The Anglo-Russian wars were a crucial phase of hostilities between Russia and the United Kingdom. This was after the signing of the Treaty of Tilsit that ended a war between France and Russia. Anglo-Russian wars were limited to a number of naval actions in the Barents and Baltic seas. In the events, Royal Navy from Britain took center stage in most of the actions.
Anglo-Russian Wars and the Treaty of Tilsit
Tsar Alexander signed the Treaty of Tilsit, a very disadvantageous treaty after Napoleon I defeated Russians in the Battle of Friedland. Even though the treaty was very popular in the country and especially Russian Court, Russia had no choice because Napoleon could move easily across Russian borders. This also made it easy for Napoleon to invade Russia.
The terms of Treaty of Tilsit required that Russia ceases its maritime trade with the Great Britain. This was part of Napoleon’s unending efforts to establish a functional and Continental system that would enhance economic ties between different countries. Napoleon was more interested in strengthening business relations between countries under French domination and those in Europe. He also aimed at forcing Britain into submission by closing its vital markets.
Military activities during the Anglo-Russian Wars
In October, 26th 1807, Tsar Alexander declared wars on UK. This followed Britain’s attack on Copenhagen in September the same year. Even though he did not prosecute the war actively, Alexander restricted Russia’s contribution to bare requirement. He aimed at closing off close relations and trade between Russia and the Great Britain. The UK therefore started to limit its military activity and response to the declaration.
After the UK limited its military activity in the Russia, there were a number of notable incidences that occurred. They include the
- Detention of Russian vessels- the British declared a very strong embargo on Russian vessels in all its ports. More than 70vessels were seized in Portsmouth harbor. Britain also seized Russian storeship during the same period.
- Lisbon Incident also occurred during the Anglo-Russian wars
- Naval conflict in the Baltic also occurred where Russia invaded Sweden, a great ally to the UK. The two countries were acting odd with Britain supporting Sweden. This led to Finnish war where Russians were defeated. Russian cutter opyt was also captured by British military fleet in June 23rd, 1808.
- During the wars, many British officers were sent to Persia. They remained in the country for some years. The officers provided military training to the Persian army. William Monteith, one of the British officers had to accompany Abbas Mirza to Georgia for a campaign that did not succeed.
The Outcome of Anglo-Russian WARS
Russia remained neutral during the wars between the Great Britain and France. This was an important step that allowed Russians to continue trading with the UK. They did not enforce any blockade as required or recommended by the Continental system. As a result, trade relations between Russia and the UK were greatly enhanced.
Napoleon I however invaded Russia. This led to the signing of a Treaty of Orebro between Russia and the British. In July, 18th 1812, Sweden and Britain also signed the same treaty leading to an end of the Anglo-Russian wars.
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