Military Review

Poland, Southern Confederation and Mexico: freedom fighters and imposed regimes

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Poland, Southern Confederation and Mexico: freedom fighters and imposed regimes



In 1863, a rebellion began in the Kingdom of Poland. Taking advantage of this, Anglo-French diplomacy organized a series of demarches aimed at interfering in the internal affairs of the Russian Empire. In conditions when a clash with France and England seemed quite possible, Russia found an ally across the ocean in the person of the United States. Even during the Crimean War, a significant part of the American press took defiantly Russophile positions - Nicholas I was called the defender of Christianity, dislike of England and France was also open and sometimes reached open clashes on the streets of American cities.

For its part, Petersburg, unlike its potential adversaries, provided diplomatic assistance to the North in the fight against the South in the civil war of 1861 – 1865. London and Paris in May 1861, that is, almost immediately after it began, recognized the South as a belligerent, that is, de facto recognized the government of the Confederation. One of the tasks of recognition, according to diplomats of these countries, was to ensure their trade "benefits of neutrality". "The French ambassador (in Washington - OA), moreover, notes," the Russian envoy to the US Baron E. A. Stekl reported to Gorchakov 2 (14) on April, that the United States always recognized the actual governments, not worrying too much an account of whether they gained their independence as a result of the revolution or in some other way, and that, therefore, they will not have the right to express disapproval if the European powers follow the same policy towards them. ” In fact, the French ambassador was right, but as a result, Washington took a series of military measures on the border with British ownership. In England, they considered that the security of Canada was under threat, and they began to send reinforcements from the metropolis here. There was a threat of collision.

16 (28) June 1861 was followed by a dispatch of Gorchakov, which spoke of Russia's desire to see the United States united and, if possible, avoided a civil war. “This union,” the Russian minister noted, “in our eyes is not only an essential element of the global political equilibrium, but he also represents the nation to which our Sovereign and all Russia have the most friendly interest, since the two countries located on the ends of two worlds, in the preceding period of their development, were, as it were, called for a natural solidarity of interests and sympathies, to which they gave reciprocal evidence. I do not want to touch upon any of the issues that lead to the separation of confederate states. It is not our business to comment on this dispute. The above considerations are intended to witness the sovereign's living care in the face of the dangers threatening the American Union, and the sincere wishes expressed by His Majesty in order to maintain this great building that was so hard built and had such a rich future. ”

February 24 (March 8) Gorchakov 1862 formulated his approach to the problem in a much clearer and more energetic way: “For us, there is neither the North, nor the South, but a federal Union, we look at the breakdown with regret, the destruction of which we would observe with regret. We preach moderation and reconciliation, but we recognize only the government in Washington in the United States. ” This support has once again come at a very difficult time for the federates. Taking advantage of the weakening of the United States, Napoleon III organized the joint intervention of France, Britain and Spain in the civil war in Mexico. France already had the experience of demonstrating force in Mexico. In 1837 — 1838 in order to compensate for the loss of subjects of the kingdom, Paris already organized a naval blockade of the coast, and then the landing of troops.

London was also dissatisfied with the anarchy, the victims of which were British subjects, but up to a certain time adhered to the policy of non-intervention. The growth of Mexico’s debts gradually changed its attitude towards conflict. In 1842, the Mexican government recognized 15 British claims in the amount of 287 412 dollars, in 1851, the amount of debt rose to 4.984.914, in 1861, to 51.208.250 dollars. No one was in a hurry to service or pay debts. In 1861, after a long civil war, liberals led by Benito Juarez came to power in the country. The United States recognized the government of the liberals back in the year 1859. Juárez did not want to recognize the debts of the previous governments, that is, his opponents, which, according to Palmerston, was completely unacceptable.

The big speculators supported by the duke Charles Morny, the emperor's stepbrother, demanded that the new government of Mexico recognize the very dubious promises made by the head of the camp, who lost in the civil war. Morny was a major contributor to the Swiss bank Zheker, who had been active in Mexico since 1835 and represented loans to conservatives under 25 − 30% per annum. At the beginning of 1860, the bank was run by Jean-Baptiste Zhecker, who were prudently attracted high-level depositors from other countries. 31 October 1861 London, Paris and Madrid agreed to seek compensation for the losses suffered by their nationals during the internal Mexican conflict. The result of the Anglo-French-Spanish agreement was the landing of Allied landings in Mexico in January 1862. Initially, the talk was about 2800 French and 6500 Spaniards. Given the role of Spain in the region, the overall command was entrusted to the Spanish General Juan Prima. Britain also planned to take part in the landing, but at the last moment in London they preferred to abstain. The British landed only a small detachment of marines in Veracruz.

As early as 1823, US President G. Monroe proclaimed the doctrine of dividing the world into “American” and “European” systems, which excluded the possibility of importing the latter into the Western Hemisphere. Since the middle of the XIX century, it has become one of the foundations of US foreign policy, which sought to dominate the American continents. During the civil war, Washington could not defend this principle. Lincoln was even ready to consider paying the Mexican debt, but Palmerston rose up against it. He did not like the prospect of excessive US influence in this country. The Mexican adventure, in which, in the end, only the Second Empire remained in effect, was closely connected not only with the financial machinations of Napoleon III's inner circle, but also with his own political calculations. In May, the 1862 of the Spaniards left Mexico - Prim was very skeptical about the prospects for the war and managed to convince Madrid that he was right. Only the French remained in the country.

Following the first military failures of the French 6-thousandth expeditionary force in Mexico, the emperor of France in the summer of 1862 switched to large-scale intervention — the 40-thousandth army was sent across the ocean. They were exclusively energetically commanded by General Eli-Frederic Foret, who, as they said then in France, went to Mexico for a marshal's baton. Paris was clearly influenced by its recent successes in China and expected quick success. In May, the 1863 of the French army managed to encircle and force the 14-thousandth Republican grouping to surrender under Ortego, the French captured Mexico City on June 6. Foret received the title of Marshal and became ambassador of the Second Empire in Mexico. But the victory was speculative. On the one hand, no one offered resistance - the government fled to the north, a guerilla war began in the country. The war in Mexico did not strengthen France with a new ally, but only weakened it - primarily militarily. In 1861, the army of the Second Empire numbered 431.546 people in peacetime states, in military states it was 620.642 people, that is, it could increase only 1,43 times.

As for the foreign policy consequences, the intervention dramatically worsened relations between Paris, London and Washington. From the very beginning, President A. Lincoln feared that Mexico would become the pillar of the southern states. In addition, he could not help but worry about the prospect of losing California and Texas, seized from Mexico in 1848 and 1845. 8 November 1861. Warship of the northerners "San Jacinto" under threat weapons He stopped on the high seas the British steamer Trent, on which ambassadors of southerners followed to Europe: they were arrested and forcibly removed from the Trent. The commander of the northerners was adopted at home as a national hero. In England, this incident caused a storm of indignation. The government of Palmerston demanded an apology and defiantly began preparations for the war. President A. Lincoln came out of the crisis, freeing those arrested, but Anglo-American relations remained strained. Others followed this case: in connection with the naval blockade of the coast of the Confederation declared by Washington, the ships of the northerners seized violators, among whom were many Englishmen.

To some extent this was inevitable. On the eve of the Civil War 3 / 5, all of US foreign trade accounted for England and its colonies, 4 / 5 of all ships visiting American ports were British. Since the beginning of the conflict only on Mississippi were goods, already purchased by the British, on 7 million rubles. Basically they were intended for Liverpool. Naturally, it was cotton. The subjects of the British crown dramatically increased the import of weapons, selling it to everyone. In 1860, weapons from England were imported into the USA for 315 thousand rubles, from the West Indies - for 42 thousand rubles, and in 1862 these figures were already 7 million and 2,5 million rubles, gradually beginning to decline from 1863 - 2,975 million and 1,4 million rubles, amounting to 1864 in 257 thousand and 525 thousand rubles. Naturally, under such circumstances, control of the ocean acquired special significance for southerners and northerners.

north american trading the fleetcapturing 261 ships. The most famous of these ships was the Alabama, which was active from August 1862 to June 1863. It captured and destroyed 63 merchant ships of the northerners. As a result, shipowners and merchants preferred to transfer their ships and cargoes to British jurisdiction. In 1861, 126 vessels and 71.673 tons of cargo went under the American flag under the British, in 1862 - 135 vessels and 74.578 tons of cargo, in 1863 - 348 ships and 252.579 tons of cargo. Only in 1864, these American losses began to decline - 106 ships and 92.052 tons of cargo. Only in June 1864 did the North Americans manage to sink the Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, part of its crew, led by the commander, was rescued by a British yacht watching the battle and taken to Southampton, where the sailors were waiting for a ceremonial meeting. This caused a storm of indignation in the United States.

Against the background of such relations between London and Washington in St. Petersburg, it was decided to send Russian squadrons to the US coast. 13 September 1863 frigate, commanded by Rear Admiral S. S. Lesovsky, arrived in New York. Until the end of the month, the Russian squadron here was reinforced by 2 with corvettes and clippers. 2 in October 1 d. 1863 Russian corvette and 4 clipper under the command of Rear Admiral A. A. Popov arrived in San Francisco. From these positions, relying on the support of America, the Russian ships could threaten the sea communications of England in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic. The Admirals as early as July 1 received instructions from the Maritime Ministry, which prescribed the commencement of actions against the merchant fleet of the enemy in the event of the outbreak of hostilities. The military significance of these possible operations should not be exaggerated, it was only about the threat to commercial traffic, but it was also taken seriously. The arrival of the Russian squadron during the civil war had another meaning. Russia was the only Great Power that demonstrated its sympathy to Washington at a difficult time for the federal government, and this step was enthusiastically received in both countries.

In San Francisco, the Russian court waited for a very warm welcome. The Atlantic coast did not lag behind in courtesy. In New York, a holiday atmosphere reigned. “The municipality and the upper bourgeoisie decided to shower Russian officers with all kinds of honors,” wrote 2, the Times correspondent on October 1863 in October. “Processions, dinners, balls, serenades, all the funds were used to show what the Americans would be happy to do if they got a friend in Europe, and even such as Russia. But the French and English sailors are not at all visible on the coast, although they are pressed to the close space of the sea station to 5000 ”. Part of the squadron rose through the Potomac to Washington. The former secretary of the American embassy in Russia gave a public lecture in Russia, Russia and the Russians, in which "he expressed that Poland does not deserve sympathy and sympathy, but only regret, as a matter of political intrigue." However, sometimes this inspiration in America seemed excessive to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Numerous receptions and speeches at them, in which the owners declared that “Russia sends a squadron to New York so that the British and French trade from the surface of the seas can be swept away by this signal,” were not included in the plans of St. Petersburg. They didn’t want to hurry with an excessive aggravation of the already complicated relations with London.

10 (22) October 1863 Mr. Gorchakov instructed the Russian envoy to Washington: “We are very touched by the welcome given to our small squadron. The concentration of ships had as its main objective the preservation of security at a time when, as it seemed to us, we were threatened by war. I do not need to say that such an opportunity never corresponded to our desires. Today, the chances of war seem to us even less likely. We would like to be sure that our brave sailors, warmly responding to the reception they receive, will refrain from imparting to their speeches a character that threatens any power, and thus giving rise to assumptions that are not in our intentions. and not relevant to the current policy. Such caution is all the more necessary because our sailors are in a country where passions are too agitated and manners are very expansive. ”

As for the anti-Russian coalition, it did not take place either in 1863 or in 1864. Neither France, nor Austria, nor Britain were ready to go beyond their diplomatic demarches in their support of Poland. The British plans were the most ambitious: the transfer of the Kingdom of Poland to Austria, Venice to the Italian kingdom, etc., but there was nothing to achieve. In addition, each of these countries had significant problems in their own domestic politics - the election of 1863 strengthened opposition to Napoleon III, Franz Joseph was worried about the growing discontent in Hungary, and the debate on electoral reform again intensified in England. In order to strengthen Anglo-Franco-Austrian cooperation and strengthen ties with the papal see and Austria, French diplomacy took another step in Mexico.

After lengthy negotiations, the Archduke Maximilian was raised to the throne of the proclaimed Mexican empire 10 on April 1864, who for the abdication of his Austrian prince’s dynastic rights was given the opportunity to recruit 6 thousand volunteers from his brother’s subjects. In 1855, the liberals took away land ownership from the church — they constituted the 1 / 3 of the land arable in the country. On the way to his possessions, the new imperial couple visited the Roman region, where Maximilian met with the pope and promised to take his interests into account. Possession of the pope was occupied by French troops, whose presence kept them from revolutionaries who dreamed of a united Italy. The Austrian frigate Novara was also accompanied by a French squadron - the French were everywhere. When a car broke down at Novara, the French ships were towed away - it was a very bright symbol of the Mexican policy of the European powers. May 28 Habsburg arrived in Mexico, where he tried to proceed with the rule. One of his first steps was the recognition of debt in 8 million pounds or 201.600.000 francs. 8 August 1863 a large national assembly was assembled in the capital, which completed the formal side of the matter - Maximilian was proclaimed emperor. Foret was replaced by Marshal Francois Bazin.

Together with Rome and Algeria, Mexico pulled back all the French infantry to 1 / 3. Impressed by the success of Prussia in Europe and under the unequivocal threat from the United States to use force to comply with the "Monroe Doctrine" Napoleon III decided to leave America. If in 1862 there were 38 thousand French, in 1865 - already 28 thousand, in 1866 - 25 thousand, in 1867 - 20 thousand. Mexico paid 1 thousand francs per year for each French soldier. 5 February was abandoned by Mexico City; in March 1867, the French were evacuated from Mexico. The army of the Mexican Empire consisted of 35 thousand people, not counting the mercenaries: 6545 Austrians and 1324 Belgians. European volunteers went along with the French, and Emperor Maximilian was left to fend for himself. Maximilian's army began to scatter, in June 1867, he was captured, tried by the tribunal and shot. The bodies of the unsuccessful emperor and the two remaining faithful generals were buried in an unknown grave. At the request of the Austrian government at the end of November 1867, his remains were transferred to the frigate "Novara" - the one on which in 1864, Admiral Tegethof brought him to the shores of Mexico.

With few exceptions, the fate of the other participants in the adventure was also unenviable. General Prim carried out a coup in 1868 and became the dictator of Spain, in 1870 he enthroned a relative of the Italian royal dynasty, Amadeus I, on the throne, but after being assassinated by the Republicans in Madrid: his carriage was shot at by the Cortes building, the general was fatally injured soon passed away.

In 1871, the bullet overtook Zhecker. Thanks to its proximity to the upper reaches of the Second Empire, his successful banking operations were one of the reasons that he was shot by the Paris Communards, becoming almost the discoverer of the pantheon of the victims of communism.

Against this background, other participants and organizers of the adventure in Mexico were lucky. The Duke Morny died in 1865 in Paris, Palmerston died in the same year. Faure was broken by a stroke in the 1868 year and died in Paris in the 1872 year.

Napoleon III was captured along with Marshal MacMahon's 120-thousandth army in Sedan; he was not destined to return to France. He died an exile in 1873 - in exile in England. In 1870, Bazin surrendered to Prussian troops with his 170-thousandth army in the fortress of Metz. It turned out to be incomparably more difficult to fight the Germans than to engage in punitive actions against the rebels in Mexico. At the end of the war, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to 20-year imprisonment. Bazin fled and died in 1888 in Madrid.
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