Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian by John P. LeDonne

By John P. LeDonne

This can be the 1st accomplished exam of the Russian ruling elite and its political associations in the course of an immense interval of nation development, from the emergence of Russia at the degree of worldwide politics round 1700 to the consolidation of its place after the victory over Napoleon. rather than targeting the good rulers of the period--Peter, Catherine, and Alexander--the paintings examines the the Aristocracy which by myself can make their strength powerful. LeDonne not just provides an entire chronological account of the improvement of bureaucratic, army, fiscal, and political associations in Russia in this interval, but in addition skillfully analyzes the ways that neighborhood businesses and the ruling classification exercised keep an eye on and shared strength with absolutely the monarchs.

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It was therefore inevitable that the general mobilization of the ruling class should affect the townsmen in a similar way, but it was not until the 1720s that the "rebuilding of the crumbling house of the Russian merchantry" was completed. 28 The instruction of 1724 combined gosti, sotnia members, and the three stat'i into a single category of townsmen (grazhdanstvo), which it then divided into two major groups, the active ("regular") and disfranchised ("irregular") townsmen. The latter corresponded to the third stat'ia and were now called "base" (podlye) people, subordinated to the political will of the active townsmen.

The completion of the local government reform in the early 1780s paved the way for the recreation of a corporate organization of the nobility on a territorial basis. Nobles were instructed to meet every 3 years during the winter months—usually in December—in the gubernia capital to constitute an assembly of the nobility. Not everyone, however, was allowed to attend and to vote. Members had to be at least 25 years old, own some real property (derevnia), and have been in the service with the rank of junior officer, from ensign to captain.

It shows that 62 percent of the officers came from the nobility, another 11 percent from the lower ranks of the old Muscovite army—streltsy, 12 Society cossacks, gunners, and so on, some of them nobles—and 14 percent from other social groups, that is, the dependent population of townsmen and peasants. These figures, however, do not tell the entire story. The contribution of the other social groups to the officer corps in the cavalry was negligible—the Muscovite army had traditionally been a heavy cavalry.

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