No GNW (or “Peter goes South”)

For this the second Ottoman-Egyptian War either has to be avoided or it should end up differently, which means exclusion of the British (and Austrian) intervention (or a failure of the intervention). It will also require some other things like no London Convention regarding the Straits and probably no Balta Treaty.

Regarding Austria, they are perfect sucker for the intervention, but from other side what do they have to gain? If someone, i don't know who nudged them to use Ottoman crisis to, i don't know, get Serbia, or Bosnia? (Not the hard thing to do given that Austria tended to be greedy historically), instead of fighting for the British, or French interests and if Persia decides to join the mess to get it's share of the pie (Irak) any intervention would be to much for other power's and at which point Sultan can just call Nick for help to avoid total collapse... Well generally idea is for many powers to be involved creating similar situation to the Polish partition and then Russia to be the hero for the Ottoman's and just mediator for others.
 
Nope. Just got concentrated on fixing other lapses and did not check this part carefully: did not expect that GT will manage to screw that. Thanks for finding.
It screws with abbreviations pretty frequently, as AI sometimes misunderstands context. For example, translating ПЖ (right ventricle/RV) as "pancreas" (because ПЖ also stands for "поджелудочная железа" and AI is more leaning towards this meaning even if this is a cardiology article).
 
Regarding Austria, they are perfect sucker for the intervention, but from other side what do they have to gain?

Not sure what they did expect but they sent a naval squadron to join the Brits during the 2nd war.

If someone, i don't know who nudged them to use Ottoman crisis to, i don't know, get Serbia, or Bosnia? (Not the hard thing to do given that Austria tended to be greedy historically), instead of fighting for the British, or French interests and if Persia decides to join the mess to get it's share of the pie (Irak) any intervention would be to much for other power's and at which point Sultan can just call Nick for help to avoid total collapse... Well generally idea is for many powers to be involved creating similar situation to the Polish partition and then Russia to be the hero for the Ottoman's and just mediator for others.
In OTL the anti-MA coalition included Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia (don’t ask me about the motivations). France (and Spain?) were more or less on MA’s side but strictly diplomatically and quite ineptly. Screwing this arrangement should not be hard with alt-Nicky (if he keeps Nesselrode under control). Britain-Austria vs. Russia-France-Prussia-Spain. This combination may drag the diplomatic part for much longer.

The main actions were British: naval bombardments and some landings. MA seemingly had problems on the controlled territories.

Quality of MA’s troops was seemingly low: one of the critical points was the British naval assault on Acre (IIRC) when the Egyptian artillerymen could not realign their guns to hit the British ships that came “too close” to the shore. This can be easily fixed ITTL.

Another easily fixable thing with the huge consequences is a fate of a certain Prussian officer who served as a commander of the Ottoman artillery in the battle which the Turks lost. A better aimed Egyptian shot and von Moltke is dead. The consequences are anybody’s guess.

Anyway, alt-Russia could push the mediation effort at the right moment (between the Ottoman defeat and active British intervention) achieving peace within pre-war borders and arrangements, perhaps with a little bit of a muscle flexing.

But there is a bigger issue: what is France by that time? Jourdan died in 1833, both Moreau (if still alive) and Bernadotte are old. If Moreau is out, should/could Bernadotte establish a hereditary monarchy (the regime being reasonably popular) or is there going to be a 2nd republic with rather unclear political course? I’m not sure that there is a realistic opening for the Bourbons or Orleans.
 
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It screws with abbreviations pretty frequently, as AI sometimes misunderstands context. For example, translating ПЖ (right ventricle/RV) as "pancreas" (because ПЖ also stands for "поджелудочная железа" and AI is more leaning towards this meaning even if this is a cardiology article).
My favorite still is “Egg Cossacks” (Яицкие казаки). And the way it constructs the sentences is sometimes rather peculiar and requires rewriting.

Well, it is lousy but better than nothing: still saves time when it comes to the long quotations. A progress comparing to the 1980s when I had to do a lot of the technical translations from English to Russian using a mechanical typewriter.
 
Another easily fixable thing with the huge consequences is a fate of a certain Prussian officer who served as a commander of the Ottoman artillery in the battle which the Turks lost. A better aimed Egyptian shot and von Moltke is dead. The consequences are anybody’s guess.

I don't know about that, i would rather not deprived the Prussians from their military genius, let them enjoy some good things in life given that they already are smaller territorially, do not control whole of Rhineland and HRE is still a thing.

Screwing this arrangement should not be hard with alt-Nicky (if he keeps Nesselrode under control). Britain-Austria vs. Russia-France-Prussia-Spain. This combination may drag the diplomatic part for much longer.

Technically if it looks like it's in it alone with the Brit's Austria (if given a choice) probably would support the other side.

Though given weaker relationship with ITTL Prussia (GPW), i believe that Prussian motivation would be some commercial advantages, prestige and most importantly to keep Austria from gaining anything outside of the HRE.
Anyway, alt-Russia could push the mediation effort at the right moment (between the Ottoman defeat and active British intervention) achieving peace within pre-war borders and arrangements, perhaps with a little bit of a muscle flexing.

But otherwise the elephant in the room is what Russia hope's to get ? French got the landing in Greece in last war and are pro MA, Russia on other hand was good with the Ottoman's until recently and while being neutral mediator has its benefits it also risks Ottomans and MA overlooking Russia for their supporter's , for example insufficient support from Russia might just result in Ottomans closer to the Brit's, or French establishing themselves in East Med through the alliance with Greece and Egypt.

Generally question is will Russia be pro Ottoman, or not? Personally instead of trying to walk a thin line between the two it would be better to take more pro Ottoman stance in concert with the British while making concession to the French similar to otl. That way Russia could be the reasonable mediator, but still remain primary Ottoman supporter.

But there is a bigger issue: what is France by that time? Jourdan died in 1833, both Moreau (if still alive) and Bernadotte are old. If Moreau is out, should/could Bernadotte establish a hereditary monarchy (the regime being reasonably popular) or is there going to be a 2nd republic with rather unclear political course? I’m not sure that there is a realistic opening for the Bourbons or Orleans.

Problem with the Monarchy is that at this point France was without it for around 40 years and it had Consul system around 30 years and it flourished in process, not to mention it still has good number of daughter republic's under it's dominion, i can see Napoleon using a string of victories and unstable times to crown himself as Emperor but i can't imagine Bernadotte pulling it up without rocking the boat and still being in advanced age, personally at this point i wouldn't be surprised if Consul's didn't already chose their successors based on patronage system and generally decided to keep Consul system.

Generally bigger problem for France at this point would be rise of Italian nationalism (it was linked to Greek uprising) in it's backyard and decision what to do with it because opposed to HRE revolutionary ideals did flow freely to Italy.
 
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Will be interesting to see the direction things go, Egypt is certainly quite massive, the trick will be keeping it.

As with all of Greater Syria, Sudan, the land on Arabia I think Ali's family will certainly struggle to hold it.

Of course one could argue the ''logical'' thing is to keep expanding in Africa, the slaves for the empire both laborer's and soldiers are going to needed to massively increase to help pay for and consolidate the newest expansion, the empire will it has some legitimacy could use some more and annexing Ethiopia could certainly do so. and at last the ''leapfrog'' effect, raiding on the frontier means both pushing back and offensives, which give glory and also maybe resources, of course once that happens you need to consolidate it and that leaves a new frontier which get's raided again.
 
I don't know about that, i would rather not deprived the Prussians from their military genius, let them enjoy some good things in life given that they already are smaller territorially, do not control whole of Rhineland and HRE is still a thing.

Well, being military successful, Prussia may decide to solve the Rhineland issue by force. OTOH, still having Germany as a mess for a longer time may be to everybody’s benefit.

Technically if it looks like it's in it alone with the Brit's Austria (if given a choice) probably would support the other side.

Or it may stay neutral. Honestly, I don’t quite get the OTL motivations of the sides involved. If the British support of integrity of the Ottomans was a product of anti-Russia paranoia, then why Russia was on the same side? What practical advantages each of them had from the intact OE comparing to OE plus independent Egypt scenario?

Though given weaker relationship with ITTL Prussia (GPW), i believe that Prussian motivation would be some commercial advantages, prestige and most importantly to keep Austria from gaining anything outside of the HRE.

Which commercial advantages could Prussia get?


But otherwise the elephant in the room is what Russia hope's to get ?

This is a great question to which I’m trying to figure out an answer. In OTL NI was, seemingly, was motivated by a “principle” and an urge to be the biggest bully in the region. What could be alt-Russia advantages from any of these scenarios is not clear: it has its markets one way or another so status quo is fine but the same goes for both alternatives. Basically, any peace is OK and the sooner the better.

What Russia does not need ITTL is London convention on the Straits. Anyway, geopolitical situation on the Black Sea is different from OTL so Urquhart segment of the British paranoia is absent.


French got the landing in Greece in last war and are pro MA, Russia on other hand was good with the Ottoman's until recently and while being neutral mediator has its benefits it also risks Ottomans and MA overlooking Russia for their supporter's , for example insufficient support from Russia might just result in Ottomans closer to the Brit's, or French establishing themselves in East Med through the alliance with Greece and Egypt.
The Ottomans will inevitably get closer to the Brits because they promise return of the lost territories. But the Brits can’t feed Constantinople so the “siding” has its limitations. France has interests on the Eastern Med but the Russian interests there are almost purely economic so this is not a big issue with Egypt and non-issue with Greece (close to zero market value).

Generally question is will Russia be pro Ottoman, or not? Personally instead of trying to walk a thin line between the two it would be better to take more pro Ottoman stance in concert with the British while making concession to the French similar to otl. That way Russia could be the reasonable mediator, but still remain primary Ottoman supporter.
Timely mediation could be considered a support.

Problem with the Monarchy is that at this point France was without it for around 40 years and it had Consul system around 30 years and it flourished in process, not to mention it still has good number of daughter republic's under it's dominion, i can see Napoleon using a string of victories and unstable times to crown himself as Emperor but i can't imagine Bernadotte pulling it up without rocking the boat and still being in advanced age, personally at this point i wouldn't be surprised if Consul's didn't already chose their successors based on patronage system and generally decided to keep Consul system.

May work but who are the successors? Oscar Bernadotte - possible but how realistic? The old generals are old and not necessarily good for the position and I don’t know enough of the French political life of that period to offer some realistic figure not associated with the Bourbons. Everybody whom I know will be dead by mid-1840s. Cavaignac as a consul? Any idea?

Generally bigger problem for France at this point would be rise of Italian nationalism (it was linked to Greek uprising) in it's backyard and decision what to do with it because opposed to HRE revolutionary ideals did flow freely to Italy.
Not see it as a biggest issue.
 
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May work but who are the successors? Oscar Bernadotte - possible but how realistic? The old generals are old and not necessarily good for the position and I don’t know enough of the French political life of that period to offer some realistic figure not associated with the Bourbons. Everybody whom I know will be dead by mid-1840s. Louis-Phillipe as a consul? Any idea?

Alphonse Henri, comte d'Hautpoul was Prime Minister of France from 1849-1851, he was born in 1789 and lived until 1865 .

Then there was Marie Joseph Louis Adolphe Thiers born 1797 (enough time to rise to prominence). He was Instrumental in July Revolution, French revolution of 1848 and was president after Nappy III lost power so he should have enough charisma to pull his rise to power. He was also popular historian and more importantly was mentored by Talleyrand (who should still hold important position in the consulate and could sponsor his rise to power).
 
Generally bigger problem for France at this point would be rise of Italian nationalism (it was linked to Greek uprising) in it's backyard and decision what to do with it because opposed to HRE revolutionary ideals did flow freely to Italy.
They're probably gonna support their republican allies to go with the flow and attempt to have them unify the peninsula if possible, or at least collaborate enough that even as a monarchy, it would be a toothless one like the British and letting the actual power rest with a elected representatives. Of course, there's also the possibility that the unification attempt might fail, just because it succeeded iotl doesn't mean it'll succeed here, especially if there's powers interested in keeping the peninsula divided, ditto for German unification attempt.
 
The “Issues”
207. The “Issues”
“Don't bite off more than you can chew because nobody looks attractive spitting it back out.
Carroll Bryant
Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like hell.
Peter Brock
Покуда живы жадины вокруг, удачу мы не выпустим из рук”
Окуджава [1]
“To be stable, a chair has to have at least 3 legs.”
General observation

1833.

Ottoman Empire - Egypt


The Ottoman Egyptian war was coming to its logical conclusion:
  • The Sultan run out of the armies and credible military leaders. The Grand Vizier was captured and sent to Egypt to be greeted by Muhammed Ali with all honors due to his rank (MA kept insisting that he is Sultan’s loyal subject). Seraskier (a minister of war and commander-in-chief) was a powerful court person rather than a general ( “It is rare to find a person more funny in appearance. He is 65 years old, he is short, somewhat stooped, with a sagging belly and a small gray beard;” ) and rather afraid of Muhammed Ali justifiably considering him very devious. Protracted hostilities could result in anything including loss of the vitally important Anatolia and had to be stopped ASAP.
  • OTOH, Ibrahim with his victorious army already was over-extended before battle of Konya and not all areas in his rear were excessively (or at all) excited about perspective to get under Muhammed Ali’s rule. To keep advancing he will have to cross one of the straits and, taking into an account the general naval situation, this could be a very risky exercise. Even conquest of Anatolia with a meager force he had with him was very problematic and getting supplies from Egypt using the small leftovers of the Egyptian navy was quite difficult and will be even more so if the fighting renews after the winter. Peace was needed ASAP.
So both sides were actually ready to make peace and the rest was about saving the face on the Sultan’s side and compromising between the greediness and practicality on Muhammed Ali’s side.

Of course, the Sultan would like to have both Muhammed Ali and Ibrahim dead but this was just a wish and he had to concentrate upon saving the face. Saving face part amounted to retaining Muhammed Ali’s status as a governor appointed by the Sultan, which meant no claim to the hereditary rule or independence. Also it meant that the laws and treaties of the Ottoman Empire will be, by default, applicable to the territories he ruled and this included any trade or tariff treaty signed by the Sultan with a foreign power. Neither of the sides involved thought about the potential implications of this issue and it was not discussed: the Sultan was too concerned with gaining a breathing space for restoring his army to think about something else.

Ideally, Muhammed Ali wanted to become an independent rulers but as of now, this wish was unrealistic. On the “practical” side MA wanted the official recognition of his control over the provinces of Palestine and Syria, which were conquered during this war, and of Arabia which he conquered in 1810s on the Sultan’s order. The Arabia was important because it included the holy cities with the income from protection of those going on the hadj. Of course, being Protector of the Holy Places was also providing an additional prestige at the Sultan’s expense, which may or may not be such a good idea in a long run. In a meantime Muhammed Ali was planning to rebuild his navy, to improve his army and to get ready to the future confrontation. Theoretic economic implications of the scenario that looked so convenient (as the first step) were just something abstract and not worthy of his attention.
1662137905084.jpeg

Of course, neither side was advertising its true intensions but very few things had been a true secret at the Ottoman court and Muhammed Ali was just slightly better off in this area: in both cases it was not even too costly to have the important people on your payroll …oops… sorry, “sympathetic”.

The Britain and France were still trying to figure out whom are they going to support and in which form and shape because while the general (and especially public) sympathies were somewhat skewed in favor of Muhammed Ali, there were also some considerations favoring the Ottoman side, at least in its “European capacity”: getting a major mess on the Balkans could produce some benefits to Austria. Something that France definitely would not like and the Brits were not enthusiastic about because this may shift power balance in the HRE negatively impacting Hanover and the British trade interests.
1662150408536.jpeg

Nicholas did not have to care about the public opinion which allowed faster and straightforward decisions. Adjutant-General N.N.Muraviev had been sent on a diplomatic mission to both rulers allowing mediation for making the peace fast. “Or else” was not spelled out but there was no need in pointing out to the obvious options. Of course, Nicholas was not planning to go into a war on either side but his intentions were not advertised and, when asked, Muraviev with a stone face was chanting his mantra: “the Emperor just wants peace” [2] leaving the rest to the people’s imagination. With a memory of the recent war being still fresh, imagination on both sides was producing rather scary scenarios with a resulting surge of a pacifism on both sides of the Bosphorus.

In May 6 1833 the Peace Agreement of Kütahya had been signed. Well, not exactly the “peace agreement” but the conflict was ended by the Sultan’s firman (after all, this was all between him and his subject):

The assurances of fidelity and of devotion, lastly given to me by the Governor of Egypt, Mahomet Ali Pacha, and his son Ibrahim, having been accepted, I have granted them my imperial benignity. The governments of Candia and Egypt are continued to Mahomet Ali. And in reference to his special claim, I have granted him the provinces of Damascus, Tripoli-in-Syria, Sidon, Saphet, Aleppo, the districts of Jerusalem and Nablous, with the conduct of pilgrims and the commandment of the Tcherde (the yearly offering to the tomb of the Prophet). His son, Ibrahim Pacha, has again the title of Sheikh and Harem of Mekka, and the district of Jedda; and farther, I have acquiesced in his request to have the district of Adana ruled by the Treasury of Taurus, with the title of Mohassil.”

There was also an amnesty to everybody involved in the events in Asia Minor and the governors had been ordered to arrange for the inhabitants’ prayers for the Sultan.

For the moment the conflict between the Sultan and Muhammed Ali was settled to a mutual satisfaction and neither Britain nor France had any visible reason to complain. Of course, there were ticking time bombs on both sides but nobody looked beyond the immediate future.

France.
In November 1833 the Triumvirate was in trouble because it ceased to be the triumvirate: one of its members, Jean-Baptist Jourdan, died leaving his two surviving colleagues with a need to find a suitable replacement. Constitutionally, mechanism of appointing a new Consul was not defined. The consuls were appointed for life and that was it. Taking into an account that regime was stable for the decades, it was kind of assumed that finding replacement is going to be their duty but it was not clear if this appointment should be confirmed by a Senate or National Assembly. The Consuls decided that this was entirely up to them.
1662152174806.jpeg

The easiest choice at that moment was Jean-de-Dieu Soult, a former colleague of the consuls and presently Minister of War (since 1830) in which capacity he was presently conducting a number of the reforms (recruitment, military pensions, status of the officers). Of course, besides being quite capable commander and administrator, he was known as being an extremely strict disciplinarian, possessed a foul temper and was always critical of his military colleagues. The only person with whom he always managed to get along without problems was Bernadotte [3] who now proposed his candidacy to Moreau. Moreau, who was already 70 and spending most of the time in his estate leaving the governing business to Bernadotte, did not mind. Politically, Soult was rather “flexible”. Of course, he was a self-proclaimed republican but by that time being a republican was not the same as in 1790s. After all, Bernadotte himself hardly was a Jacobin anymore and while France still was a republic, quite a few aristocratic emigres had been allowed to return and quite a few of them made very impressive careers like Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu who after return from the Russian service in 1814 was holding a high position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (of course, being a personal friend of the Emperor of Russia did not hurt 😉). Anyway, it was clear that, being a consul, Soult is going to support the existing system because he was benefitting from it and this was enough.

So the choice was made and the candidate was approved by the Senate, which provided this institution with a new dignity, created a procedural precedent and pleased a general public by showing that the Consulate remains dedicated to the initial republic values.

Russia while ago.

When Lucien Bonaparte arrived to Moscow he brought with himself a “luggage”: his widowed sister Pauline Leclerc and his younger brother Louis Bonaparte. The first had to be married and the second had to be married and provided with a suitable career.

Pauline was not a problem. She was beautiful, stylish, had her own capital (the late general left her a considerable wealth and she did not have time to waste all of it). Of course, she could possess neither of these advantages and still make a very good match because her major asset was the fact that she was a favorite sister of the most illustrious and powerful (outside the imperial family) person in Russia. So it was pretty much up to the loving brother to decide who is going to be a lucky groom and he was found in a top echelon of the Russian aristocracy.

1662167462445.png

General of Infantry Prince Dmitry Lobanov-Rostovsky [4], was a Rurikid, had been praised for his bravery by Suvorov himself, was highly valued by Emperor Alexander and in 1815 was appointed Minister of Justice.
1662166611300.jpeg

Of course, being born in 1758, he was not young, was famous for rather explosive temper (which created him quite a few enemies) and had been short. But for all his sharpness, he was a kind, truthful and compassionate person deep down. He kept the children of some of his comrades-in-arms and the family of Captain Bordukov, who saved his life in one of the battles, and paid out of his pocket pension to Captain Sukhotin. He had four adopted children who received the nobility and the surname of Dmitrovsky in 1820. Of course, he did not have to marry but why not, especially after the Emperor himself expressed his delight with the idea. Soon after the marriage he was made a member of the State Council and awarded Order of St. Andrew.

Louis was much more problematic. He was a reasonably nice looking and a reasonably intelligent young man, perhaps even taking things too seriously, but, as was formulated long ago by Fieldmarshal Munich, “he could not figure out if he a fish or meat”. In France he served as an artillery officer and, while being serious and competent, he did not demonstrate any special talent. Of course, he was being promoted due to the influence of his older brothers but it did not look like he was capable of a serious advance of his own in an army, French or Russian.

Which was leaving an administrative field about which Louis did not expressed any serious enthusiasm either. But who said that a person has to like what he is doing? As soon as he learned enough Russian to communicate reasonably freely, Louis was placed into the office of the Moscow Governor-General as one of the officials at large [5] with a rank of Collegium Assessor [6].
1662172478197.jpeg

To resolve one more problem, the Generalissimo insisted upon marriage between Louis and Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte, nee de Beauharnais, Generalissimo’s stepdaughter. Fortunately (or rather unfortunately, because neither bride nor groom had been enthusiastic), Louis and Hortense were Catholics: in a somewhat convoluted way Hortense could be considered Louis’ niece of a sort, which may cause problems with the Orthodox Church. Of course, even in that case the imperial decree or just a direct order would be enough to resolve the issue [7] but there was no need in the drastic measure.

Unfortunately, Eugene de Beauharnais, Generalissimo’s stepson, died in 1824. He was only 45 years old, seemingly liked by everybody and already making a good military career. Bonaparte pulled some strings and arranged his marriage to a daughter of a minor German princely family providing him with a ducal title. From the marriage he had a daughter Josephine and son Maximilian Joseph Eugene Auguste Napoleon de Beauharnais.

Generalissimo did not have legitimate children of his own.

___________
[1] “As long as the greedy people are around, we always will be lucky” Okudjava, song from a movie “Buratino”.
[2] Which is reasonably close to what he kept telling to both sides involved and to the foreign diplomats in Istanbul and Egypt.
[3] AFAIK, they managed to get along in OTL as well but after all Bernadotte was capable of managing even Vandamme.
[4] In OTL a bachelor
[5] «чиновник по особым поручениям». Usually, a position held by the young well-connected people. Position did not involve any clearly defined duties or boring daily paperwork but could result in the specific assignments and certain “visibility”. In a reality this was a way to start a career. Officials at large were working directly under ministers, governors and other high ranking officials.
[6] Equivalent to the army captain. Was providing a hereditary nobility.
[7] When in OTL much later the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger decided to divorce Prince Wilhelm, Duke of Södermanland, while the religious authorities in Sweden were still considering the case, Nicholas II simply ordered Synod to consider her divorced and, as far as the Russian Church was involved this was it, fast and simple.
 
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Of course, being born in 1858, he was not young, was famous for rather explosive temper (which created him quite a few enemies) and had been short. But for all his sharpness, he was a kind, truthful and compassionate person deep down. He kept the children of some of his comrades-in-arms and the family of Captain Bordukov, who saved his life in one of the battles, and paid out of his pocket pension to Captain Sukhotin. He had four adopted children who received the nobility and the surname of Dmitrovsky in 1820. Of course, he did not have to marry but why not, especially after the Emperor himself expressed his delight with the idea. Soon after the marriage he was made a member of the State Council and awarded Order of St. Andrew.
Unless he's a certain character from "Monday begins on Saturday", you need to correct the date.
 
To paddle or not to paddle
208. To paddle or not to paddle.

Only a loser finds it impossible to accept a temporary setback. A winner asks why.
Ita Buttrose
We have only two loyal allies in the whole world - our army and navy.”
Alexander III
Only these nations have the right and power to hold the sea in their hands, which can defend it.”
Stolypin
かたつぶりそろそろ登れ富士の山 [1]


Intermission (we are not on that stage, yet, but could not resist a temptation to quote professional’s opinion regarding a progress; FYI, Kolchak himself was a great specialist in the mine war): “Submarines and airplanes spoil all the poetry of the war; today I read the story of the Anglo-Dutch wars - what a charm the war at sea was then. The enemy fleets kept near each other for days before entering into battles that lasted 2-3 days with breaks to rest and repair damage. It was good then. And now: you have to shoot something invisible, the same invisible submarine will blow up the ship at the first mistake, often without seeing or knowing the results, some nasty thing flies, which is almost impossible to get into. There's nothing for the soul.” Admiral Kolchak


The steamships were already actively used on the Russian rivers and big lakes and started appearing on the sea routes even there were seemingly reasonable objections against this specific idea.

Really, did it make sense to use a considerable part of the ship’s cargo-carrying (and profit generating) capacity just to keep the ship moving? Wasn’t steam engine adding an extra risk by its ability to blow? How about an extra cost of the coal and extra time in the ports spent on its loading? Even assuming that on average a steamship will deliver the cargo faster, wouldn’t it deliver a smaller volume of it and at a higher price, etc.

Eventually, these objections started to get away but there still was a very serious issue. The paddle-wheels were effective means of propulsion under ideal conditions but there were serious drawbacks. The paddle-wheel performed best when it operated at a certain depth, however when the depth of the ship changed from added weight it further submerged the paddle wheel causing a substantial decrease in performance and this was a serious problem for the sea going steam ships.

Then, the steam presented the navies with a very serious dilemma. On one hand, an advantage of having the fast steam-propelled warships which are not dependent upon wind’s direction was, without any doubt, a huge advantage taking into an account complexity of the sail-based naval maneuvering. But so far there was a huge disappointment: the paddle-wheels were OK on the small and medium sized warships but what size of the wheels would you need on a ship of the line? Besides the obvious question of how many of your own guns you’d have to remove, these huge wheels are going to be a perfect target for the enemy when the opposing squadrons of the ships of the line are facing each other in a formation, which assumes shooting at the reasonably close distances and with a limited ability to maneuver. One lucky shot and your mighty ship is a disabled pile of wood incapable of moving (except by the sail so here you go). Another lucky shot and a cannonball is hitting your steam engine which is placed above the water level being protected just by a wood (thick but nonetheless) and you have a very loud “boom!”.

For the smaller warships fighting individually this was somewhat different due to ability to maneuver and to keep distance but since when did they win the naval battles? Of course, the inventive minds immediately came with the revolutionary ideas like putting few really big guns on a steam-frigate so that few of them will be able to destroy a squadron of the mighty ships of the line from a safe distance, etc. The admirals of all navies rejected such a possibility but each navy was getting its own small steam ships while retaining the old style majestic sail fleets.

Of course, the Russian navy was not different. The “sail lobby” included not just the geriatric admirals but also the young ship commanders who belonged to the romantic (slowly dying) category of the “poets of the sail”.
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The most vocal and most talented representative of this category was lieutenant-captain Paul Nakhimov, presently captain of the trophy ship, the 20-gun corvette “Navarino” (formerly Turkish Nessabiz Sbbah) of the Baltic fleet. He was definitely a superb and very charismatic sail era commander capable of training his sail and gunnery crew into a perfection (at the battle of Navarino he was a battery commander on the Russian flagship and got St. George IV class, promotion to lieutenant-captain and independent command for his performance). While he could do nothing to stop the progress, he openly called the steamships an abomination and was not going to change his opinion.

Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, vice-admiral Lazarev, hero of the Battle of Navarino [2] (an “co-discoverer” of Antarctica), ideologically was somewhere in the middle.
1662241224731.jpeg

He added 40 sail ships but also 6 “steam-frigates” and 28 steamers for mail and transportation services. The Black Sea Fleet got its first fully iron steamer.

On the “progressive” side of the spectrum were the young officers like Lazarev’s protege (and “officer at large” of the fleet commander) lieutenant-captain Vladimir Kornilov who, so far, served predominantly on the sail ships but was closely watching the ongoing technological developments.
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But the individual attitudes did not change the fact that in their present form the steamships could not be used as the main ships of a battle fleet unless technological breakthrough happens.

Fortunately, the breakthrough was just around the corner and there was a …er… “perfect loser” ready to deliver it.

Intermission. An idea of the screw-propelled ship was not new. The first more or less practical implementations are dated back to the 1770s. By 1827, Czech-Austrian inventor Josef Ressel had invented a screw propeller which had multiple blades fastened around a conical base. His ship, Civetta of 48 gross register tons, reached a speed of about 6 knots (11 km/h) but after his steam engine had an accident, experiments were banned by the Austrian police as dangerous. Although there was much experimentation with screw propulsion before the 1830s, few of these inventions were pursued to the testing stage, and those that were proved unsatisfactory for one reason or another.

Sweden - Britain - Russia
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Johan Ericsson was born at Långban in Värmland, Sweden, in 1803. For a while he served, together with his older brother, as 'cadets of mechanics' of the Swedish Royal Navy on Göta Canal. At the age of fourteen, Johan was already working independently as a surveyor. At the age of seventeen he joined the Swedish army in Jämtland, serving in the Jämtland Ranger Regiment, as a Second Lieutenant, but was soon promoted to Lieutenant. He was sent to northern Sweden to do surveying, and in his spare time he constructed a heat engine which used the fumes from the fire instead of steam as a propellant. His skill and interest in mechanics made him resign from the army and move to England in 1826 after which he was routinely addressed as “John”). However, his heat engine was not a success.

Notwithstanding the disappointment, he invented several other mechanisms instead based on steam, improving the heating process by incorporating bellows to increase oxygen supply to the fire bed. In 1829 he and English engineer John Braithwaite built Novelty for the Rainhill Trials arranged by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was widely praised but suffered recurring boiler problems, and the competition was won by English engineers George and Robert Stephenson with Rocket. He kept trying, building the newer and better engines, but they were routinely rejected. He managed to built steam fire engine which proved to be much superior to other engines used to quell the memorable Argyll Rooms fire but was met with resistance from London's established 'Fire Laddies' and municipal authorities. His engine built for the Arctic expedition in 1829 failed and was thrown overboard. At this stage of Ericsson's career the most successful and enduring of his inventions was the surface condenser, which allowed a steamer to recover fresh water for its boilers while at sea. His 'deep sea lead,' a pressure-activated fathometer was another minor, but enduring success.

He built screw-propelled steamboat but the Admiralty maintained the view that screw propulsion would be ineffective in ocean-going service, while Surveyor of the Navy Sir William Symonds believed that screw propelled ships could not be steered efficiently.[3] He then improved ship design with two screw-propellers moving in different directions (as opposed to earlier tests with this technology, which used a single screw). However, the Admiralty disapproved of this invention as well.

Ericsson’s colleague (and competitor), Francis Smith, being aware of the Royal Navy's view that screw propellers would prove unsuitable for seagoing service, Smith determined to prove this assumption wrong. In September 1837, he took his small vessel (fitted with an iron propeller of a single turn) to sea, steaming from Blackwall, London to Hythe, Kent, with stops at Ramsgate, Dover and Folkestone. On the way back to London on the 25th, Smith's craft was observed making headway in stormy seas by officers of the Royal Navy. They’d probably be impressed if the ship survived the storm but it went down together with the inventor proving that Admiralty’s top brass was right in their skepticism.

At that point Ericsson was considering moving to the US in a hope that the people there are going to be more appreciative but he got an offer which was hard to refuse. To start with, the employment was along the lines which became traditional for the Swedes who had difficulties finding appropriate job at home. Then, it guaranteed a very serious financial and technical backing by the state: Russian military attache offered him an employment as a technical specialist working for the Russian navy with the generous accommodations, access to the existing technical facilities and a choice between Baltic and Black Sea fleets. Of course, he choose the St. Petersburg Admiralty.
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The first Russian screw-propelled steam frigate “Archimedes” was finished in 1838 [4] on Okhta wharf of St. Petersburg. This ship with four engines with a total capacity of 300 hp, a displacement of 2,400 tons, weapons - 48 guns and a two-blade screw. It was followed by two more 44-guns frigates, “Polkan” and “Maria” and then by two 53-guns “Gromoboy” and “Ilya Muromets”.

Besides construction of the steam frigates, Ericsson kept experimenting with his favorite idea of a caloric engine without too much of a success in the naval applications but its boilerless design made it a much safer and more practical means of power for small industry than steam engines.
He also designed a naval hoop-gun and, much later, came with a proposal of iron-clad armored battleships with a dome-shaped gun tower.

Obviously, the big problem now was ability to keep building more and more powerful engines. Those of “Archimedes” were still quite weak but soon enough Izorsky Plant of the Admiralty was able to built engines of 400 hp and, by Lazarev’s recommendation, state started construction of a plant “For the preparation of steam engines of large strength and sizes” with a power over 650 hp.

The next step was to convert some of the existing frigates and ships of the line into the screw-propelled steamers (with the sails left as the secondary means) and then to start build the brand new ships of that type. Of course, this will take time and a lot of money: the annual budget of the Russian Admiralty was in the range of 11 - 17 millions rubles.

To the commander of the Black Sea Fleet in 1840:
“…His Majesty ordered not to start construction of the new ships in Russia other than with a screw engine; as a result, the three-deck ships laid down in the Nikolaev Admiralty were ordered to build with a screw.” [5]

According to the plan, in the following 8 years the Black Sea fleet would have to get 6 new 110 - 130-gun screw-propelled ships of the line and retrofit 2 existing ships of the line. The Baltic Fleet was expected to get 5 new ships of the line and retrofit 4 or 6 of the existing ones.

The first screw-propelled ship of the line, “Emperor”, of the Baltic Fleet was finished in 1844. Its cost was 800,000 rubles (silver). The ship was equipped with 6 boilers and a steam engine with a capacity of 680 horsepower. The speed of the vessel under the steam could reach was 11 knots. The ship's armament at different times ranged from 109 to 111 guns, most of which consisted of 36-pounder and 60-pounder guns. [6]
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Naval doctrine
It was not expected that the Russian Navy, being split between 4 unconnected seas, is going to be an equal match to the British Navy but it was supposed to be strong enough to be considered a very serious opponent, especially in the home waters. For the open ocean there should be enough of the steam frigates to make merchant traffic along the major ocean routes very unpleasant. Not that the direct confrontation with Britain was expected but every navy must have its strategic doctrine and this one looked quite reasonable.

The second part of the doctrine was to build the ships of the same class similar to each other in the terms of their speed and armament. This should make a lot of things easier and better, starting from ships construction an crews training and all the way to the fleet deployment. Of course, this was easier said than done because there were still numerous old and not too old ships of all possible types still in service and then, how about the innovations? Should they be ignored for the sake of uniformity? So this part was more statement of intent than something definite.







_________________
[1] “Quietly, quietly crawl,
Snail, on the slope of Fuji
Up, to the very top!”
Kobayashi Issa
[2] As a commander of ship of the line “Azov” he went against five Turkish ships and destroyed them: he sank two large frigates and one corvette, burned the flagship under the flag of Tagir Pasha, forced an 80-gun ship of the line to run aground, after which he lit and blew it up. In addition, “Azov” under the command of Lazarev destroyed the flagship of Muharrem Bey.
[3] In OTL demonstration happened only in 1837.
[4] In OTL Russian “Archimedes” was built in 1848. The British “Archimedes” was built in 1838 but ITTL let the Admiralty to dwell a little bit more in its bubble of “we know better”. 😉
[5] Quoted absolutely out of context: this order was given in OTL after both Britain and France started their switch to the screw-driven warships. 😜
[6] Actually, “Emperor Nicholas I”. Construction started in 1855 and completed in 1860.
 
While the steamships themselves will be groundbreaking and rather early compared to OTL, its the continued innovation, Steel production and that little safer boilerless engine that will cast the biggest wave I think.
 
Getting money
209. Getting money

“- Where do you get the money? - From the bedside table. - And who puts money in the bedside table? - Wife! - And where does she get the money from? - I give it to her! - And where did you get them from? - I take it from the bedside table!” [1]

I'm standing with a net and waiting for the money thrown to the wind to fly by.” [2]

“People need to be trusted. Not with money, of course. Or secrets, God forbid. Just in general.”

“Advice of the day. If you don't have enough money in your life, you just need to become rich, and then there will be enough money.”

1830’s

Economic situation within the Russian Empire was changing. The Emancipation reform which was going on, piece by piece, since the start of the century was, for all practical purposes, completed, leaving less than 10% of the rural population in some form of a serfdom and even this number was shrinking both due to the government’s foreclosures of the mortgaged properties [3] and because it simply became economically ineffective for the owners: after all, a serf owner had certain legal responsibilities and could not dispose of the elderly and sick human “property” but as soon as the former serfs became free renters, they ceased to be his responsibility and could be kicked out if they failed to pay rent in time.

Of course, not everyone on both sides of the equation ended up being happy but the government did not really care [4]. A prosperous part of the land-owners class, expanded by the not-noble “agrarian capitalists”, was doing just fine under the new system and the rest had to adjust one way or another. On the opposite side of the social spectrum there was a considerable amount of noice when the former serfs found that the land they used to consider as their is actually not and has to be bought or rented. But the Russian government had a long history of dealing with the peasants’ unhappiness and developed effective methods of “education” (as when the peasants were revolting against government’s program of introducing potato or sending the doctors to fight the cholera) so even before their backs and posteriors stopped itching the unhappy ones, started understanding the errors of their ways and were ready to listen to the explanations delivered by the local administration. On their part, these administrators tended to be well-versed in the methods of eloquence which are especially effective in conveying the government’s message in an easy to understood and effective form. The main principle was formulated later by vice-governor of the Tverskaya gubernia: “The first word with which an experienced administrator is addressing a rebellious mob must be an obscenity.” 😂

Of course, changes of that type couldn’t happen without serious problems elsewhere and the most visible impact was on Ural’s metallurgy which was traditionally based upon the serf-labor. For few years production of the cast iron in the region noticeably went down and the rest of the metallurgic regions just had been able to keep the total output on the earlier level of 9-10,000 thousands puds annually.

By the mid 1820s production of the new areas of the Southern Russia kicked in on a big scale, old metallurgy of the European Russia was modernizing quite fast, being more dynamic from the very beginning and closer to the big coal deposits of the Southern Russia. Then the old Ural plants finally readjusted themselves to a new labor model [5]. So by the late 1820s Russian production of the cast iron jumped up to 40,000 thousands puds, just slightly behind the British, and kept growing but there was a serious change in specialization. The new metallurgy of the South, especially after construction of the local railroads connecting the ores from Krivoy Rog and Kursk with the Donbass coal, surpassed Ural more than twice in production of cast iron and iron even if Ural’s production kept growing.
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But Ural and Kuznetsk had the obvious advantage as far as the markets of Russian Asia, Central Asia and Far East had been involved so a considerable part of their production were machinery, rails, various tools, agricultural implements and other consumer goods used East of the Ural.
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Metallurgic plants of the European Russia could not compete with the South and almost completely switched to the finished goods from the machinery to knives.
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Production of the weaponry had been traditionally split between the state-owned plants (Permsky State artillery plant, St. Petersburg State artillery plant, Obukhov State Steel-making plant, Izevsky State weaponry plant, Sestroretsk State weaponry plant, Tula State weaponry plant) and numerous privately-owned plants working on the state contracts. With the general developments in Europe it was getting increasingly clear that demands of the military will be requiring the increasing volumes of iron and high quality steel (and the methods of their effective production).


The same system existed for the gunpowder production. Obviously, to produce gunpowder you need to have the necessary components out of which “traditionally” the most problematic was sulphur. The first sulphur deposits in the Samara area had been found and exploited during the reign of Peter I but they were exhausted, to a great degree due to the inefficient methods, and for the following decades the Russian Empire was relying mostly upon the imports. However, starting from the early XIX interest to the domestic resources was renewed and the new promising deposits had been found in various areas of the Volga region and near Krasnoyarsk.
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“Geologist N.S. Obukhovsky, while looking for gypsum, found sulfur ores close to the surface in the Shorkina Yama tract near the village of Alekseevka, Kinel volost. Further studies have found that the richest deposit is on a second layer, which has an average height of 1 meter, a maximum of up to 3 meters, and an average sulfur content in the layers is about 11 percent. On the basis of this field, Alekseevsky Sulfur Plant was put into operation in December 1835.” [6]

Export of the cast iron, iron and steel almost stopped: practically all production was consumed by a fast growing domestic market. But import of the iron-based finished production also shrunk dramatically being limited to the new types of the engines, instruments, etc.

While cast iron was still a major product, production of an wrought iron and steel had been a growing priority. The main research in that area had been happening on Zlatoust State weaponry plant in Cheliabinsk region founded in 1815.
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More than a hundred specialists from well-known weapons centers in Europe, including Solingen, Remscheid and Klingenthal, were invited to establish production. Masters from the Tula and Olonets plants were also invited. In the first years of the factory's existence, workers were trained, and in 1821 serial production of weapons began. One of the first leaders of the factory from 1824 to 1847 was Pavel Petrovich Anosov.
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He worked on the plant in various capacities since 1817 and his main interest was the methods of converting cast iron into steel. In 1821, Anosov proposed an improved design of cylindrical air blowers and then developed method of gas cementation of steel. Anosov was the first metallurgist to start a systematic study of the influence of various elements on steel. He studied the additives of gold, platinum, manganese, chromium, aluminum, titanium and other elements and was the first to prove that the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of steel can be significantly changed and improved by the additives of some alloying elements. Anosov laid the foundations for metallurgy of alloy steels. However, his main interest (taking into an account that the plant’s main task was production of the cold weapons) was industrial production of the bulat (damask) steel in which he was very successful, creating famous zlatoust steel. Since 1835, the Zlatoust Factory has been the only state-owned enterprise in the country that armed the army with bladed weapons.
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Being appointed the head of the mining district of Zlatoust factories, he proposed to use a blast furnace to extract gold. A gold washing machine of its design worked in the Miass crafts. Exploring the existing ways of extracting gold, he found out that when washing gold sands, 131 times less gold was mined than it was actually contained in the sands. As a way out, he developed a method of gold mining by blast furnace melting of gold-containing sands. During melting, gold turns into cast iron, where it can be extracted by dissolving the metal in sulfuric acid. Application of this method gave a gold yield 28 times more than with conventional washing.

Of course, Zlatoust was not the only place: the metallurgic plants had been actively looking for the new ways of iron production and, besides the domestic experiments, the specialists were routinely sent to the metallurgic plants of Britain, France and Prussia.


So, the circumstances changed and one of the most important Russian export items, cast iron, was gone from the list. However, export of the flax, hemp and tallow, which formed something like half the total value of Russian exports at the beginning of the nineteenth century, kept steady and will remain. so as long as a majority of the ships remained wooden and had sails (even as an addition to the steam). Their annual exports (in thousands tons) remained pretty much the same: hemp - 45 - 50, flax - 60 - 70 and tallow - 59 - 60. England took between two-thirds and three-quarters of Russia's exports of hemp, flax and tallow during the first half of the nineteenth century, and these Russian goods totally dominated the English market.

Grain exports were growing during the first part of the nineteenth century: they consisted mainly of rye from the Baltic region and wheat from the Black Sea ports. The value of grain exports rose every year, constituting by the end of the 1820s about 15 per cent and of the 1830s about 31 per cent of the total value of Russia's exports with a potential for a further growth. The growth was accounted for mainly by wheat from the Black Sea ports. These ports already dominated grain exports as early as the 1830s. This increase in grain exports from the south Russian steppelands wrought a fundamental transformation of the trade routes to and from the Russian market, especially as regards Russian exports. In 1802, about 70 per cent of Russia's foreign trade passed through the Baltic ports (St. Petersburg and the Swedish ports), but in 1830 the figure was only 35 per cent. The rest was Black Sea wheat.

Russian grain was being marketed in England, Italy, France, Prussia, Austria, Turkey and Holland; three-quarters of the oats went to England but the grain exports there were handicapped by the British Corn Laws introduced in 1814 to protect the domestic production.

Another traditional Russian and Swedish export item, the timber (3% of the Russian export), also was hard hit by the British tariff of 1809 that was almost prohibitive in its effect on timber products from Europe, especially Russia-Sweden, but was highly favourable to the colonies. To some degree it was compensated by the growing French import but not completely.

However, with a sharp growth of the grain exports sum total of the Russian exports of the main products kept growing from 102 millions rubles in 1810 to 165 millions in 1830.

The main trade partner in Asia, China (4-5% of the Russian foreign trade), was steadily generating a deficit: Russia wanted the increasing volumes of the tea and China kept nomenclature of its imports artificially limited by insisting on state-controlled barter trade as the main form of a business.

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Then, there was a geography issue: China’s northern provinces close to the Russian border, especially Mongolia, were poor and even with an extended ability to trade on the Chinese side of the Amur, market there was not too promising. Manchuria was a little bit better off but not too much because the Qing government was still trying to prevent the massive Chinese migration there. Not that the ordinary Chinese peasants were not dirt poor but they were hard workers and could, potentially, provide a considerable market for the cheap Russian goods. As it was now, getting into China proper by land was not a practical idea as far as a big volume trade was involved (caravans crossing steppes, deeserts and mountains with the local bandits along the route) and Canton, while formally, being a free trade zone, was anything but “free” because the foreigners were allowed to deal only with the Cohong merchants.
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Going to war with China just to improve what amounted to 4% of the Russian foreign trade did not make too much sense but, fortunately, there was a clear indication that sooner rather than later the situation is going to improve without Russia spending a single ruble. In 1834, partly concerned with the moral decay of the people and partly with the outflow of silver, the Daoguang Emperor charged High Commissioner Lin Tse-hsu with ending the opium trade conducted by the EIC. Taking into an account the company’s attitude to the profits and the general support of its activities by the British political class and a general public, it was reasonable to expect that this action will result in a counter-action, which, taking into an account a lousy condition of Qing military, will end badly for China. Of course, the Brits will get most of the advantages but Russian Empire will also be able to get what it wants by a pure diplomacy and a little bit of a blackmail.

Japan could be a more promising market but this would require to do something about the Seclusion Law because, as with China, it was allowing only a barter trade and so far Bakufu was rather reluctant to allow a broader nomenclature of the imports.

The Ottoman Empire, with Egypt, remained a stable trade partner but, even with Istanbul’s food market, it remained a relatively small potato. Of course, the reforms of Muhammed Ali, by turning Egypt into grain importer, were opening a new promising market. So far, the French were actively trying to establish Egypt as their zone of influence but their main opposition were the Brits. Russian imports to Egypt had been facing minimal or no competition from either power (none of which was supplying the foodstuffs) and none of them would like too see its main rival openly allying with Russia because this would shift a power balance dramatically. So both of them had been reasonably nice.

Persian trade was reasonably profitable but its volume had been too small to be a significant factor.

Trade with the US was rather sporadic and not big enough to be a serious factor but RAC already started having issues with so far friendly Americans who seemingly had problems with a notion that unlicensed hunting of the sea mammals and whaling in the foreign waters, not to mention selling the firearms to the natives on a foreign territory, may be considered illegal and as such punishable. So far, there were just the accidents which both governments could ignore.



_____________
[1] Unknown author. Probably a politician or finance minister. 😉
[2] Another good way to get money.
[3] A majority of the estates had been mortgaged in the state-owned Land Bank. Out of them many had been re-mortgaged more than once to get cash and/or to be able to keep paying the (growing) debt. For a while the government had been maintaining this lenient policy with a purpose to support the land-owning class. However, nothing is forever and when majority of the debtors became clearly incapable of paying the accumulated debts the government started the foreclosures paying the former owners a difference between the debt and assessed value of the estate. After this was done the serfs of the estate automatically became the “state peasants”, aka, for all practical purposes, the free people with a right to relocate, start business, etc. What’s equally important, they could act as the individuals, not the community members, aka, they could own land individually, pay taxes individually, etc. Or they could remain in a community, if they wanted. Of course, Minister responsible for proposing and conducting this reform, Minister of the State Properties Count Kiselev, wad hated by the land-owners but he seemingly did not care because by that time the serf-owners already ceased to be the influential class; both military and civic administration predominantly consisted of the people who did not have any serfs or had too few to depend upon them as a source of income: thanks to the Russian system of splitting the inheritance, sometimes few “serfowners” shared ownership of a single serf family.
[4] Neither did it care in OTL. The serf-owners got not the money but certificates with a delayed payments. If they wanted cash they could sell these certificates to the speculators. With a discount, of course. Rather tellingly, a big percentage of them was just looking for spending the money in Russia or abroad without thinking about the future. To get the extra cash they were selling whatever was left of their estates (manor house, the land left to them, forest, etc.). A minority adopted to become “the rural capitalists” owning the productive agricultural enterprises. Fate of the rest was varying.
[5] Was not easy because many of the old (former serf) work force had been (in OTL) rather demoralized by the coming changes with the resulting endemic drunkenness while the newcomers did not have a needed experience. It took time for the things to get back to normal and it also took time to create a new infrastructure supporting the modern technologies.
[6] Century here, century there, do you really care? Of course, in OTL it was 1935. 😜
 
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....Americans who seemingly had problems with a notion that unlicensed hunting of the sea mammals ... may be considered illegal and as such punishable.
"Now this is the Law of the Muscovite, that he proves with shot and steel,
When ye come by his isles in the Smoky Sea ye must not take the seal...
But since our women must walk gay and money buys their gear,
The sealing-boats they filch that way at hazard year by year.
English they be and Japanee that hang on the Brown Bear’s flank,
And some be Scot, but the worst of the lot, and the boldest thieves, be Yank!"
-- Rudyard Kipling, "The Rhyme of the Three Sealers"
 
Trade with the US was rather sporadic and not big enough to be a serious factor but RAC already started having issues with so far friendly Americans who seemingly had problems with a notion that unlicensed hunting of the sea mammals
Ah its good to see the americans are carrying the british tradition of abhorring the Unspeakable Seamammal
Calbear must be pleased
 
"Now this is the Law of the Muscovite, that he proves with shot and steel,
When ye come by his isles in the Smoky Sea ye must not take the seal...
But since our women must walk gay and money buys their gear,
The sealing-boats they filch that way at hazard year by year.
English they be and Japanee that hang on the Brown Bear’s flank,
And some be Scot, but the worst of the lot, and the boldest thieves, be Yank!"
-- Rudyard Kipling, "The Rhyme of the Three Sealers"
Yes, this poem was …er… “source of inspiration”. But there is also a piece related to the punishment. Not sure if it was based on any real facts or just Kipling’s imagination. 😂

AFAIK, the whaling was not actually an issue in OTL because this industry was almost absent in Russia so this is just my “contribution”. Anyway, with a much greater Russian naval presence in the area the business is going to be much riskier. I just wonder what would happen if the caught sealers start being persecuted or just sank on a spot. Would there be a noise from the involved governments or would it be ignored on the base “you had been warned”?
 
Ah its good to see the americans are carrying the british tradition of abhorring the Unspeakable Seamammal

But this was happening in OTL (AFAIK). Not too surprising with the “law enforcement” practically absent and the furs being expensive. By the join multi-national efforts (RAC and everybody else) the sea otters became pretty much extinct and population of the fur seals was seriously damaged.


Calbear must be pleased

😂
 
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