Articles by Frederick Engels for The Northern Star

News from St. Petersburgh

Source: MECW Volume 3, p. 524;
Written: in mid-May 1844;
First published: in The Northern Star No. 341, May 25, 1844, with an editorial note: “From our own Correspondent”

Considerable ministerial changes have occurred in St. Petersburg. The Minister of Finance, M. Cancrin, has fallen into disgrace, and the same is reported concerning the Police Minister, the well-known Count Benkendorff. Nicholas is evidently struggling to keep up a system which is rapidly ruining itself. The anti-Russian feeling in Germany and the other continental states is upon the increase, notwithstanding all the efforts of Nicholas’s paid literary army. The financial state of the government is one great difficulty; the pomp of the court, the innumerable army of policemen and spies, the expenses of diplomatists, spies, reporters, of secret intrigues, and bribery all over Europe, the army and navy, and the endless wars against the Circassians, [229] have eaten up everything that taxes and loans could bring together. The restrictive commercial policy of M. Cancrin has made foreign trade in some parts of the empire almost impossible, and has failed to establish a system of national industry at home. Among the nobility, three parties are to be traced distinctly — the court, the old country nobility, and the officers of the army. They are intriguing constantly against each other, their object of course being nothing else but exclusive dominion over the person of the Emperor, who, as all despots, is, after all, only the tool of his favourites.