The article made the analysis of the financial capacity of the Moscow state in the XVI - XVII centuries. Subjected to a critical analysis of these narrative sources, upon which, as a rule, researchers make judgments about the size of the state budget of Russia in XVI - XVII centuries. According to the author, the conclusions of Fletcher and Kotoshikhin too optimistic and overestimate the size of monetary receipts in the state budget. During the considered period, the volume of financial receipts into the Treasury was changed proportionally to the change in the population of the country.
The Peter the Great’s cultural policy is generally regarded as a decisive break with the past ushered in at the autocrat’s behest with no heed paid to public opinion. This is particularly true of measures aimed at the Europeanization of Russian subjects’ grooming and dressing habits. The notorious Petrine beard shaving dictate has long been a symbol of the radical changes implemented by the Tsar-Transformer and the violent nature of such policies. Historians have based their findings primarily on top-down legislative acts, but since no one has carried out an in-depth analysis of the actual implementation of Peter’s decrees in situ, there became entrenched in the historiography and in the public consciousness alike a prevailing assumption that Peter’s beard shaving policy was implemented in one blow and immediately led to “positive” results. The question of specific historical actors’ personal attitudes toward Peter’s innovations has also been neglected by students of the Tsar-Transformer’s reign.
The article is intended to highlight several complex questions regarding the Gulag’s history. In particular, it draw attention to the task of defining the Gulag’s boundaries, identifying the channels of its interaction with the broader Soviet society, and specifying the consequences of these interactions in both short- and long-term perspective.