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Jacobite/Hanoverian Factionalism, the Russian Monarchy, and the 1734 Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty

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Abstract

The 1734 Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty is significant in that it granted England Most Favored Nation status for the first time since the assassination of Charles I prompted its revocation in 1649. Further, Russia extended this privilege at time when empire's newly acquired Baltic ports provided the potential to control Europe's access to raw naval store materials and it did so without requiring any reciprocal political conditions. The treaty's primary authority remains Doulgas K. Reading, who examined its economic, diplomatic and practical aspects in a 1938 monograph. Describing its diplomatic context, Reading minimizes the role of the Jacobite resistance within Russia, as well as its influence on the Russian monarchy and aristocracy.* In contrast, Rebecca Wills' 2002 work, The Jacobites and Russia – 1715 – 1750, reveals through subsequently disclosed sources that both the nobility and the English expatriates in Russia were divided into Hanoverian and Jacobite-Holstein factions through the 1720s. With Catherine I's death in 1727, the Jacobites lost the support of Russia's sovereign, creating the opportunity for renewed relations with England and its new Hanoverian sovereign, George II. This paper relies primarily on diplomatic correspondence regarding the conditions for a trade treaty during Peter the Great's reign, as well as Wills' explication of the decline of Jacobite influence in the Russian court, to place the 1734 treaty in the context of Hanoverian predominance and the decline of Jacobite-Holstein influence. As part of a larger project on the relation of trade politics, diplomacy and religion to the treaty, this work contributes to a contemporary, comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing Russo-English relations in the first half of the eighteenth century.

*See note 28 in Douglas K. Reading, The Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty of 1734 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938), 72.

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Jacobite/Hanoverian Factionalism, the Russian Monarchy, and the 1734 Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty

UC 333

The 1734 Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty is significant in that it granted England Most Favored Nation status for the first time since the assassination of Charles I prompted its revocation in 1649. Further, Russia extended this privilege at time when empire's newly acquired Baltic ports provided the potential to control Europe's access to raw naval store materials and it did so without requiring any reciprocal political conditions. The treaty's primary authority remains Doulgas K. Reading, who examined its economic, diplomatic and practical aspects in a 1938 monograph. Describing its diplomatic context, Reading minimizes the role of the Jacobite resistance within Russia, as well as its influence on the Russian monarchy and aristocracy.* In contrast, Rebecca Wills' 2002 work, The Jacobites and Russia – 1715 – 1750, reveals through subsequently disclosed sources that both the nobility and the English expatriates in Russia were divided into Hanoverian and Jacobite-Holstein factions through the 1720s. With Catherine I's death in 1727, the Jacobites lost the support of Russia's sovereign, creating the opportunity for renewed relations with England and its new Hanoverian sovereign, George II. This paper relies primarily on diplomatic correspondence regarding the conditions for a trade treaty during Peter the Great's reign, as well as Wills' explication of the decline of Jacobite influence in the Russian court, to place the 1734 treaty in the context of Hanoverian predominance and the decline of Jacobite-Holstein influence. As part of a larger project on the relation of trade politics, diplomacy and religion to the treaty, this work contributes to a contemporary, comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing Russo-English relations in the first half of the eighteenth century.

*See note 28 in Douglas K. Reading, The Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty of 1734 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938), 72.