Dugin’s Works Department
Crimean War and Beginning of the Great Game
From: 4threvolutionarywar, April 1, 2016, by Akira
– “Beginning of the Great Game
The era of Alexander I, or rather, 1813, is known as the beginning of the so-called Great Game in the history of international relations. Thus, the English spy Arthur Connolly described the rivalry between the British and Russian empires for supremacy in Central Asia (1813-1907). Later this phenomenon was associated with British colonial history in India, made popular by the British writer Rudyard Kipling.
Besides the narrow sense, this concept can be interpreted more widely; this term can be used to describe a global confrontation between thalassocratic Britain and tellurocratic Russia. In this case, we have to include here not only the events in the Middle East or the Far East, but also all the important events in the international policy of the 19th century that affected the vital interests of Russia and England. In fact, the Great Game is the great war of continents, between Land civilization and Sea civilization, which is the main content of world geopolitical history. However, this confrontation between the Land and the Sea during the Great Game is considered in a particular historical period: the 19th century, and with two specific political actors: the British Empire and the Russian Empire.
Formally, the Russian Empire’s motivation for its expansion to the East was the will to “civilize the backward people of Central Asia”, to gain access to Central Asian goods, particularly cotton, and to stop the indigenous people’s raids on its territory. Britain, the largest colonizer, feared the possible loss of India and the strengthening of the Russian Empire on the world stage, via an apparent exit to the Indian Ocean through Persia and Afghanistan, by seizing new territories; the centuries-old Russian Colonialism was the real confirmation of this fact.
Since 1813, British diplomats were anxiously watching the military successes of the Russian army against Persia, and completed the signing of the Treaty of Gulistan and the Treaty of Turkmenchay. Russia annexed the territory of modern Armenia and Azerbaijan. The British military was engaged in training and re-equipping the Persian army, and supplied the Cherkess rebels with weapons. The main “nerve” of the collision between Russia and England was on the southern borders of Russia, where they were close to the English colonies or to lands where British influence was strong.
The expansion of the Russian empire in Central Asia and the Caucasus at the beginning of the 19th century and the military-political presence of Russian interests clashed with the British ones in the region. Britain, primarily, aimed at the retention and expansion of the territory of British India. The British came to India in the early 17th century and founded the East India Company. By the end of the 18th century, the whole of India was actually turned into the British colony.
There was only one power in the way of England’s world domination: Russia. The direct confrontation between the two countries happened under the next Russian monarch, the younger brother of Alexander I, Nicholas I. The most dramatic moment of the Great Game was the Crimean War. (…)“