National Geographic : 1896 Jan
RUSSIA IN EUROPE RUSSIA IN EUROPE* By HON. GARDINER G. HUBBARD, LL. D., President of the National Geographic Society England, the United States, and Russia have each made greater territorial acquisitions during the present century than all the other countries of the world together. In the case of the British empire, these have been larger and more important than those of either the United States or Russia. The United States and Russia have only annexed contiguous territory, save Alaska. Russia when first enrolled among civilized nations, in the time of Peter the Great, had no outlet to any ocean except the Arctic, and consequently no possibility of a navy or of commerce. Since then she has extended her dominion northwest to the gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic sea, building St. Petersburg on the marshes of Finland, south to the Black and Caspian seas, southeast to Afghanistan and China, and in the extreme east to the river Amur and the Pacific. The acquisitions of the Russian Empire within this century are greater in extent and importance than the whole of European Russia before that time. Her frontier has been advanced toward Stockholm 630 miles, toward Berlin 700 miles, toward Constantinople 500 miles, toward India 1,300 miles. Her terri tory in Europe comprises more than one-half of that continent; yet with all her great empire she has only three ports, and these on the Black sea, open to navigation throughout the year, the others being closed by ice from three to six months, while from those on the Black sea ships of war have no right to pass into the Mediterranean. Until within one hundred years southern and southeastern Russia were infested with hordes of Tartars and Kalmucks, who overran nearly one-third of Russia wandering tribes without fixed habitation or permanent govern ment, "marauders, slave-dealers, and vagabonds," who " came, conquered, burned, pillaged, murdered, and went." The first step of Russia when she determined that her empire should belong to the civilization of Europe was the subjugation of these tribes. This has been accomplished by compelling the Tartars *Annual address delivered May 10, 1895.
1895 Oct 31