War for the Future

Prussia

Europe: Prussia and Russia

Welcome to the RVA Global Tour. eat great food, see great art, take selfies with history, and earn prizes at the museum. 

  1. Snap a photo with two or more posters. 

  2. visit the american civil war museum to get your prize.

Scroll down for Otto Von Bismarck’s story, find others at the tour home page, and take off around the world… from Richmond! [Note: This is a prototype test of the Global Tour. Please let us know what you think! email to cgraham@acwm.org]

Polonia, 1863,  by Jan Matejko, pictured Poland as a chaste woman placed in shackles and subject to Russian cruelty.

Polonia, 1863, by Jan Matejko, pictured Poland as a chaste woman placed in shackles and subject to Russian cruelty.

 

Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, the Confederate commissioner to Russia, tried and failed to reach St. Petersburg in 1863 to make an appeal on behalf of the Confederacy to the “humane and enlightened” Czar of the Russian Empire, Alexander II. But Lamar didn’t make it to Russia. The January Uprising got in his way.

As the American Civil War raged, Polish peasants rose in rebellion against the Russian Empire that had occupied Poland since the 1760s.

British cartoonists imagined that England need only "growl" at Russia to save Poland.

British cartoonists imagined that England need only "growl" at Russia to save Poland.

Henry Hotze

Henry Hotze

Henry Hotze, a Confederate in London, didn’t have faith in the Polish rebels. He dismissed them as irrational peasant guerrillas, unlike the Confederate States with its organized government and military. Yet Confederates drew parallels between the Russian campaign to crush the uprising and the United States’ own attempts to suppress the Confederate state, they characterized both as illiberal and chaotic tyranny.

The January Uprising became an international crisis when Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck allied with Russia to track down Polish insurgents. The German state of Bremen had once had a consulate in Shockoe Slip, but it was not enough to secure a favorable opinion of Brismarck. Hotze was horrified by a vision of a world order dominated not by the cooperation of constitutional democracies, but by brutal autocrats acting unilaterally. Confederate diplomats imagined that they could be part of a democratic international order, along with Great Britain and France, to stand up to Prussia, Russia, and the United States. That hope sustained many as their own country fell about them.

Lamar never made it to Russia, but a handful of Polish refugees showed up on Jefferson Davis’ doorstep in Richmond in August 1864 seeking land in the Confederate States in return for military service. But that late in the war, the two parties could not help one another.

 

Find Prussia in Richmond

 
 

Shockoe Slip was a bustle of commerce and travel. Confederate ambassadors started their journeys to potential partner nations from the Slip. Find Bismarck peering out at Segway of Richmond.

 
 

A hard day's research should be rewarded with a schnitzel at Cafe Rustika.