Abstract The problem we dwell upon is the role of metaphors in political forecasting. Political forecasting is a powerful means of manipulating the audience. Any political forecast is aimed not only at representing the best-case scenario and the worst-case scenario of the political situation, but also at conveying the emotional content of the forecast, as well as at influencing the addressee by manipulating with images of the future to achieve the ultimate goal of the producer of the text. We stress the crucial role of the political metaphor in structuring the text. It is the metaphor that organizes the content of the forecast both formally and conceptually. The article presents a piece of our approach to studying retrospective models of Russia’s future using the methods and tools of linguistic political prognostics. The material for the analysis is the 19th century American and British political discourses (1855–1881). The paper evaluates the prognostic potential of the dominant metaphorical models (PATH, DISEASE, CRIME and FAUNA), elicits the discursive factors that shape the usage and meanings of metaphors, demonstrates the interdependence between metaphors and the images they generate and emphasizes the role of the historical context in this process.
Keywords Metaphor, 19th century political discourse, British discourse, American discourse, Russia’s future, prognostic potential, linguistic political prognostics