Circular of Mr. de Giers to Mr. Bartholomei.
Mr. Minister: In ascending the throne of his ancestors, His Majesty the Emperor takes possession of an inheritance consecrated by ancient traditions, the acts of his predecessors, and the toils and blood of the generations that have made the history of Russia.
His Majesty accepts this glorious inheritance in its entirety. He considers that his first duty is to transmit it intact to those who shall succeed him.
During the formation of her political system Russia, like all other states, has been obliged to pass through struggles which have given tone to her energy and her political character.
She has attained her normal development, and has no reason to envy others, and nothing to ask of them. She has now nothing to do but to strengthen and protect herself against every external danger, and to develop her internal strength, both moral and material, together with her resources and her prosperity.
This is the task that our august master assumes. His Majesty is resolved not to allow himself to be turned from his purpose by any consideration whatever.
The policy of the Emperor will therefore be, in the first place, to promote those public improvements which are demanded by the progress of civilized life, and by those economical and social interests which are now the chief object of the solicitude of all governments.
The foreign policy of His Majesty will be an essentially pacific one. Russia will remain faithful to her friendships and to her traditional sympathies, and will reciprocate the friendly acts of all states. Without resigning the position which belongs to her among the powers of the world, and without ceasing to watch over the maintenance of the [Page 1040]balance of power, so far as her interests may be thereby affected, she considers herself interestedin the preservation of general peace, based upon respect for law and existing treaties.
She owes it above all to herself, and will not allow herself to be turned aside from her labors at home, except it become necessary for the defense of her honor or her security.
The object of our august master will be to render Russia strong and prosperous for her own welfare and to the detriment of none.
Such are the principles by which the Emperor will invariably be guided in his policy. His Majesty requests you to make them known to the government to which you are accredited, by reading this dispatch to the minister of foreign affairs.