In the article, the author analyzes the work of the great Russian historian, writer and poet Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin. Starting with the “Letters of the Russian Traveler”, his contemporaries perceived him as an obvious Westerner and supporter of republican rule. It was he who introduced the European words “humanity”, “energy”, “catastrophe” into the Russian language, enriched the language with tracing words such as “impression”, “influence”, “love”, “touching” and “entertaining”. It was he who coined the words “industry”, “focus”, “moral”, “aesthetic”, “epoch”, “stage”, “harmony”, “future”. Karamzin said that Russian people can safely accept European innovations, because a person should take the best, regardless of where it originated. However, the experience of the French Revolution, its monstrous cruelty turned Karamzin to the experience of the Russian state. He becomes a supporter and apologist of the enlightened autocratic monarchy, causing discontent among liberal friends. Karamzin answered all the reproaches with his great work — “The History of the Russian State”, when, as Pushkin wrote, Russia seemed “to be found by Karamzin, as America was found by Columb”. And Chaadaev, who wrote an invective of Russia in Philosophical Letters, loved Karamzin, exclaiming: “What was the sublimity in this soul, what warmth in this heart! How sensibly, how sensibly he loved his fatherland!” The author comes to the conclusion that Russian thinkers — Karamzin, Pushkin, Chaadaev — managed to create Russia as a cultural and historical phenomenon by the power of their words. Everything that followed was the result of their incredible initiative.