Military Review

Ranks and pensions for civil service. Part of 2

Not everyone was allowed to serve

According to the “Charter on Service by Definition from the Government” (1896), when entering the civil service, the following was taken into account: 1) the state of a person or his origin; 2) age; 3) knowledge. If necessary, the level of knowledge of the candidate was checked. If the position required special knowledge, then the applicants were subjected to a special test (regardless of certificates of educational institutions) and testing the ability to serve in a particular position for up to 4-months. The same document determined that the Russian youth aged from 10 to 18 years should be trained and educated in Russian educational institutions. Homeschooling was allowed “with passing the tests in the gymnasium” - that was the name for the exams. But all the options for receiving education and upbringing by young men should always have been carried out only in Russia. Otherwise, the young men, despite their origin and class privileges, were deprived of the right to enter the civil service in the Russian Empire.

By state or origin, the representatives of 10 listed in the Statutes of groups of Russian subjects were entitled to the civil service. It is quite clear that nobles, as well as sons of officers and officials, who received personal honorary citizenship by their ranks, were named among the first. The way to the Russian bureaucracy opened up for the sons of Orthodox clergy and some other churches, merchants of the 1-th guild and commerce advisers, scholars and artists, county-level parish and home teachers. Representatives of national suburbs were not forgotten either. They accepted for civil service, for example, the sons of “Finnish officials not from the nobility”, as well as people of Ossetian origin, belonging to the privileged national estates. The right to enter the civil service was granted to the sons of clerical servants and some other groups of subjects of the Russian crown.
At the same time, it was forbidden to admit to the civil service representatives of 5 groups of the population of the empire: 1) foreigners; 2) merchants and their children; 3) personal honorary citizens and their children, except for those officials who received such status for their ranks; 4) persons of ex-tax states; 5) sons of non-serving chief-officer children who had the title of hereditary honorary citizen in the service of their grandfathers. In other words, here we were talking about the grandchildren of those persons.

A separate article of the Charter prohibited the admission "to the civil service of the Jews." However, for those of them who had academic degrees, these prohibitions were lifted, and they could hold civilian positions in all departments "without limiting their whereabouts for the permanent settlement of Jews, certain." The bans on the admission to the service of foreigners also did not apply to positions in the academic and educational units.

The beginning of the “active service” was considered only after reaching the 16 age. At the same time, it was determined that those who entered the civil service only for one right of their origin were accepted only for the office of a clerical servant. However, for the future official, the main thing was to get to the civil service. Further chinoprocessing, of course, depended to some extent on his talents and talents, but to a greater extent his career and his superiors favored his career. With a favorable set of circumstances and service in the ranks equal to 24 years, the official who started the service from 16 years to his 40 anniversary could reach the rank of State Counselor.

Further chinoproizvodstvo depended only on the royal favor and had no service time in the ranks. At the same time, in the period from 1845 to 1856, the rank of state councilor gave the right to hereditary nobility for civilians. Later, this required to rise to the next rank of IV class.

The way of the official to the elite

The dream of every official was to get the rank of class IV - a valid state councilor, corresponding to the rank of army major general. Starting from 1856, it was from this rank that the right to hereditary nobility was acquired. It was a “lucky ticket” to the elite, to the elite of society. The title “Your Excellency” was attached to it, as well as various benefits and advantages. The civil ranks of the first four classes in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries accounted for approximately 1 as a percentage of the total number of civil servants. For example, in the 1903 year, the entire empire had about 3700 ranks of these classes.

However, it was not easy to get to the top of the bureaucratic pyramid. Starting with Catherine II, the main way was determined by the length of service. Merit was taken into account too, but usually only during wars, natural disasters, or by the grace of the monarch. This order of civilian clerical production, with some amendments, was maintained for many years. For example, during the reign of Emperor Nicholas I, nine out of ten officials received new ranks and new positions only after seniority. On this occasion, Pushkin wrote: “The ranks became the passion of the Russian people ...”. It was possible to get the first class rank only due to the length of service of a fixed number of years as a clerical servant. The term of service depended on the civil servant class. A hereditary nobleman with secondary education worked as a clerical attendant for the entire 1 year, a personal nobleman for the year 4, and sons of the lowest employees for the year 12. So each of them had his own way to the officials and they advanced in the service at different rates.

The clerk - the first step to the class rank

In Russia, and then in the empire from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 18th century, all clerical functions were performed by the clerk’s assistant, the clerk, and later the clerk. The clerical servants included civil servants who did not have the right to a class rank when they entered the civil service. With the establishment of Peter I in 1718, the colleges began to see the growth of the lower ministers. Over 5 years, their number in the state service grew more than 2 times - from 924 to 1962 clerks. At the same time, their share among civil servants increased from 79 to 93,4% of the total number. In the 1755 year, there were already 3328 people (81,7%), and a century later the civil servants consisted of 32073 lower servants (clerical, sub-clerical and copyist).

During the reign of Catherine II, government measures were introduced to consolidate the estate principle in human production. This principle, for example, was enshrined in the highest approved Senate report from 5 of September 1765, “On the procedure for the production of lower clerical servants in the ranks and determination of classrooms; about the admission of juvenile nobles into the service, and about the production of judges, and the military retired in the civil ranks ". This document established the procedure for determining juvenile nobles for the civil service in the lower ranks, as well as their production in the ranks, along with regular officials. Since then, even a minor nobleman had the advantage in obtaining a rank before members of other classes. At the same time, the 12-year service term was established to obtain the next class rank by the collegiate secretaries "from clerks, not from nobles." At the same time, starting from 1774, by decree of Empress Catherine II, all clerks were instructed to teach their sons literacy. From an early age, they were already preparing to replace their fathers in the clerical and bureaucratic field. The civil service gradually acquired signs of heredity.

Most of the future service officials began with the lowest post of copyist. An exception existed for the nobles, who could bypass the initial clerical positions. The class rank they received most often in the office of clerk. It was possible to attain the rank of a collegiate registrar at different times, depending on the class status, education, abilities, relations of the authorities, age and duty station. It was possible to go this way in 10-15 years, but under certain conditions this period could be reduced or increase by 4-5 years. At the beginning of the 19th century there were officials in the empire who had not reached the age of majority. This circumstance forced the government to introduce age restrictions in 1828. Since that time, it was allowed to accept people not younger than 14 years into the civil service, and the beginning of their active service was considered to be the achievement of 16 age.

In the career ladder of clerical servants, the ranks and positions formed a rather complex interweaving. So, in different years, in addition to the main steps known in the literature - copyist, sub-clerk and clerk, this staircase included two more posts - the provincial registrar and the provincial protocol-recorder.

In addition to age qualifications, educational restrictions were also introduced. A serious obstacle for many officials on the way to high ranks was prepared by M.M. Speransky decree that received the royal approval of 6 August 1809 year. The document prescribed that in order to obtain the ranks that gave the right to the nobility, it was necessary to submit a diploma of graduation from the university or pass special examinations established for the cinema industry. It should be noted that during the period of this decree (up to 1834 of the year), the official growth of many officials ended with the receipt of the ninth grade of the class (titular adviser, equal to the army rank of the staff captain). In addition, Emperor Nicholas I, by his decree from 1827, prohibited the admission to the civil service of persons from tax-paying classes. An exception to this rule was made only for graduates of educational institutions who provided for obtaining a class rank along with a diploma. Such rights were vested in the imperial universities, theological academies and seminaries, colleges of higher sciences and lyceums. Thus, the path of the nobles to the highest civil ranks was “cleared”. However, in practice, everything was different. So, in 1836-1843, two-thirds of the officials (about 65%) who received the rank of collegiate assessor came from the clergy, honorary citizens, merchants and petty bourgeoisie. In this case, the peculiarity of the Russian civil service was the practice of filling vacancies within a ministry or other state institution by promoting “their” officials and other employees, avoiding “outside” appointments.

The working conditions of officials and clerical

The work schedule of the ministerial servants was fairly free. For example, from the end of 1840, departmental officials came to the service, usually in the morning at 11, and were occupied with business until about 4 hours of the day. On the days of reports (usually once a week) they left the service a little later. The internal schedule and working conditions of civilian officials and lower servants became increasingly dependent "on the discretion of the authorities." By definition, N. A. Lyubimov "the state idea took the exclusive form of the authorities: the authorities combined law, truth, mercy and punishment." The middle link of the state administration was made up mainly of officials, who were called the clerks. In this regard, L.F. Pisarkova cites the statement attributed to the emperor Nicholas I that "Russia is managed by clerks". The reformer king knew better how to evaluate the system of bureaucratic administration of the empire created by him and his predecessors ...

As the workflow was constantly increasing, there were a lot of various official papers. The activities of state bodies were largely confined to clerical work. In the opinion of State Councilor Admiral Count N. S. Mordvinov, “numerous officials and ministers in the offices of ministers deal with the most useless letters.” Under these conditions, the top of bureaucratic skill was considered the ability of an official to “prepare” the prepared response paper according to the rules “received from the top”. Therefore, in state institutions, the ability of an official to write, or rather “unsubscribe,” was especially appreciated. However, this was a very difficult task. For example, every incoming document, from the moment it was received by the duty clerk and sent to the messenger by appointment, was held in the district court of 26 instances, in the department of the ministry - 34, and in the provincial board - 54 instance. At the same time, rather strict requirements were imposed on compliance with all bureaucratic formalities. Upon detection of any error in the text, irregularities of the line or pallor of ink, the document was mercilessly rejected, and the contractor had serious proceedings with the authorities regarding the flaws made.

For a clerical employee who had just entered, for example, in the eighteenth century civil service, working conditions were not an easy ordeal. Unlike officials, their service in institutions and offices took 12 hours a day or more. Most often it started at 5 in the morning. Then, relied on a break from 14 to 17 hours, which they were not always able to use due to an excess of cases and assignments. The working day ended at about an hour in 22. If necessary, the clerks were delayed later. Before the construction of special buildings of administrative places, which began in the late XVIII - early XIX centuries, the provincial and district institutions were sometimes located in rooms with little use for work.

The civil servant uniform was a luxury for the clerk. Therefore, most of the lower ministers wore particular (informal, civil) clothing, rather than the established uniform of a certain pattern.

Strict disciplinary measures could be applied to clerical staff. Thus, in the 18th century, for the late or non-attendance of service, negligence, laziness, drunkenness, and other misdemeanors, lower servants could be put under arrest for bread and water, punished with rods, or even sold off. Only in the 1 half of the XIX century, these punishments were canceled. Yes, and the working day was established in the normal range - from 9 to 17 hours. In the days when there was no dispatch of mail or other urgent matters, officials after lunch often did not go to the service at all, leaving the case to the lower servants. Therefore, in the county town clerk was an important person. Peasants, tradesmen, and merchants, too, when they met him, they took off their cap.

A clerical service required a certain level of literacy and general training. Therefore, the course of the county or city college was a prerequisite for the production of office attendants in 1-th class rank of the collegiate registrar. Lower servants who had not previously studied in schools and gymnasiums could, at any age, pass a special exam for the first class rank at local gymnasiums.

However, the lower ministers had other benefits and advantages. For example, they could not be subjected to corporal punishment. Under the established period of impeccable length of service, the lowest servants, like the ranks of the ranks, could qualify for pensions and benefits. For their sons, access to civil service was granted. There were special schools for children of clerical workers. Those who completed the course in such schools were obliged to serve in civil service in the provinces 8. After the abolition of these schools in 1861, the children of clerical workers were distributed to other local educational institutions. At the same time for them were allocated cash benefits for the purchase of clothing and school supplies. Certain benefits of the civil service even in lower civilian positions at that time were considered obvious.

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Articles from this series:
Ranks and pensions for civil service. Part of 1

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  1. Adjutant
    Adjutant 26 November 2018 07: 00
    The path of the servant of the people is not easy)
    But - the main thing is to get into the nomenclature, so to speak, to become a part of a powerful bureaucratic apparatus. Driving the will of one of the largest empires in the world
  2. M. Michelson
    M. Michelson 26 November 2018 07: 39
    Titular Advisor = Captain (not Staff Captain = Provincial Secretary).
  3. Ross xnumx
    Ross xnumx 27 November 2018 04: 46
    One thing was clear - no "kinder surprise" could appear out of nowhere. Yet it is not for nothing that they say that the new is the well-forgotten old. Historical experience would be very suitable for our government. And then whoever you dig - from the prison, then from the magazine, then from the accounting department, then from the district committee of the Komsomol and immediately to the government.