KURILLA I.I. Debates About Russia, America, and New World Order: Four Books from the 1850s

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.5.18

Ivan I. Kurilla

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Faculty of Political Science,

European University at Saint Petersburg,

Gagarinskaya St, 6/1 A, 191187 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The first major crisis of the international relations system founded in Vienna after Napoleonic wars emerged with the series of European revolutions of 1848–1849 and Crimean War of 1853–1856. Not only diplomatic alliances required to be re-evaluated, but also politicians and thinkers challenged the philosophical foundations of the world order. As Russia was the guarantor of the old system, and the United States appeared as an attractive model for the European revolutionaries, the debate on the new world order involved re-assessment of the two countries respective roles and of their future relations.

Methods and materials. The article examines books on the subject written during 1850s by four prominent thinkers: American aspiring politician Henry Winter Davis, Russian diplomat Alexei Evstafiev, Polish émigré and American journalist Adam Gurowski and Russian political émigré Ivan Golovin. Analysis. They provided four different visions of the future of the world, and, while never mentioning each other, produced a polyphonic sound of the important debate on the eve of the American Civil War.

Results. Bipolarity of the international system predicted by Davis became a fact only a century later, while criticism and praise to American role as a model and an intervening power in European affairs became a constant feature of any subsequent debate.

Key words: Russian-American relations, Adam Gurowski, Henry Winter Davis, Ivan Golovin, Aleksei Evstafiev, European revolutions of 1848–1849, debate on changing the world order.

Citation. Kurilla I.I. Debates About Russia, America, and New World Order: Four Books from the 1850s. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 225-231. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.5.18.

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