St. Petersburg Alliance Treaties

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

St. Petersburg Alliance Treaties


signed in 1740, 1743, and 1764 between Russia and Prussia.

(1) The St. Petersburg Alliance Treaty of 1740 was signed on December 16 for Russia by B. Kh. Minikh, A. I. Osterman, A. M. Cherkasskii, and M. G. Golovkin and for Prussia by its envoy to St. Petersburg, Mardefeld.

According to the treaty, both sides agreed on terms of friendship and mutual aid in case of an attack on either of them by a third power. However, Russia could not demand aid in case of war with Turkey, the Crimea, or Iran, and Prussia pledged not to employ Russian troops west of the Weser River. In secret articles both sides guaranteed the inviolability of Courland, pledged not to allow interference in Polish affairs by third powers, and agreed to protect the rights of persons of the Orthodox and Protestant faiths living within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzecz Pospolita). The term of the treaty was 20 years. The war that Prussia began against Austria in 1740 exposed basic disagreements between Russia and Prussia. They became more acute with the beginning of the Russo-Swedish War of 1714–43, in which Russia received no support from Prussia. Nevertheless, Frederick II managed not only to keep Russia neutral in the Austro-Prussian War but also concluded a new treaty with Russia in 1743.

(2) The St. Petersburg Alliance Treaty of 1743 was signed on March 16 for Russia by A. P. Bestuzhev-Riumin and K. Brevern and for Prussia by Mardefeld.

While reiterating a number of articles from the St. Petersburg Alliance Treaty of 1740, such as those on mutual aid and the policy on Poland, the treaty did not extend Prussia’s guarantees to territory annexed by Russia as a result of the war with Sweden. It also did not provide guarantees by Russia concerning the Silesian lands seized by Prussia from Austria. The treaty was concluded for a term of 18 years, but it did not lead to a rapprochement between the two powers. In 1750, diplomatic relations between Russia and Prussia were broken off and were renewed only in 1764.

(3) The St. Petersburg Alliance Treaty of 1764 was signed on March 31 for Russia by N. I. Panin and A. M. Golitsyn and for Prussia by the envoy to Russia, V. von Solms.

Catherine II, who approved the St. Petersburg Peace Treaty of 1762, refused to ratify the treaty of alliance between Peter III and Frederick II, which was concluded in 1762 in order to wage war against Denmark and which was in conflict with Russia’s national interests. In accordance with the treaty of 1764, Russia and Prussia guaranteed each other’s European possessions and pledged themselves not to conclude any treaties that could weaken the force of the alliance. In case of an attack upon one of the parties, the other pledged to furnish an auxiliary corps. Each side promised not to conclude a separate peace and freed itself of any obligation to render aid in case the other was attacked by a third power. The treaty was concluded for a term of eight years.

Appended to the basic text of the treaty were four secret articles and one separate article, which were of great importance. The articles ruled out military aid in case of a Prussian war on territory west of the Weser River or a war between Russia and Turkey. They proclaimed the parties would defend the existing form of rule in Sweden and guaranteed the successor to the throne Pavel his possessions in Holstein. In addition, both sides pledged not to allow any changes in the Polish constitution and to support the candidacy of Stanislaw Poniatowski for the Polish throne.


Martens, F. F. Sobranie traktatov i konventsii, zakliu-chennykh Rossiei s inostrannymi derzhavami, vols. 5–6. St. Petersburg, 1880–83.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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