The refusal of Catherine II to participate in the war with the British colonies in America

Moscow, September 23 [October 4] 1775

Sire, my brother.

Having received the letter in. In the Islands, I was even more touched by the frankness and sincerity with whom you wished to speak with me about the present state of your affairs, that you could not give me a more obvious proof of your confidence in my friendship. In my answer, I have to express to you my complete sympathy, and for this purpose my words, equally prompted by the heart, will be as frank as your own. Huge military preparations in Spain attracted the views of the whole of Europe, and the general opinion was that they were directed against the possessions in. in-va; The British people themselves shared this opinion and thought with concern about it. At such a moment and in the midst of similar political circumstances, the minister of I wanted to have a confirmation of my feelings at my court, always loudly expressed by me in favor of c. in the islands and your people.

I did not hesitate to reply to him through the intermediary of my ministry, that in. in-in, you can count on my goodwill and readiness to be of service to you and to provide you with essential services, regardless of any preliminary obligations between us. But since the concerns of Spain are clarified and now in. I was notified both by the content of your letter and by the requirements expressed by your minister that you explain and determine the use of the data I have given by the manual consisting of 20,000 people of my troops so that I can be transported to Canada next spring I can hide from at. V-va, that a similar amount of benefit and its destination not only change the meaning of my proposals, but even exceed the means that I can have to provide a service in. in-woo.

I barely begin to enjoy the world, and c. in-wu it is known that my empire needs calm. You also know the state in which the army emerges, albeit victorious, from a long and stubborn war in a murderous climate. First of all, I confess to you that the time from the present to the spring is too short, if only to give my army a rest from the pained work and attend to putting it in proper order. Then, not to mention the inconvenience that would have arisen when using such a large corps in the other hemisphere, where he would be under a power almost unknown to him, and would be almost deprived of any contacts with his monarch, my own confidence in the world that cost me so much efforts, positively forbids me in such a short time to deprive myself of a considerable part of my troops, and in. In-wu it is known that, moreover, one should take into consideration the barely dozing off affairs in Sweden and the incompletely resolved Polish affairs. I also cannot but reflect on the consequences that should arise for our dignity, as well as for the dignity of both monarchies and both nations from such a combination of our forces, solely to pacify an uprising that was not supported by any of the foreign powers.

Perhaps I should also say that not one of the powers established in the New World would have reacted favorably to the transportation of such a significant foreign army there. While so far they, apparently, did not take any part in the quarrel of the English colonies with their metropolis, the call of a significant and so new people in America could induce them to intervene in this matter. This would, in all likelihood, be reflected by anxiety in Europe, and the theater for a foreign war would be open instead of bringing peace and peace to England from the side to which my views and desires would strive. Such a future, I will not hide from c. So, it amazes me so much that, although I deeply regret the impossibility of rendering you the service you require from my friendship, at least I hope that it will not cause you the difficulties that you would expect at a glance. But sincerely thanks to c. In-for participation with which you learned about my speedy and prosperous recovery, I ask you to be sure that nothing can strengthen friendship and devotion, with which I remain, my sovereign, my brother, c. in-va good sister.

Source: AVLR, f. Russian relations with England, on. 35/6, ​​d. 37, l. 4-5 about. Copy, fr. lang Pub .: Sat. RIO, vol. 19, p. 500-502. Translation is given on Sat. RIO, checked with the architect. a copy.

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