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Phillips, James Peter (2012) The eastern crisis, 1875in British and Russian press and society. PhD

thesis, University of Nottingham.

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http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf For more information, please contact eprints@nottingham.ac.uk The Eastern Crisis 1875 -1878 in British and Russian Press and Society lames Phillips BA(Hons), MARes, PGDip Thesis submitted to the University of Nottingham for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy December 2012 Abstract This thesis of 84,616 words uses the Eastern Crisis of 1875-78 to consider the Press in Great Britain and Russia. 5 case-study chapters consider respectively the reaction to the Bosnian and Hercegovinian revolt of 1875, the Bulgarian 'Atrocity Campaign' of 1876, the outpouring of public sympathy in Russia for the cause of the Serbs in 1876, the involvement of Greece in Eastern crisis, and the British 'Jingo' movement. For each case study, the relationship of the mass activity to the newspaper and periodical press is considered, as well as tracing the interplay between government and Press, and examining whether the Press was able to act as an intermediary between people and government. As this is a comparative study, these movements are considered not only through their own national Press, but through that of the other nation. A recurring theme throughout, is the running current of suspicion existing between Britain and Russia throughout this period, which is analysed in some detail, and shown to have been a highly significant factor in much of what was undertaken by both governments and individuals in Britain and Russia at this time.

Acknowledgements This Thesis represents the culmination of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research council. The dissertation was supervised by Dr Sarah Badcock and Dr Richard Gaunt, without who's proof-reading and comments on numerous drafts, it would not have reached completion. Such errors of fact or judgement as still remain are, of course, my own. The work would also not have been possible without the assistance of the Slavonic collection at the National Library of Finland.

My thanks also go to those who have supported me through the sometimes long and arduous process of completing this work, especially my family, Georgina and Robin.


• Note on definitions and termin

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Throughout this thesis, the term "Eastern Question" will be used to refer to the general perception in eighteenth and nineteenth Century Europe that the Ottoman Empire was in a state of terminal decline, and the dilemma thus faced by European politicians as to what or who should fill the void it left. The term "Eastern Crisis" will be used to refer to the flare-up in the Balkans between 1875 and 1878 that occupies the primary attention of this thesis.

The term 'Britain' will be used through this work, including in translation of the Russian 'angJiio' which, despite being literally 'England' was used to refer to the political entity represented by Disraeli, Gladstone or any other of Victoria's Ministers. This is consistent with the common usage by British politicians of the time, as shown by the example of Gladstone who once, during a speech in Scotland paused to 'correct' himself for having said England, then within two or three lines had lapsed back into saying 'England' again. Stapleton, following the example of Grainger, also argues that for this period the terms 'English' and 'British' are essentially synonymous. Although many historians would dissent from this view, it is one which will be adopted for the purpose of this thesis.

The names of Russian publications and titles of articles therein will be given in English, accompanied by an appropriate transliteration of the Russian on their first appearance, and in isolation thereafter. Quotations will appear in English only, except where a reference to the Russian is needed to illustrate a linguistic nuance.

Many place names in the nineteenth Century were rendered differently from today. For the Balkan Principalities, the older forms 'Servia,' 'Roumania' etc, will be retained only in direct quotations, with the more modern 'Serbia' and D.W. Bebbington, The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer & Politics, (Oxford, 2004), p.27S.

2 J. Stapleton, 'Political thought and national identity in Britain, 1850-1950,' in S. Collini, R.

Whatmore & B. Young (Eds.) History, Religion and Culture: British Intellectual History, 1750Cambridge, 2000), p.24S.

'Romania' used otherwise. 'Constantinople' will be used throughout, rather than 'Istanbul.' The names of the Romanov Tsars will be translated into their familiar English

–  –  –

transliterated 'Aleksandr,' 'Nikolai.' However, for other personal names, transliteration will be used according to the Library of Congress system, so 'Tolstoi,' 'Dostoevskii,' rather than the more archaic forms- 'Tolstoy' 'Dostoevsky,' (the exception of course being direct quotations from or references to English-language publications which are using the older form.) The feminine form of Russian surnames ends in -a. However, for the Russian expatriate in London, Olga Novikova, the form 'Novikov' will be used to minimise confusion for English speakers, as this is the form used in the vast majority of the (principally English) secondary works which refer to her, as well as her own writings.

Imperial Russia in the nineteenth century was still using the Julian calendar, placing it roughly twelve days behind Europe. All dates referred to in the main body of the text will be according to the Gregorian calendar, but quotations from the Russian Press will contain both dates in the footnote, with the Russian date appearing in brackets (this is the reverse of how the date appeared in publication, where the Russian date was given prominence and the Gregorian-style date was given only in brackets for reference. However, such an approach seems both inappropriate and likely to cause confusion in a comparative piece).

Some of the articles discussed and referenced here, were printed in British journals anonymously. These have been cross-referenced with the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals for the probable identity of the author, and this information has been added in a footnote where appropriate.

–  –  –

This study seeks to consider Britain and Russia during the period 1875-1878 and, using their actions and reactions around the flare-up of the Eastern Question, examine the relationship between the Press, society, and government. The precise publications to be considered will be detailed below,l but broadly speaking, the focus will be on daily newspapers as well as literary and political journals and periodicals. This study will be concerned with how mass social movements were represented in the Press, and to what extent it is possible to observe a role being played by the Press either in creating these public movements, or in mediating between public and government at this time. As the so-called 'Great Eastern Crisis' is the focal point, the exact time-scale will be from the spring of 1875 when the Hercegovinian revolt first broke out until the summer of 1878, when the various European Powers concluded their agreements at the Congress of Berlin. Evidently, neither of these events were truly delineated epoch-changers, the Hercegovinian revolt was initially little-regarded as just one in a long series of disturbances, and the Congress of Berlin had consequences and ramifications over a wide-ranging time-period. Medlicott for example argues strongly that the dividing point between significant events comes before the Berlin Congress, at the time when the various powers agreed to convene, and that the crisis did not truly end until 1881. 2 However, as he himself notes, the diplomats involved believed at the time that the Question had been solved at Berlin, and given that this is largely to be a study of public perceptions, the Berlin Congress does indeed provide a suitable watershed for concluding the study, for the sake of convenience and practicality.3 This introduction will begin with a review of the existing state of the many historiographical fields with which this study intersects, and establishing the contexts in which this work belongs. This will begin with the broader notions of 'Society' and ideology. Secondly, it will consider 'the Press' in the nineteenth See below, pS4.

2 W. N. Medlicott, The Congress of Berlin and After: A Diplomatic History of the Near Eastern Settlement 1878-1880, (London, 1963), pp.ix-xii.

3 Medlicott, The Congress of Berlin and After, p.138.

century. Having done this, I will gradually focus in on Russia and Great Britain;

looking at politics and foreign policy in Britain and at Panslavism in Russia. Finally there will be an overview of the tangled history of what became known as the Eastern Question, including a specific focus upon the involvement of Britain and Russia prior to 1875. Once this background has been established, the following chapter will then outline the primary sources to be considered in this thesis, and the methodology to be used in examining them, along with an evaluation of the principal methodological issues when dealing with this type of source. Finally, a broad structure of the thesis as a whole will be given.

–  –  –

The unique nature of this study lies within the fact that it is considering events from such a breadth of sources and perspectives. There have been many past studies of The Balkan Crisis, of the Eastern Question broadly, of Russian Civil society, of Russian governance, of Gladstone and Disraeli. However, these studies have generally considered these various elements in isolation from one another. This study, by nature of being comparative, will be the first to draw upon them all together in a meaningful way, and thereby to show what discoveries in one of these areas can illuminate about another.

Society As this is to be a study of the activities of society and the public at this time, it is necessary to consider more precisely what is meant by these terms. The differing natures of the Russian and British states mean that it is clear that there will not be an identical 'society' in the two states. Great Britain has notoriously taken a considerable pride in its history of parliaments and in the limitations placed upon Royal rule. Indeed, it was described in 1865 by John Bright as 'the mother of Parliaments,' a phrase which had already passed into vernacular before the end of the nineteenth century.4 This said, it would be wrong to imagine that Britain at this time was a democracy as the term would be understood today. The most recent piece of relevant legislation before the period covered in this study, was the

–  –  –

However, this still accounted for barely half of adult males, with all women being excluded from the ballot for at least another 50 years. Russia by contrast, lacked an elected legislative body, and the nearest that most citizens, even those of the H.W. Horwill'The Referendum in Great Britain,' Political Science Quarterly, Vol 26, No.3, (Sep 1911), p.427; M. Lewis, 'Speech to the Unionists of South Edinburgh,' LSE selected Pamhplets, 1890, p.ll.

nd sR. Saunders, 'The Politics of Reform and Making of the 2 Reform Act, 1848-1867,' The Historical Journal, VoISO, No.3, (Sep, 2007), pp.S71-S91. For a fuller discussion see his more recent book: R.

Saunders, Democracy and the vote in British politics: the making of the second Reform Act, (Farnham, 2011).

educated classes, could get to such a thing, was through the Zemstva. 6 The Zemstva were elected district councils, appointed by a broader franchise, but with heavy weightings in place to disproportionally emphasise the views of the nobility.7 More to the point, it was not able to legislate, merely to organise regional activities, with no national congress of the Zemstva ever being held. The Tsar of all Russians was very much the initiator of policy and government, whereas the Queen of Great Britain, although influential, merely signed her assent to legislation initiated, debated and enacted by parliament. Despite these fundamental contrasts at the highest level of the state, an attempt will be made now to sketch some of the basic commonalities of 'society' as a concept, before focusing in on the specifics of Great Britain and Russia at the time.

Civil Society is something Keane has identified as a concept that was popularised in the eighteenth century, but which was fading by the end of the nineteenth century.8 This places it as a concept clearly relevant to our time period, but does little to help define what is meant by the term: there are as many definitions of Civil Society as there are writers about it, and the aim here will be to draw some of these diverse writings together, in an attempt to identify some of the key features. For Hobbes, although society reflected the common good, it was fundamentally artificial, borne out of a love of ease, or a fear of oppression. This, Smelser and Warner have argued, was the reason that eighteenth century philosophers such as Rousseau were forced to construct their notions of society within a framework of 'the nation.,lD Melurri argued for the importance of 'invisible networks' in Civil

–  –  –

that in Autocratic or Totalitarian regimes, it was necessary to have at best a weak or unconfident Civil Society, due to State suspicion of independent activity on the part Zemstva is the plural of zemstvo.

G. Hosking, Russia: People & Empire 1552-1917, {London, 1997}, p.325.

8 J. Keane, Civil Society and the State, (London, 1993), p.l.

9 T. Hobbes, Leviathan, (London, 1651), pp.161-163.

10 N.J. Smelser & R.S. Warner, SOciological Theory: Historical and Formal, (Morristown, 1976), pp.19Cited in Keane, Civil Society & The State, p.12.

of individuals. For this reason, I will now examine Russia, to see whether there is a similar correlation.

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