United States -- Commerce -- Russia, Russia -- Commerce -- United States, United States -- Commerce -- Law and legislation


In 1833, the United States and Russia came to terms on what is known as the Commercial and Navigation Treaty of 1832, from here on out referred to as the Treaty of 1832. This became the first trade agreement between the two countries, thanks to which Russia began to import vast amounts of cotton and agricultural equipment. In 1911, the United States abrogated the Treaty of 1832, a result of the Russian policies regarding emigration and the treatment of Jewish Americans in Russia. Subsequently, certain Russian nationalists denounced U.S. as meddling in Imperial Russian affairs, and in a surprising move proposed the dissolution of the agreement should be endorsed by the Duma immediately. Russian nationalists believed that the United States would be negatively affected by the treaty’s abrogation, but not the Russian Empire. The nationalists further claimed that Jewish Americans controlled the government of the United States, and President Howard Taft had succumbed to their pressure.

Previous literature on Russian nationalists deals primarily with the nationalist’s anti-Semitic stance particularly that of the actual Russian Nationalist Party; however, what historians have not discussed are the economic views of the Russian nationalists, as well as their attempted involvement in international politics. Despite what appears to be only an anti-Semitic stance in its dealings with the United States over the Treaty of 1832, this moment provided the nationalists with an opportunity to propose to the Duma the need for economic independence from the United States, or a Russia for Russians. This was done through the proposal of annulment of the treaty, and an increased duty on all goods originating in the United States. Yet the Russian textile industry relied heavily on cotton from the United States, and had the nationalists achieved their economic policies of creating a ‘tariff war’ with the United States, the Russian textile industry would have collapsed on the eve of World War I.



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