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Article

У истоков российского консерватизма: Николай Карамзин и Жозеф де Местр

Article contains comparative analysis of the two most important documents in the epoch of liberal reforms of the reign of Emperor Alexander I – “Memorandum on ancient and modern Russia” by the court historian Nikolai Karamzin and “Four inedited chapters on Russia” be special envoy to Russia of King of Sardinia count Josef de Maistre. Both texts appeared in 1811 and were addressed to the Emperor personally. They presented radical critique of the whole specter of the reforms initiated by Alexander himself and by the time having been carried be his closest aide – State Secretary Mikhail Speransky. Both authors were not plotting against Speransky, but rather had provided Emperor with well elaborated conservative argument aimed at the core of Speranski’s reforms - such as abolition of serfdom, constitutional limitation of absolute monarchy and broad program of enlightenment in the spheres of higher education, sciences and religion. In spite of the fact that both documents had rather limited circulation among the top circle of Russian elite of the time and had been published only half a century later, they could be viewed as truly seminal for the conservative trend in the XIX century Russia.