• “Of course, it is unfair to judge the efforts of statesmen using retrospective knowledge. Some of the difficulties caused by annexing the Duchy of Warsaw could have been –and indeed were –anticipated. But from the Russian perspective there were actually no easy answers to the Polish problem, to an even greater extent than was true of the British in Ireland. Nor could anyone predict that the weak Prussia of 1814 would be transformed by the Industrial Revolution and German unification into a menace to itself and Europe. Nevertheless a knowledge of subsequent European history does give emphasis to the question of whether the enormous sacrifices of the Russian people in 1812–14 had been worthwhile.”

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