POLICY AND OPINION -- RUSSOPHOBIA
RUSSOPHOBIA is a paradox in the history of Great Britain. Within the United Kingdom there developed early in the nineteenth century an antipathy toward Russia which soon became the most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad. The contradictory sequel of nearly three centuries of consistently friendly relations, this hostility found expression in the Crimean War. Yet that singularly inconclusive struggle is the sole conflict directly between the two nations; theirs is a record of peace unique in the bellicose annals of the European great powers. And in the three primary holocausts of modern times, in which among the major powers Great Britain alone escaped defeat, her victory thrice depended on the military collaboration of Russia. Why then did Russophobia become a persistent British sentiment?
A ready answer to this question -- one of peculiar interest at a moment when as in the years after 1815 Russia and Great Britain are testing the nature of an uncertain future -- is not far to seek. Anglo-Russian hostility, it would appear, was the fruit of competitive imperial ambitions which in the nineteenth century transformed into neighbors in the colonial world two powers hitherto remote. The extra-European roots of the Crimean War and of several other crises which were resolved pacifically apparently substantiate the hypothesis. Antagonism, it seems, was the normal situation in recent times and alliance exceptional. Only at moments when imperial rivalry was transcended by a common menace of major proportions could the perennial conflict be set aside. Thus the conditions of AngloRussian intercourse during the century and a half since the Industrial and French Revolutions inaugurated the world