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Aleksandr Mikhailovich Gorchakov, Prince

Gorchakov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, Prince (əlyĭksänˈdər mēkhĪˈləvĭch, gərchəkôfˈ) [key], 1798–1883, Russian diplomat. After serving (1854–56) as ambassador at Vienna, he became Alexander II's foreign minister and chancellor (1867). His wit and oratorical gifts made him known as a brilliant diplomat. Gorchakov's chief aim was to nullify the Treaty of Paris that closed the Crimean War (1854–56) and to find allies against Austria and England, who had been mainly responsible for the treaty, which thwarted Russian expansion in SE Europe. A rapprochement with France failed when Napoleon III gave diplomatic support to the Poles in their rebellion (1863) against the Russians. Gorchakov maintained neutrality in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) in return for Bismarck's support of Russian intervention in Poland. He unilaterally ended (1870) the limitations imposed in the Treaty of Paris on Russia's Black Sea fleet. He attended the Congress of Berlin (1878), where most advantages gained in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 were lost. From 1879, N. K. Giers guided Russian foreign policy, and in 1882, Gorchakov resigned.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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