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Regular version of the site

Article

La crise politique de 1730 et l’élite dirigeante russe de la fin du XVIIe siècle et du premier tiers du XVIIIe siècle

Cahiers du Monde Russe. 2009. Vol. 50. No. 2-3. P. 395-408.

Political crisis of 1730 and the Russian ruling elite of the end XVII – first third XVIII centuries

 

This article is dedicated to the study of social characteristics of the Russian ruling elite and its self-identification in the end XVII - first third XVIII centuries. How participants of political crisis of 1730 imagined society structure? How they defined own "we-identity"? In his representations the structure of noblesse did not coincide with official Table of ranks and it had parallel unofficial pattern which the aristocracy tried to fix legislatively in projects of verchovniki (members of Supreme Privy Council). In this informal structure of nobility three groups are selected:  aristocracy (“famil’nye”, it is representatives of the old Moscow elite which has kept key posts in government with whom had to be considered the tsar as with group, instead of with separate families), middle nobility (“dobroe schliahetstvo” it is successors of the Moscow and provincial nobility), low nobility (“podloe schliahetstvo”, the poor nobility dependent both from the autocrat, and from patronage of “famil’nye”). In fact this informal structure was more real for people of the first half XVIII century, than formalized and still unfinished system of ranks.