Gray Cardinal Century 18

Gray Cardinal Century 18The political figure of Osterman has not been studied by domestic historians enough; in the author's works we find only superficial references to this extraordinary person. There are many gaps in his biography, and his assessments are ambiguous and contradictory. However, all researchers agree on one thing: Heinrich Osterman played an important role for Russia at a difficult time after the death of Peter the Great.

Born a brilliant courtier in 1687, in the small German town of Bochum, in a devout Catholic family. Despite the strict moral education, Osterman did not escape a period of crazy youth, the mistakes of which he had spared all his long and wonderful life. According to descriptions of contemporaries, he was a proud, even somewhat arrogant and arrogant person, a completely incorruptible official, as well as a dangerous and cunning politician. Heinrich Osterman had a rounded chin and upturned lip, his portraits are on numerous medallions left to his descendants. Not much is known about the youth of the gray cardinal of the Russian throne. It is surprising that this correct, demanding person led a very dissolute student life and even killed one of his peers in a drunken stupor. Vicious behavior of young Osterman almost killed his father, who served as a pastor in the local Catholic church. Born German who showed high ability in training, was forced to flee from justice in far northern Russia. But do not say that the flow of the service of the Russian emperor was the only way out, the purpose of which was only saved from criminal punishment. Despite his young age, Osterman even then had a keen mind and insight, so he knew perfectly well what benefits the trip would bring. The age of sixteen did not prevent the prudent German from entering the sovereign's service. The courage of a future politician was spurred on by his arrogance and desire for exaltation. He was not only a talented specialist in the field of public service, but also an ambitious, arrogant contender for power. Few people enjoyed talking with a German, so he had no close friends.

During the reign of Peter the Great, Osterman stood out thanks to his diplomatic abilities, manifested in negotiations with the Swedes. Hypocrisy, pretense and prudence were inherent in the German, and he skillfully used them. Andrei Ivanovich’s career, namely, Osterman chose this Russian name for himself, was developing rapidly, as even his enemies recognized his extraordinary analytical skills. Pyotr Alekseevich noted the special care, diligence and foresight of the German careerist, for which he especially appreciated and honored him. During the reign of Peter the Great, there is no need to talk about the influence on Osterman’s government decisions, but even then he became irreplaceable. However, after the death of the brilliant reformer, the German gained a great deal of weight at court. Andrey had no permanent and faithful allies, because no one trusted and acted only in his own careerist interests. The only interests with which he was considered were the state positions and objectives of tsarism.

First in power in tandem with Menshikov and Catherine I, Osterman was able to enlist the support of Anna Ivanovna and her relative Anna Leopoldovna and continued his exaltation already during their reign. The government of the country, while Anna Ivanovna was on the throne, was nominally carried out on behalf of the empress, but in fact the decisions were made by Biron, Osterman and Minich. A period of revelry and luxury on the part of the royal person and dangerous internecine intrigues brought Russia into a state of instability and decline. A lot of lands received by the empire during the time of Peter the Great were lost, the combat effectiveness of the army decreased, and former power was lost fleet. It was during this difficult and gloomy period stories Russia came the heyday of the power of the brilliant German. Adhering to the pro-Austrian policy, Osterman repeatedly protected the decisions to send Russian troops to Europe. Often such manipulations brought direct damage to Russia, but the gray cardinal inexorably built his own line of government.

Preparation of a palace coup led by Elizabeth was not sheltered from sight visionary German. Long before his preparation, Andrei Ivanovich recommended the empress to eliminate Peter’s masterful daughter, marrying one of the European princes, but his proposals were not taken into account.

Since the ascension to the throne of Elizabeth, Osterman immediately descends from the heights of power and is detained as one of the leaders of the "ruling German clique." The new empress organized the trial, as a result of which Osterman was accused of many serious political crimes, one of which was a forgery of the royal decree on the successor. It is reliable to establish whether, in reality, the making of the new royal manifesto for the enthronement of the foolish son of Anna Leopoldovna, today is no longer possible. Following the investigation, the once all-powerful courtier was sentenced to death in the form of wheeling. However, the oath of Elizabeth about preventing bloody massacres after coming to the state administration did not allow Osterman to die on the shameful scaffold. During the period of imprisonment within the prison walls, a famous prisoner opened a dangerous leg wound, which passed into gangrene and nearly killed him before the execution of the sentence. According to contemporaries, Andrei Ivanovich was taken to the square for execution in a warm sheepskin coat and a cap, but he could not climb the scaffold himself. His composure struck the executioners. The old man calmly listened to the sentence and laid his head on the block, but at the last moment the Empress pardoned his enemy. Osterman was removed to the province under the vigilant observation of the royal guardsmen and died in the 1747 year, not even reaching the 60 age.
The genius of the Palace Intrigue

About the famous Russian diplomat of German origin, Heinrich Johann Friedrich Ostermann - a recognized genius of palace intrigues and internal political struggle in the Russian Imperial court 1703-1730-s.

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  1. 755962
    23 January 2012 10: 41
    Along with many unsympathetic features in the character of Osterman, however, much is noted that compares him favorably with many of his contemporaries. Being stingy, he was distinguished by extreme integrity. Two-faced and deceitful, he did not change the one he served: contemporaries found it difficult to name a state whose interests Osterman consciously and for selfish reasons would sacrifice the interests of Russia. Like this.
  2. 0
    23 January 2012 15: 57
    . Two-faced and deceitful, he did not change the one he served: contemporaries found it difficult to name a state whose interests Osterman consciously and for selfish reasons would sacrifice the interests of Russia. That's it .-- everything is right, he started all his life Pro-Austrian the line of bending and the end of her career was faithful to her. Having inflicted so much damage to Russia that even whole armies cannot do it. and the intriguer was soooo strong and smart therefore dangerous !! fellowBiron - a mad dog, but he was a sinner loved gold, you could buy what you used. Nikita Demidov in particular. Minikh was cruel, but was a commander and quite good and faithful to the Russian state. and this type, with his own mind, was the most dangerous enemy of our state !!! He was lucky that Elizabeth was good !! fellow
  3. Strabo
    23 January 2012 17: 06
    Here are the grateful descendants of Peter the Great and honor the two-faced false pearls. Stop praising foreigners. We know that they wrote the history of Russia and it was not in vain that the Russian peasant Lomonosov beaten up a little for falsification.
    Here is an excerpt of how the Germans treated the Russians: “With other European nations you can achieve the goal in humane ways, but with the Russians it is not so ... I do not deal with people, but with animals that I want to transform into people” - such a documented phrase of Peter 1 is very clear conveys his attitude towards the Russian people.
  4. +1
    23 January 2012 17: 40
    The "genius reformer" instilled in our people monkeying before the West, shed so much Russian blood. Yes, what can we say if he killed his own son. Sadist and maniac.
    1. 0
      23 January 2012 19: 35
      Pancho, yeah, and at that time in the enlightened and democratic West - all were white and fluffy wink Yes, they also brought down their friends and strangers to please themselves! fellow
  5. Volkhov
    23 January 2012 21: 18
    From the portrait you cannot say that the German is as if from a Babylonian captivity ...
  6. snowman
    23 January 2012 22: 35
    Valentin Pikul describes him very well in his novel "Word and Deed". Judging by the novel, he was a real enemy of Russia. But really the Russian patriots of Russia of that troubled and bloody time have little information

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