«Дерзость от чистого усердия»: Конон Зотов и Петр Великий
The article describes the influence of strelets riots on army modernization by Peter the Great.
The paper provides new information about the biography of Ivan Musin-Pushkin, the first and lifelong Russian senator during the reign of Peter I. There is a brief summary of the author's set of arguments disproving the legend of his lineage as an illegitimate son of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich. The reasons why the future count and senator rose through the ranks become clear, if one studies his activities during his tenure as the governor of Astrakhan and the okolnichij. The published archival documents and the letters of the count and his nearest relations help gain an insight into the prominent dignitary's character in the bosom of his family and when he was not handling nitty-gritty bureaucratic issues. Published for the first time, Ivan Musin-Pushkin's last will and testament turns out to be the quintessence of his mindset and intellectual experiences expressed in 1717.
The author seeks to destroy the myth surrounding the personality of Mikhail Katkov, one of Russia’s most prominent thinkers and journalists, who defended the Russian imperial ideology, believing it to have descended from European views to take root in the local culture. The author invokes two major figures of Russian history and culture: Peter the Great and the poet Aleksandr Pushkin. Katkov argued that Russia owed its successful integration into European history to Peter the Great, who transformed the country into a powerful empire and created an independent space for spiritual experiments. So it no longer seems accidental that Pushkin was referred to as ‘the singer of the empire and freedom’. It was for that reason that Katkov jumps to the defense of the Russian empire, fearlessly opposing the government, no less, who, he thought, had lost touch with reality. Eventually, Katkov was fighting two enemies: Russian nihilists (with Herzen in the lead), who wasted no time undermining the empire, and Russian liberals, who would stop at nothing, even welcome a foreign invasion, in order to bring down the empire (the so-called ‘Polish intrigue’). The author sets out to reconstruct the writer’s true image through his work.