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It is no longer ruled by the descend- escaping destruction in the shock,
ants of Jenghiz, who were dethroned, (destitute as she is both of military 11. not many years after the transient strength and natural fastnesses,) unless
conquest by Nadir, by their vizier Shah by siding at once with the more for. 11. Mourad Beg, who made himself fa- midable. It is currently rumoured,
mous throughout Asia as a Moslem indeed, in India, that Bokhara is to ties saint, by the title of Beggi-Jan, and be summarily taken under Russian na transmitted an hereditary character protection, as soon as the conquest of . for sanctity to his descendants, the Khiva shall have been achieved ; and
present reigning family. It has main- the Bombay Gazette of December last o tained a friendly correspondence from goes even further, confidently asserting
time to time with Russia, ever since that " the designs of the Emperor of the days of Peter the Great, who left Russia extend not only to the establish
no means untried for the realization of ment of a force at Khiva and Bokhara, 5,5 his darling visions of overland com- but even at Herat. He meditates not
merce from India ; and when these only an incursion into the territory of were resumed in the reign of Ca- a prince with whom he is at war, such tharine II., an attempt was made to as is the Khan of Khiva, but intends
conciliate the good-will of Beggi-Jan putting himself in an attitude of ne by the gift of 40,000 silver rubles, . hostility to Great Britain, as the ar
which that saintly personage expended bitress of Central Asia.” es in the erection of a college of theo. Whatever may be the proportion of
logy. The object, however, was truth and error in the statements just gained ; and from that time the traffic quoted, there can be little doubt that with Russia, by caravans through the plans of Russia for her future
Kbiva to the Caspian, as noticed operations are now fully matured, and is above, has continued with little inter- that the blow struck against Khiva Truption ; and since the legation of will be vigorously followed up. The
Négri, twenty years ago, more than schemes originally sketched out in one embassy from Bokhara has ap- 1791 by the Prince of Nassau and M. peared at Petersburg. Though the de St Genie, for “ gaining over the observations of Burnes led him to Affghans to the interest of Russia, and suppose that amicable relations might sending an army through Bokhara to easily be established with the govern- the north of India,* are at length, ment of this state, the overtures after the lapse of half a century, conrecently made for that purpose have sidered ripe for execution. It is known not only been rejected, but our envoy, that troops and artillery, to a considerColonel Stoddart, has been able amount, have been silently assem, forcibly detained at Bokhara, where bled at Asterabad, and the consent of Dost Mohammed, the dethroned ruler the Shah obtained for their passage of Cabul, has found an asylum, after through Persia, ostensibly to co-opemaintaining himself for some time in rate, if necessary, by a flank movethe small border state of Koondooz, ment on Khiva with General Peroffthe chief of which had declared himself ski's army; but it is surmised that hostile to the British. But these steps their real instructions are to await the have probably been dictated less by issue of the intrigues now in progress animosity against Britain than by so- at Herat, where every effort has been licitude to avoid the resentment of the made to induce Kamran to abandon Russians, whose occupation of Khiva the English alliance, and throw him. will place them in alarming proximity self into the arms of Russia. The the position of Bokhara, lying in the language held to our envoy by the direct track by which two mighty and vizier † (who rules in the name of his constantly encroaching powers are ad- debauched and drunken master) shows vancing from opposite quarters to the the extent of the offers thus made. He encounter, leaves her no chance of openly avowed that the subsidy of
• See the “ Miscellaneous Papers”.appended to the work of Eaton on the Turkish Government, 1798. The Indian Moslems, according to this project, were to be attracted by the prospect of seeing the Mogul Emperor restored under Russian protection.
both † Yar- Mohammed Khan, vizier of Herat, one of the most distinguished men, as a statesman and warrior, whom Asia now possesses.
three lacs of rupees (L.30,000) was sufficient to warrant Russia in underindifferent to him, as Russia had pro- taking the enterprise; and it only remised four times as much; and this quires a short investigation to demondemeanour, coupled with the rumoured strate, that if Britain has reason to refusal to admit our troops and artil. dread the political predominance in lery, shows that our interests are out Transoxiana and Turkestan, which but a precarious footing in the city for must accrue to Russia from this acquithe security of which we first involved sition, a not less important consideraourselves in an Affghan war. The tion arises in the extent to which it threat of a renewed attack from the must operate as a bar to the introduePersians, (who have all along retained tion into these countries of British mathe fortress of Ghorian, near Herat, nufactures, which even at present, by which was taken in the former inva- the circuitous route of Trebizond and sion,) is probably another ruse to sway Persia, and overland from India, find the determination of Kamran, as it is their way into Central Asia in such obvious that a hint from Russia to quantities as almost to have excluded Mohammed Shah would at once avert Russian goods from the markets; and the impending danger; while, on the which now, by steam navigation on other hand, the stipulation that he the long course of the Indus, may be should recognise his uncle and rival, supplied with such facility as to renShah Shooja, as king of Cabul, (which der competition impossible for the in. was exacted as the price of British ferior productions of Russia, burdened aid,) is said to have given him deep besides, as at present they must always offence ;-and if, by working on his be, with the expense and losses at. ambition or fear, or by tempting his tendant on a long land journey by avarice, he is won over to the side of caravans. Our trade with these parts Russia, the key of British India will is so far from being of recent origin, be lost to us after all ; unless, rever- that its establishment through Russia sing the characters in which the two was the object of our first diplomatic powers previously appeared, we resort intercourse with that country. Asearly to the ultima ratio of force, and be- as the reign of Elizabeth, English come the assailants of the fortress goods were introduced into Persia which our ostensible object was to de- and Turkestan by the route of Archfend-a measure which (even if our angel (the only port* then possesstroops had not already sufficient em- ed by Russia) and the Caspian ; in ployment) could scarcely be justified 1567, Anthony Jenkinson even reached by even the utmost latitude of Anglo- Bokhara ; and four years later, was Indian notions on international law. the bearer of an autograph letter from If, therefore, the Russians succeed in Elizabeth to the reigning Shah of excluding us from Herat, they will be Persia, with the view of effecting a enabled to move forward to the Indus permanent commercial treaty. But from a double point of departure the transit through Russia was interHerat and Bokhara ; and the only ad- rupted by the troubles of which that vantage (though not a trifling one) country became the scene, after the which we shall have gained by our extinction of the House of Rurik : expenditure of blood and treasure, will and though, after the accession of the be the removal of the theatre of war family of Romanoff, the Archangel from the territories directly subject trade was carried on with fresh vigour, to us.
few † English merchants appear to But before we abandon this part of have penetrated into Central Asia the subject, it is necessary to advert during the 17th century. The estabagain to the arguments by which M. lishment of an Oriental commerce was Mouraviev, in the passage above cited, among the first objects of the new has endeavoured to show that the com. system of Russian policy introduced mercial advantages alone, to be derived by Peter I. ; and the insidious mission from the seizure of Khiva, would be of Bekevich to Khiva, (the tragical
* Russia did not acquire a port on the Baltic till 1721 ; and it was not till 1739 that she established herself on the Sea of Azoph.
+ The Asiatic Journal notices the discovery at Cabul of the tomb of an Englishman named Hicks, who died there in 1666.
result of which has been before men- The state of the Caspian trade at tioned,) was part of the concerted the close of the last century is given in scheme by which it was sought to gain detail, from Soimonoff and other Rus, a footing on the eastern shores of the sian writers, by Jooke, (View of the Caspian ; but little was effected till Russian Empire, book xii. sect. ii.) the reign of Elizabeth, when British The exports of Russia in that quarter capital and energy were called in to are stated to have then amounted to effect what Russian craft had failed to no more than 1,200,000 silver rubles, accomplish. An English company and the imports to 1,000,000 ; but a (of which the well-known Jonas Han- great impulse was given by the inway was the resident representative in corporation of Georgia with Russia in Persia) was formed, and endowed with 1801, and still more by the treaty of peculiar privileges by the Empress ; Goolistan in 1813-14, when Persia factories, supplied from a depot at surrendered most of her Caspian proAstrakhan, were established at differ- vinces, with the rivers running through ent points on the shores of the Cas- them into that sea, on which she furpian; and the minor states of Central ther bound herself to maintain no Asia were visited by commercial agents, navy-stipulations which were further two of whom (as stated above) were
extended and confirmed by the peace found in Khiva when the Persians of Turkmanchai in 1828, which placed captured it. But these fair prospects Russia in possession of the mouth, and were frustrated, partly by the defection both banks of the navigable part of the of two of the directors of the Caspian Araxes- the last river of any magui. navigation -- Elton and Woodrowe, tude on that side of the Caspian.* who abandoned the service of the The importance which Russia attaches Company for that of Persia, and partly to the monopoly of the Caspian trade, by the jealousy of the Russians at the is even more clearly shown by the
favour shown to foreigners ; and the eagerness with which she has availed i anarchy in which Persia and Trans- herself of her late rapid strides to po
oxiana were involved for many years litical supremacy over Turkey and after the death of Nadir Shah, pre Persia, to close every avenue through vented the resumption of the project.
which the manufactures of Western The Company, however, continued in Europe, and especially of Great Briexistence till the reign of Catharine tain, might find access to Asia. The II., when the formation, in 1780, of occupation of the mouths of the the famous Armed Neutrality, first Danube, (1829 ;) the acquisition from placed Russian politics in overt oppo- the Porte in 1829 and 1833 of the sition to the interests of England, and mountain districts of Akaltzik and made the depression of British com- Akalkalik, apparently unimportant, merce and influence in Asia an object but containing the passes through of primary importance, which has ever which British goods reached Georgia since been pursued with the undeviat. and the Caucasus from Trebizond; ing pertinacity which characterises the seizure of the Circassian harbours every branch of the Russian adminis- and coast; † all passed unnoticed by tration, neither liable to change with the ignorance or indifference of our every succeeding ministry, nor made, statesmen, who thus, without remonlike our foreign policy, the topic of strance or protest, saw our commerce public debates, where the arguments shut out from every port on the Asiaand revelations dictated by party are tic shores of the Black Sea, with the proclaimed to friend and foe through single exception of Trebizond. А the medium of the press.
mortifying contrast to this supineness
* See Progress of Russia in the East, and the map in the second edition.
† “ There is one important fact, which it strikes me I have omitted to mention, viz., the existence of a road, practicable the greater part of its length even for carts, between the Black Sea and the Caspian, commencing near the plain of Anapa. I travelled along it for about thirty miles, and an excellent road it was; and they (the Circassians) assured me it continued nearly as good the whole way to the Caspian. Its importance as a communication with the east shores of the Caspian, and with Khiva, for the importation of our cottons there, by a short cut through a friendly country, is evident,"Note to the Report on Circassia, Portfolio, v. 511.
is presented in the anxiety of the Rus- 2,200,000. Silks" (which, when sian Government to foster and encour- Jooke wrote, formed nearly the age by every means the Asiatic trade, whole amount of the imports by the and to open new channels of commu. Caspian, rated by him, as we have nication with hitherto unexplored already seen, at 1,000,000 silver countries; and some idea may be rubles per annum) “ are no longer formed of the exertions made for this sent over the Caspian for more than purpose, from the fact, that on the 50,000 rubles annually, and less by late occupation of Cabul by our troops, way of Georgia. The Turkmans and a large quantity of loaf-sugar was Kirghizes now buy no more than found in the bazaars, which, originally 100,000 rubles' worth yearly of Rus. from our own West Indian posses. sian manufactures ; in 1828, they sions, had been purchased by Russian bought to the amount of 300,000. merchants at Petersburg, and for Russian linen was formerly bought by warded by the way of Astrakhan, over the hordes to the value of from 250,000 the Caspian to Asterabad, and thence to 400,000 rubles ; not more than by land carriage to this remote city! 100,000 rubles' worth is now sold,
Yet, despite of all these efforts in The greatest increase is in iron : the behalf of the Asiatic trade, and of the quantity carried year by year across concurrent circumstances which tend the Caspian, rose from 70,000 poods, to render them efficacious, the increas. (a weight of forty Russian pounds,) ed activity which was at first imparted “ to 258,000 in 1829, and 276,000 in to it by the exclusive possession of the 1830; but even this, in 1834, had deBlack and Caspian seas, has not been clined to 244,000 poods. The exporpermanent. In the course of the last tation of iron wares by the Caspian, ten or twelve years the quantity of which, 1829, amounted to 287,000 the exports has gradually undergone a rubles, has fallen to half that sum." great diminution ; while the superior As a general result, the writer in the quality and cheapness of English man- Augsburg Gazette states, that the ufactures, notwithstanding the obsta- exports of Russia into Asia, in 1833 cles so sedulously thrown in the way and 1834, may be valued at sevenof their introduction, has regained for teen millions of silver rubles, (about them the preference in the markets of £2,750,000,) of which one-fourth was Asia. As the Russian official returns woollen goods :-while in 1832 the are not easily accessible, we shall con- exports of England to Asia, exclusive tent ourselves with quoting on this of China and India, were to the value point the unimpeachable evidence of of £3,700,000, one-half of which was two of the continental journals most for woollens; and, from the increased notoriously in the Russian interest, attention which has been drawn within the Franconian Mercury and the the last seven years to Asiatic affairs, Augsburg Gazette — the former of it may be presumed that the present which, in January 1839, showed by a amount may safely be rated much long and elaborate article, that “the higher. If even a moderate share of Russians have comparatively little enterprise and exertion be brought into
ade in Georgia, Circassia, and Per. play, a few years may see this trade sia, and are not likely to improve it, augmented twenty-fold, from the ready the competition with England having communications now opened with given a deathblow to their commerce countries where British goods found in that quarter.” The Augsburg their way hitherto only by devious Gazette of the 29th and 30th of the and uncertain channels, or which their same month, enters more into detail. inland situation rendered wholly inac“ From 1824 to 1829," (according to cessible—but these interests can only this authority,) " the woollen wares be protected and advanced by political sent over the Caspian, from Russia to predominance. No sooner had RusPersia, rose from the value of 150,000 sian intrigue supplanted the influence to 1,000,000 silver rubles yearly; of England in the councils of the Shah, since 1829, the exports have again than the prohibition of British manufallen to 140,000. In 1824, the sales factures immediately followed ; and we of woollens to the nomadic tribes may rest assured that, if Russia is sufamounted to 700,000 rubles ; from fered without opposition to establish this it gradually rose to 3,000,000 ; her power in Transoxiana, many years but in 1834 it had fallen back to will not elapse before the line of circumvallation will be completed, and will speedily point out a further advance not a bale of British goods suffered to as essential to the security of the ground make its appearance to the north or thus gained. A halt in our onward west of the Indus.
career from the western bank of the In the foregoing details it has been Indus, would now, in fact, be attended our object to present a picture of the with consequences as injurious to our present state of Central Asia, as viewed interests as repulse in the first infrom the Russian side of the question, stance could have produced. To be and to place in clear relief the new stationary is impossible. combinations by which that power is If, moreover, we recapitulate the on the point of assailing us in our al circumstances which attended and pretered position; but, in so doing, it is ceded the restoration of Shooja to a probable that we shall be considered pageant throne, it will be sufficiently as indulging in a tone of gloomy anti- evident that not only can his tenure of cipation by those who, personally un- that precarious possession be assured acquainted with the East, and accus. only by the continual presence of a distomed to look upon our Indian annals ciplined force (whetheravowedly Com. as a triumphant progress from victory pany's troops, or commanded in the to victory, have been dazzled by the name of the Shah by European officers) newspaper peans over our Affghan sufficient to overawe the Affghans, but successes into the belief that the web that the objects of the expedition of Russian finesse has been swept would be defeated by suffering him to utterly away, and British supremacy regain such a share of independent in the East secured for ever, by the power as to induce the hope of sustaingallantry displayed on the plain of ing himself unaided. In the debate on Candahar, and under the walls of the address at the opening of the SesGhazni. It must, indeed, be at once sion of 1839, Sir Robert Peel remarkadmitted that the military results of ed with justice, that “the principle was the Cabul expedition justify all that the same in the attempted restoration can be said in their favour. The most of Shah Shooja, as it would be in the sanguine of our Indian politicians attempt to restore Charles X. to the could not previoụsly have hoped for a throne of France ; with this difference, triumph so rapid and complete as that that the Shah had been thirty years which has crowned our arms; but, dispossessed of his throne" which great as our success in Affghanistan Lord John Russell met by the asserthas hitherto been, the English public tion, that “ the objects of the expediwill have widely erred if they imagine tion was not to extend our own limits, that the glories of a single campaign but to defend an old ally.”. An allihave terminated the war, or that the ance with Shooja had indeed been conterror of the British name will suffice, cluded by Mr Elphinstone in 1809, a if unsupported by active assistance in few weeks only before the battle of troops and money, to retain the Aff- Neemla drove him from the throne of ghans in their forced allegiance to Cabul.* But so far were the Indian Shah Shooja, or to protect his domin- authorities of that day from conceiving ions from attack from the adjacent themselves bound to aid their ally in states. The principle of unavoidable the then comparatively easy task of expansion (as some writers on India expelling his usurping brother Mahhave termed the ever widening vortex mood, that not even an asylum in the which has carried our arms and in- British dominions was offered him, fluence from Calcutta to Loodiana) and he was compelled for many years has at length passed the natural boun- to purchase, by humiliating sacrifices dary of the Indus, and entered on a of dignity, and the surrender of his new sphere of action ; and even beyond treasures and diamonds,f the treacherthis it has already become apparent, ous hospitality of Runjeet Singh. . that the policy which dictated to the In 1832-3, when the Shah, who had Indian Government the imperative ne- some time before escaped from Lahore cessity of reinstating Shah Shooja, to Loodiana, made his last effort to re
See the article “ Persia, Affghanistan, and India," in our January No. last year. † Shooja was even subjected to personal violence, to extort from him the Koh-inoor, or “ mountain of light," one of the largest diamonds of Asia.