In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

35 The Rus­ sian Pro­ tec­ to­ rate in the Da­ nu­ bian Prin­ ci­ pal­ ities Leg­ a­ cies of the East­ ern Ques­ tion in Con­ tem­ po­ rary ­ Russian-Romanian Re­ la­ tions Vic­ tor Taki In 1890, the ­ soon-to-be ­ leader of the Ro­ ma­ nian Lib­ eral Party, Dim­ i­ trie Alex­ an­ dru ­ Sturdza, pub­ lished a book­ let ti­ tled Eu­ ropa, Rusia ¸si ­ România, in which he pre­ sented his coun­ try as the ­ avant-garde force of Eu­ ro­ pean civ­ il­ iza­ tion in the up­ com­ ing strug­ gle with the mass of ­ Slavic peo­ ples mo­ bi­ liz­ ing ­ against Eu­ rope under the Rus­ sian scep­ ter.1 Cit­ ing dif­ fer­ ent sta­ tis­ ti­ cal ­ sources, the bro­ chure cal­ cu­ lated the com­ par­ a­ tive ­ strength of the two op­ pos­ ing ­ forces and at­ tempted to an­ tic­ i­ pate the out­ comes of the fu­ ture con­ fron­ ta­ tion ­ between East and West. The maps chart­ ing the geog­ ra­ phy of this con­ fron­ ta­ tion con­ sti­ tute per­ haps the most inter­ est­ ing as­ pect of this small book. The King­ dom of Ro­ ma­ nia to­ gether with the pre­ dom­ i­ nantly eth­ ni­ cally Ro­ ma­ nian lands of the Rus­ sian and the ­ AustroHungarian Em­ pires con­ sti­ tuted an “ad­ vance bas­ tion” pro­ trud­ ing well into the mass of ­ Slavic peo­ ples and con­ nected to ­ Sturdza’s “for­ tress Eu­ rope” by the Hun­ gar­ ian and Aus­ trian isth­ mus. To the north, sep­ ar­ ated by the mass of west­ ern Slavs, lay a flank ram­ part in the shape of East­ ern 36 Victor Taki Prus­ sia, the Bal­ tic prov­ inces of the Rus­ sian Em­ pire, and Fin­ land. An­ other bul­ wark lo­ cated to the south con­ sisted, ­ rather un­ ex­ pect­ edly, of ­ Greece and Tur­ key, which ­ Sturdza did not hes­ i­ tate to place to­ gether de­ spite the dra­ matic con­ fron­ ta­ tions that the two had under­ gone in the nine­ teenth cen­ tury, and the even more trau­ matic ones that were still to come.­ Sturdza’s im­ a­ gined geog­ ra­ phy thus split the Eu­ ro­ pean con­ ti­ nent along a much more en­ tan­ gled line than the one Wins­ ton Church­ ill drew ­ between Stet­ tin and ­ Trieste half a cen­ tury later. Had ­ Sturdza the pos­ sibil­ ity to ­ travel 120 years into the fu­ ture, he would un­ doubt­ edly be happy to see his op­ ti­ mis­ tic ex­ pec­ ta­ tion of “Europe’s” vic­ tory in its con­ fron­ ta­ tion with Rus­ sia con­ firmed. The “fron­ tier of civ­ il­ iza­ tion” has been ­ pushed well east­ ward, while the west­ ern and south­ ern ­ Slavic peo­ ples who pre­ vi­ ously ­ nearly en­ cir­ cled the “Ro­ ma­ nian bas­ tion” have been ­ largely in­ cor­ po­ rated into “the for­ tress.” ­ Sturdza’s only pos­ sible cause for con­ cern would be the un­ stable state of the erst­ while south­ ern flank, where Tur­ key cur­ rently en­ gages in eco­ nomic coop­ er­ a­ tion with Rus­ sia. In the late nine­ teenth cen­ tury, the pros­ pect of a ­ Russian-Ottoman coop­ er­ a­ tion in­ deed ­ seemed un­ nat­ u­ ral and un­ re­ alis­ tic, but this was (and still is!) even more true of ­ Sturdza’s pro­ posed idea that Tur­ key and ­ Greece to­ gether could form a “ram­ part”­ against some ex­ ter­ nal as­ sai­ lant. The fact that ­ Sturdza was ca­ pable of iden­ tify­ ing such a force in­ di­ cates his ten­ dency to con­ ceive of the East­ ern Ques­ tion as sub­ or­ di­ nate to the issue of ­ Slavic unity and ul­ ti­ mately of­ Russia’s re­ la­ tion to Eu­ rope. ­ Sturdza ­ shared this ten­ dency with the Rus­ sian ­ Pan-Slavist writ­ ers Ros­ tis­ lav An­ dree­ vich Fa­ deev and Ni­ ko­ lai Ia­ kov­ leich Dan­ i­ levs­ kii, whose works he cited and whose vi­ sions in some re­ spects con­ sti­ tuted a mir­ ror image of his own ideas.2 The fact that the Rus­ sian writ­ ers and the Ro­ ma­ nian au...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.