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George Munro, Ph.D., ‘Revolutionary America's Quest for a Russian Ally’
Society of the Cincinnati annual lecture
5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27
George Munro, Ph.D., ‘Revolutionary America's Quest for a Russian Ally’

At the time of the American Revolution, the Russian Empire had risen to become one of Europe's leading states. Under the rule of Catherine II (Catherine the Great) Russia’s size and might made it a worthy ally. This talk traces the remarkable story of how the new United States pursued an unusual path to diplomatic recognition by Russia to help it win independence from Great Britain. Acting independently, the Continental Congress sent an “ambassador,” Francis Dana, to St. Petersburg without first obtaining permission or a formal request from Russia. Dana remained in St. Petersburg for two years, posing as a merchant and hoping to gain an audience with the empress. This story — almost unknown in history books — reveals the failures to achieve mutual understanding that have dogged Russian-American relations from the beginning.

George Munro, Ph.D., is a professor of history at VCU. His research focuses on Russia in the second half of the 18th century, particularly the reign of Catherine the Great.

Oct 27, 2020 05:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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