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The Idea of Europe

Catriona Seth
Rotraud von Kulessa

16. Our Russian Neighbour

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1If he accounts for relations with neighbouring Muslim countries, Saint-Pierre in his Project for Perpetual Peace in Europe also considers the interests of the Tsar and thus of Russia. He demonstrates the role that potential exchanges could play in the consolidation of equilibrium on the continent.

2The Tsar has demonstrated his passion for encouraging the growth of commerce in the provinces. In this, he has significant advantages from nature, as great rivers span his country and he has ports on the Ocean, the Baltic Sea, and the Caspian Sea. The territory is extremely fertile in abundant areas, the population is numerous; achievement of perfection in manufacturing and the arts lacks only frequent and perpetual exchange with the best regulated nations. Moreover, he has recently discovered from experience how much war retards the accomplishment of those fine projects he has achieved in those areas; thus, it seems likely that once he becomes aware of a project that will bring perpetual peace among Christians, he will eagerly seek any method that will help it succeed.

3Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre,
Project for Perpetual Peace in Europe (1713).

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