The treatise was presented to Muhsinzade Mehmed Paşa, Grand Vizier from 1765 to 1768 and from 1771 to 1774.
Parmaksızoğlu, İ (ed.), “Bir Türk diplomatının onsekizinci yüzyıl sonunda devletler arası ilişkilere dair görüşleri”, Belleten 47 (1983), 527-45 (modern Turkish version with facsimile).
In Makale ("Text") Ahmed Resmi admits that, as God has ordained, when the long-lived and famous states (devlet) approach to their age of decline (senn-i inhitât), they are known to be content within their own borders (hat-ı mahsusalarına). God has also ordained that the states and dynasties, on whom depend the order of the world and the safety of the people (yeryüzinin nizâmını ve üzerinde sâkin olan mahlukâtın ârâm ve kıyâmını müdâfa’aya rabt etmekle taraf taraf... devlet... ve.... taife), have to continuously attack to each other on the slightest reasons. Some Sultans, being inexperienced, short-sighted and deprived of good advice, endanger their power and subjects by launching wars to expand their lands; thus they destroy their treasury and sometimes lose even the territories and cities they already possess.
In order to prove this thesis, Ahmed Resmi cites a series of historical examples from the past fifty or sixty years: Mir Üveys from Kandahar destroyed the Safavi state of Iran in 1729, as the necessities of the age did not permit new states in the area for the past two centuries (çünki zamanımızda ikiyüz seneden berü tâze devletler ihdası tabi’at-ı dehrden za’ildir). Inevitably, this caused unrest in the social organism (he’yet-i ictimâ’îyye) and all the neighbouring states (the Ottomans from the West, Nadir Shah from the East, the Russians from the North) tried to conquer as much Iranian territory as they could. After twenty years of war, the borders had only returned to the status quo ante, with Nadir Shah’s state in the place of the Safavid Iran (and himself brought to death because of his own perpetual wars). These long wars made Russia and Austria to attack the weakened Ottomans, but again continuous warfare brought them more harm than benefit; consequently, Prussia followed the same path against Austria, only to have little gains after fifteen years of war. Other examples include the wars of Poland with its Tatar neighbours and the conquests of Genghis Khan, which the author describes in detail.
Ahmed Resmi notes (P531) that the real reason for all this sequence of war and peace is that, according to God’s will, the surface of earth was divided between various nations (milel) separated by physical borders (hudud) such as mountains, seas or rivers, and which battle with each other, but also have periods of friendship and peace. The fact that for the past four years Russia continuously attacks the Ottoman borders is for Resmi a paradox (galat-ı tabi’at) and must be attributed to the astrological conjecture. In a similar situation, he adds (P532), when the stars of Suleyman I were in their most beneficial position, the Ottomans managed to have victories in both the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean; soon, however, they had to retire from their possessions in the former.
Thus, concludes Resmi, the efforts of Russia to act in several war fronts (Poland, Georgia and the Mediterranean) are doomed to fail, since they are like loading a camel with more burden than it can stand. Because of the devastating results of continuous warfare upon the production and the income of its subjects, patriotism (P534: memleket-perverin maslahatı) will be lost. Moreover, the difficulties that will rise in the affairs of the notables will incite its neighbours to wage another war against Russia. More particularly, maintaining a fleet in the Mediterranean is contrary to Russia’s geographical necessities, while Poland would better be shared among the two opponents: it is difficult to impose new customs on an old town, so new conquests need new armies, which demand more expense than the two countries can now stand. Therefore, if the Ottoman state avoids a new war and contents itself with defending its borders, argues Resmi, Russia will necessarily withdraw its armies and fleet and seek a peace treaty.
Aksan, V., “Ottoman Political Writing, 1768-1808”, International Journal of Middle East Studies 25 (1993), 58-59