Vol.12, No.1 | [Article] Imperial Geopolitics: Catherine II’s Policy on the Black Sea



The article examines the internal and international policy of Catherine II in the years following the Treaty of Küçük Kaynardžj, signed with the Ottoman Empire in 1774, which ensured Russia the possession of new territories in the ancient Tauris region. The Mediterranean policy applied by the Empire and the necessity of expanding its sphere of influence towards the Black Sea after 1774 are also analyzed. The documents - located in Naples’ State Archive - Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- enable us on one hand to analyze the heavy Russian commercial traffic in the Mediterranean, and on the other to demonstrate how acquiring the territories on the Black Sea allowed Catherine II to start a policy of control and hegemony over that sea.
By employing the Archive’s documentation, this study attempts to provide the geopolitical coordinates for, and to interpret the Tsarina’s choices in international policy on the Euro-Mediterranean political scene.

Keyword : Kingdom of Naples, Russian Empire, Mediterranean Sea, Catherine II, Black Sea