150 years ago — Report of Russian secret police

It’s remarkable to me how many of these themes continue to affect Russia, 150 years later.

from De Rebus Antiquis Et Novis:

Since 1827, The Third Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery produced special reports for the tsar, describing the moral and political situation in the Russian society. Four years ago, a large share of these reports was published by the Russian State Archive. Below are some short excerpts from the report summarizing the events of 1860, 150 years ago. Five years had passed since the coronation of Alexander II and only one year remained till the most important act of liberalism in Russia in 19th century (the last three words were, probably, not necessary).

Moral and political review of 1860

On revolutionary projects

For thirty years already, the aggregations of political emigrants in England, France, Belgium and Switzerland have constituted the source of all destructive projects in Europe. The revolutionary propaganda was led by Joseph Mazzini, the tireless advocate of the Italian freedom and the universal republic, in which this dreamer sees the future of the humanity…

The bombs, thrown in 1858 in Paris by Orsini, have proven the extreme danger of the ideas of the emancipation of Italy for the French throne…

Politicians see in the preparations for the popular resistance certain signs of the upcoming merge of the Italian question with the Hungarian, Polish and the Eastern questions. The future may confirm this guess, but it is already clearly seen that the tools chosen for these plans prove their revolutionary and democratic nature.

On Polish expatriates

The Polish emigrants include the expatriates of 1832 and 1848. The former, due to their number and influence, are more important than the latter, who mostly left Poland in young age, because of their inclination to life of leisure, without strict political principles…

According to the directions given in the speech [by Adam Czartoryski], instructions were sent to the Poles in the Tsardom to do nothing till the liberation of peasants […] but that they should make the Polish peasants believe that the Polish aristocrats forced the Tsar to liberate them. Continue reading