Great Russia


28 July 2004

My dear son,

Your mother has asked me to teach you about the history of Great Russia, and even though I would like nothing better than to do so in the library of our dacha my current assignment makes it impossible to visit you in the Krimean right now. Therefore, I will send this letter with a brief description of that which you must know, and I expect you to send me at least seven thoughtful follow-up questions with the next boat. Otherwise I will be most displeased.

My dear son, there was a time when our empire was limited only to our territory in Europe, and we were beset by enemies on all sides. Germans and Turks, Britons and Swedes, Austrians and Spanish were all our enemies, and conspired to keep us low. But through the strength of our people we prevailed and expanded eastward, across the endless Siberian plains to conquer the entire north of Asia. Wide was our realm, and our future seemed secure, but we knew that it was our destiny to expand even farther, and fulfill our God-given mission to find our final borders.

Two opportunities arose for us: the first was China, and the second was Alaska. China, you must know, sold the tea that was the main beverage in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it cost the British Empire an enormous amount of silver bullion to purchase it. The Chinese emperors would accept no goods offered by the British, and demanded only silver, something which threatened to bankrupt the Englishmen. Then their merchants started selling opium in Chinese ports, demanding payment in silver, and all of the sudden they had found a way to stabilize the trade; even though the British leaders abhorred opium smuggling they knew it was necessary for the time being.

Into this situation entered our forces. Our wise Tsar found pretexts through which to attack China, bring her to her knees, and through her assert power over the British. They were prepared to go to war to make China their own interest sphere, but the French stood on our side, and war was averted for the time being. Now we controlled not only the tea trade, thereby gaining political might in Europe and a most lucrative business, but also millions upon millions of Chinese, who after some time could be used to dominate Asia.

Even more to our benefit, however, was Alaska, or "Russian Alaska" as it was called at the time. Our plan here was very wise indeed: to secretly ship over our Central Asian tribes to the American continent and allow them to spread out, controlled by Russian officers. Kirgizians, Tadzjikians, Uzbeks, and so on -- they were nomads, giving them a distinct advantage on the American plains as they could live off the land. They easily swept away the pitiful barbarians, sparing noone, and closed in on the United States in the east.

Yes, at this time there was a nation called the United States, a group of disorganized colonies without a monarch who had broken free from the weak British Empire. But as is always the case with anarchists they quarrelled among themselves, and war broke out as the southern states sought to break away from their northern brethren. We maintained good relations with both sides, and watched as they exhausted their resources and blood. After five long years we struck, taking them by surprise; when the southern states had been starved and beaten we easily swept away the occupation forces and installed an occupation of our own. The American anarchists had little resistance to place in our way, and their capital Washington fell within a few months.

This, however, did not sit well with the other European Powers. The British railed against us, and our carefully nurtured alliances were severed. War threatened, but we were saved by our control of the Asian trade and by the indecision of the Habsburgs and the French. Eventually the British and Prussians found they would have to face us alone, and this they would not do, for the might of Mother Russia surpassed theirs, and they could not even begin to contemplate an invasion of our vast territory. Is Russia not the world? How do you bring the world to heel?

Even so, we were magnanimous in victory and allowed the British to keep the colony they still maintained in North America, called Canada. We also allowed the anarchists who wished to emigrate to this northern-most colony to do so, and the Powers swallowed their anger and went back to making money, which was their favorite pasttime.

By the year 1900 we controlled all of the North American continent, from what was once called Mexico in the south to Canada in the north: with our newly created American fleet we had put the Canadians in a blockade, and threatened their borders with our brutal tribes, after which they succumbed easily. Twenty years later we dominated the Caribbean as well, and our Chinese subjects, meanwhile, had swarmed across South-East Asia under our command, subjugating the French colonies and more.

Many years earlier our leaders had predicted that a European war would come to end all wars, and once again their wisdom served us well. We were prepared: instead of trading with whoever was convenient at the moment, we had nurtured special ties with the French and the Habsburgs, ensuring that they would stand on our side. When Prussia and Britain deceitfully struck without warning in 1955, and the Ottomans followed suit, we knew we would survive the attack. The industrialized Prussians, however, proved a more ferocious enemy than we had expected, and we had to grant them control over some of our territory in Eastern Europe, swearing at the same time to take it back at the first opportunity. With peace established with Berlin we turned our wrath at the Ottomans, cutting their empire in pieces and sending them down into economic ruin.

The Britons, finding themselves without land on which to place their troops, had to settle for sea battles, and in this area they excelled. Many of our ships were destroyed across the globe: the Englishmen used steam-powered vessels and modern cannon and went to great lengths to satisfy their thirst for vengeance, for we had embarrassed them on two continents -- through the Chinese war and through Canada. However, even this bonfire eventually settled down, and with some concessions in Asia the World War came to an end.

It may seem we came to a standstill, but in fact the War was a great victory: for the first time our territory in Asia and North America was recognized as Russian by all, and the ever-present threat of invasion was forever avoided.

How fantastic are the ways of the Lord! The Jews expelled by our Tsar, vermin who sought refuge in London and other British cities, have now invented a philosophy they call socialism, with which the working classes are turned against their betters. With such a plague within their own borders, not a decade after the end of the War, the island kingdom will soon be as weak as the Japans, and as submissive; of this I am certain.

Today in 1965 we celebrate the centennial of our victory over the United States, and even as I write this the fireworks light up the early evening here on the shores of the Mississippi. Count Borisovich has ordered his cossacks to ride through town in a parade at sunset, and I must join the other officers shortly. A navy steamship will fire a salute, and General Bariatinsky's airships will sail majestically across the sky, a testament to our might and innovation.

Know, my son, that Mother Russia stretches around the globe because it is our destiny to rule the other peoples of this earth. Know that the day will come when all the Powers succumb to our might and humbly give up their colonies to our inevitable onslaught. The War weakened Britain so much that even now India and the land around her is ours for the taking, the moment our Tsar deems it suitable, and there is nothing the cowardly parliament in London can do to stop us. The moment they even whisper of war the masses will start pounding at their door again, led by their Yiddish demagogues, and so the democratic politicians find that democracy has become a noose around the neck of their empire.

But not ours. No, never ours. With a strong Tsar at the helm of all the Russias we seek our destiny, and one day, through the grace of God, we will fulfill it.

All my love,

Your Father,

in the Province of Mississippi, 1965


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