 


5,214,621 


23,935,793 
25,003,308 


(not given) 


24,273,45! 



APPENDIX II 



22$ 



TABLE C 
{Figures in pounds sterling.) 





Imports tc 


> the United Kingdom. 


Exports from the United Kingdom. 


Year. 


From all 
Parts. 


From the 


From Turkey 


To all 
Parts. 


To the 


To Turkey 




East Indies 


and the 


East Indies 


and the 




and China. 


Levant. 


and China. 


Levant. 


I783 


13,122,235 


1,301,495 


48,983 


14,681,494 


701,473 


42,666 


1784 


15,272,877 
16,279,419 


2,996,652 


75» l6 7 
146,906 


15,101,491 


730,858 


43,052 


178S 


2,703,940 


16,117,168 


1,153,532 


82,449 


1786 


15,786,072 


3,156,687 


121,954 


16,300,730 


2,242,038 


113,320 


1787 


17,804,024 


3,430,868 


191,949 


16,869,789 


1,551,209 


99,772 


1788 


18,027,170 


3,453,897 


183,335 


17,472,238 


1,430,633 


47,838 


1789 


17,821,102 


3,359,H8 


223,424 


19,340,548 


1,957,177 
2,386,320 


136,207 


1790 


19,130,886 


3,149,870 


249,187 


20,120,121 


"3,179 


1791 


19,669,782 


3,698,713 


178,388 


22,73!, 995 


2,268,769 


189,291 


1792 


19,659.358 


2,701,433 
3,498,884 


290,599 


24,905,200 


2,425,947 


273.785 


!793 


19,255,116 


184,681 


20,388,828 


2,719,246 


45,270 


1794 


22,276,915 


4,458,447 


324,906 


26,748,083 


2,924,688 


117,700 


1795 
1796 


22,736,889 


5,760,795 


• 84,299 


27,123,338 


2,382,530 


149,938 


23,187,319 


3,372,689 


150,182 


30,518,913 


2,358,707 
2,280,333 


I55,5IO 


1797 


21,013,956 
27,857,889 


3,942,3i8 


104,838 
42,285 


28,917,010 


23.532 


1798 


7,626,930 


33.591,777 


1,145,735 


62,168 


1799 


26,837,432 


4,284,805 


33,o9i 


35,99 r ,3 2 9 


2,433.994 


226,078 


1800 


30,570,605 


4,942,241 


199.773 


43,152,019 


2,835,063 


166,804 



The real market value given by the Inspector General for the following items 



Year. 


Imports from 
Asia. 


Imports from 
all other Parts. 


Total 
Imports. 


British 

Merchandise 

exported. 


Foreign 

Merchandise 

exported. 


Total 
Exports. 


1799 
1800 


8,918,248 
9,827,278 


40,083,922 
45,573»I38 


49,002,170 
55,400,416 


38,942,498 
39,471,203 


11,347,692 
16,830,843 


50,290,190 
56,302,046 



This table is compiled from the figures and statements to be found in 
Macpherson: Annals of Commerce, iv. pp. 40, 68, 99, 120, 137, 182, 198, 214, 
231, 262, 288, 332, 370, 399, 438, 466, 491, 536. The total figures here given 
have been adopted by Lohmann : Die amtliche Handelstatistik, though he does 
not attempt to analyze them ; he has taken them from Whitworth and Chalmers. 




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VITA 

The author of this dissertation was born of American 
parents at Beirut, Syria, Ottoman Empire, on May 21, 1874. 
He attended the German School of the Kaiserswerth Dea- 
conesses in that place, and also studied under private tutors 
until he entered Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, New 
Jersey, in September, 1888. He was prepared for college 
there and at the Cutler School, New York City (1891-92), 
and entered Princeton University in September, 1892. He 
was graduated with the degree of A. B. (cum laude) in 1896. 
The following autumn he was enrolled as a graduate student 
in the School of Political Science, Columbia University, hav- 
ing as his major subject, European History, his first minor, 
United States History, and his second minor, International 
Law. He attended the sessions of the University of Heidel- 
berg, Germany, during the summer semester of 1897, where 
his major subject was History, and his two minor, Arabic 
and Syriac. He returned to Columbia in October, 1897, 
and studied there for two years more, having substituted as 
his second minor, Arabic Language and History for Interna- 
tional Law. He passed his examination, in course, for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy in May, 1899. He spent the 
year following also in New York, working in various libra- 
ries, and studying along the lines of this monograph. Dur- 
ing the year 1900-01 he was assistant in History at Harvard 
University, and there prepared the final draft of this disserta- 
tion. During the two years since his examination at Colum- 
bia he has been reading Arabic and has attended, optionally, 
several additional courses at Columbia and Harvard. 



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