Russian Overseas Commerce with Great Britain during the Reign of Catherine II

By Aston, Michael N | Canadian Slavonic Papers, March 2001 | Go to article overview

Russian Overseas Commerce with Great Britain during the Reign of Catherine II


Aston, Michael N, Canadian Slavonic Papers


Herbert H. Kaplan. Russian Overseas Commerce with Great Britain during the Reign of Catherine 11. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Knowledge. Vol. 218. Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society, 1995. xxx, 309 pp. Tables. Bibliography. Index. End paper Maps. Cloth.

Kaplan contends that the benefits Russian trade (as opposed to foreign trade in general) brought to the British economy and to her military capability in times of war during the second half of the eighteenth century have not been appreciated fully. Rather than being one-sided, however, his purpose is to show that during Catherine the Great's reign Great Britain and Russia conducted a mutually advantageous commercial relationship that was "both profound and widespread" (p. xxv). From Russia, Britain acquired raw materials and vital naval stores and equipment. From Britain, Russia acquired a developed market, capital (helped by favourable trade balances) and (a mixed blessing, in Kaplan's view) British mercantile ships and crews to transport her goods.

Kaplan's broad interest concerns Anglo-Russian commerce during the reign of Catherine the Great. The bulk of his work, however, concentrates on Anglo-Russian trade activities conducted through Russia's northern ports of St. Petersburg, Kronstadt, Riga and Narva. Overland trade, as well as the operations of Russia's Black Sea ports, falls outside his scope. The focus reflects the material available in British archival sources. These extensive archives of customs and commercial data include, for example, records of the St. Petersburg Custom Office, as well as information the British Board of Trade and the Russian Company in Britain obtained (that is, required) from other British and Russian sources conducting business in Russia.

The study contains a Preface, four Parts (fourteen chapters in all) and a Conclusion. Parts I and III address Anglo-Russian trade relations during the latter half of the eighteenth century, set within the broader context of international trade and events. In Part I ("The Continuity of Commercial Policy: Elizabeth-Peter III-Catherine II"), the author studies Catherine's approach to the policies of her predecessors. In main, this includes examination of how Catherine responded to the renewal of the Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty of 1734. The protracted negotiations, started by Catherine's predecessors and completed only in 1766, reveal her struggle to balance trade with Britain (which had increased slowly throughout the century) with Russian freedom to act in international affairs and to develop its own merchant navy. Catherine's aim in the negotiations was "to emancipate Russian overseas commerce from the concentration of British mercantile influence, to extricate itself from its dependence upon the British trade, and in so doing to make Russia a competitive and formidable maritime power in its own right" (p. 47). This (unattained) goal remained a constant feature of Catherine's approach to Anglo-- Russian trade relations.

Part III--"War and Commerce on the High Seas: Conventions, Commodities, Contraband"-traces the turbulent Anglo-Russian commercial relationship during the remainder of Catherine's reign. Prominent (causal) features include Catherine's rising confidence, inspired in part by Russian victories against Turkey, and her promulgation of "armed neutrality" (Chapter 7, "Neutrality Unarmed"), reflected in the League of Armed Neutrality (1780). Russia's confidence led to increasing intransigence in commercial dealings. Britain hotly opposed armed neutrality as a provision in the renewal of the commercial treaty (Chapter 8, "The Expiration of the Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty of 1766"). Unwillingness to bend on both sides and irritations, such as tariff regimes unfavourable to British interests, resulted in protracted negotiations (Chapter 9, "International Politics and Commerce in Crisis"). Even temporising extensions of the commercial treaty were impossible. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Russian Overseas Commerce with Great Britain during the Reign of Catherine II
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.