Eigenh. Brief mit U. ("F. Engels").
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A highly remarkable and extensive letter with political content to the English stockbroker and author Thomas Allsop (1795-1880), particularly on the international and the political situation in Eastern Europe whose key issue lies in the domestic policy of Russia: the impending revolution in his own country is threatening to drag Tsar Alexander II. into war with Turkey. "My dear friend. A visit from a friend from Liverpool who came to town for a few days, unfortunately prevented me from replying earlier to your letter. We shall all be glad to see you here in London and do everything in our power to reconcile you with the world & with life. As you say, this Eastern affair is exceedingly complicated, but as Russia is the only moving & acting power in it, so are her internal necessities the only thread that can lead through all these complications & render them intelligible. Russia has the choice between a revolution & a war of conquest; there is no third outlet open to her; and as Alexander certainly will not have a revolution, war he must make. Besides, there is only one war which might avert revolution: a war with Turkey. What Mayence & the boundary of the Rhine was to Louis Napoleon, that is Constantinople & the Nosporus to Alexander: the only conquests capable of rousing national chauvinism to an extent sufficient to overcome all other shapes of public feeling, & to crush any opposition by new popularity. And, as Louis Napoleon would have been satisfied with a small slice to begin with, & the constitution of the remainder of the coveted territory in an independent state, to be swallowed hereafter, so would it perfectly suffice to Russia to reannex to small strip only which she lost in 1856, if at the same time the rest of Turkey in Europe were transformed into Christial vassal states of the Porte, in reality outposts of Russia [...] As to Austria, the inherent stupidity of that government makes its policy incalculable [...] As to Poland, never fear. She is less Russianized now than a hundred years ago [...] The Poles in Prussia are equally indestructible; Germanization proceeds very slowly except in those portions which were settled & inhabited before 1772. In Austria the Poles are not only not interfered with, but so placed that they can perfectly take care of themselves & make of Galicia the headquarters of Polish agitation. What the Russian government think of Poland was plainly shown in the Crimean war: they rather sacrificed all their armies in the long marches to the Crimea than to allow the war to take place near the Polish frontier. But I must conclude. Very faithfully yours, F. Engels." - On 6 December 1876, the first social revolutionary demonstration should arise in St. Petersburg. Shortly after Russia had signed a secret agreement with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Romania, it declared war on Turkey on 24 June 1877. - Small traces of folding, but overall in mint condition. Extremely rare.