Experts

  • Position : Special Advisor
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
complete list

Article of Vladimir Orlov "Hawaiian Don river flows" for International Affairs magazine

29.11.2017

ISLAND OF KAUAI. THE STATE OF HAWAII. December 5, 2017. PIR PRESS – "The History of "Russian Hawaii" is a cocktail of the romance of the South Seas and accurate trading calculation, of strategic planning and of the adventurism, of the dizzying ambitions of individual players who have put everything at stake and of state policy of legitimism which has chilled them, of  the risk of single passionate players and evasion of the Emperor from any non-obvious risks. The history of the Russian flag raised on Kauai is also the history of the geopolitical game in the North Pacific Ocean, where Russia was playing a complex game with the young United States, counting on rivalry to move into a partnership where the British shadow always fluttered and where the final recipient of the products behind which was "Pulling" Kauai, appeared China, not to be broken by European powers yet", – Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor, Head of  the Center for Global Trends & International Organizations of the Diplomatic Academy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Two centuries ago on the Hawaiian island of Kauai Russian settlements and fortresses were founded: Fort Barclay de Tolly, Fort Alexander and the only one remaining, Fort Elizabeth, which was named in honor of the wife of Emperor Alexander the First Elizabeth. In 1816-1817, the flag of the Russian Empire fluttered on the flagstaff.

On November 11-13, 2017 events on the 200th anniversary of the rise of the Russian flag on Kauai, the 200th anniversary of the appealing of the ruler of Kauai to Emperor Alexander the First about the admission of Kauai into the Russian Empire and the 200th anniversary of the Elizabeth fortress in Kauai, took place on the island of Kauai.

International Affairs magazine has published an article by PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor, Head of the Center for Global Trends & International Organizations of the Diplomatic Academy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Vladimir Orlov "Hawaiian Don river flows", dedicated to the "Russian Hawaii". International Affairs (Mezhdunaradnaya Zhizn’ in Russian) is a monthly magazine of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Orlov’s article was published in its November 2017 issue. 

During the celebrating ceremonies on Kauai and "Hawaii – Russia Forum" there, Dr. Orlov presented the article to the participants, and also acquainted the public of Kauai with the main findings and conclusions of the article in his interview  to the Kauai Community radio.

In his article, Vladimir Orlov elaborates on the history of the "Russian Hawaii", describing it as a cocktail of the romance of the South Seas and accurate trading calculation, of strategic planning and of the adventurism, of the dizzying ambitions of individual players who have put everything at stake and of state policy of legitimism which has chilled them, of the risk of single passionate players and evasion of the Emperor from any non-obvious risks. The history of the Russian flag raised on Kauai is also the history of the geopolitical game in the North Pacific Ocean, where Russia was playing a complex game with the young United States, counting on rivalry to move into a partnership where the British shadow always fluttered and where the final recipient of the products behind which was "Pulling" Kauai, appeared China, not to be broken by European powers yet".

This story goes back to June 1804 "when the ships "Nadezhda" and "Neva" under the command of I.F. Krusenstern and Y.F. Lisyansky visited the archipelago during their round-the-world voyage. Participants of the expedition not only got valuable observations on the state of the economy, customs and life of the islanders, but also filled the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg with numerous exhibits," Vladimir Orlov writes.

Then, almost 10 years later, Dr. Georg Schaeffer, who arrived in Kauai to receive compensation for the damage caused to the looted property of the previously-wrecked Bering ship, "did not encounter the resistance of the king or locals. On the contrary, [King] Kaumualli "accepted him ... in the most friendly manner". Since this period, the history of the erection of three Russian fortresses begins, and the full-flowing river Hanapepe was renamed the Don.

In May 1816, the Governor of Kauai appealed to Emperor Alexander I to receive the island of Kauai into the Russian Empire. "Reports of events in Hawaii appeared in the foreign press. It was said, in particular, about the Russians joining one of the islands ("not far from the Sandwich Islands") and building fortifications on it ... It seemed that Russia not only advanced to Polynesia, but was also fixed there," explains Vladimir Orlov.

Revealing the portrait of the main character of those historical events, the author notes: "In the person of Dr. Schaffer, we actually have "two in one": a patriot of the Russian Empire, who thought about consolidating its interests, but also about his own who did not forget. Ready for adventure ... but, in fact, how else could you behave in the Southern Seas of the first quarter of the XIX century? Where is the line between "adventure" and "venture"?

The history and the archives related to the "Russian Kauai" since the spring of 2016 is being developed in the author's project of Vladimir Orlov on the PIR Center's website Hawaiian Don river flows (in Russian language), which in recent weeks has been  updated with new materials sent by the author from his November journey to Kauai.

On issues related to the project "Hawaiian Don river Flows", you can contact Vladimir Orlov at orlov@pircenter.org

 


 

Comments

 
 
loading