Alexander Gorchakov

Picture of Alexander Gorchakov

Date of Birth: 06/15/1798

Age: 84

Citizenship: Russia


Alexander was born in June 4, 1798 in de Hapsal in a military family. His father - Major General Michael A. Gorchakov - on duty often received appointments in different cities, and the family lived in de Hapsal, in Revel, then in St. Petersburg. Education of children, and there were five of them in the family - four daughters and a son, engaged mother, Elena Fersen. Primary education, Alexander has received at home, and then graduated from high school in St. Petersburg.

In 1811, he "survived brilliantly `entrance exams and enrolled in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. There he studied in the same class AS Pushkin, who dedicated a poem to him, predicting a bright future:

You hand the restive Fortune The specified path and happy and glorious.

The lyceum Gorchakov receives the nickname "Dandy" and received into the fellowship of 30 boys. After six years at the Lyceum, he completed it with a gold medal for his "exemplary good behavior, diligence and great success in all parts of the sciences."

At the age of 19 the young prince began his diplomatic career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the rank of titular counselor. His first teacher and mentor was the Secretary of State for Eastern and Greek issues IA Earl Kapodistrias, with whom Alexander Gorchakov as part of the Russian delegation participated in the congresses of the Holy Alliance in Troppau, Laibach and Verona. And if the relationship with the mentor of the young diplomats were excellent, the Count KV Nesselrode, Secretary of State for Western European Affairs, Gorchakov did not use location. Count Nesselrode strongly hindered his promotion. At the end of 1819 Gorchakov receives the title of gentleman of the bedchamber, and soon the post of Secretary of the Russian Embassy in London, which he had long dreamed of.

Since the beginning of service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gorchakov learned well the subtleties of the art of diplomacy and did not intervene in the fighting factions departmental ministries, and work on improving their skills. He was assigned to London, he quickly began to make a career: 1820 - Secretary of the Embassy in 1822 - the first secretary, in 1824 - the rank of court counselor, indicating that the Emperor recognition abilities and talents of the young diplomat.

In London, Gorchakov remained until 1827. His relationship with the Ambassador of Russia Lieven left much to be desired, and Alexander is leaving London "for health reasons". He transferred to the post of First Secretary in Rome - a less prestigious than London. There Gorchakov gets useful contacts, including the daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais, Hortense, mother of the future French emperor Louis Napoleon, studying Greek and delves into the state of affairs in the Balkans. A year later he transferred to the Berlin embassy advisor, but soon returned again to Italy as charge d`affaires.

Prior to his retirement he served Gorchakov, Florence and Lucca, in Tuscany was a messenger, an advisor of the Embassy in Vienna. In retirement, he came in 1838 with the rank of state councilor. Leaving the service was not only due to his marriage to Maria Alexandrovna Urusova marriage which strengthened the position of Gorchakov at the court, as the family of his wife was rich and powerful, but also the relationship with Count Nesselrode, who were far from friendly. Alexander secretly hoped that the resignation will not be accepted, but accepted it, which greatly offended the ambitious diplomat.

As time went by, life in the capital, and entertainment at the court alleviated the bitterness of leaving the service. Alexander was waiting for his re invited to take a position in the Foreign Ministry, but did not receive an invitation. Seeing the concern in-law, Count Urusov begins to promote his return to the service.

When he returned to the Foreign Ministry, in 1841 Gorchakov was sent Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Wurttemberg. Appointment seemed minor, but in fact the German question was one of the central European Russia policy. In St. Petersburg, closely followed by internal processes in the German states, the struggle between Austria and Prussia, who wanted to play a leading role in the unification of Germany. Gorchakov task was to maintain the credibility of Russia as a patron of the German states and the skillful use of contradictions, since the establishment at the borders of a strong unified German Empire to Russia was dangerous. Links diplomat at the court of Wurth-Bergischen princes Gorchakov helped pass in Petersburg unique material about the secret plans of governments of the German Confederation. Activity Alexander Mikhailovich was rated highly. King of Wurttemberg he was awarded the Grand Cross, and the Emperor Nicholas I introduced him to the Order of the St Anne and the St Vladimir. In 1850 Gorchakov was appointed to the post of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the German alliance.

In 1853, Alexander suffered a personal tragedy - the death of his wife, with whom they lived happily for 15 years. On his shoulders lay the care of his sons and the children from the first marriage of Maria Alexandrovna. Taking care of their upbringing did not prevent him to continue active diplomatic activities, which acquired special weight on the eve of the Crimean War. In these difficult years for Russia, Gorchakov again announced himself as a top-class diplomat.

In 1854 he was appointed to the post of ambassador to Vienna. On the Turkish side has made Britain and France. Austria still hesitated, and Gorchakov`s task was to eliminate Austria as a possible ally Turkey in the fight against Russia. The task was very difficult, and Nicholas I, seeing Gorchakov in Vienna, he said to him: "I trust you. But I do not hope that your efforts will be successful. " Arriving in Vienna, Alexander personally convinced of the vain emperor fears. He immediately reported to Petersburg about the contraction of the Austrian troops to Transylvania, which threatened the Russian army of the Danube, on demand withdrawal of Russian troops from the Danubian principalities, the attempts of the Austrian Government to engage in a war with Russia and Prussia. Having a great prestige in diplomatic circles, and make great efforts to Gorchakov managed to prevent the entry of Austria in the Crimean War.

At the Paris Congress, started in February 1856, Russia was represented by diplomats AF Orlov and FI Bruno. The heroic defense of Sevastopol, Russian troops capture of Kars and successful work Gorchakov to weaken the anti-Russian coalition played an important role in respecting the congress participants to the Russian delegation. In Paris itself Gorchakov was not, and when the Congress of the work was completed, he was already in St. Petersburg. His successful efforts to protect Russian interests was highly appreciated by the new emperor Alexander II.

The lost war and the collapse of the diplomatic policy of Count Nesselrode made Alexander II to change the direction of Russian foreign policy and begin to transform the internal management. We needed a new Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Minister Alexander Gorchakov becomes. The emperor hoped that the prince would be able to restore the prestige of the country, undermined by defeat in the Crimean War.

The new direction of foreign policy minister Gorchakov outlined in the circular of 21 August 1856 in a personal report to the emperor. It emphasized the government`s desire to devote "precedence diligence" Internal Affairs, extending the activities beyond the Empire, "only when it definitely will require the positive benefit of Russia." Failure of the active foreign policy activities wore a temporary nature, as evidenced by the phrase Gorchakov, "said Russia`s angry. No, Russia is not angry, and focused. " This meant that Russia would temporarily not actively intervene in European affairs and will not sacrifice its interests to support the principles of the Holy Alliance, it will gather strength.

One of its main tasks the new minister saw the abolition of the humiliating Treaty of Paris Treaty on the neutralization of the Black Sea. Ought also to restore lost influence in the Balkans. These tasks require finding new ways and diplomatic combinations.

new people were needed to solve these problems. By forming apparatus of the Ministry, Alexander was guided by training employees and their political orientation. It reduced the Foreign Office unit, reinforced heads of departments responsible for decisions, eliminated petty tutelage over the older younger. The authority of the new minister, his reasonable demands to subordinates, a relationship of trust with the monarch and reorganized the unit allowed Gorchakov already in 1856 to launch a new foreign policy agenda.

To solve it, Gorchakov bet on France as the most real ally. He believed that East Napoleon III