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harvest, the country was in a state of profound tranquillity. In many districts there was only one-third of the ordinary crop of rye, and the Russians had to import articles which they usually grow in their own country for export, such as grain, tallow, and wool. In order to alleviate the distress of the agricultural population, and to supply the deficiency thereby caused in the revenue, the new Minister of Finance, M. Abasa, who in November succeeded General Greigh, took off the duty on salt, and added ten per cent. to the duties imposed on all other goods, at the same time raising the warehousing charges and the licence duties on trades.
In foreign affairs the history of the year in Russia was comparatively uneventful. When the Empress died on June 3, it was rumoured that the Emperor would marry the Princess Dolgorouky, who had for some time been an inmate of the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg, and that he would then abdicate and be succeeded by the Czarevitch, whose views on foreign policy are believed to differ in some important respects from those of his father. But though the Czar married the Princess Dolgorouky in July, he did not abdicate, and no change took place in the relations of Russia with the other European Powers. Some anxiety was caused at the beginning of the year by the refusal of the Chinese Government to ratify the Treaty of Livadia, on the plea that its ambassador had exceeded his powers in leaving the most fertile portion of the Kuldja valley and some of the important passes over the Tian-shan in the hands of the Russians, and in imposing on China the payment of a large sum by way of indemnity. Chung How, the ambassador referred to, was degraded, but the Chinese Government showed its readiness to arrive at a pacific solution of the difficulty by despatching another envoy, Marquis Tseng, to St. Petersburg, where he arrived on August 3 to resume the negotiations on the subject. Meanwhile Russian troops were despatched by land and water to Eastern Siberia : it was evident, however, that neither Power wished to fight, and that each merely aimed at obtaining as much as it could from the other by a demonstration of military force. Russia, too, was concerned in maintaining her prestige in Central Asia, which had been considerably sbaken by the victories of the British troops in Afghanistan. She gained her point so far that Chung How, who imprisoned and sentenced to death by the Chinese Government, was liberated at her demand; the negotiations with Marquis Tseng, too, were concluded at the end of the year, and it was hoped at St. Petersburg that China would ultimately accept the Russian terms. The attempts of the Russians to subdue the Turcomans bad also as yet not produced any satisfactory result. There was no disaster such as that which occurred to the expedition of General Lomakin last year; but General Skobeleff, his successor, notwithstanding his high reputation as a dashing soldier, did not gain any important advantage over his adversaries. The active operations of the force under his command were at first confined
to an advance on the fortified position of Beourma, and a not very successful reconnaissance towards Geok Tepe, which was occupied by a large body of Turcomans. Several months were afterwards occupied in collecting stores, in strengthening the lines of communication by the Attrek valley and across the desert to Krasnovodsk, and in obtaining reinforcements from the Caucasus. A new feature in Central Asian warfare was the construction of a railway from Krasnovodsk to Kizil Arvat, and thence through the desert to the Kuren Dagh, in order to facilitate the conveyance of troops and supplies. By the end of November a considerable portion of this railway was completed, and on December 19 a further advance was made on the south by the occupation of Ketel-i-Nadia, close to the Persian frontier, after a severe engagement between the Turcomans and a body of Russian cavalry under Colonel Narotsky. The Russians had thus established a footing in the country, but their adversaries had also not been idle. Eight thousand Merv Turcomans, with two pieces of artillery, marched to reinforce the garrison of Geok Tepe, and the whole of the Akbal population was called to arms.
The only remaining important incident in the foreign politics of Russia during the year was the acceptance by the Cabinet of St. Petersburg of the compromise signed on October 31 by the Russian ambassador and the Papal nuncio. Since the last Polish insurrection, in which nearly the whole of the Roman Catholic clergy in Poland was on the side of the insurgents, the Russian Government has refused to recognise the authority of the Pope even in the ecclesiastical affairs of its Roman Catholic subjects; many of the Polish clergy, including the Archbishop of Warsaw, were banisbed to Siberia ; the affairs of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland were placed under the control of a commission at St. Petersburg, and an active propaganda was set on foot with the object of bringing the Roman Catholic population of Lithuania and the kingdom of Poland within the fold of the Russian Church. These measures, however, only increased the detestation still felt for the Russian Government by a large majority of the Polish nation, and the enthusiastic demonstrations of loyalty with which the Emperor of Austria was received by the Poles on his visit to Galicia seem to have induced the authorities at St. Petersburg to try the effect on its own Polish subjects of a policy of conciliation, at least so far as their religious affairs were concerned. The actual terms of the agreement were not made known, but it was understood that the vacant sees in Poland would in future be filled up by the Pope, as was the case before the insurrection of 1863.
monarchy, and if a chain of Slavonic states were established on the Balkan, it would probably not be difficult to seduce discontented Slavs from their allegiance to the House of Hapsburg; and a successful Panslavist insurrection in Austria-Hungary would mean the disruption of the monarchy, for it would deprive her of her richest provinces, and the majority of her population.
Such considerations, notwithstanding the great value justly attached by the Emperor Francis Joseph to the German and Hungarian elements in his empire, naturally led him and his Government to give more attention than had hitherto been the case to the demands of his Slavonic subjects; and the favourable impression produced by the concessions made in this respect by the Ministry was heightened by a series of visits made by the sovereign to the Slavonic provinces. In Bohemia, notwithstanding the feud between the German and Czechish inhabitants, his reception was most enthusiastic, and the two nationalities vied with each other in demonstrations of loyalty. The Emperor, on his side, did all in his power to reconcile and promote peace between them, and was scrupulously impartial in the marks of distinction he conferred upon their leaders and their chief public institutions. After visiting Bohemia and Moravia in June, the Emperor proceeded in the beginning of September to Galicia. That province is inhabited by two branches of the Slavonic race: the Ruthenian, which is the more numerous, and is chiefly prevalent in Eastern Galicia, and the Polish, which is predominant in Western Galicia. Until some twenty years ago the Ruthenians had no distinct political individuality, having for three centuries been part of the Polish kingdom much in the same way as Scotland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and, after the destruction of Polish independence, having continued to act with the Poles in all political questions. Their history and literature are Polish, but they have a distinct religion, the United Greek, which, after a union of nearly four hundred years, has divided the Polish and Rutbenian nationalities in Galicia* into two antagonistic elements. In the days when German centralism was predominant in the Austrian Empire, Herr von Schmerling, who was then Prime Minister, attempted to break the resistance of the non-German nationalities by playing them off against each other, and he accordingly encouraged the Ruthenians to send their own deputies to the central Parliament, and to demand similar privileges for their own nationality to those which were enjoyed by the Poles. In a word, Herr von Schmerling, as was wittily said at the time, “invented” the Ruthenian nationality in order to worry the Poles ; and what this so-called nationality was composed of was shown by the fact that all the deputies sent by the Ruthenians to Vienna were either peasants or priests—the Ruthenian nobles, professional men, journalists, &c., who abound in Galicia, all
* In Russian Poland no differences exist between the Poles and the Ruthenians, as they are united against their common enemy, the Russian Government.
declaring themselves to be Poles. After the disappearance of the centralist régime, and the establishment of a constitution more in accordance with the position and claims of the various nationalities in the monarchy, the fiction of a distinct Ruthenian nationality was dropped ; the Polish language was introduced in the schools, the Government offices, and the courts of justice, a Polish academy of sciences was founded at Cracow under the patronage of the Emperor, and a Polish Minister for Galician affairs was admitted to the Cabinet at Vienna. Never did the Poles, even in the most palmy days of their independence, enjoy more freedom or prosperity than they do now under the Austrian rule in Galicia; and they gladly seized the opportunity of the Emperor's visit to manifest their gratitude for the benefits he had conferred upon them. The festivities which took place on this occasion were on an unprecedented scale of magnificence. The members of the old Polish aristocracy flocked in crowds to Lemberg to do honour to their sovereign, and large sums were subscribed by wealthy Polish citizens to charitable and educational institutions in commemoration of the Emperor's visit. The Emperor responded with his usual graciousness and tact to this striking outburst of national enthusiasm; and though every care was taken, both by the Government and the people themselves, to prevent the demonstration from assuming an anti-Russian character, the lesson which it taught was undoubtedly such as to impress Russia with a sense of the dangers she might incur if she adopted a policy hostile to Austria. The Ruthenians, whose antagonism to the Poles had long been skilfully worked upon by Russian agents with a view to converting them into the tools of Russian policy, relapsed into complete insignificance before this great manifestation of Galician loyalty; the people of Galicia, four millions in number, rose up as one man to welcome their Emperor; and the contrast of their freedom and contentedness with the despotism under which their countrymen under the Russian rule were suffering could not fail to show the Government of St. Petersburg on which side would be the sympathies of its Polish subjects in the event of an AustroRussian war.
In an empire like that of Austria-Hungary, with populations differing so radically from each other in language, religion, and race, and only kept together by their loyalty to the ruling dynasty, the internal policy of the Government must necessarily be swayed to a very great extent by considerations of foreign policy. Baron Haymerle, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, does not possess the showy qualities of his two predecessors. He is not a brilliant statesman like Count Beust, nor a skilful diplomatist like Count Andrassy ; but he is free from the antiquated traditions of statesmanship which somewhat cloud Count Beust's perception of the currents of public feeling, and his industry and business capacity enable him to take a solid grasp of important questions which Count Andrassy was too apt to treat with the levity and inaccuracy forbade the hope, at one time entertained by some sanguine politicians, of any durable alliance between them.
The most important incident in Servia during the early part of the year was the final settlement of the Austro-Servian railway question on April 8. By a special convention concluded at Berlin on July 8, 1878, the Austrian and Servian Governments had pledged themselves to effect a junction between the railways of the two countries within three years, the Austro-Hungarian Government undertaking to lay down the lines on its own territory to the point of junction at Belgrade, while Servia promised to continue within the same period the line from Belgrade to Alexinatz, whence one branch was to proceed to the Bulgarian frontier, in connection with the line from Sofia to Constantinople, and another to the Turkish frontier, in connection with the line from Mitrovitza to Salonica. Difficulties were raised, however, by the Servian Government, which proposed that the matter should be referred to a conference of the four Powers interested in it, namely, Austria, Servia, the Porte, and Bulgaria ; but this proposal was rejected by the Austrian Government. At length a special envoy, M. Marcic, was despatched from Belgrade to confer with the Austrian Ministers, and the result was the conclusion of a second convention, which the Servian Government specially bound itself to carry out. The term for the completion of the junction was at the same time advanced to June 15, 1883. On the Austro-Hungarian side railway communication was to be established between Buda-Pesth and the Servian frontier either by constructing a new line or extending the one already in existence, while the Servian line was to proceed from the Hungarian frontier near Belgrade through the Morava valley to Nisch, and thence on one side to the Bulgarian and on the other to the Turkish frontier. Both Governments were to use their influence to induce the Turkish and Bulgarian Governments to join their railways to those of Servia. Thus a new step was taken for the improvement of communications with the East; and in Roumania the railway question was also placed on a more satisfactory footing by the acceptance of the railway purchasing convention, as originally concluded at Berlin, by the Chamber at Bucharest on January 27. The result of the latter measure was that Germany consented to join the other Powers in recognising the independence of Roumania on February 20.
A certain progress was made by the above arrangements towards the execution of the resolutions of the Berlin Congress; but some of the most important of these resolutions still remained unfulfilled. The questions of the Greek and Montenegrin frontiers, and that of the reforms in Armenia, the necessity for whose settlement had been repeatedly and strongly urged on the Porte by Lord Salisbury, were taken up with increased vigour by Lord Granville on his accession to office. When Mr. Goschen arrived at Constantinople on May 26, to take the place of Sir Henry Layard as special ambassador of the British Government