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. The intrigues emanating from Russia and Denmark stemmed partly from Charles James
Fox's proposal for a settlement of the Anglo-Dutch War based on the terms of the Anglo-Dutch
Treaty of 1674, which would have placed Britain's maritime policy toward neutrals
in accord with the principles of the Armed Neutrality. The proposal, first made in
March and renewed in May, had no chance for success because of French opposition and
Dutch recognition of the United States, but it encouraged Russia, supported by Denmark,
to revive the proposal for an Austro-Russian mediation of the Anglo-French War (vol.
). It is not surprising that JA
dismissed as pointless an effort to revive the mediation in the summer of 1782 in
view of the fact that he had rejected it unequivocally in conversations with Vergennes
in July of 1781, for which see vol. 11:index. But Fox's proposal also was part of
his effort to create a northern alliance composed of Britain, Russia, Prussia, and
possibly Denmark, a diplomatic colossus that would enable Britain to obtain a favorable
peace. It failed for a variety of reasons but most importantly because Russia had
a secret alliance with Austria and thus could not enter into an alliance with Prussia
(Scott, British Foreign Policy
, p. 318–319).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.