British Politics. Disraeli. The Refugees.Mazzini in London. Turkey
First published in the New York Daily Tribune, No. 3736,
and the Semi-Weekly Tribune, No. 821, April 7, 1853;
reprinted in the New York Weekly Tribune, No. 604, April 9, 1853
Reproduced from the New York Daily Tribune
Source : Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 12
This article is the first in a series on the Eastern question by Marx and Engels published in the New York Daily Tribune. The increase in tension between Russia and the Western Powers in the Near East and the Balkans in 1853 eventually led to the Crimean war. At Marx's request Engels wrote a number of articles from mid-March to early April on the basis of a brief plan suggested to him by Marx in his letter of March 10, 1853 (see MECW, Vol. 39). Marx soon joined in with articles of his own.
Like most articles by Marx and Engels in the New York Daily Tribune, this one was not republished in their lifetime. The section "Turkey", together with the other articles on the Eastern question, was included in a collection compiled by Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling: The Eastern Question. A Reprint of Letters written 1853-1856 dealing with the events of the Crimean War, London, 1897. The collection gave Marx as the author of all the articles, since they had been published in the New York Daily Tribune either anonymously, as editorials, or signed by Marx. Only in 1913, after the publication of the correspondence between Marx and Engels, it was discovered that many articles which Marx had sent to the newspaper were written wholly or in part by Engels.
In this article Marx is the author of the sections "British Politics.—Disraeli.—The Refugees.—Mazzini in London", and Engels of the section "Turkey".
In a leader for the issue that carried this article the editors of the New York Daily Tribune wrote: "In this connection we may properly pay a tribute to the remarkable ability of the correspondent by whom this interesting piece of intelligence is furnished. Mr. Marx has very decided opinions of his own, with some of which we are far from agreeing, but those who do not read his letters neglect one of the most instructive sources of information on the great questions of current European politics."
The New York Daily Tribune was an American newspaper founded in 1841 by Horace Greeley, journalist and politician, and published until 1924. Until the mid-1850s it was a Left-wing Whig paper and after that the organ of the Republican Party. In the forties and the fifties it took a strong stand against slavery. Among its contributors were prominent American writers and journalists. Charles Dana, who was strongly influenced by the ideas of utopian socialism, was one of its editors from the late 1840s. Marx began to write for the newspaper in August 1851 and continued to contribute to it until March 1862. The articles Marx and Engels wrote dealt with key issues of foreign and domestic policy, the working-class movement, the economic development of European countries, colonial expansion, the national liberation movement in the colonial and dependent countries, etc. During the period of reaction in Europe Marx and Engels made use of this widely-read American newspaper to expose the evils of capitalist society, its irreconcilable contradictions and the limitations of bourgeois democracy.
The New York Daily Tribune editors took on occasion considerable liberties with the articles contributed by Marx and Engels, publishing some of them unsigned in the form of editorials or making additions which often contradicted the main text. Marx protested against this repeatedly. In the autumn of 1857, when the economic crisis in the USA affected the finances of the newspaper, Marx was compelled to reduce the number of his articles. His association with the newspaper ceased entirely during the American Civil War, when advocates of a compromise with the slave-owning South gained control over it.
London, Tuesday, March 22, 1853
The most important event in the contemporaneous history of parties is Disraeli's deposition from the leadership of the "great conservative" minority. Disraeli, it has transpired, was himself (prepared to throw overboard his former allies eight or nine weeks I before the dissolution of the Tory Cabinet, and desisted from his resolution only at the urgent instance of Lord Derby. He in his t urn, is now dismissed and has been formally replaced by Sir John Pakington, a safe character, cautious, not altogether wanting in administrative ability, but a mournful man otherwise, the very incarnation of the worn-out prejudices and antiquated feelings of the old English squireocracy. This change in leadership amounts t o o a complete, and perhaps to the final transformation of the Tory party. Disraeli may congratulate himself on his emancipation from the landed humbugs. Whatever be our opinion of the man, who is said to despise the aristocracy, to hate the bourgeoisie, and not to like the people; he is unquestionably the ablest member of the present Parliament, while the flexibility of his character enables him the better to accommodate himself to the changing wants of society. In reference to the Refugee question I told you in my last, that after Lord Palmerston's speech in the House of Commons, the Austrian journals declared it to be useless to ask for redress from a Cabinet corrupted by Palmerstonian influence. But scarcely was Aberdeen's declaration in the House of Lords telegraphed to
Vienna when the aspect of things changed again. The same journals now assert that "Austria, trusts to the honor of the English Cabinet," and the semi-official Oesterreichische Correspondenz publishes the following from its Paris Correspondent:
"Lord Cowley, on his return to Paris, stated to the Emperor of the French, that the diplomatic representatives of England at the Northern Courts had been formally instructed to employ all their efforts to deter the Northern Powers from forwarding a collective note to the British Government, and to urge, as the ground for such abstention, that that Government would be the better enabled to comply with the demand of those powers, the more it could keep up, in all eyes of England, the appearance of acting. freely and voluntarily in the matter...
"The British Ambassador, Lord Cowley, urged the Emperor of the French to place implicit confidence on the British Cabinet, the more so as the Emperor would always be at liberty to take any steps he might consider proper in the event of that confidence not having been justified... The Emperor of the French, while reserving to himself full freedom of action for the future, was induced to put the sincerity of the British Cabinet to the proof, and he is now endeavoring to persuade the other powers to follow his example."
You see what is expected from "ce cher Aberdeen", as Louis Philippe used to call him, and what promises he must have made. These promises are actually already followed up by deeds. Last week the English Police drew up a list of the Continental refugees residing in London. Several detectives, in plain clothes, walked from square to square, from street to street, and from house to house, making notes on the personale of the refugees, addressing themselves in the majority of cases to the publicans in the neighborhood, but entering in some instances, under the pretense of the pursuit of criminals, the very domiciles and searching the papers of some exiles.
While the Continental Police is vainly hunting after Mazzini, while at Nuremberg the magistrates have ordered the closure of the gates in order to catch him no man being hanged there before he is caught, according to the old German proverb while the English press publishes reports after reports as to his supposed sojourn, Mazzini has for the past few days been safe and sound at London.
Prince Menchikoff, after reviewing the Russian forces stationed in the Danubian Principalities, and after an inspection of the army and fleet at Sebastopol, where he caused maneuvers of embarking and disembarking troops to be executed under his own eyes, entered Constantinople in the most theatrical style on Feb. 28, attended by a suite of 12 persons, including the Admiral of the Russian squadron in the Black Sea, a General of Division, and several staff officers, with M. de Nesselrode, Jr., as Secretary of the Embassy. He met with such a reception from the Greek and Russian inhabitants as he were the orthodox Czar himself entering Tsarigrad to restore it to the true faith. An enormous sensation was created here and at Paris, by the news that Prince Menchikoff, not satisfied with the dismissal of Fuad Effendi, had demanded that the Sultan should abandon to the Emperor of Russia, not only the protection of all the Christians in Turkey, but also the right of nominating the Greek patriarch; that the Sultan had appealed to the protection of England and France; that Colonel Rose, the British Envoy, had dispatched the steamer Wasp in haste to Malta to request the immediate presence of the English fleet in the Archipelago, and that Russian vessels had anchored at Kilia, near the Bosphorus. The Paris Moniteur informs us that the French squadron at Toulon had been ordered to the Grecian waters. Admiral Dundas, however, is still at Malta. From all this, it is evident, that the Eastern Question is once more on the European "ordre du jour", a fact not astonishing for those who are acquainted with history.
Whenever the revolutionary hurricane has subsided for a moment, one ever-recurring question is sure to turn up: the eternal "Eastern Question". Thus, when the storms of the first French revolution had passed, and Napoleon and Alexander of Russia had divided, after the peace of Tilsit, the whole of Continental Europe betwixt themselves, Alexander profited by the momentary calm to march an army into Turkey, and to "give a lift" to the forces that were breaking up from within that decaying empire. Again, no sooner had the revolutionary movements of Western Europe been quelled by the Congresses of Laybach and Verona, than Alexander's successor, Nicholas, made another dash at Turkey. When a few years later, the revolution of July, with its concomitant insurrections in Poland, Italy, Belgium, had had its turn, and Europe, as remodeled in 1831, seemed out of the reach of domestic squalls, the Eastern Question, in 1840, appeared on the point of embroiling the "great Powers" in a general war. And now, when the shortsightedness of the ruling pigmies prides itself in having successfully freed Europe from the dangers of anarchy and revolution, up starts again the ever-lasting topic, the never-failing difficulty: What shall we do with Turkey?
Turkey is the living sore of European legitimacy. The impotency of legitimate, monarchical government, ever since the first French Revolution, has resumed itself in the one axiom: Keep up the status quo. A testimonium paupertatis, an acknowledgment of the universal incompetence of the ruling powers, for any purpose of progress or civilization, is seen in this universal agreement to stick to things as by chance or accident they happen to be. Napoleon could dispose of a whole continent at a moment's notice; aye, and dispose of it, too, in a manner that showed both genius and fixedness of purpose; the entire "collective wisdom" of European legitimacy, assembled in Congress at Vienna, took a couple of years to do the same job, got at loggerheads over it, made a very sad mess, indeed, of it, and found it such a dreadful bore that ever since they have had enough of it, and have never tried their hands again at parceling out Europe. Myrmidons of mediocrity, as Béranger calls them, without historical knowledge or insight into facts, without ideas, without initiative, they adore the status quo they themselves have bungled together, knowing what a bungling and blundering piece of workmanship it is.
But Turkey no more than the rest of the world remains stationary; and just when the reactionary party has succeeded in restoring in civilized Europe what they consider to be the status quo ante, it is perceived that in the meantime the status quo in Turkey has been very much altered, that new questions, new relations, new interests have sprung up, and that the poor diplomatists have to begin again where they were interrupted by a general earthquake some eight or ten years before. Keep up the status quo in Turkey! Why, you might as well try to keep up the precise degree of putridity into which the carcass of a dead horse has passed at a given time, before dissolution is complete. Turkey goes on decaying, and will go on decaying as long as the present system of "balance of power" and maintenance of the "status quo" goes on, and in spite of Congresses, protocols and ultimatums it will produce its yearly quota of diplomatic difficulties and international
squabbles quite as every other putrid body will supply the neighborhood with a due allowance of carburetted hydrogen and other well-scented gaseous matter.
Let us look at the question at once. Turkey consists of three entirely distinct portions: the vassal principalities of Africa, viz. Egypt and Tunis; Asiatic Turkey, and European Turkey. The African possessions, of which Egypt alone may be considered as really subject to the Sultan, may be left for the moment out of the question; Egypt belongs more to the English than to anybody else, and will and must necessarily form their share in any future partition of Turkey. Asiatic Turkey is the real seat of whatever strength there is in the Empire; Asia Minor and Armenia, for four hundred years the chief abode of the Turks, form the reserved ground from which the Turkish armies have been drawn, from t hose that threatened the ramparts of Vienna, to those that dispersed before Diebitsch's not very skillful maneuvers at Kulevcha. Turkey in Asia, although thinly populated, yet forms too compact a mass of Mussulman fanaticism and Turkish nationality to invite at present any attempts at conquest; and in fact whenever the "Eastern Question" is mooted, the only portions of this territory taken into consideration, are Palestine and the Christian valleys of the Lebanon.
The real point at issue always is, Turkey in Europe the great peninsula to the south of the Save and Danube. This splendid territory has the misfortune to be inhabited by a conglomerate of different races and nationalities, of which it is hard to say which is the least fit for progress and civilization. Slavonians, Greeks, Wallachians, Arnauts, twelve millions of men, are all held in submission by one million of Turks, and up to a recent period it appeared doubtful whether, of all these different races, the Turks were not the most competent to hold the supremacy which, in such a mixed population, could not but accrue to one of these nationalities. But when we see how lamentably have failed all the attempts at civilization by Turkish authority how the fanaticism of Islam, supported principally by the Turkish mob in a few great cities, has availed itself of the assistance of Austria and Russia invariably to regain power and to overturn any progress that 'night have been made; when we see the central, i.e. Turkish authority weakened year after year by insurrections in the Christian provinces, none of which, thanks to the weakness of the Porte and to the intervention of neighboring States, is ever completely fruitless; when we see Greece acquire her independence, parts of Armenia conquered by Russia Moldavia, Wallachia, Serbia, successively placed under the protectorate of the latter power, we shall be obliged to admit that the presence of the Turks in Europe is a real obstacle to the development of the resources of the Thraco-Illyrian Peninsula.
We can hardly describe the Turks as the ruling class of Turkey, because the relations of the different classes of society there are as much mixed up as those of the various races. The Turk is, according to localities and circumstances, workman, farmer, small freeholder, trader, feudal landlord in the lowest and most barbaric stage of feudalism, civil officer, or soldier; but in all these different social positions he belongs to the privileged creed and nation he alone has the right to carry arms, and the highest Christian has to give up the footpath to the lowest Moslem he meets. In Bosnia and the Herzegovina, the nobility, of Slavonian descent, has passed over to Islam, while the mass of the people remain Rayahs, i.e. Christians. In this province, then, the ruling creed and the ruling class are identified, as of course the Moslem Bosnian is upon a level with his co-religionist of Turkish descent.
The principal power of the Turkish population in Europe, independently of the reserve always ready to be drawn from Asia, lies in the mob of Constantinople and a few other large towns. It is essentially Turkish, and though it finds its principal livelihood by doing jobs for Christian capitalists, it maintains with great jealousy the imaginary superiority and real impunity for excesses which the privileges of Islam confer upon it as compared with Christians. It is well known that this mob in every important coup d'état has to be won over by bribes and flattery. It is this mob alone, with the exception of a few colonized districts, which offers a compact and imposing mass of Turkish population in Europe. And certainly there will be, sooner or later, an absolute necessity of freeing one of the finest parts of this continent from the rule of a mob, compared to which the mob of Imperial Rome was an assemblage of sages and heroes.
Among the other nationalities, we may dispose in a very few words of the Arnauts, a hardy aboriginal mountain people, inhabiting the country sloping toward the Adriatic, speaking a language of their own, which, however, appears to belong to the great Indo-European stock. They are partly Greek Christians, partly Moslems, and, according to all we know of them, as yet very unprepared for civilization. Their predatory habits will force any neighboring government to hold them in close military subjection, until industrial progress in the surrounding districts shall find i hem employment as hewers of wood and drawers of water, the same as has been the case with the Gallegas in Spain, and the inhabitants of mountainous districts generally.
The Wallachians or Daco-Romans, the chief inhabitants of the district between the Lower Danube and the Dniester, are a greatly mixed population, belonging to the Greek Church and speaking a language derived from the Latin, and in many respects not unlike the Italian. Those of Transylvania and the Bukovina belong to the Austrian, those of Bessarabia to the Russian Empire; those of Moldavia and Wallachia, the two only principalities where the Daco-Roman race has acquired a political existence, have Princes of their own, under the nominal suzeraineté of the Porte and the real dominion of Russia. Of the Transylvanian Wallachians we heard much during the Hungarian War; hitherto oppressed by t he feudalism of Hungarian landlords who were, according to the Austrian system, made at the same time the instruments of all Government exactions, this brutalized mass was in like manner as the Ruthenian serfs of Galicia in 1846, won over by Austrian promises and bribes, and began that war of devastation which has made a desert of Transylvania. The Daco-Romans of the Turkish Principalities have at least a native nobility and political institut ions; and in spite of all the efforts of Russia, the revolutionary spirit has penetrated among them, as the insurrection of 1848 well proved. There can hardly be a doubt that the exactions and hardships inflicted upon them during the Russian occupation since 1848 must have raised this spirit still higher, in spite of the bond of common religion and Czaro-Popish superstition which has hitherto led them to look upon the imperial chief of the Greek Church as upon their natural protector. And if this is the case, the Wallachian nationality may yet play an important part in the ultimate disposal of the territories in question.
The Greeks of Turkey are mostly of Slavonic descent, but have adopted the modern Hellenic language; in fact, with the exception of a few noble families of Constantinople and Trebizond, it is now generally admitted that very little pure Hellenic blood is to be found even in Greece. The Greeks, along with the Jews, are the principal traders in the seaports and many inland towns. They are also tillers of the soil in some districts. In all cases, neither their numbers, compactness, nor spirit of nationality, give them any political weight as a nation, except in Thessaly and perhaps Epirus. The influence held by a few noble Greek families as dragomans (interpreters) in Constantinople, is fast declining, since Turks have been educated in Europe and European legations have been provided with attachés who speak Turkish.
We now come to the race that forms the great mass of the population and whose blood is preponderant wherever a mixture of races has occurred. In fact it may be said to form the principal stock of the Christian population from the Morea to the Danube, and from the Black Sea to the Arnaut Mountains. This race is the Slavonic race, and more particularly that branch of it which is resumed under the name of Illyrian (Ilirski), or South Slavonian (Jugoslavenski). After the Western Slavonian (Polish and Bohemian), and Eastern Slavonian (Russian), it forms the third branch of that numerous Slavonic family which for the last twelve hundred years has occupied the East of Europe. These southern Slavonians occupy not only the greater part of Turkey, but also Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia and the south of Hungary. They all speak the same language, which is much akin to the Russian, and by far to western ears, the most musical of all Slavonic tongues. The Croatians and part of the Dalmatians are Roman Catholics, all the remainder belong to the Greek Church. The Roman Catholics use the Latin alphabet, but the followers of the Greek Church write their language in the Cyrillian character, which is also used in the Russian and old Slavonic or Church language. This circumstance connected with the difference of religion, has contributed to retard any national development embracing the whole south Slavonic territory. A man in Belgrade may not be able to read a book printed in his own language at Agram or Betch, he may object even to take it up, on account of the "heterodox" alphabet and orthography used therein; while he will have little difficulty in reading and understanding a book printed at Moscow, in the Russian language, because the two idioms, particularly in the old Slavonic etymological system of orthography, look very much alike, and because the book is printed in the "orthodox" (pravoslavni) alphabet. The mass of the Greek Slavonians will not even have their bibles, liturgies and prayer books printed in their own country, because they are convinced that there is a peculiar correctness and orthodoxy and odor of sanctity about anything printed in holy Moscow or in the imperial printing establishment of St. Petersburg. In spite of all the panslavistic efforts of Agram and Prague enthusiasts, the Serbian, the Bulgarian, the Bosnian Rayah, the Slavonian peasant of Macedonia and Thrace, has more national sympathy, more points of contact, more means of intellectual intercourse with the Russian than with the Roman Catholic south Slavonian who speaks the same language. Whatever may happen, he looks to St. Petersburg for the advent of the Messiah who is to deliver him from all evil; and if he calls Constantinople his Tsarigrad or Imperial City, it is as much in anticipation of the orthodox Tsar coming from the north and entering it, to restore the true faith, as in recollection of the orthodox Tsar who held it before the Turks overrun the country.
Subjected in the greater part of Turkey to the direct rule of the Turk, but under local authorities of their own choice, partly (in Bosnia) converted to the faith of the conqueror, the Slavonian race lias, in that country, maintained or conquered political existence in two localities. The one is Serbia, the valley of the Morava, a province with well defined natural lines of frontier, which played an important part in the history of these regions six hundred years ago. Subdued for a while by the Turks, the Russian war of 1806 gave it a chance of obtaining a separate existence, though tinder the Turkish supremacy. It has remained ever since under the immediate protection of Russia. But, as in Moldavia and Wallachia, political existence has brought on new wants, and forced upon Serbia an increased intercourse with Western Europe. Civilization began to take root, trade extended, new ideas sprang tip; and thus we find in the very heart and stronghold of Russian influence, in Slavonic, orthodox Serbia, an anti-Russian, progressive party (of course, very modest in its demands of reform), headed by the ex-Minister of Finances Garašanin.
There is no doubt that, should the Greco-Slavonian population ever obtain the mastery in the land which it inhabits and where it forms three-fourths of the whole population (seven millions), the same necessities would by and by give birth to an anti-Russian, progressive party, the existence of which has been hitherto the inevitable consequence of any portion of it having become semi-detached from Turkey.
In Montenegro, we have not a fertile valley with comparatively large cities, but a barren mountain country of difficult access. Here a set of robbers have fixed themselves, scouring the plains and storing the plunder in their mountain fastnesses. These romantic but rather uncouth gentlemen have long been a nuisance in Europe, and it is but in keeping with the policy of Russia and Austria that they should stick up for the rights of the Black Mountain people (Tsernogorci) to burn down villages, murder the inhabitants and carry off the cattle.
- In March 1853 Disraeli, leader of the Tories since 1848, was replaced in this post by Lord Pakington. This was the result of disagreements between Disraeli, who supported certain concessions to the free-trade industrial bourgeoisie, and the Tory advocates of protectionism. The latter won the day, but subsequently the Disraeli line prevailed, reflecting the gradual changing of the old aristocratic Tory Party into a party of the conservative sections of the British bourgeoisie.
- K. Marx, "Kossuth and Mazzini. —Intrigues of the Prussian Government. —Austro-Prussian Commercial Treaty. —The Times and the Refugees"
- At the sitting of the House of Commons on March 1, 1853, Palmerston formally declared that if the continental powers demanded that Britain should expel political refugees, Britain would decline. However, the statement of the Prime Minister, Lord Aberdeen, in the House of Lords on March 4 contained a promise of concessions on this question. Marx had dealt with this subject in a number of his previous reports to the New York Daily Tribune. See also an article on this subject, "The Refugees and the London Police", in The People's Paper, No. 47, March 26, 1853.
- Napoleon III.—Ed.
- V. A. Kornilov.—Ed.
- A. A. Nepokoichitsky.—Ed.
- The New York Daily Tribune erroneously has "Dardanelles".—Ed.
- Le Moniteur universel, No. 79, March 20, 1853.—Ed.
- The treaties of Tilsit—peace treaties signed on July 7 and 9, 1807 by Napoleonic France and the members of the fourth anti-French coalition, Russia and Prussia, which were defeated in the campaigns of 1806 and 1807. I n an attempt to split the defeated powers, Napoleon made no territorial claims on Russia and even succeeded in transferring part of the Prussian monarchy's eastern lands to Russia. He established an alliance with Alexander I when the two emperors met in Erfurt in the autumn of 1808. The treaties imposed harsh terms on Prussia, which lost nearly half its territory to the German states dependent on France, was made to pay indemnities, and had its army reduced. However, Russia, like Prussia, had to break the alliance with Britain and join Napoleon's Continental System, which was to its disadvantage. Napoleon formed the vassal Duchy of Warsaw on Polish territory seized by Prussia during the partitions of Poland at the end of the eighteenth century, and planned to use the duchy as a springboard in the event of war with Russia.
In Tilsit Alexander I pledged, with France acting as a mediator, to start peace negotiations with Turkey with which Russia had been at war since 1806. In August 180 7 Russia and Turkey signed an armistice, but a peace treaty was not concluded and military operations were resumed in 1809. The war ended with the defeat of Turkey in 1812. Increasingly strained relations between France and Russia led to Napoleon's campaign against Russia in 1812.
- At the Congress of the Holy Alliance (an alliance of European monarchs founded on September 26, 1815 on the initiative of the Russian Emperor Alexander I and the Austrian Chancellor Metternich), which began in Troppau in October 1820 and ended in Laibach in May 1821, the principle of intervention in the internal affairs of other states was officially proclaimed. Accordingly, the Laibach Congress decided to send Austrian troops to Italy to crush the revolutionary and national liberation movement there. French intervention in Spain with similar aims was decided on at the Congress of Verona in 1822.
- The aggravation of the Eastern question in the early 1840s was caused by the Turko-Egyptian war of 1839-41. In 1839 the Turkish army invaded Syria, which had been conquered in 1831-33 by the Egyptian ruler Mehemet Ali, but it was defeated. Fearing Russian intervention, the Western powers decided to send a joint Note to the Turkish Sultan offering their assistance. However, as a result of the struggle between Britain and France over spheres of influence in the Near East, the London Convention on military assistance to the Sultan was signed on July 15, 1840 by Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia, without France. The latter was counting on Mehemet Ali, but was soon compelled to abandon him to his fate. After the military intervention of Britain and Austria. Mehemet Ali was forced to renounce all his possessions outside Egypt and submit to the supreme power of the Turkish Sultan.
- The principle of legitimacy was proclaimed by Talleyrand at the Vienna Congress of European monarchs and their Ministers held in 1814-15. It actually meant the restoration of the "legitimate" dynasties and monarchies overthrown during the French revolution of 1789-94 and the Napoleonic wars, and was made the cornerstone of the treaties of Vienna. However, in recarving the map of Europe, the governments which had defeated Napoleonic France were prompted more by their own, frequently conflicting, interests than by the claims of the "legitimate" monarchs who were being restored.
- P. J. Béranger, Les Mirmidons, ou les funérailles d'Achille. There is a pun in the title of this allegory: "les mirmidons" meaning a warlike Thessalian race who accompanied Achilles to the Trojan War, and "mirmidon" also denotes "shorty, dwarf, good-for-nothing".—Ed.
- Turkish armies laid siege to Vienna in 1529 and 1683 but in both cases failed to take it. In 1683 it was saved by the army of the Polish King John Sobieski. The battle of Kulevcha (Bulgaria) took place on May 30, 1829, during the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-29. The Turkish army was defeated.
- The word "race" is used here in accordance with its meaning at the time: it meant both "races of the second order" (groups within the main races) and linguistic and ethnic groups.
- The Turkish name for Albanians.—Ed.
- An ancient mountain people of Galicia.—Ed.
- Transylvania became part of Hungary under the Austrian rule of the Habsburgs in the late seventeenth century. During the 1848-49 revolution the Hungarian revolutionary Government refused to recognise the right of the Transylvanian Wallachians to national independence. As a result, the Austrian counter-revolutionary forces were able to draw the insurgent army of Transylvanian Wallachians into the struggle against the Hungarian revolutionary army. The defeat of the Hungarian bourgeois revolution had deplorable consequences for the people of Transylvania, where the rule of the Hungarian magnates was restored.
- The Ruthenians—the name given in nineteenth-century West-European ethnographical and historical works to the Ukrainian population of Galicia and Bukovina, which was separated at the time from the rest of the Ukrainian people. During the national liberation uprising in Cracow in 1846 the Austrian authorities provoked clashes between Ukrainian peasants and insurgent Polish detachments. However, after the suppression of the uprising, the participants in the peasant movement in Galicia were subjected to brutal reprisals.
- In the summer of 1848, the anti-feudal movement and the struggle for complete liberation from the rule of the Turkish Sultan gained strength in the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which formally remained autonomous possessions of Turkey. The movement in Wallachia grew into a bourgeois revolution. In June 1848, a Constitution was proclaimed, a liberal Provisional Government was formed and George Bibesco, the ruler of Wallachia, abdicated and fled the country.
On June 28, 1848, 12,000 Russian soldiers entered Moldavia and in July Turkish troops invaded the country. The Russian and Turkish intervention helped restore feudal rule, and the subsequent entry of Turkish troops into Wallachia with the consent of the Tsarist Government brought about the defeat of the bourgeois revolution there.
- The Cyrillic alphabet, one of the two ancient Slav alphabets (the other is called the Glagolitic alphabet), is named after Cyril, a missionary monk of the mid-ninth century, who, together with his brother Methodius, translated several religious texts from Greek into Slavonic. The Russian, Bulgarian and many other Slavonic languages use a modified form of the Cyrillic alphabet
- The Serbian name for Vienna.—Ed.
- A reference to the reactionary bourgeois and landowner elements of the national movement in Croatia and Bohemia, who during the 1848-49 revolution opposed the revolutionary-democratic solution of the national question and advocated uniting the oppressed Slav peoples within the framework of the Habsburg Empire. This standpoint was reflected in the decisions of the Croatian Sábors held in 1848 in Agram (Zagreb), and in the efforts of the moderately liberal wing of the 1848 Slav Congress in Prague (Palacký, Šafařík) to maintain and strengthen the Habsburg monarchy. The Left, radical wing (Sabina, Frič, Libelt and others), on the other hand, wanted to act in alliance with the revolutionary-democratic movement in Germany and Hungary.
- The New York Daily Tribune has: "the Russian war of 1809". The reference is to the Russo-Turkish war of 1806-12, which ended in the defeat of Turkey and the signing in May 1812 of the Bucharest peace treaty, according to which Bessarabia was joined to Russia. The treaty provided for Serbian autonomy in domestic affairs, thus laying the foundation for Serbia's future independence. In 1807 Russia and Turkey concluded an armistice with the mediation of France, but the peace negotiations were interrupted and military operations resumed in 1809.
The Serbian insurrection, which flared up in February 1804 against the arbitrary rule and brutal reprisals of the Turkish janissaries, developed into an armed struggle for the country's independence from Turkey. During the insurrection a national government was set up and Georgi Petrović (Karageorge), the leader of the insurgents, was proclaimed the hereditary supreme ruler of the Serbian people in 1808. The Serbian movement was greatly advanced by the successful operations of the Russian army in the Balkans during the Russo-Turkish war of 1806-12. According to the Bucharest peace treaty of 1812 Turkey was to give Serbia autonomy in domestic affairs. Taking advantage of Napoleon's invasion into Russia, however, the Turkish Sultan organised a punitive expedition to Serbia in 1813 and restored his rule there. As a result of a new insurrection by the Serbs in 1815 and also diplomatic assistance from Russia, Turkish rule was overthrown. After the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-29, which ended with the signing of a peace treaty in Adrianople in 1829, Turkey recognised the autonomy, i.e., the virtual independence, of the Serbian Principality in a special order issued by the Sultan in 1830.
- The anti-Russian party in Serbia, headed by Garašanin, sought support from the Western powers. In response to a demand from the Russian Ambassador Extraordinary to Constantinople, Prince Menshikov, Prince Alexander of Serbia dismissed Garašanin from the post of the head of government and Foreign Minister. The struggle between the different parties led to an aggravation of the political situation in Serbia in 1853.