Severe leader but faithful servant

Famous historical More than one article, publication and book are devoted to the personality of Aleksei Andreevich Arakcheev. In the Soviet years, the importance of this statesman for the Russian Empire was evaluated very negatively. It was the historians of the USSR who gave science such a term as “Arakcheevschina”, representing Alexei Andreevich as the main culprit and organizer of terror in the early 19th century.

A lot of archival data and reviews of contemporaries about this brilliant administrator give a detailed description of his external, as well as tell about the character, professional achievements, but, unfortunately, do not indicate exact data about the place of birth. There are several versions of the origin of Arakcheev. Some historians claim that a politician was born in the estate of his father with the name of Garusov, others consider the birthplace of Arakcheev the patrimony of his mother Kurgan. Without going into details, we only note that the most convincing version, calling Garusov the place of birth of Alexei Andreevich, is given by D.L. Pillows in his work "He was a real hare ...".

His benefactor, P.I., greatly assisted the young Alexei Andreevich. Melissino, who financed his training in the Petersburg Artillery Cadet Corps. Then the same person introduced him to Count Saltykov as an excellent tutor for his sons. Amazing way to the heights of state power began for Arakcheev precisely in the house of Count Saltykov, who proposed his candidacy to Paul I. The emperor needed such an agile and executive officer as the young Alexey turned out to be. Arakcheev's rapid career growth is explained by the qualities of his character, as well as by the tremendous diligence, loyalty to his native state and endless devotion to the emperor. He was a very strict and even somewhat cruel person, executive and tidy, who never made the slightest mistake in the conduct of his business. But showing intolerance for negligence and laziness, Arakcheev did not spare himself. Full immersion in the work was a characteristic feature of Alexei Andreyevich, who made him dry and callous, completely depriving his friends and relatives. The noble circle disliked Arakcheev for excessive arrogance, integrity and cruelty.

The bureaucrat was openly afraid of him for his harsh pursuit of negligence, bribery, red tape and so on. However, such properties as devotion to the fatherland, selflessness and sense of duty made Alexei Andreyevich an irreplaceable administrator surrounded by the sovereign. However, the brutal earl could love and suffer. A heavy blow for him was the loss of a woman of non-noble birth by the name of Nastassja, who served as a steward in his estate. According to some reports, Nastasia had a long relationship with Arakcheyev, and her murder almost broke the invincible graph. In all his life, Arakcheev did not meet a woman who was able to replace Nastasya with him.

According to Soviet historians, Arakcheev was hated by all the nobility community, the peasantry, and other classes. Not honored a high-ranking official in military circles. However, this statement can be questioned by studying reviews of contemporaries. For example, Pushkin, who wrote a caustic epigram to Alexei Andreyevich during his youth, speaks quite loyally of him in connection with his demise and even regrets the failed meeting. In addition, the story dated 1733 of the year, transmitted by captain Demore N.F. The captain of the gunner told about the relationship of the all-powerful Count Arakcheev and the young Dolgorukov. The well-known predilection for interrogating oncoming people about his own person was the first experience of communication between a young lieutenant and Alexey Andreevich. At the first meeting, Dolgorukov showed the stranger his negative attitude towards the leader Arakcheev and the idea of ​​creating military settlements. In response to his claims to the personality of the graph of excessive cruelty and severity, the young man received a sharp, but convincing answer that Arakcheev does not love only lazy people and mediocres. It characterizes Alexei Andreyevich by the fact that no sanctions were imposed on Dolgorukov. Moreover, according to the testimony of contemporaries, Arakcheev showed favor to the lieutenant, although he mercilessly loaded him with work and vigilantly monitored its execution.

If we examine in more detail the history of the creation of military settlements, we can see that the initiative of such a reckless event belonged to Emperor Alexander. Evidence remains in the archival documents that the development of documentation and construction projects and the operating procedure, for the most part, rested with no less famous Speransky. Despite the hostility to this policy and disagreement with the need for these transformations, Arakcheev set about fulfilling the task. By virtue of his diligence, rigor and devotion, the count did not think about the fidelity of the demands of the emperor. Aleksei Andreevich became only a performer, and very good and stubborn, and not the inspirer of the creation of military settlements, which historians portray him.

Arakcheev was by no means stupid and stubborn, as Soviet textbooks draw it. An ignorant performer could not win the respect and recognition of the enlightened Alexander, the grandson of the educated Empress Catherine II. The personal qualities of Arakcheev cannot serve as a reason for defamation of this person as a statesman and historical figure. It is impossible to call stupidity and rudeness loyalty to the sovereign and selfless love of the fatherland, which permeated the whole life of a great figure. According to the servants who were present at the time of the death of the count in his room, he presented his last look to the emperor. Such behavior could not be either pretense or ignorance — it is a worthy and deep feeling of a loyal Russian subject who has devoted his whole life to serving the fatherland.
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  1. 0
    24 January 2012 09: 04
    An ideal performer is good only with a talented leader. And so the ideal performer also played the role of a lightning rod from an educated emperor. The idea is his, but Arakcheev is to blame.
  2. 755962
    24 January 2012 11: 19
    "The soldier, the tsarist satrap, who dreamed of turning Russia into a large barracks with sergeants in the corners ..."

    "His tireless, all-round and undoubtedly useful for the state activity, disinterestedness and efforts to achieve truth everywhere, and, finally, iron will and reasonable severity - the qualities necessary for the helmsman of the Russian state ship, sailing at that time in a whirlpool of turbulent foreign currents ... "

    These two mutually exclusive characteristics relate to the same person - General Alexei Andreyevich Arakcheev, whose name in the XNUMXth century became a household name for many Russians.
  3. +2
    24 January 2012 11: 34
    Alexander I had boundless confidence in Arakcheev. Leaving Russia, he left the temporary worker with blank forms with his signature, on which he could write any orders, and "returning from distant wanderings", he approved everything done by Arakcheev. Arakcheev himself defined his position in the country as follows: "The Emperor is my friend, and only God can complain about me." The secret of the unchanging attachment of the angelically handsome, outwardly enlightened, gentlemanly educated Alexander I to the devilishly antipathetic Arakcheev for three decades is not simple. It all began on that day, November 5, 1796, when Paul I, ascending the throne, brought his faithful squire Arakcheev to Alexander and joined their hands with the words: "Be friends and help me!" Both of them will remember this day for the rest of their lives as a covenant of their father and sovereign. I The death of Paul further elevated this covenant, sealed it with the sovereign's and father's blood. From now on, Arakcheev nestled in the Tsar's heart as an embodied memory of his father: exalting Pavlov's favorite, Alexander partly consoled his conscience of an involuntary parricide. In addition, Arakcheev, according to A.I. Herzen, was distinguished by "inhuman devotion, mechanical serviceability, chronometer accuracy <...> Such people are a treasure for kings." Finally, it is impossible not to recognize good qualities in Arakcheev: he was, as they say, strong with a worldly mind, did not steal, did not take bribes and even refused awards, which were so greedy for other associates of the tsar. Here is a typical example. On March 31, 1814, on the occasion of the surrender of Paris, Alexander I promoted M.B. Barclay de Tolly and ... Arakcheev, but "The Serpent Gorynych" begged the tsar to cancel the decree about him.
    Alexander I used Arakcheev to intimidate Russia, but not immediately after the wars of 1812-1815. In the first years of the repression of the Holy Alliance, the tsar did not strangle Russia too much, realizing that it needed indulgences. Wars (especially the French invasion) claimed the lives of 2 million male Russians and devastated the country. Entire provinces were devastated, hundreds of villages were burned to the ground. Many cities lay in ruins, Moscow was almost completely burned down. The landowners, in order to compensate for their material losses, intensified the already barbaric exploitation of the peasants. The peasants' hopes that the tsar would reward them for their patriotism did not come true. In the manifesto of Alexander I of August 30, 1814, which bestowed all the estates with various favors, the following was literally said about the peasants: "The peasants, our faithful people - may they receive their wages from God!" The peasant people, returned under the yoke of corvee, grumbled everywhere: "We have delivered the fatherland from the tyrant, and the gentlemen are tyrannizing us again!"
    For the first quarter of the XIX century. in Russia, more than 650 peasant unrest broke out, two-thirds of them in 1815-1825. The forms of peasant protest were different - from loyal complaints to the tsar, whom the peasants literally "caught" on the roads of the empire for this purpose, to armed uprisings.
    Particularly large were the riots in the Ukraine and in the area of ​​the Don Army in 1819-1820. with the participation of 45 thousand peasants. Against them, Arakcheev sent regular troops with artillery. They were commanded by Adjutant General A.I. Chernyshev is the future Minister of War. He suppressed the excitement with purely Arakcheev's cruelty, after which Arakcheev himself came to the Don to mend the trial of four hundred "ringleaders." By his order, more than 200 peasants were beaten with whips (some of them were killed to death) and almost the same number were exiled to hard labor and settlement in Siberia.
    Particularly large were the riots in the Ukraine and in the area of ​​the Don Army in 1819-1820. with the participation of 45 thousand peasants. Against them, Arakcheev sent regular troops with artillery. They were commanded by Adjutant General A.I. Chernyshev is the future Minister of War. He suppressed the excitement with purely Arakcheev's cruelty, after which Arakcheev himself came to the Don to mend the trial of four hundred "ringleaders." By his order, more than 200 peasants were beaten with whips (some of them were killed to death) and almost the same number were exiled to hard labor and settlement in Siberia.
    The military settlers resisted the Arakcheyev regime by all means, up to armed uprisings. The largest of them - in the town of Chuguev, Kharkov province, in the summer of 1819 - drowned Arakcheev in blood: under his dictation, a military court sentenced 275 insurgents to death. Alexander I stood firm: "There will be military settlements at all costs, even if the road from St. Petersburg to Chudovo had to be covered with corpses!" (more than 100 km of the first line of military settlements). Arakcheev also instigated the tsar: "If you give orders, we will make the whole of Russia a military settlement!"
    However, the cadre army was kept a little better than the military settlements and also protested [5]. Tsarism was very frightened and embittered by the "indignation" on October 16, 1820 in the Life Guards Semyonovsky Regiment. On April 9, 1820, at the insistence of Arakcheev, Colonel F.Ye. Schwartz, who by that time had become famous for his "Schwartz" churchyard in Yekaterinoslav, that is, a common grave for soldiers tortured to death by him. Perhaps that is why Arakcheev recommended Schwartz to the tsar as "a person with special military / 69 / qualities" and ordered Schwartz to "beat the crap out of the Semenovites." Schwartz immediately reinstated the cult of gauntlets in the regiment and personally beat the "guilty" (for example, that "coughed" or "looked sadly") with gloves in the eyes, spat in their faces, kicked them. When, on October 16, he dragged a guilty private along the line, ordering the soldiers to spit on their comrade, the Semenovites lost their patience. On the same evening, the 1st "sovereign" company lined up for roll call, summoned the company bosses and filed a complaint with him about regimental commander. The rest of the companies supported the 1st. The Semenovites wanted to kill Schwartz, but he ingeniously hid, burying himself in the manure. Attempts by high officials (including the brother of the Tsar, Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich and the St. Petersburg Governor-General Count M.A.Miloradovich) to persuade the Semyonovites to bring the guilt did not lead to anything. The military authorities tried to intimidate the "rioters" by claiming that six guns were fired against them. The "rioters" answered: "We have not seen six near Borodino!" It was relatively easy to suppress the indignation of the Semenovites (the entire regiment was arrested and without resistance was escorted to the Peter and Paul Fortress), but tsarism saw in it a terrible danger for itself, realizing for the first time that the army , even the guard, ceases to be his reliable support. It is not surprising that the tsar and his alter ego subjected the Semyonovites to fierce reprisals: 802 soldiers were put on trial, nine of them received 6 sticks each and were sent to hard labor, the rest - into exile; the entire regiment was disbanded.
    The unrest in the army and especially the riot of the Semenovites made it clear to tsarism that sedition could threaten from everywhere. Therefore, he has strengthened police surveillance of all sectors of society more than ever. Since 1810, the Ministry of Police has functioned in the country. Moreover, the special detective service was under the jurisdiction of Arakcheev. Finally, Miloradovich also had his own espionage agents. However, tsarism was not content with this three-star secret police and in 1821, shortly after the Semyonovites' revolt, established a special police force in the army. The search became so comprehensive that Arakcheev himself suspected that he was undercover surveillance. Decembrist G.S. Batenkov recalled that time: "All were brought under the same level of imperturbable powerlessness and all depended on numerous secret police."

  4. Strabo
    24 January 2012 13: 26
    You can trust Pushkin, but they could hang everything else on a person out of spite and envy.

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