In Peter's pale sky - calm,
Flotilla free fog
And at the ends of the octagonal
All the same golden dust.
V. Nabokov. St. Petersburg
Flotilla free fog
And at the ends of the octagonal
All the same golden dust.
V. Nabokov. St. Petersburg
Misunderstanding of the past, erroneous data or a false picture stories, illusions and delusions lead to mistakes in planning the future.
Russia, being a "genetically" European country, developed, like other European countries, but of course, had its own specifics.
First, when Russia arose, France was already an early feudal state, Germany became one.
Secondly, the German kingdoms of the 6th — 7th centuries. in Western Europe (that is, all the early state formations of Europe) arose on the fertilized soil of the Greco-Roman civilization both in philosophical and legal and material terms: the presence of roads, structures, developed agriculture, etc., etc. ., while Russia developed in the "desert": forest and forest-steppe territory, which was developed from scratch. As a result, a completely different result was obtained for one unit of effort: the climate, the level of yield, and the agricultural periods were different. From here and various possibilities for accumulation of potential.
Thirdly, the Tatar-Mongol invasion, and behind it the establishment of tributary relations between the Horde and the Russian principalities had, first of all, an extremely negative impact on the economy of Russia. But the yoke had no significant influence on the state structure of the country (about which we wrote in the article on "VO" "Russia as part of the Eastern Empire?").
The political growth of the Russian principalities continued in the framework of natural development, expressed in the collection of land and the creation of a military estate - the nobility. The same situation, only much earlier, was in other European lands, and to a large extent under the influence of external aggression from the Hungarians, Arabs, Vikings.
In the framework of the same movement in Russia there was a struggle of the supreme power (grand ducal) with the aristocracy, in the process of which the institution of monarchy emerged at the end of the fifteenth century.
Russia was formed as a new civilization on the basis of the Russian people and Orthodoxy, ideologically connected with the lost Byzantium, a new civilization - the “Third Rome”.
In the course of this organic development, a new, advanced form of government — the monarchy faced the conservative forces of a specific period. These forces, which had once actively supported the formation of the Moscow principality, could not accept the new rules of the game, considering the Grand Duke as the first among equals, and were not ready to part with generic privileges without a fight. At the end of the struggle of the monarchy to eliminate the power of the aristocracy and the formation of the service class, which occupied the entire sixteenth century, the Troubles broke out.
Smoot beginning of the seventeenth century. - the first civil war in which the question was decided: how will the country develop? Who will pull the "plots", who will be freed from him? Which class will dominate in Russia?
The distemper, complicated by the intervention, ended with the undermining of the power of the aristocracy and the beginning of the formation of the military estate (knighthood) through enslavement of the rural free population. We draw attention to the fact that the military service class or knighthood in Russia was formed in the second half of the fifteenth century, and essentially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while in France and Germany this process took place in the eighth and tenth centuries. Finally, this situation was legally issued by the Council Code of the Year 1649! What knights could we talk about at this time in Western Europe? Is that the knight of Don Quixote, who fought with the windmills, "giants".
When we talk about knights, we mean not only the rider in the armor, rather, not so much his, but the estate itself and the related system of relations, which in this period fell into decay. Spain of the XVI century, for example, is not the most socially advanced state, which was associated with a long struggle with the "Arab yoke" (the caliphate occupied almost the entire territory of Spain, to the borders of modern France!). But it is from Spain, thanks to Cervantes, who himself was a hidalgo - a warrior, we get a "knight of the sad image" - a nobleman whose knightly principles are in glaring contradictions with the developing world of monetary relations, where, in fact, he looks like an anachronism - in a sad way.
It turns out that Russia is moving in its natural, organic way, but there is a significant delay, and due to the growth of technology in the military and naval affairs in the West, the backlog becomes obvious and threatening for the country.
During the reign of the first Romanovs, with the end of the civil war, there is a constant search for the proper country management systems, adequate to external dangers of Russia. At the same time, attempts are made to "point" modernization. The introduction of the regiments of the new system, dragoons, the construction of the frigate "Eagle", the creation of the "German settlement" and the attraction of "foreign specialists", finally, the reform of the Nikon church in the Little Russian way, changing the legislation using the documents of the western neighbor (Rzecz Pospolita) are all significant changes did not bring, as a "point" modernization did not change Turkey, Persia and Egypt in the nineteenth century.
The victories of the local army over the forces of the Commonwealth in the struggle for part of the southern and south-western Russian lands or Ukraine (Smolensk, part of Belarus and Little Russia) can be largely explained by the fact that the state of the Poles and Lithuanians went along a dead-end path of development for a given period of time: it was formed as an “aristocratic republic” —anarchy.
By the way, taking into account the “genetic” historical kinship of these peoples with the eastern neighbor, Russia could have gone the same way by the magnate-szlachta “republic” if other forces had won in the Troubles.
As a result, with the coming to power of Peter I, the genius Russian reformer, Russia was able to respond adequately to the challenges of the time - the first Russian modernization began (A. Toynbee).
Of course, Peter I, in terms of technology, laid the foundation for many of Russia's most important institutions, which, it must be emphasized, played an important role in the development of our country, unlike many countries where modernization was point or surface. And getting into skilled hands, they (technologies) significantly influenced the development of the state, this can be said, for example, of the Academy of Sciences.
Admiralty, shipyards, universities and secular educational institutions, newspapers, secular scientific publishing houses, professional military schools, industrial development of the Urals, and northern Palmyra, a city of three revolutions - we have all this thanks to the modernization of Peter, well, or it was until recently ...
M. N. Pokrovsky wittily wrote:
“Meanwhile, Peter could be convinced that the transformation of the army and navy according to European models gave excellent results: he, a military instructor and a ship engineer, first and foremost another, naturally had the idea that using the same methods in civil administration, it is easy and this last one can be made as exemplary as the Baltic fleet or the Transfiguration grenadiers. ”
But has Moscow Russia ended, as is commonly believed in historiography and journalism: has the organic development of Russia ended?
Simultaneously with modernization, Russia continued to move along the path of “feudalism”, but in new circumstances, in the conditions of the formation of new economic relations in the West. Modernization has protected this path. It was the strengthening of “knighthood” in the form of dictatorship, the final closure of the political issue with aristocrats: legally, Peter's brother destroyed King Feodor in 1682. An attempt by the aristocracy to regain power during the reign of Peter II and at the beginning of the reign of Anna Ioannovna came across a sharp rejection of side of the "gentry", eliminated the "mediator" between the nobles and the autocracy.
Peter I, served the country, perhaps, as more than one sovereign after him, he also defined an extremely harsh "service" to all estates. As in medieval Europe: fighting, plowing, praying.
Before the 17th century, this service was the subject of a private contract between the tsars and the king, then from the beginning of the reign of the Romanovs it became a duty, the service was legally enshrined in the Council Code of 1649 and enshrined in practice by the tsar Peter: the state endowed the serving people with an estate for his service.
V. O. Klyuchevsky cites a vivid example from the “feudal” relations of this period. Actually, it had little to do with the “Old Russian orders”, however:
“Once a crowd of nobles who did not want to go to math school, enrolled in the Zaikonospasskoye spiritual school in Moscow. Peter ordered to take lovers of theology to St. Petersburg to the naval school and, as a punishment, forced them to beat the piles on the Moika. General-Admiral Apraksin, faithful to the ancient Russian concepts of patrimonial honor, was offended for his younger brotherhood and in a simple-minded form expressed his protest. Appearing at Moika and seeing the approaching king, he took off his admiral's uniform with Andrew's ribbon, hung it on a pole and began to hammer in piles diligently with the nobles. Peter, coming up, asked with surprise: “How, Fedor Matveyevich, being the general-admiral and cavalier, do you drive piles yourself?” Apraksin jokingly answered: “Here, sir, all my nephews and grandchildren beat piles (younger brother, according to local terminology ), and what kind of person am I, what kind of advantage do I have? ”
After the death of Peter through the efforts of “noble delegates with weapons"- Guard serving people gradually draws up his own" dictatorship.
"Dictatorship of the Nobles" and the organic path of development of the country
The technologies brought by Peter defended Russia from external aggression, gave it acceleration right up to the 19th century, but at the same time, as a result of the increasing importance of the military class, public relations were conserved, which, in new historical conditions, becomes a social problem for the country.
For almost two centuries, the “dictatorship of the nobility” determined the political and economic structure of the state, conducting, especially in the first period, a kind of unwritten election of kings, up to the accession of Nicholas I to the throne, inclusive, the king, who saw first of all perturbed nobles
Catherine II, the “European” empress, called herself “a Kazan landowner” in solidarity with the nobles of Kazan, who had experienced the horrors of the peasant war of Yemelyan Pugachev, caused by the oppression of their own management. But even Catherine the Great tried to “ballot” with failed coups during the crisis of 1776 and 1791-1792. in favor of her son Pavel Petrovich.
Of course, we do not want to say that in the “revolts” of the 18th century. there were no other reasons: dissatisfaction with the domination of foreigners or the struggle between groups of nobles, by no means. But there was one reason - namely, the retention by the class of “knights” of the nobility of power on their own terms.
The key question of Russia throughout the entire dictatorship of the nobility remained the issue of land and the freedom of the peasants, which was never resolved. The leader of the Kaluga nobility, N. G. Vyazemsky, wrote:
“It has not yet come to their senses that the liberty of this idol of alien blind men inevitably leads to disastrous vainness, tumult, debauchery and the overthrow of all the authorities! .. In France, the nobility became - she fell; in Russia it was - and Russia rebelled, triumphed and blissful. ”
The Vologda landowner O.A. Pozdeev in 1814:
“Is Russia still Tatar? [Nothing reminds? - Auth.] In which the sovereign should be autocratic, backed up by many nobles, in the absence of them - their clerks-officials, who the slightest spark of non-payment of taxes and deliveries of the recruit ... are extinguished, preventing them from igniting in this vast empire with the peasants will not cope ... "
The enslavement meant the transfer to a serviceman for the service of the peasants with their work, and not with the land, the land remained communal or peasant. And all this period the peasants remembered it. But in the 18th century, the noble dictatorship decided differently, turning not only the identity of the farmer and his family into private property, but also the land belonging to him.
Ivan Pososhkov wrote: “... other noblemen have already grown old, they live in villages, and have not been in the service of one foot”. The nobles were rigorously seeking the possibility of not fulfilling their obligations, while remaining owners of the “estates” received from the state.
First, they “got rid of” the burden and deprivation associated with the beginning of service by the rank and file, finding a legal loophole of writing to the shelves from birth, then creating “military schools”. And in 1761, 1762. By decree of Peter III, and then Catherine II, were generally released from military and civil service. According to the apt remark of V.O. Kliuchevskiy, after the nobles were freed from the service of the state, should have freed the peasants attached to them only because of their ministry. And such a decree was adopted! But exactly 100 years!
Thus, we see that Russia, which was following its natural or organic path of development, faced with external threats from countries that had passed this path earlier, overcame the “challenges” by conducting the first modernization.
Of course, about any absolute monarchy in the eighteenth century. there is no need to speak here: Russian emperors, similar to French kings of the seventeenth — eighteenth centuries. outwardly, in fact, had little to do with classical absolutism.
Peter I, through the borrowing of Western technologies, has given acceleration for a century. As F. Braudel wrote, “Russia even perfectly adapted itself to the industrial“ pre-revolution ”, to the general rise of production in the 18th century.”
His heirs on the throne gladly took advantage of this opportunity, but at the same time they preserved social relations, stopping the organic path of development of the people, because, logically, the next step in this path was to be the legal liberation of farmers and the development of the third estate. I will quote Brodell once more: “But when the genuine industrial revolution of the nineteenth century comes, Russia will remain in place and will gradually lag behind.”
At the end of the "acceleration", at the zenith of military glory, several factors determined the development of the country in the subsequent period:
1. The great French bourgeois revolution.
2. Strengthening non-economic exploitation of the main tax-paying population of the country.
3. The first industrial revolution.
4. The coming to power of the bourgeoisie in most Western countries.
And finally, the design of the monarchy as a form of government exclusively nobles.
In such difficult conditions, the country was governed ... However, it would be better to say that A. Pushkin about the works of Emperor Alexander I:
Learn, the Russian people,
What the whole world knows:
Both Prussian and Austrian
I sewed my uniform.
Oh, rejoice, people: I am full, healthy and fat;
I was glorified by a newspaperman;
I ate, and drank, and promised -
And the case is not tortured.
To be continued ...