He ruled more humanely than his mother Catherine the Second, especially in relation to ordinary people. Why is he a “crowned villain,” according to Pushkin? Because, without thinking, he fired negligent bosses and even expelled them to St. Petersburg (only about 400 people)? Yes, we now have many people dream of such a "crazy ruler"! Or why is he, in fact, "crazy"? Yeltsin, excuse me, sent some needs in public, and he was considered to be simply an ill-bred "original."
Not a single decree or law of Paul contains signs of insanity, on the contrary, they are distinguished by rationality and clarity. For example, they put an end to the insanity that was going on with the rules of succession after Peter the Great.
The 45-volume "Complete Code of Laws of the Russian Empire", published in 1830 year, contains 2248 documents from the Pavlovian period (two and a half volumes) - and this despite the fact that Paul reigned the entire 1582 day! Therefore, he released the 1 – 2 law every day, and those were not the grotesque reports about “Lieutenant Kizhe”, but serious acts that later became included in the “Complete set of laws”! So much for the "crazy"!
It was Paul I who legally established the dominant role of the Orthodox Church among other churches and confessions in Russia. The legislative acts of Emperor Paul said: "The preeminent and dominant faith in the Russian Empire is the Eastern Orthodox Christian Catholic", "The Emperor, who possesses the Throne of All Russia, cannot profess any other faith besides the Orthodox." We will read about the same in the Peter I Spiritual Regulations. These rules were strictly followed up to 1917. Therefore, I would like to ask our adherents of “multiculturalism”: when did Russia become “multi-religious”, as you tell us now? In the atheistic period 1917 – 1991? Or after 1991, when the Catholic-Protestant Baltic and Muslim republics of Central Asia “fell off” from the country?
Many Orthodox historians are wary of the fact that Paul was the Grand Master of the Order of Malta (1798 – 1801), considering this order to be a “Paramasonic structure.”
But it was precisely one of the main masonic powers, England, that overthrew the power of Paul in Malta, occupying the island of 5 in September of 1800. This at least suggests that in the English Masonic hierarchy (the so-called Scottish rite) did not recognize Paul my own Maybe Paul was "his" in the French Masonic "Great East", if he wanted to "get friends" with Napoleon? But it happened just after the British seized Malta, and before that, Pavel and Napoleon fought. It is necessary to understand that the title of grandmaster of the Order of Malta was required by Paul I not only for self-affirmation in the company of European monarchs. In the calendar of the Academy of Sciences, on his instructions, the island of Malta was supposed to be designated “the province of the Russian Empire”. Pavel wanted to make the title of grandmaster hereditary, and to add Malta to Russia. On the island, he planned to create a naval base to safeguard the interests of the Russian Empire in the Mediterranean and in southern Europe.
Finally, it is known that Paul favored the Jesuits. This is also put by some Orthodox historians in his guilt in the context of the complex relationship between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. But there is a specific historical context. In 1800, it was the Jesuit Order that was considered the main ideological enemy of Freemasonry in Europe. So, in no way could freemasons welcome the legalization of Jesuits in Russia and treat Paul I as a freemason.
THEM. Muravyov-Apostol often told his children, future Decembrists, “about the enormity of the coup that took place upon Paul’s accession to the throne, an upheaval so sharp that descendants would not understand it,” and General Yermolov argued that “the late emperor had great features his historical character is not yet defined by us. ”
For the first time since the time of Elizabeth Petrovna, serfs also take an oath to the new tsar, which means that they are considered subjects and not slaves. Barshchina is limited to three days a week with the provision of weekends on Sundays and public holidays, and since there are many Orthodox holidays in Russia, this was a great relief for the working people. Domestic and serfs, Paul I forbade selling without land, and also separately if they were from the same family.
As in the times of Ivan the Terrible, in one of the windows of the Winter Palace there is a yellow box where everyone can throw a letter or petition addressed to the sovereign. The key to the room with the box was in Paul himself, who every morning read the requests of his subjects and printed answers in newspapers.
“Emperor Paul had a sincere and firm desire to do good,” wrote A. Kotzebue. - Before him, as before the kindest sovereign, the poor man and the rich, the nobleman and the peasant, were all equal. Woe to the strong, who with arrogance oppressed the wretched. The road to the emperor was open to everyone; the title of his pet did not protect anyone in front of him ... ”Of course, the nobles and rich people, who were used to impunity and living for free, did not like it. “Only the lower classes of the urban population and peasants love the emperor,” testified the Prussian envoy in St. Petersburg, Count Bruel.
Yes, Paul was extremely irritable and demanded unconditional obedience: the slightest delay in the execution of his orders, the slightest disruption in the service attracted the strictest reprimand and even punishment without distinction of persons. But he is just, kind, magnanimous, always benevolent, inclined to forgive insults and ready to repent of his mistakes.
However, the king's best and good undertakings broke against the stone wall of indifference and even obvious ill-will of his closest subjects, outwardly loyal and servile. The historians Gennady Obolensky in the book “The Emperor Paul I” (M., 2001) and Alexander Bokhanov in the book “Paul The First” (M., 2010) convincingly prove that many of his orders were reinterpreted in an absolutely impossible and treacherous way, causing an increase in hidden discontent with the king . “You know what my heart is, but you don’t know what kind of people they are,” Pavel Petrovich wrote bitterly in one of the letters about his environment.
And these people meanly killed him, for 117 years before the murder of the last Russian sovereign - Nicholas II. These events are certainly connected, the horrible crime of 1801, predetermined the fate of the Romanov dynasty.
Decembrist A.V. Poggio wrote (by the way, it is curious that many objective testimonies about Paul belong to the Decembrists): “... a drunken, riotous crowd of conspirators bursts in to him and disgustingly, without the slightest civilian goal, he is dragged, smothered, beaten ... and killed! Having committed one crime, they committed it to another, even more terrible. They intimidated, carried away the son himself, and this unfortunate, having bought a crown with such blood, during all the time of his reign will languish, disdain and unwittingly prepare an outcome, unfortunate for himself, for us, for Nikolai. ”
But I would not, as many fans of Paul do, directly oppose the reigns of Catherine the Second and Paul the First. Of course, the moral look of Paul for the better was different from the moral look of the loving empress, but the fact that her favoritism was also a method of government was not always ineffective. The favorites were Catherine needed not only for carnal joys. Pleased by the empress, they worked hard, God forbid, especially A. Orlov and G. Potemkin. The intimacy of the Empress and the favorites was a certain degree of trust in them, a kind of initiation, or something. Of course, there were loafers and typical gigolos like Lansky and Zubov next to her, but they appeared already in the last years of Catherine’s life when she lost a little of the idea of reality ...
Another thing is the position of Paul as heir to the throne under a system of favoritism. A. Bokhanov writes: in November 1781 of the year “the Austrian Emperor (1765 – 1790) Joseph II arranged a magnificent meeting (Pavel. - A. V.), and in the series of ceremonial events the play Hamlet was planned. Then the following happened: the leading actor Brockman refused to play the main role, since, according to him, “there will be two Hamlets in the hall”. The emperor was grateful to the actor for his wise caution and awarded him 50 ducats. “Hamlet” Paul did not see; it remained unclear whether he knew this tragedy of Shakespeare, whose external plot extremely reminded him of his own destiny. ”
A diplomat and historian S.S. Tatishchev spoke to the famous Russian publisher and journalist A.S. Suvorin: “Paul was partly Hamlet, at least his position was Hamlet’s, Hamlet was banned under Catherine II, after which Suvorin concluded:“ In fact, it’s very similar. The only difference is that Catherine instead of Claudius was Orlov and others ... ". (If you consider the young Pavel Hamlet, and Alexei Orlov, who killed Pavel Peter III’s father, Claudius, then unfortunate Peter will be in the role of Hamlet’s father, and Catherine herself in the role of Gertrude’s mother, who married the first husband’s killer).
The position of Paul under Catherine was indeed Hamlet. After the birth of his eldest son Alexander, the future emperor Alexander I, Catherine considered the possibility of transferring the throne to her beloved grandson, bypassing the unloved son.
Paul’s fears in such a development were reinforced by Alexander’s early marriage, after which, by tradition, the monarch was considered an adult. 14 August 1792 Propulsion Ekaterina II wrote to its correspondent Baron Grimm: “At first, my Alexander will marry, and there, over time, he will be crowned with all sorts of ceremonies, celebrations and folk festivals”. Apparently, therefore, Paul pointedly ignored the celebration of the marriage of his son.
On the eve of Catherine's death, the courtiers were waiting for the publication of the manifesto on the removal of Paul, his imprisonment in the Estland castle of Lod and the proclamation of Alexander as heir. It is widely believed that while Pavel was waiting for his arrest, Catherine’s manifesto (testament) was personally destroyed by A. Bezborodko’s office secretary, which enabled him to receive the highest rank of chancellor under the new emperor.
Having ascended to the throne, Paul solemnly transferred the ashes of his father from the Alexander Nevsky Monastery to the royal tomb of the Peter and Paul Cathedral simultaneously with the burial of Catherine II. At the funeral ceremony, depicted in detail on a long picture-tape of an unknown (apparently Italian) artist, Peter III's regalia — the royal baton, scepter and a large imperial crown — were carried ... regicide — Count AF Orlov, Prince P.B. Baryatinsky and P.B. Passek. In the cathedral, Paul personally performed the coronation ceremony of the ashes of Peter III (only crowned persons were buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral). The gravestones of Peter III and Catherine II carved out the same date of burial in the head slabs - 18 December 1796, which is why the uninitiated may get the impression that they lived together for many years and died in one day.
Invented in Hamlet style!
In the book of Andrei Rossomakhin and Denis Khrustalev, “The Challenge of Emperor Paul, or the First Myth of the 19th Century” (St. Petersburg, 2011), another “Hamlet” act of Paul I was first considered in detail: the challenge to the duel that the Russian Emperor sent to all European monarchs as an alternative to wars, which killed tens and hundreds of thousands of people. (This, incidentally, is exactly what L. Tolstoy offered rhetorically in War and Peace, who did not complain about Paul I himself: they say, let emperors and kings personally fight instead of destroying their subjects in the wars).
What was perceived by contemporaries and descendants as a sign of “madness” is shown by Rossomakhin and Khrustalev as a subtle game of the “Russian Hamlet” that was cut short during a palace coup.
Also for the first time, evidence of the “English trace” of the conspiracy against Paul is presented convincingly: for example, the English satirical prints and caricatures of Paul are reproduced in color in the book in the last three months of the emperor’s life, when preparations began to conclude a military-strategic alliance between Paul and Napoleon Bonaparte. As you know, shortly before the murder, Pavel ordered an entire army of the Cossacks of the Don Cossacks (22 500 Sabers) under the command of Ataman Vasily Orlov to go on a march on India, negotiated with Napoleon, in order to “disturb” the British possessions. The task of the Cossacks was to conquer, in passing, Khiva and Bukhara. Immediately after the death of Pavel I, Orlov’s detachment was recalled from the Astrakhan steppes, and negotiations with Napoleon were curtailed.
I am sure that the “Hamlet theme” in the life of Paul I will still be the subject of attention of historical novelists. I think there will be a theater director who will put Hamlet in the Russian historical interpretation, where, while preserving the Shakespearean text, the case will take place in Russia at the end of the 18th century, and the crown prince Paul will act as Prince Hamlet, as the ghost of Hamlet's father - the murdered Peter III, in the role of Claudius - Alexei Orlov, etc. Moreover, the episode with the performance played by actors of a stray theater in Hamlet can be replaced by a foreign troupe for the performance of Hamlet in St. Petersburg, after which Catherine II and Orlov will ban the play . Of course, the real crown prince Paul, being in the position of Hamlet, outplayed everyone, but after all, the fate of Shakespeare's hero waited for him through 5 for years ...