Works of Karl Marx

B. Bauer's Pamphlets on the Collision with Russia

Source: MECW, Volume 15, p. 181;
Written: by Marx in January 1857;
First published: in Russian, in Letopisi marksizma, 1928.

This unfinished work by Marx is devoted to the criticism of Bruno Bauer’s views on foreign policy and especially his view of the role of Tsarist Russia in the destinies of European peoples. Bruno Bauer, a “Young Hegelian”, was a political radical. In 1854, during the Crimean war of 1853-56, he published several pamphlets in which he analysed the events of the war and the preceding history of the foreign policy of the European states. He came to the conclusion that the western powers were a failure, and that Russia was becoming the arbiter in European affairs. Back in 1855 Marx and Engels intended to come out against his “arrogant stupidity”, and this manuscript which he wrote in January 1857 was an attempt to realise the intention. In it Marx criticised in the main Bauer’s two pamphlets La Russie et l'Angleterre (which was published in Scharlottenburg in June 1854 and was a translation from the German edition Russland und England) and Die jetzige Stellung Russlands (also published in Scharlottenburg in October 1854).

a) La Russie et l'Angleterre. 1854

Prediction, the penetration of destiny, through the medium of a critical assessment of conditions in the states of Europe, their mutual relations and, deriving from them, contemporary history is one of the claims made by these pamphlets. The method used in tackling this problem commends itself by a measure of cunning. Since the knowledge and foreknowledge displayed by Criticism [223] is to be tested in the light of contemporary history nothing would seem simpler than to compare the conclusions of Criticism and the facts of contemporary history, measuring the first against the second and thus convincing oneself of the justification or presumption of Criticism’s claims. E.g., in the above-named pamphlet we read:

Constitutional practice has gained an enormous amount of ground, and passive resistance on the part of the national assemblies which emerged from the revolution of the year 1848 has assumed larger dimensions. The whole of Europe has apportioned itself at this moment the various roles in the constitutional drama: the West has assumed the role of stalwart opposition; Russia plays that of government armed with might and wielding its authority” (B. Bauer, La Russie et l'Angleterre, p. 19).

(“Europe has apportioned itself roles in the constitutional drama; the West has assumed the role of stalwart opposition; to Russia has fallen the role of an energetic government armed with might.”)

We shall not linger over the ill-turned phrase which, by means of an “and”, lumps together “constitutional practice” and “the passive resistance” of the “non-constitutional” assemblies of 1848, etc. Of all those assemblies, this might apply only to the “assemblie législative”. But let us take the proposition as it stands. Western Europe, the assemblée legislative, confines itself to passive resistance, and Russia, the “government armed with might”, “asserts her authority” by means of a coup d'état, as did Bonaparte, Francis Joseph and Frederick Williain IV respectively.[224] Such was Criticism’s assessment of the position in the month of April — an interpretation of the immediate past which at the same time purports to be a prediction of the immediate future. The weeks that immediately ensued controverted both the interpretation and prediction and demonstrated that, in its superficial precipitation, Criticism has transformed the phvsiognomy of a moment into permanent feature. Not only do the western powers abandon “passive resistance” and turn to aggressive acts but, before they have so done, Russia’s Danubian campaigns reveal that she is not “armed” with might; rather, her arms are powerless and, instead of “asserting her authority”, she withdraws — beats a retreat.[225] The analogy he draws with the dictatorial, coup d'état perpetrating governments and the assemblies of 1848 falls to the ground. Was Criticism’s prediction wrong, therefore? Its interpretation of the circumstances delusory? By no means. After the occurrence of the disagreeable facts which at a stroke demolished the findings of Critical pamphlet a), B.B., unabashed, opens brochure b) (Die jetzige Stellung Russlands, 1854) with the following diplomatic pronouncement:

“This proposition (quoted above)[226] which we advanced as late as (!) April, was fully realised by the turn things took beneath the walls of Silistria: the drama being performed by Europe is truly and in every respect a constitutional one; the government has come to resemble the opposition, it too has shown itself constitutional and has made no use of force, or, if it has, it has not been with intent to effect a decision.”

The ambiguous nature of the satisfaction derived by Criticism from the “turn things took” finds expression in the peculiar “turn” of speech, “advanced as late as April”. Does Criticism retract the proposition it advanced in April, the Russians having retreated from Silistria in March? By no means. The as late as should therefore read as early as. Our proposition, advanced “as early as” April, before the occurrence of the event, was corroborated during March. Rather, one should say, it was not corroborated. So not “as early as” — rather, “as late as”, but “as late as” with a corollary which turns it into a grammatical impossibility. “The view I held as late as April was fulfilled in March.” But Criticism does not say that its “proposition advanced as late as April” was “corroborated” as early as March. Indeed no. Rather, the new “turn things took” gave Criticism’s proposition a new “turn” of which there had been no suspicion “as late as” April. That proposition was not “corroborated” but, it would appear, “fully realised” by ensuing events. Very well. This casts a new light on the relation of events to Criticism. Even if they do not provide proof of Criticism’s assertion, they do at least help towards the further “realisation” of that assertion and reveal a content in it hitherto concealed and not suspected even by Criticism itself. Not only does Criticism stand in theoretical relation to events, but events stand in practical relation to Criticism. And what is now the position as regards the “full realisation” “conferred” by events in March on the proposition advanced in April?

“The drama being performed by Europe is truly and in every respect a constitutional one!”

Truly and in every respect! Does the “in every respect” add anything new to the “truly"? It vitiates and trivialises. That is all. But the floridity of the style, the “truly and in every respect”, simply betray the same perplexed ineptitude as previously the unfortunate “as late as”. In the proposition advanced in April, firstly, the “passive resistance” of the national assemblies of 1848 and after was erroneously equated with “constitutional practice” and, secondly, the clash in the East was transformed into a “constitutional” drama in which, because of their “passive resistance”, the western powers are compared with the national assemblies of 1848 and after and Russia with the coup d'état-perpetrating governments. This was not, in fact, a constitutional drama, since constitutionalism was confined solely to the national assemblies, whereas the governments were concerned solely with overthrowing constitutions. Now, however, when Russia has received a drubbing, her armed aggression having been repelled by force of arms, and has adopted a “parliamentary” tack, now the drama, formerly constitutional only in an “unreal” sense, has become “truly” and “in every respect constitutional”. But the moment the government becomes “constitutional”, as in England or Belgium or the France of Louis Philippe, it ceases to resemble the national assemblies of 1848 and after or the governments opposing them. Nor is that all. While Russia has begun to dally with “parliamentarianism” and hence, according to B.B., to assume the role of a “constitutional government”, the western powers have, for their part, ceased to offer “passive resistance” and turned to active hostility, to an invasion. If, prior to this, the term “constitutional” was [not] applicable to Russia, it is no longer applicable to the western powers. And this Criticism describes as the “full realisation” of its proposition advanced in April! Nevertheless, there still remains the matter of the “realisation” of the term “constitutional” contained in the proposition advanced in April. Criticism’s predictions, it is clear, are as ambiguous as those of the ancient oracles. If its propositions seem to have been controverted by events,’ then it merely seems so. As soon as the opposite happens, it transpires that, in point of fact, the original critical dictum meant the “opposite” of what it said and that events have simply revealed its dialectical nature. Thanks to this sort of dialectics which proves a prognostication to have been fulfilled by the occurrence of its opposite, Criticism’s prophecies are, in all circumstances, proof against attack. Urquhart adopts a different method. If his prophecies come to pass, their truth is confirmed by their having come to pass. If they do not come to pass, this is because the mere statement of what was bound to happen has prevented their fulfilment. In the first case the theoretical truth, and in the second the practical purpose, of the prediction has been fulfilled.

Criticism reproaches the daily press for its total addiction to the present instant. As for itself, it sees the instant as a moment in the context of the whole, i.e. takes a general view. What in fact transpires is that, if the daily press is, in practice, dominated by day-to-day events, Criticism experiences the same defeat in the realm of theory. The isolated event is immobilised by it and turned into the incarnation of a general proposition, which every turn of events strips of even a semblance of verisimilitude. (Similarly Proudhon. When, in 1850 (?) the bank’s bullion reserve increased more than £20 million sterling and the bank rate fell to 2 1/2 per cent, that event instantly denoted the realisation of a new phase in the history of civil society, the time of the Banque du Peuple had come.[227] To him, in Paris, the event was a new one, absolutely mint-new, because his views were bounded by the southern shore of the Channel). While, therefore, the “era” of Russia was, as late as April, seen as the immediate expression of a new phase in world history (in pamphlet a), Russia’s actions of as early as March prompted Criticism to ask (in pamphlet b) this pusillanimous question:

“Has the era of the West dawned in Russia, too? Does she already belong to the West, etc.?” (Die jetzige Stellung Russlands, p. 18).

In fact, since the proposition, advanced by Criticism “as late as” April concerning the constitutional drama, in which Russia assumes the role of power-wielding government and the western powers that of passive resistance, of stalwart opposition, constitutes the whole point of brochure a), and since events deprived it of that point as early as March, this effectively and “in every respect” brings our criticism of it to a close. However, let us consider some individual details.

In the first place, the alleged historical illustrations. Inter alia, a parallel is drawn between the events that paved the way for the French Revolution of 1789 and the events now supposedly paving the way for revolution in England. Turgot imagined that everything would be put right by “free corn trade” (p. 72). Likewise England at the time of the Anti-Corn Law League.[228] Would it be possible to coax into an analogy any two things of a more disparate kind? France was above all an agricultural and England an industrial country. Free trade in corn meant something altogether different in either country. In France the “fait précis and positif” — “financial deficit and bankruptcy” (72). In England? Well, in England there was war, [229] the government perplexed by a financial surplus and a twofold increase in imports and exports! Is that the analogy? Not so:

“in England likewise a moral and political deficit”.

What an analogy! On the one hand a “precise and positive fact”, on the other the merely subjective assessment of a situation by the Criticism. The analogy lies in the word deficit. X died because he broke his leg. Prophetic analogy: Y will die because he breaks his word. The precise and positive fact of financial deficit and public bankruptcy preceded the French Revolution. In Louis XV’s reign, if not before, a moral and political deficit had preceded financial deficit and public bankruptcy. In France, the reforms proposed by the government to the notables and the Parlements proved insignificant as compared with the presentiment of revolution. Similarly in England, no one took any interest in Russell’s Reform Bill (p. 73). What an analogy! In the proposals of the French government the issue at stake was a break with the past of French monarchy, in Russell’s proposals of 1831 it was a ministerial intrigue; on the one hand, a break with a centuries’ old past, on the other the consequences of a measure not three decades old; on the one hand, the government’s proposals were of ,no interest to the bourgeoisie because incommensurable with the revolution which they [the bourgeoisie] needed; on the other, despite their own interest in the petty manoeuvrings of the Whigs, they . id not succeed in arousing the interest of the popular masses, whose disillusionment with Whig reforms was not born yesterday but goes back to the morrow of the Reform Bill.[230] And now Necker and Palmerston constitute an analogy! To please Criticism, Palmerston loses “boldness and vigour”, he is “imbued with his mission” and “regards himself as his country’s last saviour”. Not even an analogy between Robespierre and Russell could be more consummately absurd. Accordingly it need no longer surprise us when Queen Victoria turns into reine Antoinette.

In no sense do we deny that major clashes are impending in England; all we deny is that the “historical illustrations” presented show the remotest understanding of them. The most common pot-house politics is infinitely superior to this empty profundity.

In order to prove that the English are mistaken in their view of an “influence étrangère” in their Cabinet, Br. B. turns his attention to Fox who he says, discovered in Russia a protector and guarantor of peace in Europe. In support he quotes a passage from Fox’s speech of May 24, 1803. He should have gone further, and mentioned the “secret” despatch of Adair by Fox in 1790 212 on the occasion of the impending 2nd partition of Poland. And what is proved by Fox’s “secret” and illicit liaison with Catherine II?"[233] That Palmerston is not in secret and illicit liaison with Nicholas. Come to that, there was no discovery for Fox to make in regard to Russia. It had already been made under William III by the Marquis of Carmarthen[234] and under George I by the ruling Whigs. Diplomatic documents show that, since that time, Russian influence has been a tradition in Whig Cabinets.[235] Good reason, perhaps, to suggest that Palmerston should have broken with the Whig tradition? Why should he not rather have “realised” it in all its implications and sold himself to Russia lock, stock and barrel? No less false than this “defence” of Palmerston is the assertion that it was Fox who discovered the Anglo-French alliance. Stanhope had already done so immediately after the Peace of Utrecht.[236]

As proof of Russia’s positive effect we find the allegation that, by adopting the attitude she did, she created “the décadence de l'antagonisme anglo-français” or, alternatively, the “alliance anglo-franoçaise”. In 1717 there already existed an Anglo-French alliance which, a few years later, George I endeavoured to turn into a European alliance against Russia. The Quadruple Alliance of 1834[237] was England’s second alliance with France and it was directed, albeit vainly, also against Russia. Hence there was nothing new or unprecedented for Russia to create in this direction. But if the mere fact of an alliance between France and England is to be regarded as an enormous success on Russia’s part, what was the alliance between England, Russia, Prussia and Austria against the France of Louis Philippe, the coalition of 1840 [238]? Proof, according to the construction put upon it by B.B., that the France of Louis Philippe was even more dangerous than the Russia of Nicholas.

England, or so Criticism goes on to discover, having, by her war with revolutionary France, delivered the Continent into the hands of Russia-a discovery which at least has the merit of not being new — felt impelled

“To assume herself France’s revolutionary task. It was Canning who filled the gap. He raised the flag of revolution in England, to make her the true adversary of Russia” (B. Bauer, La Russie et l'Angleterre, p. 7).

By way of proof, Criticism cites the rhetorical flourish which Canning borrowed from Virgil (the dieu Eole’sQuos ego”), as though a dictum by the “captain of Eton"[239] were any proof. it accords absolute credence and validity to the dictum concerning the “policy” of “principles"[240], which was even more false than the earlier dicta concerning the “policy of interests”. For that matter, Pitt’s war[241] was also blazoned abroad as a “war of principles” and “believed” to be such by a large part of the English population. And so indeed it was, in part, since the power of the oligarchy shortly before and during the outbreak of the French Revolution was threatened by movements inside the country. Canning’s dictum, by the by, was not, to begin with, directed against Russia but against France. The intervention in Portugal was a riposte to France’s intervention in Spain, and this “policy of principles” in its execution — recognition of the independence of what was previously Spanish America[242] — accorded singularly well with British commercial interests. Because Palmerston uses Canning’s dictum as a mask for a policy determined by altogether different motives, B. B. is convinced that Canning’s dictum concerning the “intervention révolutionnaire” has become Britain’s real policy and brought down every kind of misfortune on her. head. In this connection we are told that the Reform Bill has so greatly altered the nature of the British Constitution

“That even the English can no longer see what distinguishes their constitution from those of the Continent (p. 9).

Since George I’s time, the British Constitution has altered only in so far as 1) the distribution of the rotten boroughs[243] has been modified in favour of the Whigs, a faction of the aristocracy, 2) the industrial bourgeoisie increased their parliamentary influence in 1831 to the same degree as did the financial bourgeoisie by means of the “Glorious Revolution” of 1689.[244] Another thing B.B. discovers is that

“The repeal of the Corn Laws, like the proclamation of the free trade principle, is a tacit admission that it (English industry) has lost its supremacy”, (op. cit. p. 9)

What, on the contrary, they proved was 1) that the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie triumphed over those of the landed aristocracy; 2) that English industry needs no other monopoly than that of its own capital as such; it means that English industry believes it can only at present rely on its real supremacy. When war broke out, he says, England was not yet

“Debased enough to tolerate the objectionable idea of allying herself with her rival” (p. 10).

Needless to say, the England of the modern industrial bourgeoisie cannot, without degrading herself, enter into any alliances that run counter to the interests and prejudices of what was once the ruling class. England is always “the same” moral personage. The depths of degradation to which England has descended in this respect is demonstrated in the sentence:

“The peoples could only forget their past at the cost of forfeiting their future.”

As if the constant “unmaking” of the past were not the making” of the future.

Thus the future of Pitt’s England and the future of England are seen as identical. As soon as a “people” overcomes what was once the ruling class and thus breaks with the political past created by that class,” it demolishes its future.

England’s nationality consists, according to B. B., in hating France and vice versa. This, England’s “nationality.”, — the earlier feudal wars between France and England having, of course, quite a different import — was first brought into existence by the “Glorious Revolution “ and hence “cannot be abolished”. What profundity!

Russia’s nationality consists in allying herself, now with France against England, now with England against France... But England and France cannot form an alliance against Russia without renouncing their “future”. What Bruno is actually trying to say is this: With the exception of Russia, the national peculiarities of the European states are disappearing. France and England fight as “the West” against Russia. In this way their nationality is dissipated. But did not Russia, England, Austria, Prussia, Naples and Spain fight as Europe against France? And did this not serve to reconstruct their nationality? Criticism, needless to say, is not concerned with civil society. English and French society pass through stages of political pupation. If one of these pupae is cast off, Criticism sees this as a clear sign of decadence on the part of those societies. What, for instance, does the politically jejune chapter on the “calculs” and “arrière-pensées des alliés ["The calculations and mental reservations of the allies”, the heading of one of the chapters in Bauer’s La Russie et l'Angleterre], prove, save that those societies are still battling with political traditions which belong wholly to their preceding phases, and that they have not yet acquired the political form suited to the needs of the new phase. And this he takes as proof that the alliance, being so wretched, cannot be a means towards the attainment of that higher form? To say that the society of modern production calls for international conditions different from those of feudal society is a tautology.

What makes him think that Russia

“Has settled on the plan of consolidating her influence in Turkey without the help of an ally"?

Did she not successively seek an alliance with France, England and Austria for the late war, and consistently conserve that with Prussia? And whatever the views and intentions of the French and English peoples may have been, how can he tell that Russia was not all the time certain of effecting a secret alliance with the English government? and saw therein a warranty for her insolence?

The worthy B. B. believes Russia’s pretext,

“the cause des populations gréco-slaves de la Turquie”, (p. 11),

to have been her true motive. So great faith is not found, no, not in Israel.

A large part of the pamphlet is devoted to a portrayal of the prevarications of the British government (likewise of the French) and its concessions to Russia. It was not, in fact, the British government’s fault if Russia failed to carry out her designs --n Turkey. And what does this prove? That the governments of England and France, in particular the former, were constrained by the masses? No. That England is aware of “her weakness” and that the government and society, while factually divided, must in theory be identified.

Russia’s demandes! The Russian government’s real aim was to replace the autonomy of the Greco-Slav populations,[245] such as it was, with government by her consuls. In its gullibility, Criticism must needs mistake Russia’s empty phrases for her true motives, only to note with chagrin in a subsequent pamphlet that the Russian government is now dropping its false pretences . He reproaches the newspapers with ignorance of the late Turkish affair. He proves his own ignorance by overlooking the repeated attempts of the Russians — e.g. in Serbia and Greece — to undermine the autonomous administration of the communes. What Russia is seeking to conserve is the theocracy of Greek priests under Turkish suzerainty which shackles and smothers any independent civic development of the Greco-Slav communes. Criticism’s erudition finds particularly brilliant expression in the

“Pledges possessed by Russia in the shape of her participation in the work of organisation in Serbia” and in her “réglement organique”

she has conferred through Kisseleff upon the Danubian principalities![246] C'est par trop fort. The southern Slavs must, according to B. B., become Russians 1) en vertu “de la nature des choses” — a most profound demonstration, the reference to this abstraction; and then, alongside the “nature des chases”, by virtue of “l'histoire"which, in Serbia, demonstrates precisely the reverse; finally, by virtue of the “position géographique” whereby they are cut off from Russia by the Magyars and Romanians. And what bathos! From the “nature des choses” he descends to “l'histoire”, and from that abstraction to the particular of the “position géographique”.

Austria must, or so he maintains, confine herself to the role of médiateur. This proposition, which was correct “as late as” April, had already become “incorrect” by June, despite Criticism’s absolute proof deriving from the nature of things. He maintains that Austria will not “pourra se ranger du côté des alliés”. [be able to range herself alongside the allies] Additional proof of the assertion. In his lucubrations on past relations between Austria and England, he falsifies history in true Russian fashion. As regards the Treaty of Adrianople he takes very good care not to give us the real story. Namely, that the Russian army had been destroyed and would never have returned from Adrianople — not even the minute proportion of it that did so — if England had not, under false pretences, extorted the treaty from the Porte. His account of the matter of Lieven’s despatch is equally false. It was not, as he says, the “traité de paix” which was the main cause of Aberdeen’s and Wellington’s perplexité, but the blockade of Enos,[247] which was, in fact, relinquished by the Russians for fear of forcing Wellington into opposition. Incidentally Lieven remarks

“that the Duke of Wellington and Lord Aberdeen have put everything in motion to extort from us confidences as to the conditions of our future peace with the Turks”.

Lieven’s answer to this was far from being the boastful remark which B. quotes from his despatch[248] ; rather he went on:

“It appeared to us useful to repeat the assurances which on this point all the declarations of the Emperor contained, and even to add some developments to them. We shall confine ourselves to these generalities, for every circumstantial communication on a subject so delicate would draw down real dangers, and if once we discuss with our allies the articles of a treaty with the Porte, we shall only content them, when they would have believed that they had imposed upon us irreparable sacrifices.” c

Only then does there occur the boastful passage which, seen in the context of this nasty piece of equivocation, would have forfeited its heroism, which was not at all what Criticism intended. All Pam’s knaveries are then adduced to prove his sense of “England’s weakness” and the latter, too. They betray, rather, the secret of Russia’s “strength” vis-a-vis England. At the same time he distorts the facts’ as in the story of the Vixen."’ According to him, it was enough for Russia

“to remind him [Palmerston] that his grave offence had been committed in the black Sea, off the coast of Circassia”

I have shown elsewhere what complicated manoeuvres Pam and Nesselrode resorted to on that occasion.

In the chapter on Austria we also learn that in 1848-49,

“The whole of Germany, reduced to passivity by the illusions of the nationalities principle, would have denounced as a political crimeevery attempt to intervene in this struggle of nationalities”.

“As though” the Frankfurt National Assembly had not taken a stand against Italy? Likewise against Poland![250] It would be otiose to say anything further about this pamphlet, save that Criticism considers Omar Pasha’s Danubian campaigns to be a figment on the part of the Press.

Footnotes from MECW

223 Criticism — an ironic name given to Bruno Bauer by Marx and Engels in the first half of the 1840s (see their joint work The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Criticism.

224 A reference to the coup d'état of December 2, 1851 in France carried out by Louis Bonaparte, to the introduction of the reactionary constitution by Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria in March 1849, and to the constitution imposed by King Frederick William IV of Prussia on December 5, 1848, simultaneously with the publication of the order dissolving the Prussian National Assembly.

225 Marx is referring to the actions of the Russian troops on the Danube in May-September 1854 and primarily to the raising of the siege of Silistria.

226 This refers to the following proposition: “Europe has apportioned itself roles in the constitutional drama: the West has assumed the role of stalwart opposition!; to Russia has fallen the role of an energetic government with might.” It was first used by Bauer in his La Russie et 1'Angleterre. It also opens his pamphlet Die jetzige Stellung Russlands. The words “quoted above” were inserted by Marx.

227 Marx gave a detailed criticism of Proudhon’s theory of “People’s Bank” (Banque du Peuple) and “labour money” in his Economic Manuscripts of 1857-58 (the first version of Capital), Chapter on Money.

228 In 1774 Baron A. R. J. Turgot, who became controller general of finances, introduced free trade in corn and flour. This measure and his subsequent reforms roused strong opposition on the part of the Court, high priesthood, nobility and officialdom. In 1776 Louis XVI signed his resignation.

The Anti-Corn Law League was founded in 1838 by the Manchester textile manufacturers and free traders Richard Cobden and John Bright. It campaigned for the repeal of the high import tariffs on corn established in 1815 and for unrestricted free trade. The League ceased to exist after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846.

229 A reference to the Crimean war, 1853-56.

230 The Reform Bill of 1831 (passed as a law in 1832) was directed against the political monopoly of the landed and finance aristocracy. It liquidated some “rotten boroughs” and admitted the industrial bourgeoisie to Parliament. In the early 1850s a movement for a new electoral reform started in England. In February 1852, Russell declared in Parliament that he intended to present a new Reform Bill. However, the Bill was not discussed. Engels analyses this Bill in his article “England”.

231 Influence étrangère (foreign influence) — an allusion to David Urquhart, who regarded Palmerston as a direct agent of the Tsarist Government.

232 The version that the British diplomat Robert Adair, a confidential agent of the leader of the opposition Charles James Fox, was sent to St. Petersburg so as to disrupt William Pitt’s plans (see Note 233) was put forward in G. Tomline’s Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honorable William Pitt, in 3 volumes, London, 1821.

233 Disturbed by Russia’s victories in the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-91, William Pitt (the Younger) tried to wreck the Jassy Peace Treaty. Having employed the British press and entered into relations with Fox, the Russian diplomats managed to avert the rupture of diplomatic relations with Britain. Fox made a speech in the House of Commons severely criticising Pitt’s policy. Having won a diplomatic victory over Pitt, Catherine II ordered a bust of Fox to be bought for her in London and installed in her palace in Tsarskoye Selo, between the statues of Demosthenes and Cicero. When writing about the “illicit liaison” Marx presumably meant these circumstances.

234 An allusion to the fact that the Marquis of Carmarthen paid £15,000 to Peter I for the monopoly of the tobacco trade in Russia.

235 Presumably Marx has in mind here the documents used by him in Revelations of the Diplomatic History of the 18th Century.

236 The Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 was one of the peace treaties concluded between France and Spain, on the one hand, and the countries of the anti-French coalition (England, Holland, Portugal, Prussia and the Austrian Habsburgs) on the other, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession, begun in 1701 (see notes 51 and 71). Under the terms of the 1713 treaty, the Spanish throne was retained by Philip V, Louis XIV’s grandson; the King of France, however, was to give up his plans to unite the French and Spanish monarchies and renounce his claims and those of his Bourbon heirs to the Spanish crown. Several French and Spanish colonies in the West Indies and North America, as well as Gibraltar, were ceded to England.

In 1716 England and France signed a secret treaty in Hanover, under which England became a guarantor country: in case Louis XV died childless, the French crown remained with the Orleans dynasty. For England the treaty was signed by Stanhope, George I’s Foreign Secretary of State, and for France by Cardinal Dubois. This treaty served as a basis for the Triple Alliance between Efigland, France, and Holland, concluded in 1717; in 1718 Austria joined it (in this way, the Quadruple Alliance was formed). Marx speaks about these events below in the text.

237 A reference to a convention signed by France, England, Spain and Portugal in London on April 22, 1834. It dealt with the problems concerning the Peninsula.

238 A reference to a convention signed by England, Russia, Austria and Prussia on July 15, 1840 on the help to the Sultan of Turkey against the Egyptian pasha Mohammed-Ali, who was supported by France.

239 The “Captain of Eton” — honorary title received by the students at Eton College for participating in political disputes conducted in the form of parliamentary debates. Canning was awarded this title on graduating from the college in 1788.

240 On December 12, 1826 Canning made a speech in the House of Commons in connection with the dispatch of British troops to Portugal where the civil war was waged at that time (the so-called Miguelist wars of 1823-34). He said: “The situation of England amidst the struggle of political opinions which agitates, more or less sensibly, different countries of the world, may be compared to that of the Ruler of the Winds, as described by the poet: —

“The tyrant Acolus,
from his airy throne,
With power imperial
curbs the struggling winds,
And sounding tempests in
dark prisons binds.
(Dryden’s translation)]

241 This refers to the anti-French policy of the British Prime Minister William Pitt (Senior), who had much to do with unleashing the Seven Years’ War (1756-63), which enabled England to capture almost all the French possessions in India and North America.

242 The independence of the Spanish colonies in America (except for Cuba and Puerto Rico) was proclaimed in 1826; the independence of the Portuguese colony — Brazil — was obtained in 1822 as a result of the war of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in 1810-26.

243 Rotten boroughs (the name current in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) were sparsely populated or depopulated towns and villages which had enjoyed the right to send representatives to Parliament since the Middle Ages. The Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884 deprived the rotten boroughs of their privileges.

244 See Note 54.

245 The German “Stämme” used by Marx has been translated as “population” here, because the term “Stamm” had a wider range of meanings in the 1840s and 1850s than it has now. It denoted an historical community of people descended from a common ancestor.

246 The Russian-Turkish war of 1828-29 was concluded by signing the Treaty of Adrianople in September 1829. It confirmed the autonomy of Serbia and secured the autonomy of the Danubian principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia). Their rights were to be guaranteed by Russia. Under the terms of the treaty the Organic Regulations which determined their sociopolitical organisation were introduced in the Danubian principalities in 1831-32. For Marx’s estimation of these Regulations see also Capital, Vol. I

247 Marx is referring to the siege of Enos on the Aegean Sea by the Russians during the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-29. Enos was taken by General Sivers’ detachment on August 26, 1829.

248 ‘Me quotation from Lieven’s dispatch cited by Bauer in his La Russie et l'Anglerre (p. 40) reads as follows: “It is in our camp that peace must be concluded; and it is only after its conclusion that Europe must know its conditions; the protests would be belated then and one must he patiently content with what could not he prevented.”

249 On November 25, 1836 a Russian man-of-war captured the British merchant ship Vixen in the bay of Sujuk-Kale (the Caucasian coast of the Black Sea).

250 On the policy of the Frankfurt National Assembly concerning the nationalities question see Marx’s and Engels’ articles for the Neue Rheinsche Zeitung