Russia’s ambitions under Emperor Alexander I to establish a new political order in Europe in 1813–1815 have been widely discussed by historians. Assessments of this new order itself, as it was finally implemented in the wake of the Congress of Vienna, vary markedly, but it is generally believed that the post-war system was the fruit of interactions between several participants who represented Europe’s old regimes in an age of revolution. The Holy Alliance as a vision of international order is often presented to be diametrically opposed to the more radical, republican imagining of global order such as that associated with Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace. This chapter shakes up this view by analysing the importance of Kant’s ideas in the intellectual formation of one of the most influential Russian imperial political thinkers of this period, Sergey Uvarov. The degree of indebtedness to Kant’s work in his vision of international order, though it ultimately conflicts with the spirit of Kant’s work, was strongest in the period of Franco–Russian conflict.
The article deals with one of the key resources for peasants of Eastern Europe, wood pastures. Relying on new archival material, we demonstrate that peasant communities, in the spirit of James Scott, consistently sabotaged state efforts to ban livestock pasturing in the forests. The state, over the long nineteenth century, strengthened control over many aspects of the economic life of the village, which gradually made the conflicts of the peasants with the state forest administration more acute. We apply a case study approach to investigate the relations between peasants and the local and metropolitan administration in the Białowieża Forest. A unique feature of the Białowieża Forest is its long and continued history of effective protection measures, which facilitated finding sources on this topic. Our research reveals the motivation in the struggle for control over forest resources between the peasants and the administration as experts of ‘rational’ forestry. Throughout the long nineteenth century the peasants used all means of resistance available to them: petitions to the authorities at all levels, sabotage of administrative orders, bribes to forestry personnel and direct violations of orders. These conflicts, which lasted for many decades, demonstrate that peasant communities only partially followed the rules introduced by the state administration, which tried to change the principles of forestry management, making forests more profitable and ‘rational’ from the point of view of the experts of the time. The administration spent significant resources on the control of wood pasturing, but achieved very modest results, both in terms of reducing the number of livestock in the forest and in terms of collecting compensation for damage made by ungulates. The most important changes occurred in the second half of the nineteenth through the early twentieth century and were associated with more consistent and strict control over the traditional forest resources, especially during the final appanage period (1889–1915). If we consider the reaction of the administration to peasant petitions regarding wood pastures, we see sympathy and positive reactions both at the provincial and at the ministerial levels. Obviously, this tolerance was connected with both the shortage of pasture and fodder, and with the general paternalistic sentiments of the Russian government. The administration tried not so much to increase the income from wood pasturing as to ‘accustom’ the peasants to the idea that the forests were not public, but rather private, state or appanage property
‘Degeneracy and Abuse: Attitudes to Violence Against Parents in Nineteenth-Century Russia’ by Marianna Muravyeva picks up on the consequent changes in the understanding of parricide as a mental and medical problem. Muravyeva highlights the shift in explanations of parricide that occurred in the nineteenth century, when it became a focus of degeneracy theory. Treating parricide as a consequence of the perpetrator’s mental illness due to the possession of a degenerate heritage provided a pacifying explanation for both the community and the authorities, meaning they would not have to deal with the greater problems brought about by changes in family organization and relationships occurring at the heart of the modernizing society.
The western opening of Russia under Peter I and Catherine II, the formation of modern state in the German territorial states and their further development in the era of enlightened absolutism, Russia’s rise to great power and the emergence of the European “pentarchy”, diverse dynastic connections and cultural influences, the revolutionization of Europe by Napoleon and the defense of Napoleonic imperialism – it is a multifarious history in which German-Russian relations and contexts are integrated in the “long 18th century”. This volume illustrates these connections in 35 joint contributions by German and Russian historians. Short factual representations, supplemented by documents and images, shed light on the development of German-Russian interactions. The volume continues the three-part work “Germany-Russia: Stations of Common History, Places of Commemoration”, of which the volume on the 20th century was published earlier, and the next one – on the 19th century – will follow soon.
The aim of presented article is to examine the mechanism of control of the Third section of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery over the highest provincial bureaucracy during the Nicholas I era. The career of Ivan Talysin (1799-1844), who served in the 1830s-1840s as civil governor in Tobolsk and Orenburg was taken as an example. The article questions several topics: what information did the Third section possess on the state of the provincial government; how did the Third section intervene in the personnel policy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other central departments; what was the practice of interaction between the Third section and the ministries in the framework of supervision over the provincial administration. In this methodological approach the author relies on the tradition of the institutional theory in the field of historical sociology. It was noted that the emerging of professional bureaucracy within the absolutist state led to the formation of an independent "monarch's institution" and "agents" of the supreme authority caused by the monarch's intention to retain power. The activities of the Third section and gendarme officers in the province are regarded as directly representing the imperial will in public administration. The article is based on official records from the archives of the Third section (State Archives of the Russian Federation) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Russian State Historical Archive). In the course of the study, the following conclusions were made. The establishment of the Third section in 1826 was caused by the intention of the monarch to set a constant supervision over the central and local bureaucracy. The Third section collected regular reports of gendarmerie officers with characteristics of local officials, various denunciations were sent to provincial gendarmes for verification. Gendarmerie officers were deprived of the right to make inquiries in the documents of provincial agencies, their reports were based on information from their confidants and rumors and were not confirmed by official documents. The whole system of supervision ascended to the monarch, and the reports of the secret police provided him with an alternative source of information on the state of affairs in the provincial government and allowed to make decisions in the circumvention of the ministers. Gendarmerie control over provincial administration was not legislated, but by the end of the 1830s was tightly integrated into the public administration. The gradual consolidation of central government agencies narrowed the space for regular gendarmerie control.
The paper examines the early history of environmental concerns in Russia. It focuses on a case-study – the debates about a potentially detrimental impact of deforestation on water regimes, which took place in the 1830s-1840s. It examines two sets of issues: the role of ideas about a growing scarcity of forest resources in Europe, and the actual state of forests in Russia that provided some evidentiary basis for these debates. It argues that these debates were possible at the convergence of several trends: an expanding role and objectives of the forest administration well-versed in European scientific debates of the age and at the same time a visible danger of deforestation in some regions of a strategic significance to the empire. The author also considers different expert cultures and evidentiary standards that could be observed during the debates.
What explains the rise of populist movements across the West and their affinity towards Russia? UKIP’s Brexit victory, Trump’s triumph, and the successive elections and referendums in Europe were united by a repudiation of the liberal international order. These new political forces envision the struggle to reproduce and advance Western civilisation to be fought along a patriotism–cosmopolitanism or nationalism–globalism battlefield, in which Russia becomes a partner rather than an adversary. Armed with neomodernism and geoeconomics, Russia has inadvertently taken on a central role in the decay of Western civilisation.
This book explores the cooperation and competition between Western and Russian civilisation and the rise of anti-establishment political forces both contesting the international liberal order and expressing the desire for closer relations with Russia. Diesen proposes that Western civilisation has reached a critical juncture as modern society (gesellschaft) has overwhelmed and exhausted the traditional community (gemeinschaft) and shows the causes for the decay of Western civilisation and the subsequent impact on cooperation and conflict with Russia. The author also considers whether Russia’s international conservativism is authentic and can negate the West’s decadence, or if it is merely a shrewd strategy by a rival civilisation also in decay.
This research note focuses on the numerous links between the coastal noble estate of Schloss Fall and the development of shipping in the adjacent zone of the Gulf of Finland during the nineteenth century. It therefore expands the traditional perspective of ‘maritimeness’ – maritime culture and identity – in relation to Ostzee province in the north-western part of the Russian Empire. Here, the local manorial culture was an inseparable element of the multifaceted interaction between the sea and the everyday practices of coastal inhabitants.
One of the participants in the conference "Trade and Empire: Productivity, Economic Exchange, and Differences in Eurasia" jointly organized by Ab Imperio and Tymen State University in Russia in June 2020 discusses various aspects of the interplay between new imperial history and history of economic exchanges. This particular paper suggsts that looking at the economid dimensions of forestry in the late 18th - early 19th century can reveal much about the dynamic relationship between the British and Russian Empires as well as help us understand the emergence and reach of modern state control.
The reviewed book is the final part of the four-volume monograph on 19th century women in science, that deals with Russian Empire (including Congress Poland but excluding Great Duchy of Finland). The book presents a collection of biographical essays of varying length based on published sources. Essays are grouped by scientific disciplines and country of origin or career. The book also includes a bibliography of scientific papers published by women scientists from Russian Empire. A generally positive review focuses on some inconsistencies in the presentation of the material and discusses at length some limitations of author’s approach to the identifi cation of women scientists of the 19th century Russian Empire.
The article is dedicated to the organization of Russian gendarmerie units in the Caucas region in 1820-1840s