Author Topic: Documents from the Reigns of Peter I through Nicholas II  (Read 61294 times)

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David_Pritchard

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Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander II
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2006, 02:56:31 AM »
Preamble of the Ukaz Abolishing Serfdom in the Russian Empire.

By the Grace of God WE, Alexander II, Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc., make known to all OUR faithful subjects:

Called by Divine Providence and by the sacred right of inheritance to the Russian throne of OUR ancestors, WE vowed in OUR heart to respond to the mission which is entrusted to Us and to surround with OUR affection and OUR Imperial solicitude all OUR faithful subjects of every rank and condition, from the soldier who nobly defends the country to the humble artisan who works in industry; from the career official of the state to the plowman who tills the soil.

Examining the condition of classes and professions comprising the state, WE became convinced that the present state legislation favors the upper and middle classes, defines their obligations, rights, and privileges, but does not equally favor the serfs, so designated because in part from old laws and in part from custom they have been hereditarily subjected to the authority of landowners, who in turn were obligated to provide for their well being.  Rights of nobles have been hitherto very broad and legally ill defined, because they stem from tradition, custom, and the good will of the noblemen.   In most cases this has led to the establishment of good patriarchal relations based on the sincere, just concern and benevolence on the part of the nobles, and on affectionate submission on the part of the peasants.   Because of the decline of the simplicity of morals, because of an increase in the diversity of relations, because of the weakening of the direct paternal relationship of nobles toward the peasants, and because noble rights fell sometimes into the hands of people exclusively concerned with their personal interests, good relations weakened.  The way was opened for an arbitrariness burdensome for the peasants and detrimental to their welfare, causing them to be indifferent to the improvement of their own existence.

These facts had already attracted the attention of OUR predecessors of glorious memory, and they had adopted measures aimed at improving the conditions of the peasants; but these measures were ineffective, partly because they depended on the free, generous action of nobles, and partly because they affected only some localities, by virtue of special circumstances or as an experiment.  Thus Alexander I issued a decree on free agriculturists, and the late Emperor Nicholas, OUR beloved father, promulgated one dealing with serfs: in the Western provinces, inventory regulations now determine the peasant land allotments and their obligations.  But decrees on free agriculturists and [western] serfs have been carried out on a limited scale only.

WE thus became convinced that the problem of improving the condition of serfs was a sacred inheritance bequeathed to Us by OUR predecessors, a mission which, in the course of events, Divine Providence has called upon Us to fulfill.

WE have begun this task by expressing OUR confidence toward the Russian nobility, which has proven on so many occasions its devotion to the Throne, and its readiness to make sacrifices for the welfare of the country.

WE have left to the nobles themselves, in accordance with their own wishes, the task of preparing proposals for the new organization of peasant life—proposals that would limit their rights over the peasants, and the realization of which would inflict on them [the nobles] some material losses.  OUR confidence was justified.  Through members of the provincial committees, who were entrusted [with the task] by the corporate organizations of the nobility in each province, after collecting the necessary data, have formulated proposals on a new arrangement for serfs and their relationship with the nobles.

These proposals were diverse, because of the nature of the problem.  They have been compared, collated, systematized, rectified and finalized in the Main Committee instituted for that purpose; and these new arrangements dealing with the peasants and household serfs[1] of the nobility have been examined in the Council of State.

Having invoked Divine assistance, WE have resolved to execute this task.

On the basis of the above-mentioned new arrangements, the serfs will receive in time the full rights of free rural inhabitants.

The nobles, while retaining their property rights to all the lands belonging to them, grant the peasants perpetual use of their household plots in return for a specified obligation; and, to assure their livelihood as well as to guarantee fulfillment of their obligations toward time government, [the nobles] grant them a portion of arable land fixed by the said arrangements as well as other property.

While enjoying these land allotments, the peasants are obliged, in return, to fulfill obligations to the noblemen fixed by the same arrangements.  In this status, which is temporary, the peasants are temporarily bound.

At the same time, they are granted the right to purchase their household plots, and, with the consent of the nobles, they may acquire in full ownership the arable lands and other properties which are allotted them for permanent use.  Following such acquisition of full ownership of land, the peasants will be freed from their obligations to the nobles for the land thus purchased and will become free peasant landowners.

A special decree dealing with household serfs will establish a temporary status for them, adapted to their occupations and their needs.  At the end of two years from the day of the promulgation of this decree, they shall receive full freedom and some temporary benefits.

In accordance with the fundamental principles of these arrangements, the future organization of peasants and household serfs will be determined, the order of general peasant administration will be established, and the rights given to the peasants and to the household serfs will be spelled out in detail, as will the obligations imposed on them toward the government and the nobles.

Although these arrangements, general as well as local, and the special supplementary rules affecting some particular localities, estates of petty nobles, and peasants working in factories and enterprises of the nobles, have been as far as possible adapted to economic necessities and local customs; nevertheless, to preserve the existing order where it presents reciprocal advantages, WE leave it to the nobles to reach a voluntary understanding with the peasants and to reach agreements on the extent of the land allotment and the obligations stemming from it, observing, at the same time, the established rules to guarantee the inviolability of such agreements.

This new arrangement, because of its complexity, cannot be put into effect immediately, an interval of not less than two years is necessary.  During this period, to avoid all misunderstanding and to protect public and private interests, the order actually existing on the estates of nobles should be maintained until the new order shall become effective.

David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander II
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2006, 02:57:40 AM »
Preamble of the Ukaz Abolishing Serfdom in the Russian Empire, Part II.

Towards that end, WE have deemed it advisable:

1. To establish in each province a special Office of Peasant Affairs, which will be entrusted with the affairs of the peasant communes established on the estates of the nobility.

2. To appoint in every district arbiters of the peace to solve all misunderstandings and disputes which may arise from time new arrangements and to organize from these justices district assemblies.

3. To organize Peace Offices on the estates of the nobles, leaving the village communes as they are, and to open cantonal offices in the large villages and unite small village communes under one cantonal office.

4. To formulate, verify, and confirm in each village commune or estate a charter which will specify, on the basis of local conditions, the amount of land allotted to the peasants for permanent use, and the scope of their obligations to the nobleman for the land as well as for other advantages which are granted.

5. To put these charters into practice as they are gradually approved on each estate, and to put them into effect everywhere within two years from the date of publication of this manifesto.

6. Until that time, peasants and household serfs must be obedient towards their nobles, and scrupulously fulfill their former obligations.

7. The nobles will continue to keep order on their estates, with the right of jurisdiction and of police, until the organization of cantons and of cantonal courts.

Aware of the unavoidable difficulties of this reform, WE place OUR confidence above all in the graciousness of Divine Providence, which watches over Russia.

WE also rely upon the zealous devotion of OUR nobility, to whom WE express OUR gratitude and that of the entire country as well, for the unselfish support it has given to the realization of OUR designs.  Russia will not forget that the nobility, motivated by its respect for the dignity of man and its Christian love of its neighbor, has voluntarily renounced serfdom, and has laid the foundation of a new economic future for the peasants.   WE also expect that it will continue to express further concern for the realization of the new arrangement in a spirit of peace and benevolence, and that each nobleman will bring to fruition on his estate the great civic act of time entire group by organizing the lives of his peasants and his household serfs on mutually advantageous terms, thereby setting for the rural population a good example of a punctual and conscientious execution of the state’s requirements.

The examples of the generous concern of the nobles for the welfare of peasants, amid the gratitude of the latter for that concern, give Us the hope that a mutual understanding will solve most of the difficulties, which in some cases will be inevitable during the application of general rules to the diverse conditions on some estates, and that thereby the transition from the old order to time new will be facilitated, and that in the future mutual confidence will be strengthened, and a good understanding and a unanimous tendency towards the general good will evolve.  

To facilitate the realization of these agreements between the nobles arid the peasants, by which the latter may acquire full ownership of their household plots and their houses, the government will lend assistance, under special regulations, by means of loans or transfer of debts encumbering an estate.

WE rely upon the common sense of OUR people.  When the government advanced the idea of abolishing serfdom, there developed a partial misunderstanding among the unprepared peasants.  Some were concerned about freedom and not concerned about obligations.  But, generally, the common sense of the nation has not wavered, because it has realized that every individual who enjoys freely the benefits of society owes it in return certain positive obligations; according to Christian law every individual is subject to higher authority (Romans, chap.  xiii., 1); everyone must fulfill his obligations, and, above all, render tribute, dues, respect, and honor (Ibid., chap.   xiii., 7).  What legally belongs to nobles cannot be taken away from them without adequate compensation, or through their voluntary concession; it would be contrary to all justice to use the land of the nobles without assuming corresponding obligations.

And now WE confidently expect that the freed serfs, on the eve of a new future which is opening to them, will appreciate and recognize the considerable sacrifices which the nobility has made on their behalf.

They should understand that by acquiring property and greater freedom to dispose of their possessions, they have an obligation to society and to themselves to live up to the letter of the new law by a loyal and judicious use of the rights which are now granted to them.  However beneficial a law may be, it cannot make people happy if they do not themselves organize their happiness under protection of the law.  Abundance is acquired only through hard work, wise use of strength and resources, strict economy, and above all, through an honest God-fearing life.

The authorities who prepared the new way of life for the peasants and who will be responsible for its inauguration will have to see that this task is accomplished with calmness and regularity, taking advantage of the time allotted, in order not to divert the attention of cultivators away from their agricultural work.  Let them zealously work the soil and harvest its fruits so that they will have a full granary of seeds to return to the soil which will be theirs.

And now, Orthodox people, make the sign of the cross, and join with Us to invoke God’s blessing upon your free labor, the sure pledge of your personal well being and the public prosperity.

Given at St. Petersburg, March 3, the year of Grace 1861, and the seventh of OUR reign.

Alexander


Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Paul I
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2006, 11:14:11 AM »
Any idea as to why he was so particulalrly generous to the Mennonites ?
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Paul I
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2006, 11:40:52 AM »
Mennonites are and were extremely productive farmers. Unlike the local muzhiks, the Mennonites do not need supervision to work and do not suffer the drunken down time of Russian peasants. Add to this the latest farming inovations that they would bring from Central Europe and introduce to Russia and one can see why Emperor Paul would grant them excellent immigration terms.

David

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Paul I
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2006, 11:44:45 AM »
Wasn't Catherine II the one who invited the German menonite farmers to Russia/Ukraine originally, so that the Russian peasants could learn efficient farming from them? I have a friend who is a descendant of the menonites who went to live in Russia during the reign of Catherine II, and she has some family legends about that...

David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Paul I
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2006, 02:01:06 PM »
Dear Helen,

See the topic Some documents from the Reign of Catherine II and you will find the following document:
Ukaz of 22 July 1763 on Foreign Immigration by Empress Ekaterina II which invited foreign farmers to come to Russia but not Menonites specifically.

David

David_Pritchard

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Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander I
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2006, 02:08:50 PM »
The Solemn Assurance of the Sovereign

WE, ALEXANDER THE FIRST, by the Grace of God Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias etc. etc. Grand Duke of Finland etc. etc. do make known: That, Providence having placed Us in possession of the Grand Duchy of Finland, We have desired hereby to confirm and ratify the Religion and the Fundamental Laws of the Land as well as the privileges and rights which each class in the said Grand Duchy in particular, and all the inhabitants in general, be their position high or low, have hitherto enjoyed according to the Constitution. We promise to maintain all these benefits and laws firm and unshakeable in their full force.

In confirmation whereof WE have signed this Act of Assurance with OUR own hand. Given in Borgå on the 15 of March 1809.

ALEXANDER.

David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander I
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2006, 02:11:05 PM »
Hans Kejs. Majestäts Manifest af den 11 December 1811
angående Wiborgs guvernements förening med Svenska Finland.

WIR Alexander der Erste, Kayser und Selbstherrscher aller Russen etc. etc. etc. Da bey Vereinigung Neu-Finnlands mit dem Russischen Reiche, WIR den Unterschied zwischen Alt- und Neu-Finnland, so wohl in ihrer Benennung als selbst in der Art und Weise der Verwaltung für überflässig und unanwendbar auf die gegenwärtige Verfassung dieser Weltgegend finden, haben WIR, nach Vernommener Meinung des Reichs-Raths, für gut erkandt, folgendes zu verordnen:

1:mo Alt- und Neu-Finnland sollen von nun an Combinative Finnland genandt werden.

2:do Das vorige Finnländische Gouvernement, soll gleich wie die in Finnland subsistirende Gouvernements von jetzt, unter der Haupt-Direction stehen, welche WIR für dieses Land angeordnet haben. St. Petersburg den 11 December 1811.

Das original ist von Seiner Kayserlichen Majesté eigenhändig so unterschrieben

ALEXANDER.

Contrasignirt von Vorsitzer des Reichs Raths,
Cantzler Rath Graf Roumänzow.
Gedruckt in St. Petersburg beym Senat den 15 Dec. 1811.


David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander II
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2006, 02:15:17 PM »
The Anglo-Russian Convention on the Demilitarisation of the Åland Islands, 1856.

Au nom de Dieu Tout-Puissant.

Sa Majesté la Reine du Royaume Uni de la Grande Bretagne et d´Irlande, Sa Majesté l´Empereur des Français et Sa Majesté l´Empereur de toutes les Russies, voulant étendre à la Mer Baltique l´accord si heureuse­ment rétabli entre Elles en orient et consolider par là les bienfaits de la paix générale, ont resolu de conclure une Convention et nommé à cet effet:

Sa Majesté la Reine du Royaume Uni de la Grande Bretagne et d´Irlande, le très-honorable George Guillaume Fréderic Clarendon, Baron Hyde de Hindon, Pair du Royaume Uni, Conseiller de Sa Majesté Britannique en son Conseil Privé, Chevalier du très-noble Ordre de la Jarretière, Chevalier Grand´Croix du très-honorable Ordre du Bain, Principal Secrétaire d´Etat de Sa Majesté pour les Affaires Etrangères,
et le très-honorable Henri Richard Charles Baron Cowley, Pair du Royaume Uni, Conseiller de Sa Majesté en son Conseil privé, Chevalier Grand´Croix du très honorable Ordre du Bain; Am­bassadeur extraordinai­re et plénipotentiaire de Sa Majesté près Sa Majesté l´Empereur des Francais,

Sa Majesté l´Empereur des Français, le Sieur Alexandre Comte Colonna Walewski, Sénateur de l´Empire, Grand Officier de l´Ordre Impérial de la Légion d´honneur, Chevalier Grand´Croix de l´Ordre équestre des Séraphins, Grand´Croix de l´Ordre des Saints Maurice et Lazare, décoré de l´Ordre Imperial du Medjidyé de première classe &a, &a, &a; Son Ministre et Secrétai­re d´Etat au Départe­ment des Affaires Etrangères,
et le Sieur François Adolphe Baron de Bourquene­y, Grand´Croix de l´Ordre Impérial de la Légion d´honneur et de l´Ordre de Léopold d´Autriche, décoré du Portrait du Sultan en diamants, &a, &a, &a, Son Envoyé ex­traordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire près Sa Majesté Impèriale et Royale Apostoliqu­e:

et Sa Majesté l´Empereur de toutes les Russies, le Sieur Alexis Comte Orloff, Son Aide-de-camp général et Général de cavalerie, Commandant du quartier général de Sa Majesté, Membre du Conseil de l´Empire et du Comité des Ministres, décoré des deux Portraits en diamants de Leurs Majestés feu l´Empereur Nicolas et l´Empereur Alexandre II, Chevalier de l´Ordre de Saint André en diamants et des Ordres de Russie; Grand´Croix de l´Ordre de Saint Etienne d´Autriche de première classe, de l´Aigle noir de Prusse en diamants, de `l´Annonciade de Sardaigne et de plusieurs autres ordres étrangers;
et le Sieur Philippe Baron de Brunnow, Son Conseiller privé, Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire près la Confédération Germanique et près Son Altesse Royale le Grand Duc de Hesse, Chevalier de l´Ordre de Saint Wladimir de première classe, de Saint Alexandre Newski, enriché de diamants; de l´Aigle blanc; de Sainte Anne de première classe, de Saint Stanislas de première classe, Grand´Croix de l´Ordre de l´Aigle rouge de Prusse de première classe, Commandeur de l´Ordre de Saint Etienne d´Autriche et de plusieurs autres Ordres étrangers;

Lesquels après avoir échangé leurs Pleins-Pouvoirs trouvés en bonne et due forme, sont convenus des articles suivants.

Article 1er.

Sa Majesté l´Empereur de toutes les Russies, pour répondre au désir qui lui a été exprimé par Leurs Majestés la Reine dy Royaume Uni de la Grande Bretagne et d´Irlande et l´Empereur des Français, déclare que les Iles d´Aland ne seront pas fortifiées, et qu´il n´y sera maintenu ni créé aucun établis­se­ment militaire ou naval.

Article 2.

La présente Convention, annexée au Traité général signé à Paris en ce jour, sera ratifiée, et les Ratifications en seront échangées dans l´espace de quatre semaines ou plus tôt, si faire se peut.
En foi de quoi, les Plénipotentiaires respectifs l´ont signée et y ont apposées le sceau de leurs armes.

Fait à Paris le trentième jour du mois de Mars de l´an mil huit cent cinquante six.

Clarendon
Cowley
A. Walewski
Bourquenay
Orloff
Brunnow


David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander II
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2006, 02:22:19 PM »
Russian Imperial Assent to the International Metric Convention, Part I.

Par la Grâce de Dieu, NOUS, ALEXANDRE Second, EMPEREUR et Autocrate de toutes les Russies, de Moscou, Kiow, Wladimir, Novogorod, Tsar de Casan, Tsar d'Astrakhan, Tsar de Pologne, Tsar de Sibérie, Tsar de la Chersonèse Taurique, Tsar de la Géorgie, Seigneur de Plescow et Grand Duc de Smolensk, de Lithuanie, Volhynie, Podolie et de Finlande; Duc d'Estonie, de Livonie, de Courlande et Sémigalle, de Samogitie, Bialostock, Carélie, Twer, Jugorie, Perm, Viatka, Bolgarie et d'autres; Seigneur et Grand Duc de Novgorod-inférieur, de Czernigow, Riasan, Polotzk, Rostow, Jaroslaw, Béloosersk, Oudor, Obdor, Condie, Witebsk, Mstislaw, Dominateur de toute la contrée du Nord; Seigneur d'Ibérie, de la Cartalinie, de la Cabardie et de la province d'Arménie; Prince Heréditaire et Souverain des Princes de Circassie et d'autres Princes montagnards, Successeur de Norvége, Duc de Schleswig-Holstein, de Stormarn, de Dithmarsen et d'Oldenbourg, etc. etc. etc.

Savoir faisons par les présentes qu'à la suite d'un commun accord entre NOUS, l'Allemagne, l'Autriche-Hongrie, la Belgique, le Brésil, la République Argentine, le Danemark, l'Espagne, les Etats-Unis d'Amérique, la France, l'Italie, la République du Pérou, le Portugal, la Suède et la Norvége, la Confédération Suisse, la Turquie et la République de Vénézuéla, NOTRE Plénipotentiaire a conclu et signé a Paris le 8/20 Mai de l'année courante une Convention métrique internationale laquelle porte mot pour mot ce qui suit:

SA MAJESTÉ l'EMPEREUR de toutes les Russies, Sa Majesté l'Empereur d'Allemagne, Sa Majesté l'Empereur d'Autriche-Hongrie, Sa Majesté le Roi des Belges, Sa Majesté l'Empereur du Brésil, Son Excellence le Président de la Confédération Argentine, Sa Majesté le Roi de Danemark, Sa Majesté le Roi d'Espagne, Son Excellence le Président des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Son Excellence le Président de la République Française, Sa Majesté le Roi d'Italie, Son Excellence le Président de la République du Pérou, Sa Majesté le Roi de Portugal et des Algarves, Sa Majesté le Roi de Suéde et de Norvége, Son Excellence le Président de la Confédération Suisse, Sa Majesté l'Empereur des Ottomans et Son Excellence le Président de la République de Vénézuéla.

désirant assurer l'unification internationale et le perfectionnement du système métrique, ont résolu de conclure une Convention à cet effet et ont nommé pour Leurs Plénipotentiaires, savoir:

SA MAJESTÉ l'EMPEREUR de toutes les Russies, M. Grégoire Okouneff, Chevalier des Ordres de Russie de S-te Anne de 1-re classe, de St. Stanislas de 1-re classe, de St. Wladimir de 3-e classe, Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc. Conseiller d'Etat actuel, Conseiller de l'Ambassade de Russie à Paris;

Sa Majesté l'Empereur d'Allemagne, S. A. le Prince de Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Grand-Croix de l'Ordre de l'Aigle Rouge de Prusse et de l'Ordre de St. Hubert de Bavière, etc. etc. etc., Son Ambassadeur extraordinaire et plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Sa Majesté l'Empereur d'Autriche-Hongrie, S. Exc. M. le Comte Apponyi, Son Chambellan actuel et Conseiller intime, Chevalier de la Toison d'Or, Grand'Croix de l'Ordre Royal de St. Etienne de Hongrie et de l'Ordre Impérial de Léopold, etc. etc. etc., Son Ambassadeur extraordinaire et plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Sa Majesté le Roi des Belges, M. le Baron Beyens, Grand Officier de Son Ordre de Léopold, Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc., Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Sa Majesté l'Empereur du Brésil, M. Marcos Antonio d'Araujo, Vicomte d'Itajuba, Grand de l'Empire, Membre du Conseil de Sa Majesté, Commandeur de Son Ordre du Christ, Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc., Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Son Excellence le Président de la Confédération Argentine, M. Balcarce, Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire de le Confédération Argentine à Paris;

Sa Majesté le Roi de Danemark, M. le Comte de Moltke-Witfeldt, Grand'Croix de l'Ordre du Dannebrog et décoré de la Croix d'Honneur du même Ordre, Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc., Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Sa Majesté le Roi d'Espagne, S. Exc. Don Mariano Roca del Togores, Marquis de Molins, Vicomte de Rocamora, Grand d'Espagne de première classe, Chevalier de l'Ordre insigne de la Toison d'Or, Grand'Croix de la Légion d'Honneur etc. etc. etc., Directeur de l'Académie Royale Espagnole, Son Ambassadeur extraordinaire et plénipotentiaire à Paris;

et M. le Général Ibanez Grand'Croix de l'Ordre d'Isabelle la Catholique, etc. etc. etc., Directeur Général de l'Institut géographique et statistique d'Espagne, Membre de l'Académie des Sciences;

Son Excellence le Président des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, M. Elihu Benjamin Washburn, Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire des Etats-Unis à Paris;

Son Excellence le Président de la République Française, M. le Duc Decazes, député à l'Assemblée nationale, Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc., Ministre des Affaires Etrangères;

M. le Vicomte de Meaux, Député de l'Assemblée Nationale, Ministre de l'Agriculture et du Commerce;

et M. Dumas, Secrétaire perpétuel de l'Académie, Grand'Croix de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc.

Sa Majesté le Roi d'Italie, M. le Chevalier Constantin Nigra, Chevalier Grand'Croix de Ses Ordres des Saints Maurice et Lazare et de la Couronne d'Italie, Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc., Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Son Excellence le Président de la République du Pérou, M. Pedro Galvez, Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire du Pérou à Paris;
et M. Francisco de Rivero, ancien Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire du Pérou;

Sa Majesté le Roi de Portugal, et des Algarves, M. José da Silva Mendes Leal, Pair du Royaume, Grand'Croix de l'Ordre de St. Jacques, Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Tour et l'Epée de Portugal, etc. etc. etc., Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Sa Majesté le Roi de Suède et de Norvége, Monsieur le Baron Adelswärd, Grand'Croix des Ordres de l'Etoile Polaire de Suède et de St. Olaf de Norvége, Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc., Son Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire à Paris;

Son Excellence le Président de la Confédération Suisse, M. Jean Conrad Kern, Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire de la Confédération Suisse à Paris;

Sa Majesté l'Empereur des Ottomans, Husnybey, Lieutenant Colonel d'Etat Major, décoré de la 4-ième classe de l'Ordre Impérial de l'Osmanié, de la 5-ième classe de l'Ordre du Medjidié, Officier de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. etc. etc;

et Son Excellence le Président de la République de Vénézuéla, M. le Docteur Eliseo Acosta.

lesquels, aprés s'être communiqué leurs pleins-pouvoirs trouvés en bonne et due forme, ont arrêté les dispositions suivantes:

ARTICLE 1.
Les Hautes Parties contractantes s'engagent à fonder et entretenir, à frais communs, un Bureau international des poids et mesures, scientifique et permanent, dont le siége est à Paris.

ARTICLE 2.
Le Gouvernement français prendra les dispositions nécessaires pour faciliter l'acquisition ou, s'il y a lieu, la construction d'un bâtiment spécialement affecté à cette destination, dans les conditions déterminées par le Règlement annexé à la présente Convention.

ARTICLE 3.
Le Bureau international fonctionnera sous la direction et la surveillance exclusive d'un Comité international des poids et mesures, placé lui-même sous l'autorité d'une Conférence générale des poids et mesures formée de délégués de tous les Gouvernements contractants.


David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander II
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2006, 02:24:43 PM »
Russian Imperial Assent to the International Metric Convention, Part II.

ARTICLE 4.
La présidence de la Conférénce générale des poids et mesures est attribuée au président en exercice de l'Académie des sciences de Paris.

ARTICLE 5.
L'organisation du Bureau ainsi que la composition et les attributions du Comité international et de la Conférence générale des poids et mesures sont determinées par le Règlement annexé à la présente Convention.

ARTICLE 6.
Le Bureau international des poids et mesures est chargé:

1-o de toutes les comparaisons et vérifications des nouveaux prototypes du métre et du kilogramme;

2-o de la conservation des prototypes internationaux;

3-o des comparaisons périodiques des étalons nationaux avec les prototypes internationaux et avec leur témoins, ainsi que de celles des thermomètres étalons;

4-o de la comparaison des nouveaux prototypes avec les étalons fondamentaux des poids et mesures non métriques employés dans les différents pays et dans les sciences;

5-o de l'étalonnage et de la comparaison des règles géodésiques;

6-o de la comparaison des étalons et échelles de précision dont la vérification serait demandée, soit par des Gouvernements, soit par des sociétés savantes, soit même par des artistes et des savants.

ARTICLE 7.
Le personnel du Bureau se composera d'un directeur, de deux adjoints et du nombre d'employés nécessaire.

A partir de l'époque où les comparaisons des nouveaux prototypes auront été effectuées et où ces prototypes auront été répartis entre les divers Etats, le personnel du Bureau sera réduit dans la proportion jugée convenable.

Les nominations du personnel du Bureau seront notifiées par le Comité international aux Gouvernements des Hautes Parties contractantes.

ARTICLE 8.
Les prototypes internationaux du mètre et du kilogramme, ainsi que leurs témoins, demeureront déposés dans le Bureau; l'accès du dépôt sera uniquement réservé au Comité international.

ARTICLE 9.
Tous les frais d'établissement et d'installation du Bureau international des poids et mesures, ainsi que les dépenses annuelles d'entretien et celles du Comité, seront couverts par des contributions des Etats contractants, établies d'après une échelle basée sur leur population actuelle.

ARTICLE 10.
Les sommes représentant la part contributive de chacun des Etats contractants seront versées, au commencement de chaque année, par l'intermédiaire du Ministère des affaires etrangères de France, à la Caisse des dépôts et consignations à Paris, d'où elles seront rétirées, au fur et à mesure des besoins, sur mandats du directeur du Bureau.

ARTICLE 11.
Les Gouvernements qui useraient de la faculté, réservée à tout Etat, d'accéder à la présente Convention, seront tenus d'acquitter une contribution dont le montant sera déterminé par le Comité sur les bases établies à l'article 9 et qui sera affectée à l'amélioration du matériel scientifique du Bureau.

ARTICLE 12.
Les Hautes Parties contractantes se réservent la faculté d'apporter d'un commun accord à la présente Convention toutes les modifications dont l'expérience démontrerait l'utilité.

ARTICLE 13.
A l'expiration d'un terme de douze années, la présente Convention pourra être dénoncée par l'une ou l'autre des Hautes Parties contractantes.

Le Gouvernement qui userait de la faculté d'en faire cesser les effets en ce qui le concerne sera tenu de notifier son intention une année d'avance et renoncera, par ce fait, à tous droits de copropriété sur les prototypes internationaux et sur le Bureau.

ARTICLE 14.
La présente Convention sera ratifiée suivant les lois constitutionnelles particulières à chaque Etat, les Ratifications en seront échangées à Paris dans le délai de six mois ou plustôt si faire se peut. Elle sera mise à exécution à partir du 1-er Janvier 1876.

En foi de quoi, les Plénipotentiaires respectifs l'ont signée et y ont apposé le cachet de leurs armes.

Fait à Paris, le 20 Mai 1875.

Pour la Russie:
(L. S:) (signé:) Okouneff.
Pour l'Allemagne:
(L. S:) (signé:) Hohenlohe.
Pour l'Autriche-Hongrie:
(L. S:) (signé:) Apponyi.
Pour la Belgique:
(L. S:) (signé:) Beyens.
Pour le Brésil:
(L. S:) (signé:) Vicomte d'Itajuba.
Pour la Confédération Argentine.
(L. S:) (signé:) M. Balcarce.
Pour le Danemark:
(L. S:) (signé:) Moltke-Witfeldt.
Pour l'Espagne:
(L. S:) (signé:) Marquis de Molins.
(L. S:) (signé:) Carlos Ibañez.
Pour les Etats-Unis d'Amérique:
(L. S:) (signé:) E. Benj. Washburn.
Pour la France:
(L. S:) (signé:) Decazes.
(L. S:) (signé:) Vicomte de Meaux.
(L. S:) (signé:) Dumas.
Pour l'Italie:
(L. S:) (signé:) Nigra.
Pour la République du Pérou:
(L. S:) (signé:) P. Galvez.
(L. S:) (signé:) Francisco de Rivero.
Pour le Portugal:
(L. S:) (signé:) Jose da Silva Mendes Leal.
Pour la Suède et la Norvége:
Pour M. le Baron Adelswärd empeché:
(L. S:) (signé:) H. Okerman.
Pour la Suisse:
(L. S:) (signé:) Kern.
Pour la Turquie:
(L. S:) (signé:) Husny.
Pour la République de Vénézuéla:
(L. S:) (signé:) E. Acosta.


David_Pritchard

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Documents from the Reigns of Peter I through Nicholas II
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2006, 02:29:55 PM »
The Declaration of War on Bulgaria, 1915

By the Grace of God We, Nicholas the Second, Emperor and Autocrat Of All the Russias, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc., etc., etc.

Declare to all Our loyal subjects:

Impossible as it seemed, but treacherously preparing from the very beginning of the war, Bulgaria has betrayed the Slav cause: The Bulgarian army has attacked Our faithful ally Serbia, bleeding profusely in a struggle with a strong enemy.

Russia and Our allied Great Powers tried to warn Ferdinand of Coburg against this fatal step.  The fulfilment of an age-old aspiration of the Bulgar people - union with Macedonia - has been guaranteed to Bulgaria by a means more in accord with the interests of the Slav world.

But appeals by the Germans to secret ambitions and fratricidal enmity against the Serbs prevailed.

Bulgaria, whose faith is the same as Ours, who so recently has been liberated from Turkish slavery by the brotherly love and the blood of the Russian people, openly took the side of the enemies of the Christian faith, the Slav world and of Russia.

The Russian people react with bitterness to the treachery of a Bulgaria which was so close to them until recently, and draw their swords against her with heavy hearts, leaving the fate of these traitors to the Slav world to God's just retribution.

Given at the Tsar's Headquarters the 5th day of October, in the year from the Nativity of Christ the 1,915th, and of Our reign the twenty-first.

On the true authority of His Imperial Majesty,

NICHOLAS


David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Nikolai II
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2006, 02:39:20 PM »
Telegram from Nikolai II to Wilhelm II, 29 July 1914, 1 a.m.

Peter's Court Palais, 29 July 1914

Sa Majesté l'Empereur
Neues Palais

Am glad you are back. In this serious moment, I appeal to you to help me. An ignoble war has been declared to a weak country. The indignation in Russia shared fully by me is enormous. I foresee that very soon I shall be overwhelmed by the pressure forced upon me and be forced to take extreme measures which will lead to war. To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far.

Telegram from Nikolai II to Wilhelm II, 29 July 1914, 8.20 p.m.

Peter's Court Palace, 29 July 1914

Thanks for your telegram conciliatory and friendly. Whereas official message presented today by your ambassador to my minister was conveyed in a very different tone. Beg you to explain this divergency! It would be right to give over the Austro-servian problem to the Hague conference. Trust in your wisdom and friendship.

Your loving Nicky

Telegram from Nikolai II to Wilhelm II, 30 July 1914, 1.20 a.m.

Peter's Court Palais, 30 July 1914

Thank you heartily for your quick answer. Am sending Tatischev this evening with instructions.

The military measures which have now come into force were decided five days ago for reasons of defence on account of Austria's preparations.

I hope from all my heart that these measures won't in any way interfere with your part as mediator which I greatly value. We need your strong pressure on Austria to come to an understanding with us.

Nicky

Telegram from Nikolai II to Wilhelm II, 31 July 1914

Petersburg, Palace, 31 July 1914

Sa Majesté l'Empereur, Neues Palais

I thank you heartily for your mediation which begins to give one hope that all may yet end peacefully.

It is technically impossible to stop our military preparations which were obligatory owing to Austria's mobilisation. We are far from wishing war. As long as the negotiations with Austria on Servia's account are taking place my troops shall not make any provocative action. I give you my solemn word for this. I put all my trust in Gods mercy and hope in your successful mediation in Vienna for the welfare of our countries and for the peace of Europe.

Your affectionate

Nicky

Telegram from Nikolai II to Wilhelm II, 1 August 1914
Peter's Court, Palace, 1 August 1914

Sa Majesté l'Empereur
Berlin

I received your telegram. Understand you are obliged to mobilise but wish to have the same guarantee from you as I gave you, that these measures do not mean war and that we shall continue negotiating for the benefit of our countries and universal peace deal to all our hearts. Our long proved friendship must succeed, with God's help, in avoiding bloodshed. Anxiously, full of confidence await your answer.

Nicky


David_Pritchard

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Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander III
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2006, 02:49:36 PM »
The Three Emperor's League

The Courts of Austria-Hungary, of Germany, and of Russia, animated by an equal desire to consolidate the general peace by an understanding intended to assure the defensive position of their respective States, have come into agreement on certain questions....

With this purpose the three Courts .... have agreed on the following Articles:

Article 1

In case one of the High Contracting Parties should find itself at war with a fourth Great Power, the two others shall maintain towards it a benevolent neutrality and shall devote their efforts to the localization of the conflict.

This stipulation shall apply likewise to a war between one of the three Powers and Turkey, but only in the case where a previous agreement shall have been reached between the three Courts as to the results of this war.

In the special case where one of them shall obtain a more positive support from one of its two Allies, the obligatory value of the present Article shall remain in all its force for the third.

Article 2

Russia, in agreement with Germany, declares her firm resolution to respect the interests arising from the new position assured to Austria-Hungary by the Treaty of Berlin.

The three Courts, desirous of avoiding all discord between them, engage to take account of their respective interests in the Balkan Peninsula. They further promise one another that any new modifications in the territorial status quo of Turkey in Europe can be accomplished only in virtue of a common agreement between them.

In order to facilitate the agreement contemplated by the present Article, an agreement of which it is impossible to foresee all the conditions, the three Courts from the present moment record in the Protocol annexed to this Treaty the points on which an understanding has already been established in principle.

Article 3

The three Courts recognize the European and mutually obligatory character of the principle of the closing of the Straits of the Bosporus and of the Dardanelles, founded on international law, confirmed by treaties, and summed up in the declaration of the second Plenipotentiary of Russia at the session of July 12 of the Congress of Berlin.

They will take care in common that Turkey shall make no exception to this rule in favour of the interests of any Government whatsoever, by lending to warlike operations of a belligerent Power the portion of its Empire constituted by the Straits.

In case of infringement, or to prevent it if such infringement should be in prospect, the three Courts will inform Turkey that they would regard her, in that event, as putting herself in a state of war towards the injured Party, and as having deprived herself thenceforth of the benefits of the security assured to her territorial status quo by the Treaty of Berlin.

Article 4

The present Treaty shall be in force during a period of three years, dating from the day of the exchange of ratifications.

Article 5

The High Contracting Parties mutually promise secrecy as to the contents and the existence of the present Treaty, as well as of the Protocol annexed thereto.

Article 6

The secret Conventions concluded between Austria-Hungary and Russia and between Germany and Russia in 1873 are replaced by the present Treaty...

SZECHENYI
v. BISMARCK
SABOUROFF

Separate Protocol on the same date to the Convention of Berlin. June 18, 1881

Article 1: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Austria-Hungary reserves the right to annex these provinces at whatever moment she shall deem opportune.

Article 2: Sanjak of Novibazar

The Declaration exchanged between the Austro-Hungarian Plenipotentiaries and the Russian Plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Berlin under the date of July 13/1, 1878, remains in force.

Article 3: Eastern Rumelia

The three Powers agree in regarding the eventuality of an occupation either of Eastern Rumelia or of the Balkans as full of perils for the general peace. In case this should occur, they will employ their efforts to dissuade the Porte from such an enterprise, it being well understood that Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia on their part are to abstain from provoking the Porte by attacks emanating from their territories against the other provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

Article 4: Bulgaria

The three Powers will not oppose the eventual reunion of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia within the territorial limits assigned to them by the Treaty of Berlin, if this question should come up by the force of circumstances. They agree to dissuade the Bulgarians from all aggression against the neighbouring provinces, particularly Macedonia; and to inform them that in such a case they will be acting at their own risk and peril.

Article 5

In order to avoid collisions of interests in the local questions which may arise, the three Courts will furnish their representatives and agents in the Orient with a general instruction, directing them to endeavour to smooth out their divergences by friendly explanations between themselves in each special case; and, in the cases where they do not succeed in doing so, to refer the matters to their Governments.

Article 6

The present Protocol forms an integral part of the secret Treaty signed on this day at Berlin and shall have the same force and validity...

David_Pritchard

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Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander II
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2006, 02:51:42 PM »
The Reinsurance Treaty, 1887

The Imperial Courts of Germany and of Russia, animated by an equal desire to strengthen the general peace by an understanding destined to assure the defensive position of their respective States, have resolved to confirm the agreement established between them by a special arrangement, in view of the expiration on June 15/27, 1887, of the validity of the secret Treaty and Protocol, signed in 1881 and renewed in 1884 by the three courts of Germany Russia, and Austria-Hungary.

To this end the two Courts have named as Plenipotentiaries:

His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, the Sieur Herbert Count Bismarck-Schoenhausen, His Secretary of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs;

His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russians, the Sieur Paul Count Schouvaloff, His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, who, being furnished with full powers, which have been found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article 1

In case one of the High Contracting Parties should find itself at war with a third Great Power, the other would maintain a benevolent neutrality towards it, and would devote its efforts to the localization of the conflict.  This provision would not apply to a war against Austria or France in case this war should result from an attack directed against one of these two latter Powers by one of the High Contracting Parties.

Article 2

Germany recognizes the rights historically acquired by Russia in the Balkan Peninsula, and particularly the legitimacy of her preponderant and decisive influence in Bulgaria and in Eastern Rumelia.  The two Courts engage to admit no modification of the territorial status quo of the said peninsula without a previous agreement between them, and to oppose, as occasion arises, every attempt to disturb this status quo or to modify it without their consent.

Article 3

The two Courts recognize the European and mutually obligatory character of the principle of the closing of the Straits of the Bosporus and of the Dardanelles, founded on international law, confirmed by treaties and summed up in the declaration of the second Plenipotentiary of Russia at the session of July 12 of the Congress of Berlin (Protocol 19).

They will take care in common that Turkey shall make no exception to this rule in favour of the interests of any Government whatsoever, by lending to warlike operations of a belligerent power the portion of its Empire constituted by the Straits.  In case of infringement, or to prevent it if such infringement should be in prospect, the two Courts will inform Turkey that they would regard her, in that event, as putting herself in a state of war towards the injured Party, and as depriving herself thence forth of the benefits of the security assured to her territorial status quo by the Treaty of Berlin.

Article 4

The present Treaty shall remain in force for the space of three years, dating from the day of the exchange of ratifications.

Article 5

The High Contracting Parties mutually promise secrecy as to the contents and the existence of the present Treaty and of the Protocol annexed thereto.

Article 6

The present Treaty shall be ratified and ratifications shall be exchanged at Berlin within a period of a fortnight, or sooner it may be.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.

Done at Berlin, the eighteenth day of the month of June, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven.

(L.S.) Count Bismarck

Additional Protocol: Berlin, June 18, 1887

In order to complete the stipulations of Articles 2 and 3 of the secret Treaty concluded on this same date, the two Courts have come to an agreement upon the following points:

1. Germany, as in the past, will lend her assistance to Russia in order to re-establish a regular and legal government in Bulgaria.  She promises in no case to give her consent to the restoration of the Prince of Battenberg.

2. In case His Majesty the Emperor of Russia should find himself under the necessity of assuming the task of defending the entrance of the Black Sea in order to safeguard the interests of Russia, Germany engages to accord her benevolent neutrality and her moral and diplomatic support to the measures which His Majesty may deem it necessary to take to guard the key of His Empire.

3. The present Protocol forms an integral part of the secret Treaty signed on this day at Berlin, and shall have the same force and validity.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed it and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.

Done at Berlin, the eighteenth day of the month of June, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven.

Count Bismarck
Count Paul Schouvaloff