Diplomacy refers to the activities of heads of state and special bodies for the implementation of external interactions of states. Special people defend the interests of their country. However, for this you need to know the international situation and the state of affairs in different countries. It happens that it is the diplomats who decide the fate of the countries in the negotiations, and not on the battlefields.
There are many examples in history that politicians demonstrate a greater talent than professional diplomats. In any case, the greatest figures were able to seize upon fleeting signs, luck and direct the fate of their country in good order. These are the names of those who can be considered truly great diplomats.
Pericles (490-492 years BC).
In those days, all major statesmen of Greece had to conduct diplomatic activities. One of the most famous diplomats of the ancient world was Pericles, the leader of Athens, in which democracy flourished in this city. A Greek was born in a rich family, where he studied with his father-leader. He invited the growing son to feasts. There Pericles got acquainted with the art of politics, realizing that you can win not only on the battlefield, but with the help of diplomacy you can achieve at times no less. Pericles expanded his traditional education by communicating with prominent philosophers and artists. Over time, he set himself the goal – the management of the Athenian state. Pericles began to conduct public activities. He himself was a very reserved person, whose way of life was considered irreproachable. And the politician was always visited by Athenian scientists, with whom the owner talked about science, politics, and art. In public affairs Pericles showed unselfishness and modesty, he even let other speakers express their thoughts and advice. The politician began to advocate the preservation of the unity of the Delos Union, calling for the expulsion of the Persians from the Greek sea spaces. But defeat in the struggle with the Persians forced Pericles to change their views. He realized that salvation is possible only in the complete subordination of all allies to Athens. A new power could emerge that would have owned the forces and resources of 200 states! First, the federal treasury was transferred to Athens, the city actually became the capital of a strong naval power, managing its finances. It remained only to unite the Greek world. Pericles himself led the fleet and defeated those who did not want to join the alliance. And although he saw more commander, he himself considered himself a politician. So, with Sparta was concluded a long-awaited truce. Pericles made Athens the most beautiful city in Greece, ruling it like a monarch. To the allies Pericles respected, to submit was reasonable, and attempts to withdraw from the union were stopped by military force. At the head of the expedition, the ruler and diplomat established contacts with the Black Sea states, finding new friends. Even with the cities of Sicily and the south of Italy, alliances were made. But over time Sparta could not stand such a growth of Athens – the war began. Pericles were given complete freedom. But the war dragged on, besides, the plague began in Athens. The politician and the diplomat were dismissed. But it turned out that there were no decent people in the city to replace the famous Pericles and he was again called to power. But he himself did not rule for long, having died from the plague. Athens quickly realized who they had lost – a great politician, ruler and diplomat, humble, kind and worthy. Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527).
Niccolo Machiavelli appeared in the family of a lawyer. The young man graduated from the city school, but could not enter the university because of the family’s financial problems. Then Niccolo began to study himself, reading the works of Cicero, Caesar, Virgil, Ovid and other philosophers of antiquity. And his father introduced him to the foundation of legal science. At the age of 29, Machiavelli was able to be elected to the Chancellery of the Republic. He headed it, taking over the work with foreign and military affairs.For 14 years of work diligent Florentine composed several thousand diplomatic letters, he wrote military and government laws, made diplomatic trips to Italy, to the Pope and even the French king. The situation over Italy was thickening. Machiavelli traveled a lot, persuading his neighbors to remain faithful to the agreements. Important was the mission to France. There, the diplomat also assessed the situation in the country, and his messages home were no less important than the talks themselves. Machiavelli showed himself as a subtle psychologist. At the beginning of the XIX century it was Machiavelli sent to the hottest points, where only the conflicts flared up. I must say that in fulfilling the numerous assignments of the Republic, Machiavelli turned into a self-aware official. He began to dress well and never regretted this money. The death of the Florentine Republic in 1512 interrupted the political career of the famous diplomat. Caught in exile, Machiavelli set to work. In the years 1513-1520, his most famous works appeared, including the “Sovereign” quoted by many politicians. The diplomat carried out small assignments, but could not return to big politics.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).
This great statesman and politician managed to prove himself in many areas. The highest stages of his diplomatic activity was the representation of the North American colonies in 1757-1762 and 1765-1775. Franklin represented the United States in France in 1776-1785. Thanks to the diplomat, America concluded peace treaties with France in 1778 and England in 1783. In addition to political activity, Franklin had a direct relationship to science – it was he who invented the lightning rod. He is considered the first American journalist, the best writer of the XVIII century, a real encyclopaedist. In Paris, Franklin was generally considered a personality, a scale comparable to that of Voltaire and Rousseau. And Benjamin was born in Boston, in the soap family, becoming the fifteenth child in the family. It was at his father’s enterprise that he got his first experience, then went to the printing house. But poverty did not allow for a systematic education – Franklin had to comprehend everything with his own mind. The desire for knowledge remained with him for life. At age 17, without money, Benjamin came to Philadelphia, eventually getting rich on publishing and buying his own printing press. At the age of 30, Franklin began his political career when he was elected secretary of the Pennsylvania Legislative Assembly. In 1757, the first diplomatic experience took place – it was necessary to defend the rights of native lands in a dispute with the owners of the colony. The successful conduct of disputes brought Franklin authority in his homeland. Gradually, the diplomat realized that the colonies are rapidly moving toward independence, and London’s petitions have no success. Then in 1775 he returned to Philadelphia, where he was immediately elected a member of Congress. This body began to probe the soil regarding sentiment in Europe on the relationship between Britain and the American colonies. A secret correspondence committee was created, in fact, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This body was headed by Franklin. He took an active part in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence adopted in 1776. England sent troops to America to pacify the rebels. A young country needed a strong ally, and Franklin left for Paris to negotiate. This choice of the messenger was not accidental – it was the only American famous in Europe. The diplomat quickly made friends with the French government and used a long feud with England to involve Louis XVI in the fighting. Thanks to the active work of Franklin, America managed to conclude peace on favorable terms, and to preserve France as an ally. Historians note that successful negotiations became possible only thanks to the eloquence of Benjamin Franklin. In 1785, he returned home, where he was warmly received. Franklin devoted his last years to the struggle against slavery.After the death of the famous diplomat, Congress declared a month of mourning for so many respectable citizens. Today, Franklin’s porter is painted on a hundred-dollar bill, so the diplomat continues his journey around the world.
The name of this diplomat has become synonymous with cunning, dexterity and freedom from political principles. There was born Talleyrand in Paris, in a wealthy but noble family. Physical trauma prevented the boy from starting military service, which is why he became a spiritual person. At the time of the French Revolution, the young bishop was elected a deputy of the States-General, and then to the National Assembly. In 1797, the politician, who had experience in international negotiations, became Minister of Foreign Affairs. Talleyrand quickly saw the potential in Bonaparte, becoming his ally and assisting in the seizure of power. In 1799-1807, the diplomat was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Emperor Napoleon. He actively participates in the establishment of a young state in Europe. But at the same time, Talleyrand began to actively take bribes from states hostile to France. In 1809, he himself offered his paid services to Metternich. An important day for the diplomat was March 31, 1814. The Allies decided who would rule France in the future. Talleyrand actively advocated the legitimacy of a legitimate hereditary monarchy, which could not but please the winners. After the restoration of the Bourbons, the diplomat regained the post of head of the foreign policy department and even managed to become the first prime minister in the history of France. Sly diplomat was able to bargain for the loser country as soft as possible. A star hour for Talleyrand was the Congress of Vienna. At first, he managed to enlist the support of the offended small countries, and then actually dissolve the coalition and withdraw France from international isolation. After the revolution of 1830, Talleyrand visited the government, and then became an ambassador in England. There he promoted the rapprochement of two great neighbors, but because of the scandal with bribes he was forced to resign.
Clemens Metternich (1773-1859).
This Austrian diplomat went down in history as one of the main organizers of the reorganization of Europe after the end of the Napoleonic wars. Metternich was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Austrian Empire from 1809 to 1848. Aristocrat by origin hostilely met the French Revolution. In 1798, Metternich began his diplomatic career. In 1801, he became an imperial envoy in Dresden, and from 1803 in Berlin. Here he began to prepare a coalition against France, trying to persuade Prussia to join the alliance of Russia, Britain and Austria. Together with this diplomat became friends with the French, which served as an excuse to send him to the court of Napoleon. There, Metternich defended the interests of his country, warning her of the impending attack of the French. After taking up the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, the diplomat immediately changed the vector of European policy – the daughter of Emperor Franz, Maria-Louise, became Napoleon’s wife. Thus ended the friendship of Russia and France. In the Russian company of Napoleon, Austria, which had problems with finances, was able to remain neutral. In 1813, Metternich realized that it would be impossible to conclude a peace with France. Austria immediately entered the war on the side of the Allies. After the fall of Napoleon, Metternich opened the Congress of Vienna, which reshaped the map of Europe. Austria itself received the lion’s share of the output. The ideas of the diplomat triumphed – Italy and Germany remained fragmented. Metternich in general became famous for his conservatism and unwillingness to change anything in the established state of affairs. The national movements of 1820-1840 seemed to the diplomat superfluous. As a result, in Austria itself, popular unrest against tough politics and censorship forced Metternich to resign. Alexander Gorchakov (1798-1883).
The diplomat was born into a princely family. His high background helped him to enter the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, where he became a comrade of Pushkin.Even then, the poet noted the qualities of his friend: observation, a passion for light and fashion, which was so important for diplomacy. Wit and literary talents will then appear in international notes of Gorchakov. Already in 22-24 years the young diplomat accompanies Count Nesselrode at the congresses. In 1822-1833, Gorchakov worked in the embassies of various European countries, gaining experience. In the 1840s, Gorchakov served in Germany, where the prince became acquainted with Bismarck. In 1854, as an Ambassador in Vienna, the diplomat managed to persuade the Austrians to remain neutral and not support France and England in their treaty against Russia. The defeat in the Crimean campaign and the Paris Treaty actually pushed Russia away from decision-making in the political issues of Europe. In 1956, Gorchakov was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, understanding that it was necessary to return to Russia its former influence. The Polish question reinforced Russia’s friendship with Prussia and allowed it to evade the persistent attempts of France, Britain and Austria to protect the national rights of the Poles. Correspondence on this issue brought Gorchakov the glory of a prominent diplomat. The strengthening of Germany with the full support of Gorchakov helped him in 1870 to announce the revision of the terms of the Treaty of Paris. Russia’s decision caused discontent among the great powers, but one could not disagree with such an influential rival. Thus, Gorchakov managed to return to Russia, by diplomacy, the fleet on the Black Sea and the former influence in the region without entering into wars. The last brightest event in the career of the diplomat was the Berlin Congress, on which Gorchakov had already performed very little and rarely sat. The fate of the Balkan states was being decided, Russia received back Bessarabia, taken away by the Paris Treaty. The great politician gradually retired, retaining the honorary title of state chancellor. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881).
The great diplomat was born into a wealthy Jewish family. By his education, Benjamin dealt with himself, paying special attention to history. At a young age, Disraeli managed to play on the stock exchange, where he lost all the capital. The failure ended and the attempt to produce a newspaper. But the book he wrote in 20 books “Vivian Gray” brought the author glory. But Disraeli did not dream of becoming a writer like his father. He had a more ambitious goal – the prime minister’s position by the age of 30. But only with the fifth attempt Disraeli got into parliament. He was already 33 years old, and the finances of the beginning politician were in a deplorable state. In 1852, Disraeli became the Minister of Finance and became the leader of the House of Commons. In 1868, he briefly became prime minister, but after the defeat at the elections he was retired and in opposition. Disraeli embarked on the reform of his conservative party. He developed a program of firm foreign policy, which was to make England great. In 1874, the politician again took the post of prime minister. His primary attention was focused on the issues of the colonies and the foreign policy of the state. He stressed that there is a dilemma – to live in cozy England, like continental countries and wait for their fate or become a great empire. The secret of the success of the politician and diplomat was that no one could more clearly define his goals and, even more so, achieve them. In 1875, Europe learned that England secretly bought 40% of the shares of the Suez Canal. Disraeli turned out to be a master of secret diplomacy, intrigue and cunning. Thanks to his actions, Queen Victoria in 1876 was proclaimed empress of India. In 1878, Congress took place, which was to decide the fate of the Balkans after the Russian-Turkish war. Sly Disraeli, as they say, became the central figure of the negotiations. He was able to defend his point of view before Bismarck, and the Russian diplomat showed the train, on which he is preparing to depart because of problems in the negotiations. The Russians had to make concessions. Parallel to this, Disraeli agreed with the Sultan about the concession to the British of Cyprus, which was to become a stronghold on the way of the seizure of territories in Asia. Homeland diplomat returned as a hero, having earned from the Queen Order garter.Disraeli continued to lead the country, continuing the colonial policy. The diplomat is considered the most outstanding political figure in 19th century England. Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).
Centuries of Germany was fragmented. This great politician and diplomat managed to unite it. Parents gave Otto to study law, dreaming of seeing him as a diplomat. But the young Bismarck was a typical representative of the golden youth – he had fun with his friends, fought in duels, and with all his might. Such a past, even after defending the thesis, prevented Bismarck from immediately entering the diplomatic arena. Political career did not work out, just like the military one. At one time Bismarck showed himself as a practical landowner. But he had another chance to return to politics and in 1847 Bismarck became a member of the United Landtag of Prussia. There he showed himself with might and main thanks to energetic conservative attacks. After work as a deputy, Bismarck was sent as ambassador to Russia. It is believed that the great influence on him, as a diplomat, was the communication with Vice-Chancellor Gorchakov. However, the German himself was already showing the gift of political foresight, possessing a living mind. Gorchakov singled out the ambassador, predicting his great future. In Russia, Bismarck learned the language and understood our way of thinking, which helped a lot in the future in politics. After visiting the ambassador in Paris, Bismarck took the post of Prime Minister of Prussia. Here he began to pursue a rigid policy of uniting Germany, iron and blood. I had to fight with Denmark and Austria, and in 1870-1871 France was defeated. From all the defeated states, the Germans withdrew their historical lands. In 1871 the Empire was proclaimed. Soon Bismarck realized that Germany could not dominate Europe, while part of the Germans remained under the heels of the Habsburgs and Austria. Fearing revenge on the part of France, the diplomat begins rapprochement with Russia. The diplomat did everything possible to prevent a coalition against his country. He understood that even with a strong army, Germany would not stand the war on two fronts. As the practice of the two world wars showed, the great German diplomat turned out to be right.
Andrei Gromyko (1909-1989).
We can say that it was this foreign minister of the USSR who was the main active figure in the Cold War. But thanks to his efforts, it did not develop into the Third World War. Gromyko occupied the highest diplomatic post in the Soviet Union from 1957 to 1985, forming the state’s foreign policy both during the thaw and during the period of stagnation. It is believed that the entire modern Russian diplomatic school grew out of his experiments and lessons. Gromyko was an economist by his education. But in 1939 after the extermination, during the purges, most of the diplomatic corps there was called a young specialist. Personally, Molotov recommended Andrei Gromyko as ambassador to the United States, where he stayed from 1943 to 1946. Molotov is the young diplomat who considers his teacher in foreign policy. Gromyko preferred to act with the utmost care. He understood that internal orders would necessarily influence external affairs. Therefore, the diplomat obediently listened to the leadership of the CPSU, without entering into open disagreements with the leaders. Gromyko remembered his sober judgments and clear looks. This diplomat read a lot, was fond of philosophy. At the talks he was not equal, that’s why his style is imitated today. The diplomat understood that the Third World War would destroy all life, therefore, avoided military confrontation with the United States in every possible way. Gromyko constantly negotiated with America, thus reducing the degree and not allowing the relations to heat up. But the diplomat was not particularly interested in the East. But Gromyko’s activities laid the foundation for the first steps of the UN, he always supported the formation of a new international body. Since 1961, the diplomat became a member of the CPSU Central Committee, and from 1973 to 1988 is a member of the Politburo. He signed treaties on the limitation of nuclear weapons and missile defense.It was thanks to the diplomat that Soviet diplomacy achieved its highest success – the signing of the CSCE Final Act in Helsinki on August 1, 1975. The existing borders of the countries, including the GDR, and the limited sovereignty of the USSR allies under the Warsaw Treaty were recognized. Thanks to Gromyko, the weight of Soviet diplomacy has grown significantly. Personally, he managed to prevent the military actions of the USSR against Israel in 1983, but he could not resist the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan. Although the diplomat helped Gorbachev to enter the post of general secretary, he did not share his ideas about disarmament and perestroika. Henry Kissinger (b. 1923).
The famous American statesman was an adviser to the US president for national security and was Secretary of State in 1973-1977. As a diplomat, Kissinger showed himself most clearly during the Soviet-American negotiations on limiting strategic arms, in the Paris talks on solving problems in Vietnam. For his work, the diplomat even received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. And he was born not in America, but in Germany, in a poor Jewish family. However, at the age of 15 the family emigrated, fleeing from the Nazis. Henry even had time to fight at the very end of World War II. And in 1947 Kissinger went to Harvard, where he immediately stood out with his mind, successes in history and philosophy. Then he continued his scientific career, teaching history of diplomacy. In 1955, Kissinger entered the research group dealing with relations with the USSR. Monograph Nuclear weapons and foreign policy won the Woodrow Wilson Award and significantly influenced the country’s policy. At 39, Kissinger became a professor at Harvard, then he began to gradually connect to state research and work in commissions on national security. Kissinger’s articles give advice on foreign policy, are published in Europe. In 1968, the scientist received an invitation only to President Nixon to become his assistant. So Kissinger became an important figure in the administration, preparing options for final decisions in foreign policy. The diplomat led negotiations on a number of issues – problems with Vietnam, negotiations with the USSR and China. They talked about him as a clear and efficient policy, which did not shy away from specific problems. Although as a diplomat Kissinger was not convenient to everyone, he was never boring. In 1969-1972, the diplomat traveled to 26 countries, he accompanied the president in his 140 meetings with leaders of other countries. And Kissinger’s signing of an agreement on peace in Vietnam brought him the Nobel Prize. The diplomat paid special attention to relations with the USSR. Under him, the administration tried to pursue the most severe course, seeking to acquire allies in Europe. Thanks to Kissinger, negotiations were held on limiting strategic arms, relative parity was established between the parties. And in 1973, Kissinger negotiations turned hostile relations with China into allied ones. The diplomat stressed that one can not directly interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, this will directly hurt US interests. In the Arab-Israeli positions, Kissinger insisted on maintaining an uncertain situation, which brought the United States and Israel closer. After leaving the post of President D. Ford, Kissinger also left his post, speaking since then as a private consultant.