Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century, Karl Marx
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century
Karl Marx
3:39 h History Lvl 11.18
Secret Diplomatic History of The Eighteenth Century is a series of papers, written by Karl Marx, collected and edited by Eleanor Marx Aveling and Edward Aveling and published in 1899. Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Marx's critical theories about society, economics, and politics, collectively understood as Marxism, hold that human societies develop through class conflict.

Secret Diplomatic History of the
Eighteenth Century

Karl Marx

Edited by
Eleanor Marx Aveling and Edward Aveling

Opinions of the Press

“With all Marx’s faults and his extravagant abuse of high political personages, one cannot but admire the man’s strength of mind, the courage of his opinions, and his scorn and contempt for everything small, petty, and mean. Although many and great changes have taken place since these papers appeared, they are still valuable not only for the elucidation of the past, but also for throwing a clearer light upon the present as also upon the future.”— Westminster Review.

“All that Marx’s hand set itself to do, it did with all its might, and in this volume, as in the rest of his work, we see the indefatigable energy, the wonderful grasp of detail, and the keen and marvellous foresight of a master mind.”— Justice.

“A very masterly analysis of the condition, political, economic and social, of the Turkish Empire, which is as true to-day as when it was written.”— Daily Chronicle.

“The letters contain an enormous amount of well-digested information, and display great critical acumen, amounting in some cases almost to prevision. The biographical interest of the volume is also pronounced, for prominent men of that period are dissected and analysed with a vigour and freedom which are as refreshing to readers as they would be disconcerting to their subjects were they alive. A perusal of the book must greatly tend to a clearer perception of the later Eastern issues, which are now engaging the attention and testing the diplomatic talents of the ambassadors at Constantinople.”— Liverpool Post.

Publisher’s Preface

In the Preface to “The Eastern Question,” by Karl Marx, published in 1897, the Editors, Eleanor Marx Aveling and Edward Aveling, referred to two series of papers entitled “The Story of the Life of Lord Palmerston,” and “Secret Diplomatic History of the Eighteenth Century,” which they promised to publish at an early date.

Mrs. Aveling did not live long enough to see these papers through the press, but she left them in such a forward state, and we have had so many inquiries about them since, that we venture to issue them without Mrs. Aveling’s final revision in two shilling pamphlets.


Chapter I

No. 1. Mr. Rondeau to Horace Walpole.

“Petersburg, 17th August, 1736.

“ … I heartily wish … that the Turks could be brought to condescend to make the first step, for this Court seems resolved to hearken to nothing till that is done, to mortify the Porte, that has on all occasions spoken of the Russians with the greatest contempt, which the Czarina and her present Ministers cannot bear. Instead of being obliged to Sir Everard Fawkner and Mr. Thalman (the former the British, the latter the Dutch Ambassador at Constantinople), for informing them of the good dispositions of the Turks, Count Oestermann will not be persuaded that the Porte is sincere, and seemed very much surprised that they had written to them (the Russian Cabinet) without order of the King and the States-General, or without being desired by the Grand Vizier, and that their letter had not been concerted with the Emperor’s Minister at Constantinople…. I have shown Count Biron and Count Oestermann the two letters the Grand Vizier has written to the King, and at the same time told these gentlemen that as there was in them several hard reflections on this Court, I should not have communicated them if they had not been so desirous to see them. Count Biron said that was nothing, for they were used to be treated in this manner by the Turks. I desired their Excellencies not to let the Porte know that they had seen these letters, which would sooner aggravate matters than contribute to make them up….”

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