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Working paper

The "German Party" in Russia in the 1730s: Exploring the Ideas of the Ruling Faction

This article explores the policies pursued by the key "German" ministers of Empress Anna Ioannovna (r. 1730-1740). This period has been traditionally presented as a "reign of Germans" who allegedly acted in ways that were oppressive, ill-conceived, and detrimental for Russia's true interests. Recent scholarship successfully debunked the notions that the "Germans" acted as a cohesive political faction and demonstrated that their policies were largely sensible and successful. Did the "foreignness" of these German-born ministers matter, however? As this article argues, many of these policies could actually be linked to the influences of the Halle Pietism and represented an important "disciplinary moment" in early modern Russian history.