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Article

«На разные чины разделяя свой народ…» Законодательное закрепление сословного статуса русского дворянства в середине XVIII века

Cahiers du Monde Russe. 2010. Т. 51. № 2-3. С. 303-328.

The article considers the construction of social categories of the Legislative Commission members (1754-1766) in case of projects on rights and privileges of the nobility. Noble reformers of the era strived to create a regular state (un état bien policé) with the primacy of nobility in their projects. In 1750-es the Russian enlightened nobles used the Montesquieu concept of «moderate monarchy» (monarchie tempérée) for disproving the assertion about despotic nature of Russian political system and justifying the legislative authorization of the privileged status of the nobility. Detailed description of the rights and liberties of nobility and merchants estates appeared in projects of Elizabethan Legislative Commission for the first time in Russian history. It was caused of the development of political ideas aristocratic elite in the middle of the XVIII century, and it proved both familiarity with the European political theories and the profound awareness of its social interests expressed in westernized terms and concepts.