A high-post Russian view on the British world hegemony
The North American review, Volume 169, Issue 512, published in July, 1899, an article by Mr. Vladimir Holmström (Holmstrem) and a foreword to it by the editor and publisher of St. Petersburg Viedomosti, Prince E.E. Ukhtomskii. Prince Esper Esperovich Ukhtomskii (1861-1921, Ookhtomsky in the article) was the personal escort and diary keeper of Nicholas II during his journey as Czarevich to the Orient in 1890-91.
with a notice of futile Finnish demands for national rights.
All citations from the Making of America digital collection at Cornell University Library.
Prince Ukhtomskii's foreword to Holmström's article:
"In 1893, in my book, "The Travels to the Far East of Nicolas II.," I sought to demonstrate the world-wide political significance of the present Tsar's journey through Asia. I thus addressed my countrymen: "We stand on the threshold of an epoch that promises to bring grave complications with it. If, therefore, we realize the absorbing need of a process of moral healing (which is in itself a source of renewed strength), if we would acquire in-creased knowledge, and if, without regard to our probable sufferings in the process, we mean to do noble deeds" in the name of Russia and the Tsar, "we must face and seriously study the following questions: What were the forces that called us into being, what was the process of the growth of our country, what blood is it that flows in our veins, and, finally, what are the glorious legacies of our past bequeathed to us by days of yore? The dominant factor in the history of Russia's past is the influence of Asia. She crushed us, but she has also regenerated us. In common with her we have created the idea of autocracy (which has nothing in common with the Cæsarism of the West); it is an idea that pervades all Asia and is as the breath of life to her."
Thus I spoke in 1893. Now, addressing our friends beyond the two oceans - the Americans - I shall ask: What was the dominant factor in the past of America? Was it not emancipation from and independence of England? The Puritans fled from the spiritual and political tyranny of oligarchical England and laid the foundations of a new commonwealth on strictly democratic lines. The war of independence was one for emancipation from English economic and political tyranny, and created new opportunities for the wonderful development of America. Such are the lessons of the past. And now again comes the time for America to emancipate herself from England's political tutelage, veiled, though it be, in the guise of cousinly friendship. The Chinese question, that touchstone of this friendship, has already betrayed the duplicity of the English, and yet America's disappointments are only beginning. She is yet to see what golden egg will be laid for her by that Samoan goose which English journalists have nursed so tenderly with an eye both to Germany and the United States.
I take the liberty of warmly recommending to the attention of American readers the following article by Mr. Vladimir Holmstrem, some of the ideas in which I have myself suggested."
A passage commenting Finland's position in Vladimir Holmström's article:
"The power of the Tsar no more limits freedom than do Congress or Parliament during the time that their members are actually in office. Russia's great misfortune is that the revolutionary tendencies of some mentally unbalanced people always threaten to call forth a reaction in the whole of her policy. The true enemies of Russia are the revolutionists. There remains, nevertheless, the fact that the true conception of liberty is never lost sight of in the Russian empire with its pronounced democratic tendencies. Will Americans insist that their treatment of the Indians is in strict accordance with the ideal of liberty? No, the realization of this idea requires, in practice, certain limitations of its precepts. Do not the laws of America proclaim likewise that citizenship in the United States is acquired only under certain conditions, which proves that an emigrant from civilized Western Europe must undergo in America some process of assimilation? How much more, then, is this needed when a state has to deal with uncultured masses or inferior races! On the other hand, unrestricted liberty in a state containing inferior races among its population would mean the exploitation and decay of its uncultured elements.
Freedom for race and nationality in a firmly united whole is the ultimate aim of Russia, and the fate of Finland, so much talked about of late, is no exception to this object (not yet realized, it is true). I am no friend of those who have brought about the measures for curtailing the independence of Finland, nor do I approve of the means by which these measures have been passed; yet, nevertheless, I am bound to say that Finland was indeed a living contradiction to the idea of Russian unity. Would the people of the United States tolerate the existence of any territory that would claim all the rights and privileges of a State, and yet refuse to acknowledge its obligations as such - that would require special treatment as to its obligations? Certainly not! Yet such exactly was Finland's position in the Russian Empire, which gave her protection in time of peace and war, but received no acknowledgment of unity with the Russian nation corresponding to such treatment."
The article (27 pages) also calls for a mutual understanding between Russia and the United States against the deceptive hegemony of Britain and Germany. Mr. Holmström's whole article: "Ex Orient Lux! A Plea for a Russo-American Understanding" .
The amount of Russian speaking inhabitants in Finland, excl. military, was both in 1880 and 1910 a minute 0.2 percent.
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