New Perspectives in Modern Russian History: Selected Papers by Robert B Mcklean

By Robert B Mcklean

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The personnel of the foreign ministry, in general, favoured Gorchakov's attempt to solve the international crisis through cooperation with Berlin and Vienna, and they strongly opposed Panslav and national agitation. Subsequently, after the Russian declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire, they advised moderate peace terms. When the extreme Treaty of San Stefano met with strong opposition, particularly from Britain and Austria-Hungary, the foreign ministry supported a European settlement. The basic compromise which preserved the peace was negotiated by the Russian ambassador to Britain, Peter A.

A. Miliutina, 1878-1880 (Moscow, Biblioteka SSSR imeni V. I. Lenina, 1950) vol. 3, p. 182. For the arguments of Jomini, at this time close to Gorchakov, and his support of a new policy see his letters to Giers in B. and C. Jelavich, 'Jomini and the Revival of the Dreikaiserbund, 1879-1880', Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 25, no. 85 (June 1958) pp. 523-50.

For this part of my paper, reliance has been placed on the centennial history of the foreign ministry published in St Petersburg in 1902. The objectives of foreign ministry reform were simplification and higher standards; simplification through an ending to duplication of functions, simplification through the elimination of superfluous poorly qualified personnel, and higher standards through the improvement of qualifications and salaries of the personnel who remained. Superfluous functions which were shed included the Kirghiz lands administration (1859-64), the ceremonial office (transferred to the Imperial Court Ministry in 1858), the ministry's former responsibility for censorship of political articles which might affect foreign sensibilities (1862), and much of the ministry's translation services to other branches of the imperial governmentP Early in his time in office Gorchakov was able to combine the several dispatch preparation offices under one central direction.

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