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Lecture 10

HIST 245 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Sergey Uvarov, Autocracy, Westernization


Department
History
Course Code
HIST 245
Professor
Ana Siljak
Lecture
10

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HISTORY 245
IMPERIAL RUSSIA
Lecture 9: Reaction
I. Introduction:
-“One must obey and keep one’s thoughts to oneself”
-The immediate effect of the Decembrist movement, was that it created an already
reactionary Tsar more reactionary - started off as a reactionary until Alexander who
could be seen as someone who developed into a reactionary ruler —> Nicholas I
-Like his father and Grandfather, He had a love of everything military - especially
obedience and saw himself as commander and chief
-Loved Prussia, Married a Prussian woman - there is a tradition among Russian rulers
that if you love Prussia, you love reactionary
-Was not murdered like his father or Grandfather, he was in power for 30 years
-The three previous revolutionary Tsars (Catherine, Peter, Alexander) wanted to reform,
until they realized how dangerous it could be —> however, Nicholas was the opposite
of the previous three, didn’t want to turn Russia into Western, European Country
-However, Russia had become too Western already, so He had to borrow ideas from the
West on how to be reactionary
-The Decembrist movement caused Nicholas to realize that the Western ideas led to
instability, revolt - even among the highest of the Nobilities—> It needed to be
stamped out wherever it maybe
II. Nicholas I as the Reactionary Reformer
-The Decembrist movement really shook Nicholas as the nobility, who were suppose to
be the most loyal of the classes to the Tsar and Russian society, but after the
Decembrist movement, officers and the nobility could no longer be trusted
A. Reaction at Home
1). Bureaucracy
- Nicholas I decides that he needs to create a group where autocracy could rest
-The seeds for Bureaucracy were swoon elsewhere —> Peter had done this
with the Table of Ranks (required people to work their way up through the
ranks)
-What Nicholas did was take this a step further — > Nicholas had to ensure
that a greater number of them came from classes outside of the Nobility
—> between 1836 and 1843, 4,007 people became nobles, solely by rising
into the table of Ranks —> Nicholas realized that by raising people
through the ranks and rewarding them with nobility, they would be far
more loyal then those who can already take nobility for granted - so by
recruiting that number of people from other classes into the nobility, he
could gather a local group that would be pro-autocracy bureaucrats in
Russia
-The old nobility didn’t like this
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-He created a new bureaucratic class —> those who rose through the ranks due
to their hard work, were to be solely indebted to the government for their
positions and thus identify themselves and have their identity created by the
government and thought of the government’s interest as their sole interest
-He didn’t just recruit bureaucrats from other classes though
-He recruited from generals who risen through the ranks in the military as well
as the Baltic German Population
-The BGP did not share ties with the existing Russian Nobility and they were
grateful to Nicholas, who gave them power
- The new Bureaucratic class acted as way for Nicholas to bypass the power of
the old, traditional nobility and their factions at court
-He, also like Peter, bypassed the institution where they held important
positions
-You create a new institution, but you leave an old institution a side (they
are still there), but to ensure that you have loyal group of bureaucrats, you
create new institutions that follow the old ones and you fill those positions
with those who trust (his own hand picked people) and use those
institutions only to run the Russian government
-Nicholas kept all of Alexanders reforms in tact, The senate is there and
the state council is there as well, but he creates and alternative
bureaucratic structure with his own hand picked people —> this was
called His Majesty’s Own Chancery
-His Majesty’s Own Chancery, by 1840, it had 6 departments, each department dealt
with a different aspect of Russian Administration
-The 6 departments are best known because of the 3 department, which was
responsible for the secret police or the political police in Russia
-The other departments also illustrated the purpose of this newly created Chancery - it
was designed to bypass intrenched bureaucrats and use new and more energetic and
dedicated people to solve some of the pressing problems of the Regime
-The First department of the Chancery was the Bureaucratic Chancery - suppose to
give Nicholas an overview of all the tasks of his reign and show him where more
needed to be done - this really should have been the role of the Senate, traditionally it
was the role of the Senate
2). The Second Department of the Chancery: Law
-The Second Department really does illustrate how you can try and get rid of
Westernization, but you can’t really get rid of it, once it is already in the
country
-The second department was the dedicated to the codification of Russian law -
all the laws that have been created throughout its history are beginning to
create problems for Russia to run smoothly and he needed some way of
knowing what laws applied where
-Nicholas, in a short 4 years, accomplished what his predecessors failed to do
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-However, this was no enlightened law code, that Catherine had dreamed of, but
Nicholas hired the newly rehabilitated, Michael Speranskii
-He takes the guy that Alexander exiled for being too much of a reformer,
rehabilitates him, brings him into the second department has him head the
codification of Russian law —> the result was a 45 volumed of all the laws
(completed in 1830)
-Speranskii did write a short digest version of the laws (15 volumes) that were
to serve as a summary for all the laws currently enforced within the Russian
State
-Speranskii did something sneaky since he is always trying to reform - he
created a special institutional arrangement where by some clergy in training
could actually receive a legal education - the purpose of which was to train the
next generation of legal scholars within this newly codified Russian law
-By 1835, this turned into a whole school of law (first one) in Russia
3). The Third Department of the Chancery: Police
-The most notorious and the longest lasting of Nicholas’ innovations, which was
the creation of a highly organized bureaucratic mechanism for the Secret Police
and censorship in Russia
-Nicholas created the third department in 1826 - It was designed to stop another
Decembrist revolt from happening - meant to destroy reform ideas before they
become revolutionist conspiracy and to make sure that radical group could
never be organized
-The third department had a military police force and they employed a variety of
standard police methods that were all borrowed from European police systems
-When creating the third department, he learned French from the Prussian and
they introduced preliminary censorship - the test that every publication
within Russia needs to receive from the reading censors first- to ensure that
the material is politically appropriate plus the interception and copying of
personal letters (researching the sender and the recipient, highlighting
questionable passages, etc.) and then sending them along so that the sender
or the recipient never knew that the secret police read their letters
-Collection from informants (those who were recruited and paid to turn on their
revolutionists fellows) and spies (those who would pretend to be part of the
revolutionary movement in order to gain intel) —> whenever a group of
people would get together
-The third department represented a whole new system of secret policing
activities - the main task was to keep tabs on the population at all time and to
destroy any potential conspiracies from developing
-Censorship in Russia was shared between the third department (police) and the
Ministry of Education - The ministry of education was given the task of
reading every single text that was to be published in Russia (mostly book, but
included articles), - texts were read to figure out whether they were appropriate
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