The Americans beat the Russians in the first battle

History 24/01/20 As the Americans beat the Russians in the first battle

Russian-American relations was, from the moment of occurrence of the US, always friendly. Ideological differences between autocratic monarchy and the “most free” democracies of the world never interfered.

Few people know, but the coincidence caliber rifles – 0.3 inches, taken in the late nineteenth century both Russia and the United States, explained by the fact that both countries considered themselves to be guaranteed from collision with each other. At that time, each state sought its own “unique” caliber weapons in case of war to impede potential enemy use of captured weapons for their own ammunition. The war between Russia and the United States military of both countries felt excluded.

However, once at the beginning of the nineteenth century there was an armed clash between Russians and Americans. However, enemies of the state and, as we would say today, private military companies in Russia and the United States.

the Russian American Company and the Hawaiian Islands

the Russian American Company (RAC) was formed in 1799. She had a monopoly on the commercial enterprise and colonization in America and the North Pacific ocean. CANCER was a semi-state company, and she was allowed to hire their officers, soldiers and military seamen to carry armed guards. In the possession of the CANCER was not only Russian America (Alaska and California region), but also the Kuril Islands. In addition, CANCER attempted to establish themselves in the Hawaiian Islands.

Natives of Hawaii were on a relatively high level of cultural development, between the wars were fought for hegemony in the archipelago. The native chiefs thought that the whites use to solve their political problems, and the colonialists successfully used them for his purposes. Hawaii came in English, French, Russian ships, but of particular interest to them was shown only that of the United States.

At this time, the king of Hawaii was considered the leader of the island of Oahu Kamehameha. But the chiefs of the other Islands were only nominally subordinated to him and dreamed of independence. In January 1815 Kaumualii, the ruler of the island of Kauai, confiscated the wreck of the ship CANCER “Bering” and the cargo. To release the ship to the Governor of Russian America, Alexander Baranov, sent who were in the service CANCER native-born German scientist Georg schäfer on the ship “Discovery” with a military unit.

the Russians are Hawaii

Schaeffer first came to Kamehameha, but soon realized that he can’t order his vassal to Kauai. Having understood that to what, Schaeffer came to Kaumualii. Negotiations with the rebel chief of the island went well. He ordered the release of the ship CANCER with a cargo, and agreed to accept Russian citizenship in exchange for help against Kamehameha CANCER. 21 may 1816 Kaumualii signed the petition on the protectorate of Russia over his island.
Schaeffer vigorously engaged in ensuring Russian sovereignty over Kauai. He gave Kaumualii Schaeffer, personal property valley on the island, which the Germans had renamed after himself in Shepperton. In addition, the map of Kauai appeared the don river.
Schaeffer became the leader of the native “army”, giving it Kaumualii, numbering 500 people. Many of its “officers” Schaeffer gave “names” to honour them, the Russian people (Vorontsov, Platov, etc.). Under the direction of Schaeffer natives and the soldiers of the CANCER has built a stone Fort Elizabeth (in honor of the Emperor’s sister) and two earthworks, also loudly called “FORTS” Alexander and Barclay de Tolly.
Hawaii was always a number of white. Their Schaeffer also attracted to the service. Schaeffer acquired CANCER for two ships, one of which (American “Avon”) sent to Archangel with documents about transactions.

the Hesitation of the CANCER and the aggressiveness of Americans

Sheeps afraid of the scope of the Schaeffer – “how something happens”, and refused to approve his orders without approval from Petersburg. Intercourse with Russian capital in both ends at the time it was going to take more than a year.
Meanwhile, in September 1816, has already begun military action – while between subjects of the Kamehameha and Kaumualii. The first did not allow the second to gain a foothold on Oahu. Kamehameha himself was angry at the “separatists” and appealed for help to the American merchants. Those, too, were extremely dissatisfied with the monopoly on the sandalwood trade, which the “king” of the island of Kauai has provided the Russian.
the Americans landed on Kauai, and began openly to break this monopoly. In addition, they suddenly attacked the “capital” of the island, but the natives would have defended her. This was the so-called “scramble for the Russian flag.”

American Troops and the Russian withdrawal

the Americans not only organized themselves and armed warriors of Kamehameha, “the high king”, but also led the diplomatic game. They said to the Europeans and Americans, entered the service to Schaeffer, that will not hinder the draw trade but will fight to the full replacement of Russian from Hawaii. After that, the aliens left Schaeffer.
because of the inaction of the Board of the CANCER aid from Russia did not come, and meanwhile, in March 1817 off the coast of Kauai appeared five ships with armed Americans. The Americans landed on Kauai and began to ravage the plantations and settlements. The numerical superiority of the enemy was overwhelming, the military campaign after it was fleeting. Blocked at Fort Elizabeth Schaeffer and soldiers CANCER 17 Jun 1817 surrendered under condition of free departure.
In the hostilities killed three Russian soldiers CANCER. All the fortifications on Kauai was razed, but the Foundation stone of the Fort and the Elizabethan nowadays show the tourists.


thus ended this story. Schaeffer was still trying to arouse the reign of CANCER and the Russian government interest in colonization of the Hawaiian Islands. But PeterBurg felt that Hawaii is not worth the breach of friendly relations with the United States. On the petition of Kaumualii about acceptance in citizenship of the Emperor Alexander I wrote in the beginning of 1818 a negative resolution. More attempts to establish itself in Hawaii (which in 1893 was finally annexed by the U.S.) the Russian did not.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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