Mr. Andrews to Mr. Fish.
Stockholm, July 27, 1875. (Received August 14.)
Sir: Judging from the testimony of such newspapers as the “Golos,” of St. Petersburg, and of several correspondents of Swedish newspapers, the recent visit to Russia by the King of Sweden-Norway has left in that country a decidedly favorable impression. There are not wanting reasons for such a visit being agreeable to Russia. Her own ruler had several years ago made a very friendly visit to this court, but no Swedish ruler had made a friendly visit to Russia for three-quarters of a century. And yet the countries were near neighbors. During the present century, favors and injuries as between Sweden and Russia have been to a certain extent mutual. The taking of Finland was a dreadful wound to Swedish pride, but looking upon the map an impartial observer must admit that it seems a natural part of Russian territory. On the other hand, Sweden owes the union with Norway to the influence of Alexander I of Russia. During the Crimean war, Napoleon III endeavored to have Sweden join in the contest against Russia, holding out as an inducement the recovery of Finland. Sweden abstained from any forcible interference, but was induced by Great Britain and France to enter into negotiations which, though of doubtful utility to herself, were in spirit unfriendly to Russia. Of late years the relations between these neighbors have been improving, aided, among other things, by the good results of Sweden’s attending the Industrial Exhibition at Moscow about four years ago, by increasing commerce, by the good offices of the diplomatic representatives of the respective countries, and the tendency in each country to appreciate more and more the blessings of peace and internal development.
In a toast which King Oscar gave at Moscow, proposing the health of the Emperor, he said, “I admire and congratulate the Emperor who, for the welfare of his people, has carried out the greatest ideas.” This sentiment has been made the text of an article in the St. Petersburg “Golos,’ breathing the spirit of progress, and at the same time eulogistic of the King. “The great ideas,” says the Golos, “for whose realization King Oscai congratulates us in our Emperor’s person, are: the great act of emancipation, the equalization of different civil classes, the admission of every one to legal defense, the organization of trial by jury, the right of citizens to take part in matters of local government affecting the general interest, and the placing all citizens on an equality in respect to obligations of service to the state.” The article goes on to show how such measures have contributed to the prosperity and honor of Russia, and argues that it is only by a continuance in a progressive course that the real greatness of the country and the respect of mankind will be secured. Since the King’s visit to Germany and Russia, [Page 1267] the press of both those countries has said many complimentary things about Sweden-Norway and their King.
His visits have been useful, if for no other reason, in drawing the attention of those two empires to these countries. The more the Swedes and Norwegians are studied the more they will rise in public estimation. They are a reading people of six millions whose ambition now is to rank in culture with the most enlightened states. Their influence is on the ascendant.
I have, &c.,