|Messengers from the czar of Russia Here again the reader is introduced to some guests of the North--the officers of one of the little fleet that put into the Hudson and paid visits along the coast. It was not the Russian people at large who showed any friendliness to the United States during the Civil War; they knew little, cared less, and were not affected by the results of the conflict more than if it had been waged between two savage tribes in the heart of Africa. It was the Czar, for reasons of state or for his own purposes — which are much the same thing — who made the friendly overtures. Still smarting from the crushing disaster of the Crimea, where England, France, and Sardinia had combined to aid the hated Turk in keeping the Russians from the Bosphorus and the Mediterranean, the Czar would have given a great deal to have seen the “Trent” affair open hostilities between America and the mother country. Great Britain then would have its hands full in guarding its own shores and saving its Canadian possessions. The eyes of Napoleon III. were directed westward also at this time. King Victor Emmanuel, of Sardinia, who in 1861 had had placed on his head the crown of United Italy, was trying to juggle the disjointed states of his new kingdom into harmony. Besides this, the Czar had unproductive land to sell--Alaska. It was Russia's chance. This friendship was in the game of diplomacy. But different from what Russia expected was the attitude of England.|
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