No GNW (or “Peter goes South”)

The same ITTL: no need to create unnecessary deviations from the reality.
So "Empress Elisabeth" is a plausible name for a ship. Just not for OTL Elisabeth Petrovna but for Elisabeth Alexeevna.
After all, HMS Royal Spouse did exist aplenty in Royal Navy, and Russians can copy the habit.
P.S. And apparently did OTL, did not see your post, sorry for being an ignoramus.
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With all the French shenanigans, Egypt and Suez doesnt "just" become the main artery towards India, it comes close to the only viable. That ought to scare them. I could certainly see a Britain that aims to create an anti-French/Dutch coalition unless they can claim other good options. Like perhaps investing more into and taking Madagascar, so the hop goes Walvis Bay to Toamasina port?
The problem is that they can't find anyone willing to oppose the French, Spain dosen't have any reason to fight against France, Denmark is busy doing it's own thing, Sweden and Prussia are firmly in the Baltics and Austria doesn't have a significant navy. Only Portugal is really a ally here and they aren't exactly a world power.
So "Empress Elisabeth" is a plausible name for a ship. Just not for OTL Elisabeth Petrovna but for Elisabeth Alexeevna.
After all, HMS Royal Spouse did exist aplenty in Royal Navy, and Russians can copy the habit.
P.S. And apparently did OTL, did not see your post, sorry for being an ignoramus.
AFAIK, the ship name was just “Elizabeth”: probably some …er… “intimacy” was permitted
The problem is that they can't find anyone willing to oppose the French, Spain dosen't have any reason to fight against France, Denmark is busy doing it's own thing, Sweden and Prussia are firmly in the Baltics and Austria doesn't have a significant navy. Only Portugal is really a ally here and they aren't exactly a world power.

Well I wouldn't say that Prussia is firmly in the Baltics, it's just that it has other priorities , otherwise i assume this would be where Ottomans come in, if they can knock down French backed Egypt and are under the British influence then Egypt is secure and suddenly game is turned on France .

Though it's important to note that France isn't without it's own problems, with age of nationalism coming up there will be a question what to do with Italy and German question is still up the air.
Louisiana was Spanish until 1800 and without Nappy will remain Spanish.

Okay thanks, that makes things more simple as douchy of Parma will remain in Spanish hands (given that it was a part of negotiations between France and Spain) . I assume they simply just formed an alliance without trading land's.

Though that leaves Spain to deal with US and i don't think they'll sell it , especially since one of the reasons they decide to give it to France is to have a buffer between Spanish possessions in the south and US/Britt's.

So we might see US go to war against Spanish in 1812 opposed to going to war against the British .
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Well I wouldn't say that Prussia is firmly in the Baltics, it's just that it has other priorities , otherwise i assume this would be where Ottomans come in, if they can knock down French backed Egypt and are under the British influence then Egypt is secure and suddenly game is turned on France .

Though it's important to note that France isn't without it's own problems, with age of nationalism coming up there will be a question what to do with Italy and German question is still up the air.
Thing is, German nationalism only really started with the Napoleonic wars because of the increased heavy hand of the French and the unsatisfying (on their view) division of the HRE post Vienna Congress. So already two big factors for it are gone, Prussia will definitely try and expand into Germany but with a Austria that is looking into the HRE instead of the east, it'll be much harder for them to start crunching states left and right. Same thing with Italy as they had strong regional differences and the majority of Italian states here are run by Italians, meaning that if there's even a drive for unification, it'll come from one of french aligned republics.

Okay thanks, that makes things more simple as douchy of Parma will remain in Spanish hands (given that it was a part of negotiations between France and Spain) . I assume they simply just formed an alliance without trading land's.

Though that leaves Spain to deal with US and i don't think they'll sell it , especially since one of the reasons they decide to give it to France is to have a buffer between Spanish possessions in the south and US/Britt's.

So we might see US go to war against Spanish in 1812 opposed to going to war against the British .

The Spanish might end up selling the territory (sans New Orleans and guaranteeing trading rights on the Mississippi) to the US, since they still could really use the money to implement reforms the government desperately needs to do.
The Spanish might end up selling the territory (sans New Orleans and guaranteeing trading rights on the Mississippi) to the US, since they still could really use the money to implement reforms the government desperately needs to do.
The Spanish at this time have already opened the colonies to trade, that is already a lot, if they allow an industrialization of the colonies under the nobility and the Creole landed elite, the movements for greater autonomy within the empire will replace the independentistas.
Going places
200. Going places

«Дым столбом - кипит, дымится пароход...
Пестрота, разгул, волненье,
Ожиданье, нетерпенье...
Веселится и ликует весь народ!
Веселится и ликует весь народ! И
быстрее, шибче воли
Поезд мчится в чисто поле
.» Глинка, «Попутная песня» [1]
«Со временем (по расчисленью
Философических таблиц,
Лет чрез пятьсот) дороги, верно,
У нас изменятся безмерно:
Шоссе Россию здесь и тут,
Соединив, пересекут.
Мосты чугунные чрез воды
Шагнут широкою дугой,
раздвинем горы, под водой
Пророем дерзостные своды,
И заведет крещеный мир
На каждой станции трактир.
Пушкин, «Евгений Онегин» [2]
«If we take into account that our foreign trade, and even much less domestic, does not require hasty delivery of goods, it becomes obvious that railways are useless for Russia
Maurice Destrem, Lieutenant General of the Corps of Transportation Engineers [3]
«Жить захочешь - не так раскорячишься» [4]​

Russia, Far East. While the discussions regarding usefulness of the steam-based transportation were still going on, not only the private sector was actively using it but even some administrators for whom it was a matter of survival of their territory. And the #1 on that list was General-Governorship of the Eastern Siberia, which included a huge territory with not too much of a population and even less in the terms of communications. To add to the problem, most of the rivers were flowing in the “wrong” direction leaving only the Amur as a transportation artery going from west to east and providing a reasonably inexpensive way of moving the people and cargo to the Pacific coast. The alternatives were (a) old land route (“route” is not the same as “good road”) toward Okhotsk and circumnavigation.

Thanks to the new treaties with China the Amur was open for transportation but without the steamers this transportation was going almost exclusively downstream by the barges and rafts. With the taiga forest going all the way to the river’s bank, it was impossible to use the usual means (horses or humans) of getting the barges upstream and the current was too strong to row a laden barge upstream.

The first steamer on the Amur had been built almost at the same time as “Elizabeth”. A rich merchant from Irkutsk donated 100,000 rubles for introduction of the steamships on the Shilka-Amur. The state metallurgic plants of Ural had been busy building engines for the Caspian flotilla (and when did a state official was enthusiastic about taking an additional work?) but a private plant in Ekaterinburg took an order for two engines. Soon enough its owner proposed to buy the whole plant and to move its equipment to the Petrovsky Plant on the Shilka. This would actually be much cheaper than transportation of the finished equipment from Ekaterinburg and also allow to start a local equipment production for the future steamships to operate on the Shilka, Amur and other regional rivers. As per established procedure, results of the river research and blueprints of the ship had been sent to the Main Naval Staff and, predictably, had been severely criticized. However, this criticism was too late because Governor-General Muraviev already had the project going full steam (no pun intended) ahead and simply ignored the criticism.
The main problem was actually a low quality of the locally available iron (usually for the serious projects a high quality iron was transported from Ural and was costly). The first two steamers, “Argun” and “Shilka” had been fully iron, the wood was used only for the decks, masts, etc.

With a displacement of 85 tons, the steamer had to have a length along the cargo waterline of 26.5 m, the largest length (oversized) - 33.5 m, width - 6.7 m, and on rowing wheel drifts - 11.3 m, hold depth - 2.7 m, and precipit in full load - 0.8 m. Almost two-thirds of the length of the vessel was to be occupied by a boiler plant, which included two box-type steam boilers with a steam pressure of up to three atmospheres and a two-cylinder direct-acting steam engine with rotating cylinders with a capacity of 60 hp. Two rowing wheels, 4.3 m in diameter, with fixed wooden faces were to be placed on the sides.

“Argun" went on its first voyage on May 14 1812 at the head of a large caravan of ships consisting of 5 boats, 4 velbots, 18 barges, 13 barges, 8 die boots, and 29 rafts. Up to a thousand soldiers and Cossacks were placed on these ships and rafts, and about 100 thousand poods of various cargoes. With the various stops, on June 25 “Argun” reached the outpost Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, a new port in the Amur’s delta. After 8 years of the intensive exploitation the ship was decommissioned

This first trip established a reliable communication along the Amur and triggered development of the Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. Within 2 years it became the biggest Russian port on the Far East with the population of 1,757, ship repair and assembly plant and pilots’ school. Commercial traffic on the Amur was securely established and the port was open for a foreign trade. Later the main port had been transferred to Vladivostok but the city gradually became the center of Far Eastern gold miners. There was a gold-melting laboratory, as well as offices of the Okhotsk and Amur-Orelian gold mining companies. This boosted the declining city’s population to almost 6,000.

Navigation on the Amur had been open for approximately 6 months in a year. During the winter the traffic was going by an ice: with a thickness of over 1.5 meters this was quite reliable and later even the seasonal “winter railroad” was established (during the navigational period it was by the ferry) to get people and cargo across the Amur.

Opening of the ship-building and repairing facilities, later extended by by those of Vladivostok allowed the local construction of both commercial and (small to mid-sized) steamships, which considerably lowed the cost and improved trade with Japan and China. The longer voyages would require the bigger ships and the coaling infrastructure along the routes, which was the common problem for all sea-going nations. With Russia lacking its own overseas colonies, for the long voyages its ships had to rely upon the coaling stations in the ports of friendly colonial powers which meant that Russia needed as many friends (with the colonies) as possible.

European Russia outside Moscow. There was a significant shift in the trade pattern of the manufactured consumer goods, especially product of the metallurgic industry. Traditionally, a producer, was transporting his goods to the fairs (the biggest one was in Makariev and then Nizhy Novgorod) and here was trying to sell as much as possible while it was open (2 weeks).

At the beginning of the XVII century, cost of the brought goods reached 80 thousand, in the second half of the XVII century - 490 thousand, and by the end of the XVII century - 30 million rubles. At that time, there were 1,400 fair spaces in Makaryev. In addition, another 1,800 shops were built by the merchants. The Treasury of the Russian Empire received 15 thousand rubles from the renting of shops in 1790, and in 1810 - up to 120 thousand.

Of course, for the major producers of the manufactured goods this was far from being ideal: they had to sell big amounts of various items in a rather short time which gave the buyers a bargaining advantage. These buyers were, of course, not the end consumers but the merchants who later could sell the goods in their shops to the individual consumers without a rush. The producer also did not know what is a realistic demand on the specific items in this specific year and if the goods were not sold at the fair he would have to carry them back all the way to his plant’s warehouses. All this had been adding to the cost of production.

Gradually but steadily the system was being replaced by the long term (at least year-based) contracts with the big-scale buyers who would be getting manufactured products at the plant warehouse and from here transport it to the final destinations (their own warehouses close to the “consumption areas”). They, in turn, could be be an intermediate link to the small-scale sellers dealing with the real consumers. The big fairs mostly became the places where the samples were shown and contracts made.

However, there were also “small-scale fairs” all over the empire. They did not have the impressive accommodations of the big ones and were mostly attended by the small-scale sellers (sometimes with a “capital” amounting to few rubles) and the consumers allowing to bring the goods to the small towns and the rural areas.

The growing network of the railroads and the river-going steamers allowed considerable increase of the domestic trade’s volume. The major railroad projects connecting production centers with the ports were taking time to implement but the shorter, domestic-oriented railroads started appearing in a relatively high rate. Of course, the obvious issue was geography: the distances were big and, no matter in which direction you were going, there were numerous rivers to cross. The “outside Moscow” (Central) industrial region had been getting close to its highest limit due to the shortage of the needed natural resources but the Southern region was growing fast increasing its production almost ten-fold in few years and already bypassing Ural: to grow all regions needed cast iron, iron, coal and the rails and the South soon enough became the major producer of these items with the Central region going heavier into the mechanicals’ production.

Moscow. There was a touchy scene of a family reunion immediately after the new French Ambassador presented his credentials to the Emperor. It would be naive to expect that Alexander, with his taste to the theatricals, is going to miss a splendid opportunity to turn an ordinary diplomatic event into a spectacle. After the credentials were duly delivered, here they were, the Generalissimo (just for the occasion) in a full dress uniform accompanied by his (and ambassador’s) brother in law in his splendid hussar uniform with their wives. Alexander uttering some “historic witticism” [5], the brothers [6], all three of them, are embracing, then the females on both sides are kissing each other, the males and pretty much everybody else who was hanging close enough and did not manage to escape. There was later a speculation what exactly the Ambassador whispered to Generalissimo’s ear after which his smile became somewhat frozen [7] but anyway, symbolism was obvious and clear to everybody: by sending as an ambassador brother of the Generalissimo the Consulate makes it clear that the cordial relations with Russia are on the top of its foreign policy agenda [8]. This was properly understood and duly appreciated, especially in a view of the fact that so far there were no serious contention issues even as far as the Ottomans were involved.

Prussia. Things were more or less back to what could be described as “normal”. Stein was blamed for the debacle of the Great Polish War being considered (justifiably or not) one of its negotiators and had to retire. The rest of the blame was directed toward the Perfidious Austrians. The military establishment, somewhat shaken by the defeat, mostly hold its ground based upon combination of blaming Austria and receiving the public compliments from a victor. Some reforms were obviously needed but it was a general opinion that under the circumstances the army performed quite well and there is no need of any drastic changes. The same goes for everything else: the Edict of Emancipation was proposed and rejected but a municipal reform was accepted.

Poland was untypically quiet. Of course, there were voices calling for a complete restoration of the state to its pre-partition borders but they were mostly heard after consumption of the great amounts of liquor because everyone with a modicum of brain considered this course impractical. Prince Joseph Poniatowski was in charge as a proxy of his father in law (who preferred to remain in Saxony) and heir presumptive to the throne. Status of a national hero, loyalty of the troops and glory of the last war made any competition unrealistic. Not that he was an outstanding statesman but he was quite capable of keeping things quiet and this was just fine. With the Prussian de facto blockade of the Polish trade gone, the country was back to the sustainable level.

The main development worth noticing was starting the textile industry in Lodz region. The area had a long history of the extensive usage of the water mills and this was quite important for the future developments. It was necessary to attract experienced specialists to the Lodź region - spinners and weavers. The government reasoned as follows: the shortage of skilled workers can be eliminated if they are invited from other places. At the same time, a long-established and, apparently, decisive incentive - benefits and privileges - was applied. Especially since the treaty between the victorious powers allowed residents of the divided territories to migrate freely within 6 years in search of work and place of residence, and, if necessary, to return to their homeland.
Together with the cloths and spinners, the owners of capital were to come, without whom all the good intentions of the authorities would remain only on paper. Entrepreneurs sought to build factories, invest in production and make a profit.
By attracting the right people, the government kept its promises: brick factories, cloth felting workshops, spinning and textile rooms were built with state money, new settlers were provided with land, fuel and material for the construction of schools and churches. The call was attended mainly by Germans - Lutherans. And the authorities, rightly believing that people will need spiritual help in the traditions of the fatherland, ordered to build churches and housing for pastors.
Specialists from various regions of the German-speaking space came, as it was there that traditional textile centers existed.
The city of Lodz grew rapidly - weavers rushed here - specialists and other masters of linen and cotton. And this was largely facilitated by the government's policy of producing linen and cotton fabrics, but mainly cotton fabrics.

So for a while Poland was quiet and quite busy and its neighbors could relax.

Austria had a big grudge against pretty much all its neighbors and one of the newly-appearing items was a little game played by the Ottomans. They hold control over the Sulina channel, the only navigable branch of the LowerDanube, which connected the river with the Black Sea, and were making the Austrian life interesting by establishing quarantines and custom posts on it impeding the traffic and even arbitrarily preventing the merchandise from getting through. It would be tempting to kick these bastards out, annex all territory to the mouth of the Danube (or put the Principalities under the Austrian “protection”) and then, guaranteeing a free sailing through the Straits, open a new “natural artery of Europe”.

Well, there were few tiny problems. First, while Mahmud II with his new inexperienced army did not look as a critical obstacle, Russia may be opposite to happy with this grandiose plan and result of such an unhappiness was well-known. Second, to force a free trade through the Straits one needed a very serious naval power, which Austria did not posses. Out of all possible candidates only Britain looked as a potentially plausible ally both in the terms of a naval power and in its interest in expanding the trade. But would its government be interested enough to get engaged in such a schema?

Britain. With French seemingly getting ahead of them in establishing control over some places important either strategically or economically, the British government had to act fast figuring out what to grab and how to do it fast.

France. The Consulate was dealing with few important issues:
  • Full economic and cultural integration of Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine into the Republic.
  • Building up the navy in such a way that Britain is not going to consider it a competitor until it is too late.
  • Strengthening control over the territories which France already grabbed in Africa and Asia and figuring out the new profitable targets.
  • Preventing Davout from trying to conquer too much of the Sahara Desert. 😉
  • Trying to keep population happy.
  • Trying to figure out a future of the Consulate system.
“Pillar of smoke - boiling, steaming steamer ...
Diversity , rampant , excitement ,
Expectations, impatience ...
Sing and rejoice all the people !
Sing and rejoice all the people !
And faster shibche will
The train rushes in the open field .” Glinka “Road Song”

[2] “Over time (by calculation
Of the Philosophical tables,
Five hundred years later) our roads, probably,
Will change immensely:
Highways will cross Russia here and there,
Cast iron bridges will stretch in the wide arcs
Across the waters,
We’ll move aside the mountains, underwater
We’ll dig the daring tunnels,
And the baptized world
Will establish an inn at each station.” Pushkin ‘Eugene Onegin’

[3] A solid professional opinion backed up by a reasonable argument that the Russian climate "does not allow you to have railways." The earth is sometimes wet, sometimes frozen, sometimes dry, you can't put rails on it, in winter - snow, in spring - river floods can stop railway communication at all (😏). Which did not prevent him from later being quite useful in a construction of the St-Petersburg - Moscow RR. Which fits well into what Saltykov-Schedrin defined as an order-based behavioral model: whatever your personal opinion could be (if you have any), you’ll change it based upon the order you received. In his initial opinion he was backed up by the Finance Minister, Count Kankrin, who considered the whole idea excessively expensive. “The construction of one road, for example, at least to Kazan, should be considered premature for several centuries... At the same time, it is impossible to allow the use of steam traffic on the roads, as this would lead to the final destruction of forests, and meanwhile there is no coal in Russia.” (actually, by that time in Donbass only the annual coal extraction in 1820s was over 250,000 puds of coal raising to over 1,000,000 by 1850 and over 3,000,000 by 1870 😜) but all these considerations had been beaten by a trump card, the Emperor’s personal opinion. The same, BTW, happened in OTL with the Russian settlements in the Amur delta and the whole border readjustment: Cabinet of Ministers was against anything that could provoke a conflict with China but you can guess who got a final word. “Where the Russian flag is hoisted, is a Russian territory. Nicholas.” 😂😂😂

[4] Quote from the Russian movie “Specifics of the national hunting”. Not easy to translate but it means “if you want to live, you’ll do whatever is necessary”. In the movie it is a reference to a cow hiding in a bomb compartment of a plane and taking care of not being dropped when a hatch was open (see below).

[5] Sorry, could not come with anything more moronic than “Doctor Livingston, I presume.” (yeah, besides you and him there are presumably no white people for the months worth of travel in any direction so who else could he be? A Santa Clause?). So everybody is free to come with whatever you like. 😜
[6] Actually, Nappy and Lucien did not like each other too much. Lucien had much more cordial relations with Bernadotte.
[7] This is easy: “Now they [Pauline and Louis] are you problem!”. 😂
[8] Contrary to the popular legend (mostly invented after Napoleon’s fall and heavily based upon the crap spreed by Marbot), relations between Napoleon and Bernadotte were mostly good. The aggravating factors were Berthier (who hated Bernadotte since the first Italian campaign) and Bernadotte’s tendency to get engaged in the gasconades (sometimes at Nappy’s expense). But usually, these relations had been easily patched: a gasconade could be not only offensive but flattering as well and Nappy was a true sucker to an outrageous flattery.
It's interesting seeing how Egypt is developing here, I admit given the Ottoman's lack of issues they had or rather the extent, the need to guard the frontier, ie what Russian and France did and the slave trade will mean they develop a far more African center policy. Then again given the known issues Egypt was having for it's expansion it's little wonder he ''cashed in'' when he could and try to get the resources of the Ottoman empire.

Poland being quiet is unusual but not unwelcome, be curious to see how it develops overtime as it does have a lot of potential.
The time of peace
201. The time of peace

“I'm not opposed to free trade if it's fair trade. But I am opposed to bad trade deals”.
Martin O'Malley
“While in India our officers ride about unarmed and alone, amidst the wildest tribes of the wilderness, there is not a Frenchman in Africa who shows his face above a given spot from the sentry at his post”
Palmerston, speech on French conquest of Algeria
“To punish the guilty adequately exceeds the power of any civilised man; for the atrocities which have been committed are such as to be imagined and perpetrated only by demons sallying forth from the lowest depths of hell. But punishment must be inflicted, not only in a spirit of vengeance, but in a spirit of security, in order that the example of punished crime may deter from a repetition of the offence, and in order to insure the safety of our countrymen and countrywomen in India for the future.”
Palmerston on Indian Mutiny
“You have obtained the Cession of Hong Kong, a barren Island with hardly a House upon it... it seems obvious that Hong Kong will not be the Mart of Trade... it is impossible that you should continue to hold your appointment in China.”
Palmerston to Captain Elliot

1810 - 30

Europe was at peace and everybody who could was busy trying to use situation for his own gain. Which, of course, was doomed to create more than one conflict of interests.

Unfree trade. The British Corn Law of 1815 allowed grains to be imported and warehoused at any time, but imported wheat could not be sold domestically unless the domestic price rose above 80 shillings per quarter. In 1814, wheat prices were 74s. 6d., but they were only 52s. 10d. in January 1816. The act effectively closed the UK market to imported grain for most of the next 7 years. This, of course, pleased the local producers but also resulted in growing bread prices with the resulting unhappiness of the bread consumers. It also produced certain unhappiness among the Russian and Polish grain producers and grain merchants (including the Swedish from Danzig and Riga, Prussian from Koenigsberg and the Dutch and Danish who had been operating from all Baltic ports) who, so far, tended to take the grain export business for granted and by the geographic reasons heavily relied upon the British market.

Russia was in a somewhat better situation by a number of reasons:
  • The traditional Baltic grain trade, mostly with a rye from the Central Russia was only a decreasing fraction of the total. The fast growing (production and) export of wheat from the Southern Russia was heavily oriented toward Mediterranean markets.​
  • There was a big domestic grain market growing due to the extended demand from the Central Asia: immediately after annexation of the Kazakh territories, their population was …er… “taught” to eat bread. The experiment was quite successful and now had been steadily expanding into other annexed and vassal territories of the region.​
  • Lower cost of the rye was good news for the population of European Russia because in the “Russia proper” (aka, before the XVIII expansions) this was traditional type of bread of the lower classes.​
  • In general, lower cost of any grain was welcomed news for one of the important branches of the domestic economy and consumers of its products (which amounted to an absolute majority of the population including most of the Russian Muslim subjects). 😉 To a certain degree this applied to Poland as well.​
  • Growing industry meant more of the food consumers and, bread being the major item of the diet for the lower classes, the lower costs were not bad at all.​
However, quite a few people still had been negatively impacted and this did not exactly improved the general attitudes even if, to be fair, Russia was strongly protectionist in its own manufacturing since the time of Peter I. Presently, import of the cast iron, iron and steel was strictly verboten. Import of the machinery was permitted but only for the items absent domestically (and for only as long as they were absent). Import of the woolens was allowed by the cotton fabrics were under a high tariff not to impact the domestic products, etc.

With the British manufacturing production growing, the country was obviously interested in expanding its markets but in that area Britain hit a wall, or rather a number of walls, in the most perspective markets of the Continental Europe: “everybody who was somebody” was busily building up his own industry and, surprise, surprise, preached protectionism for the competing imports. The exemptions tended to be either too small or too poor to make a difference. This continental narrow-mindedness caused numerous negative remarks in the British Parliament and press but what can you do when the people are too dumb to see the light and tend to have the armies bigger and stronger than British? And, what’s even worse, are not shamed by the caricatures in the British papers?

The obvious answer was to offer something that these fools did not have but needed/wanted and both France and the HRE as of “now” still remained the big consumers of the British manufactured goods but, with the French economy (to which natural and industrial resources of the new territories were added) getting up to speed, its British imports had been steadily decreasing. There was no global competitors in the cotton-based textiles but, with the numerous new centers of its production, the governments tended to protect the domestic products.

The biggest potential market, Russia, was a permanent unavoidable loss: cost of its imports from Britain was more than two times less than of its exports. Swedish market was relatively small and the import/export balance also was not in the British favor.

The rivalship of European manufacturers is fast excluding our productions from the market of Europe, and we must unremittingly endeavour to find in other parts of the world new vents for the products of our industry. The world is large enough and the wants of the human race ample enough to afford a demand for all we can manufacture: but it is the business of government to open and secure the roads for the merchant.” [1]

There was a big “weak spot” in the close proximity, the Ottoman Empire. It, and especially its vassal Egypt, was trying to create some domestic manufacturing and in Egypt Mohammed Ali started cultivation of some valuable types of crop including high quality cotton. So far, in Egypt the French influence was very strong (Egypt Expedition was considered as useful experience and MA was an open admirer of general Bonaparte and things French) while the British escapade in Alexandria did not produce a lasting good impression or respect, to put it mildly. Things were better at the Ottoman court but the Russian influence there was stronger than British and so were the trade relations: disruption of the Russian food supplies could easily cause a crisis with a deadly outcome for the Sultan. However, the trade there was going on and the same goes for the whole Black Sea.

Other than that the solution was obvious: colonial empire to which the British manufactured goods could be sold and which could provide the raw materials for manufacturing and “colonial goods” for reselling. As far as the “colonial goods” were involved, an additional profitable scenario would be to push them down the throats of some other “uncivilized natives” [2] and to get in exchange something that Britain needed. India was the obvious major source of imports and major consumer of the imports (and if the local weavers are going to die, it is their problem) and there was a clear need to expand further into both Asia and Africa to beat both French and Russian competition for the markets.

Africa was somewhat easier, in theory. Just grab the coastal pieces that the French did not take and from there expand inland. In practice this would require a huge commitment of the resources (Africa being rather big) of all types with an unclear outcome. The French are seemingly already enjoying encounters in Sahara desert with no visible end to that entertainment.

Of course, just recently the reports came about them finding the diamonds in a desert on other end of Africa

but so far nothing but the sand, camel’s s—t and annoying natives had been found in Sahara. So the targets have to be picked more judiciously.

Asia was rather tricky. There is no question that the whole India, whatever the term may imply, has to be brought under the British control. Where the territory conquered by the “peaceful trade company” ceases to be “India” and starts being something else was a purely academic question of no interest to the EIC and the British public.

Obviously, to protect the valuable territory there was a need to keep expanding to a degree that prevents a potential enemy from getting into the valuable territories and if these new territories are also of some value, then they also have to be protected, etc. Then, even on the territories which could not be realistically annexed (as of now), there surely has to be a complete freedom of trade (at least the British one) because this is how it must be. Which was leading to the obvious question regarding the khanates of the CA, which unfortunately had been the Russian vassals. With Russian Empire being (presumably) a more or less civilized country, a complete freedom of the British trade activities in that region was an intriguing question for the future.

There were also places besides India worthy of attention. Territorial dispute with Batavian Republic about who is entitled to grabbing what in Indonesia had been settled and it made sense to start paying attention to Indo-China where the French already started meddling. So far they were trying to take control over Cochinchina and already got Singapore deal but the rest of the region is still open for the grabs.

Speaking of Asia, a treaty with Persia proved to be useless: after the last war Russia got a free hand there and while the Shah did not expel the British diplomats, their influence drastically decreased and the British merchants did not get any privileges, not even a right of a free travel.

But China was still there and has to be exploited. The question was how? So far, the Chinese were willing to sell their goods, especially tea, but were not too interested in what Britain could offer: interest to the “European” manufactured goods was limited and the “colonial” goods had been supplied by the Chinese merchants operating in Indo-China, Philippines and Indonesia. Something has to be done about these Asiatic barbarians.

C-word. With the cotton-based textile production growing throughout Europe the cotton became a hot commodity. The main producer were the Southern states of the US but under Mohammed Ali Egypt also was steadily increasing its cotton production.

Britain was trying to arrange for the massive cotton production in India but transportation by sea of a large amount of cheap cotton from India to Britain was very expensive and time-consuming and the cotton growing in India was of inferior quality.

Russia had the CA. Starting from its annexation the local merchants had been supplying the increasing amounts of cotton to the textile plants of Moscow and Vladimir regions. However, the local cotton was of a low quality and it was hard to guarantee a steady production due to an absence of supporting infrastructure.
Приготовление основы для ткани из хлопка: ташкентский способ

In Central Asia, several tasks had to be solved at once - to switch to new varieties of cotton, to lay transport communications to the region, and to carry out irrigation work. Governor-General Kaufman (one of the main personages of the conquest of the Khanates) sent to of his subordinates to the US to study the local practices. They returned two years later, having thoroughly studied the process of growing and processing cotton and bringing with them the seeds of the latest American varieties. Kaufman instructed them to organize an experimental farm where locals could receive seeds free of charge and get acquainted with the raw material processing process.

The dekhans first-hand adopted technology and at first used imported cotton cleaning machines and presses on the farm for minimal money. The seeds quickly diverged along the edge, and a shaft of orders for the latest agricultural machinery went from Central Asia.

The next problem was transportation: the CA was separated from the European Russia by the deserts and steppes. Camel caravans were unable to provide reliable cargo traffic. The decision came from the military, who were in dire need of sustainable logistics, fighting with Turkmen tribes and waiting for a possible conflict with Afghanistan in the Kushka area. They decided to built a local railway from the port of Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea to Kizil-Arvat, a town in the foothills of Kopetdag. This road was completed by 1820, extended to Ashkhabad in 1825 and in 1828 to Samarkand with a bridge being built across Amu-Darya. And already in 1831, 165,000 tons of cotton were exported to Russia.
Закаспийскую железную дорогу строили поэтапно с 1881 года, в 1885-м пути пришли в Ашхабад, в 1888 году — в Самарканд, в 1891-м по ней вывезли 165 000 т хлопка

The construction of a 1500 km long path through the waterless desert was a feat of logistics and engineering. They worked in the way similar to one by which railways from Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean were laid. The train was loaded with sleepers, rails and everything necessary, and it was driving to the last finished section. There it was unloaded and the continuation of the road was laid off the wheels. The train went back (the locomotive pushed it there, and already dragged it back with it), passing the shift train on the backup track. So it was possible to lay up to six versts of rails per day - sensational speed at that time (cloughed without ballast, due to the sandy structure of the soil, which also accelerated the pace). With a reasonably organized system, no more than 500 people worked at the construction site, which made it easier to provide them with food and drink in Karakum. From Krasnovodsk to Baku the cargo was transported by the ferries or it could be sailed to Astrakhan.

Irrigation work was an equally difficult and important event. It is impossible to grow cotton without guaranteed watering. The first canal provided water for 4,500 hectares. Thenext, hundred-kilometer canal, which took water from Syrdarya, was completed in 1836, and it has already irrigated 100,000 hectares. 120 new villages have grown on its shores. With the further improvements the cotton-producing area grew from 60,000 hectares to 840,000 hectares with productivity up to 1,500 kilograms per hectare. As a result, volume of the textile industry grew more than 3.5 times. Mass production of raw cotton in Turkestan was the result of the emergence of the local industry for its primary processing. In 1836, cotton purification in Central Asia gave 11 million rubles of profit. By 1856, there were 235 cotton factories here - more than 90% of all such enterprises in Russia. Prior to this happening Russia relied upon combination of imports from the US, Egypt and CA.

France was relying on imports from the US and Egypt. As a result, policy of the French Republic was to increase its influence there. This task was simplified by the fact that there were numerous Frenchmen there, some of them stood in the area since Egyptian Expedition and many came later when quite a few energetic people found themselves unsatisfied with the opportunities of a peace time. Some even became the Egypt/Ottoman citizens and managed to achieve prominent positions to the court of Mohammed Ali.

Poland was importing the American cotton. Taking into an account that the country was cut off the Baltic coast, the usual practice was to have cotton bought and transported to Danzig by the American, Swedish or Danish merchants (or by the Poles renting the foreign ships) and from there shipped up the Vistula and then by land.

[1] This is actually from 1850s.
[2] No need to explain that only the European civilization qualified and the rest of the world were just the barbarians and had to be treated as such even in the cases when the British side was engaged in rather questionable (from today’s point of view) activities like narco trafficking.

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The Sick Man’s problems
202. The Sick Man’s problems

“[The Balkans] produce more history than they can consume.”
Toranaga: "There are no ‘mitigating circumstances’ when it comes to rebellion against a sovereign lord!"
Blackthorne: "Unless you win."
Toranaga looked at him intently. Then laughed uproariously. "Yes, Mister Foreigner…you have named _the one _mitigating factor
Clawell, ‘Shogun’
«И я сочувствую слегка
Погибшим им - издалека
Высоцкий, ‘Штормит …’ [1]
It is much better to be healthy and rich that sick and poor”
General observation
Whie the rest of Europe was, just for a change, was reasonably quiet, the Ottoman Empire had never-ending “interesting times”.

Serbia. First, there was the 1st Serbian Uprising, which was actually against the rogue Janissary and as such more or less in the Sultan’s support. The Serbs got acknowledgement of their autonomy but after Selim’s death Mahmud tried to roll it back and got the 2nd Uprising, much more competently led than the 1st one. Formally, it was, again, just a protest against the cruel rule of the Ottoman governor.

The leader, “senior prince” of Rudnitza, Milos Obrenovic, was trying for a while to keep things quiet but the cruel Ottoman actions resulted in the spontaneous uprising and 11 April 1815 he was forced to declare an official start of the uprising on a specially called assembly.

For the next few months the military actions amounted mostly to the skirmishes but eventually the Serbs stared getting an upper hand. All the time Miloc kept underscoring his main political line: the Serbs are the Sultan’s loyal subjects and their only goal is to improve their economic situation. His troops were not storming the cities that were under the Sultan’s direct rule and he even voluntarily released a captured Ottoman generals. In the summer he agreed to allow passage of the Ottoman military unit to Belgrade as a show of his loyalty and even supplied this unit with a provision. In response, he got a permission to send Serbian delegation to Istanbul for the discussion of the future arrangements. The Russian government viewed an issue of the Serbian autonomy with a sympathy (fellow Orthodox Slavs) and used some of its influence with the Porte arguing in support of the Serbian cause.

The Belgrade Pashalyk was declared “Principality of Sebia” with Miloc as its prince. His rights were similar to those of an Ottoman Pasha. The Ottoman garrisons remained in Belgrade and other places but other than that Serbia became an autonomous principality on a condition of preserving its vassal status and paying tribute. The Muslims were permitted to stay only in the Ottoman-garrisoned fortresses (where the Ottoman jurisdiction was preserved). The People's Office was established as the highest body of Serbian administrative and judicial self-government. The Serbs were allowed to collect haraj and other taxes themselves, the amount of which was clearly specified. De facto, the arrangement took place in 1817 but issuing the documents making it de jure took years: the first package was signed by the Ottomans in 1828 and the final Hatt-i Sharif was issued only in 1830.

Economy-wise, the Principality remained rather backward with the main stress upon the agriculture and, specifically, the pigs’ growing. Obviously, the main consumer of this export was Austria and not the Ottomans and by this reason, as well as geography and some other considerations, the Principality adopted pro-Austrian policy.

This was the lesson that Alexander never forgot. Future Russian foreign policy was not going to take into the consideration the ethnic and religious factors and other emotional aspects. The whole Balkans region was going to be viewed with a extreme suspicion.

Greece. Almost as soon as the Serbian dust settled, another trouble started. Greece was already full of the secret societies which were looking for gaining the independence pf their country (not that a single country called “Greece” ever existed). In 1814, Greek patriots Nikolaos Scofas, Emmanuel Xanthos and Atanasios Tzakalof created a secret organization of Filiki Eteria (Greek) in Odessa. Φιλική Εταιρεία - Friendly Society). It was tolerated for few years but after the Serbian experience it was forced in 1818 to leave Russia and move to Constantinople. Society was financially backed by the rich Greeks of Britain and the US and by the sympathetic public of the Western Europe. Russian government was not sympathetic but for a while did not take any active measures against it.

This neutral attitude came to the end in 1821. When appointing a new ruler in Wallachia in 1821, there was a riot; the Arnauts sent by Turkey for pacification joined the rebels; at the same time, Ali Pasha Yanina refused to obey the Turkish Sultan. This moment was considered convenient for the beginning of the uprising. The Russian general, ethnic Greek, Prince Alexander Ypsilanti (son and grandson of the Wallachian rulers), leaving service without authorization, on March 6 arrived in Moldova and in March called on the Greeks to overthrow the yoke [2]. Up to 6,000 insurgents gathered for him. To be fair, he also called the locals to rebel against the Ottomans.

This enterprise was doomed to failure from the very beginning. The living conditions of the people who were supposed to raise the banner of the uprising were not taken into account: it was forgotten that the Phanariots in their environment do not enjoy love at all and that feudal dependence on their own boyars has no less severe impact on the people than the Turkish yoke. In addition, Alexander Ypsilanti himself did not have the qualities necessary for the leader of the uprising. He naively believed in his destiny and in his rights to the crown of Greece, was vain, arrogant and weakly character; in Iasi he surrounded himself with a court and hesitated for a whole week to distribute titles. He approved the massacre organized by one of the participants in the uprising, Vasily Karavlius, in his taken Galace; extorted money from rich people, arresting them and demanding ransom. In his proclamation, he said that "one great power" promised him its help, and with this false assurance pushed Emperor Alexander I away from him. Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople excommunicated Alexander Ypsilanti from the church, which, however, did not save Gregory from execution. [3]

On the top of all of the above, he kept assuring everybody that the public statements of the Russian government are just a smoke screen and that he actually has Alexander’s complete support. While not being supportive of the rebellion, Alexander was initially rather neutral: the Ottoman Empire was a friendly country but recently Mahmud was getting excessively cozy with the French and Brits so him having a little bit of a domestic problem was not too bad. But Ypsilanti’s public statements made him seriously pissed off: that one-handed idiot was trying to dictate him the Russian foreign policy. Ypsilanti was deprived of his status of Fligel Adjutant and of his rank of major general and declared a deserter. The same applied to the officers who followed him without authorization and equal punishment was waiting those who will risk to follow their example. None of those joining the rebellion are going to have protection of the Russian consulates. The Greek traders and financiers who were Russian subjects had been unofficially informed by the local officials that, while sending financial or other help to the rebels is not forbidden by a law, doing such a thing will be considered as a sign of a disloyalty with a corresponding attitudes.

Almost immediately there was a conflict between the Greeks and Wallachian rebels and in the process the Wallachian leader had been executed. On May 1 Ypsilanti suffered the first serious defeat and on June 7 his troops were defeated at Dragashani and formed from Greek students the "Sacred Corps" heroically fell almost all. On June 13 Ypsilanti, after saying goodbye to whatever left of his troops, crossed the Austrian border expecting to travel from here to Greece. He and his followers were arrested and imprisoned by the Austrians. There was still some continued Greek fighting in the Principalities famous mostly for the suicidal behavior. Only one hundred managed to get out and reach Greece.

In Greece itself the uprising broke out in the southern Peloponnese (Morea), in Areopolis, on March 25 (April 6), 1821. Within 3 months, the uprising covered the entire Peloponnese, part of continental Greece, the island of Crete, Cyprus and some other islands of the Aegean Sea. The rebels seized a significant territory. The Turks hid in fortresses, and the few Turkish garrisons of Attica took refuge in Athens in Acropolis, where they were besieged by the Greeks.

The islands of Hydra, Ipsara and La Spezia also took part in the uprising; a Greek fleet of 80 ships appeared in the Archipelago. The Greeks armed with ancient rifles, who did not have artillery, were strong only in the mountains, but could not fight in an open field. On the top of it, their leaders had been quarreling with each other. However, due to the weakness of the recently created Ottoman army and navy, they managed to win some victories. But in Macedonia, the actions of the Greeks were unsuccessful. Thessaloniki Pasha captured and plundered the Kassandra peninsula, Omer Vrione took away the fortress and the city of Artu from the Greeks. The Turkish fleet ravaged the city of Galaxidi, the Greek fleet at the same time robbed the shores of Asia Minor and beat the Turks; these atrocities incited the indignation of Europeans and the anger of the Turks against them. On October 5, 1821, the main city of Morea, Tripolitsa, was taken by the Greeks. The victory of the Greeks ended in a massacre of Turks and Jews: at least 8,000 to 10,000 men, women and children were killed.

On January 22, 1822, the 1st National Assembly (67 deputies) in the Piado (near Epidaurus) proclaimed the Greek State, independent of the Ottoman Empire, and adopted a constitution - the Provisional Government of Greece (Προσωρινό Πολίτευμα της Ελλάδος), the legislative body for which was the Legislative Corps (Βουλευτικον Σωμα), the executive body - the Executive Corps (Εκτελεστικον Σωμα).
The fighting continued along the same lines on both sides but the Ottomans were gradually gaining, which forced the Greek leaders to join their efforts and finally achieve some success. During the next two years the Greeks managed to organize their own government.

The cause was getting increasing popularity in Europe [4]. With his own army not being successful, Mahmud requested help from Mohammed Ali promising him Syria (or its part, this was interpreted both ways) as a compensation.

By that time the conflict was attracting international attention. “Society” in France and Britain was getting increasingly vocal demanding help to “Ellada” (among other factors, the classic education tended to be rather heavy on the Ancient Greece with the resulting associations and sympathies). Of course, some of those joining the cause ended up somewhat disappointed:
Having tried in vain at every expence-considerable trouble—and some danger to unite the Suliotes for the good of Greece-and their own—I have come to the following resolution—I will have nothing more to do with the Suliotes-they may go to the Turks or the devil...they may cut me into more pieces than they have dissensions among them, sooner than change my resolution.” [5]

Supported by the help from abroad the fighting kept going on. Most of the Greece was devastated and the people had been dying from starvation by the thousands, not counting those being killed.

European trade also was being hurt and this meant that the governments finally had been forced to make decisions regarding the future course of actions.

In Russia it was rather straightforward. Alexander [6] was hell-bent on not getting involved in a mess one way or another. As was formulated in “Memoir” prepared by his Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was extremely unlikely that the Ottomans will agree to give Greece independence or that the Greeks will agree to remain the Ottoman subjects. Greece as an independent state was not providing any obvious benefits to Russia but a somewhat weakened Ottoman Empire, with or without Greece, most probably will remain friendly to Russia. So let them fight to whatever end. Of course, a direct involvement of the Great Powers would be unwelcome but hardly will change things fundamentally as far as the Russia interests were concerned.

The Consulate was in more difficult situation. Of course, its relations with the Ottoman Empire were not at their best level but the French influence and trade in Egypt kept steadily growing. Now, with Egypt actively participating in the Ottoman military effort, directly siding with Greece could harm both influence and the trade. On the other hand, with the ongoing age of the peace and prosperity, France, and especially Paris, was full of the opinionated writers and journalists with more enthusiasm than brain (or talent) and those who were reading their writings. Of course, Fouche could take care of the writing folks but “society” was already overly excited and excessively harsh measures could produce political crisis out of nothing. It could even be argued that sending the French troops (which of course will be victorious) is going to be good both for the military and for public morale. Egypt, of course, was a problem but if the military activities are kept strictly to Greece, then good relations with Mohammed Ali may not be destroyed. If Egypt is going to get Syria, this will allow to restore to a big degree the French pre-revolutionary trade in Levant.

Britain was mostly interested in preserving status quo but considered a decisive Ottoman victory rather unwelcome because squeezing strong Ottoman Empire will be difficult. The English General Cherch and Lord Cochrane, who arrived in Greece, tried in vain to reconcile the warring Greek parties and worked to transform the Greek naval and land forces. At this time, the Greeks were trying to liberate the Acropolis besieged by the Turks.

In 1827 representatives of Britain, France and Russia signed in London a convention which was providing for collective action by 3 states towards Turkey to encourage it to cease hostilities against the Greeks and to grant Greece autonomy on the terms of payment of annual tribute to the Sultan. What was lacking in this convention, was a military option because none of the signatories really wanted to get into a war. [7] Alexander hoped that the whole thing will end up as a prolonged diplomatic affair with no need for a military intervention. Unfortunately, he was too optimistic.

  • Sultan Mahmoud II, whose troops and fleet won a convincing victory over the rebels at Phaleron on April 24, 1827, and also expected that convention is just a state of intentions, rejected proposals of three states.
  • All three signatories had their squadrons close to the theater but mostly as a tool of political pressure. After Mahmud’s refusal these squadrons (1,276 guns), united under command of the senior in rank British vice-admiral Edward Codrington, entered the Greek waters.
  • Codrington expected by demonstrating force (without the use of weapons) to force the enemy to accept the demands of the Allies. To this end, he ordered a squadron to Navarino Bay where the Ottoman-Egyptian fleet (2,200 guns) was staying. The Turkish-Egyptian fleet was protected by coastal batteries (165 guns) and 6 fireships. It was inferior to the Allied in the number of ships of the line: 3 against 10, but significantly surpassed it in the number of frigates, corvettes and brigs.

  • As often happens, situation got out of hands due to the stupid occasion. On one of the Turkish fireships there was a rifle shooting, as a result of which English Lieutenant FitzRoy, sent as a parlementaire, was killed. His task was to force the fireship commander to move further away from the allied ships.
  • After a while, one of the Egyptian corvettes fired the first shot at the French frigate.
  • The battle began after the Turks killed the second parliamentarian sent to the flagship ship of Muharrem Bey.

  • The fight lasted for 4 hours and by the end of it the Turkish-Egyptian fleet was destroyed. The losses of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet amounted to more than 60 ships and several thousand people killed and wounded. The Allies have not lost a single ship. Their losses: in the English squadron 79 killed and 284 wounded, in the Russian squadron 59 killed and 139 wounded, in the French squadron 43 killed and 141 wounded.
  • The Turkish fleet was destroyed, and Ibrahim Pasha's troops were blocked in the ruined Morea, which suffered from hunger and plague.
  • Having won this victory, the Allies did not take any further joint action aimed at undermining Turkey's military power.
  • Mahmud, who seriously misinterpreted the situation, chose the most foolish course of actions: declared war on Russia, France and Britain…

[1] “And I sympathize a little/To those who died - from afar” Vysotsky, “It is stormng…”
[2] My knowledge of geography is clearly far from perfect: since when Moldavia had anything to do with Greece? But who am I to argue against a general? As a side notice, recently I found that not only the politicians but some generals as well are making interesting geographic discoveries so Ypsilanti, who did not have internet and Google Maps in his disposal, surely can be excused. 😂
[4] Among the “educated classes”. The ordinary people tended to be too busy working to pay attention and no extra money to spare.
[5] Byron
[6] ITTL Alexander is not dying in 1825.
[7] In OTL it was included on Russian insistence.
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I did not expect a Russian war with the Ottomans! Maybe they can secure a bit more of the Caucasus, specifically the Black Sea coastline, or Moldova.
I did not expect a Russian war with the Ottomans!

Neither did I. 😂

It is just that one thing led to other, etc. Besides, there should be an additional opportunity for the Generalissimo to demonstrate that he is a supreme military genius.
Maybe they can secure a bit more of the Caucasus, specifically the Black Sea coastline, or Moldova.
None of them really worth of the related future problems. I can go into greater details if you wish but not now (it is already 12:19 am). 😉
Lmao poor Alex, still ended up helping the Greeks and fighting the Turks because of someone else's stupidity.

I suspect that the Russians may be drawn to Eastern Anatolia rather than the Balkans if the Porte goes under -- Britain and France will have more latitude in the Balkans, and if state authority collapses then suddenly the Caucasian-Anatolian region is a clusterfuck of Kurds, Turks, Turkmen, and Armenians.

Wonder how Muhammad Ali will respond. He should probably stab the Porte in the back and take what he can, but Egyptian ships were also sunk. Maybe Britain can get mired down the Nile so Russia can nab Tsarigrad 😜
Well actually, Alex in theory could just sit this one out. However, that means post war he will get little and that hurts his trade influence. Why not grab Istanbul/Tsargrad/Constantinople/Byzanthium. Isn't that were 90% of Russian trade is going to anyway? Then post war give it back, but with a Russian leaning governor.
Well actually, Alex in theory could just sit this one out. However, that means post war he will get little and that hurts his trade influence. Why not grab Istanbul/Tsargrad/Constantinople/Byzanthium. Isn't that were 90% of Russian trade is going to anyway? Then post war give it back, but with a Russian leaning governor.
How would he make sure that the governor going to continue leaning to Russia, if Russia get tsargard they should just keep it
Lmao poor Alex, still ended up helping the Greeks and fighting the Turks because of someone else's stupidity.

I suspect that the Russians may be drawn to Eastern Anatolia rather than the Balkans if the Porte goes under -- Britain and France will have more latitude in the Balkans, and if state authority collapses then suddenly the Caucasian-Anatolian region is a clusterfuck of Kurds, Turks, Turkmen, and Armenians.

To get to Anatolia one has to march through the Caucasus, an area where there are no roads but a lot of mountains and the bellicose natives who are going to fight anybody who is not from their own village. And all that just to get to the “clusterfuck” you described? Where is the gain?

Wonder how Muhammad Ali will respond. He should probably stab the Porte in the back and take what he can, but Egyptian ships were also sunk. Maybe Britain can get mired down the Nile so Russia can nab Tsarigrad 😜
In OTL under the same circumstances (and it took me some effort to screw things enough to get to OTL setup 😉) MA remained surprisingly loyal until Mahmud tried to screw him up. As for TTL, I’ll see what I can do. 😉
So Russia is going into yet another war, this time with the Ottomans. Unlike many have suggested here, I don't see the Russians taking any territories, but instead they get concessions and certain privileges from the Ottomans, something like allowing naval bases on Constantinople and lower tariffs to sell their goods, increase their influence without having to deal with annexing new territory.

Also a enlarged Egypt who can manage to break off from the Ottomans and survive is a interesting idea, especially if they don't get colonized.

As for Greece... Well, I don't see that outside of independence, that things won't go too well for them.