“I wish it is better to be hated for a just cause than beloved for a wrong thing. ...
I hope that the offspring will treat me more impartially. "
I hope that the offspring will treat me more impartially. "
Russian история, which is the basis of the self-consciousness of the Russian people, its spirit, is constantly under attack. The enemies of Russian civilization create the so-called. black myths that destroy the images of Russian rulers, commanders, devotees, blacken the exploits and achievements of our people. So, it is difficult to find in the history of large-scale fraud, similar to that which was subjected to the figure of the Russian sovereign Paul I. This puts him in a row of such historical figures as Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin, who cry out the most from hatred among the conductors of the will of the masters of Western civilization.
Paul ruled more humanely than his mother Catherine II, especially in relation to the common people, the soldiers. A.I. Turgenev, evaluating the activities of the emperor, wrote: “The people were enraptured, delighted, honored his orders with a blessing sent from heaven ... I allow myself to say boldly and fearlessly that in the first year of Paul’s reign the people were blissful, found judgment and reprisal without no one dared to rob, oppress him ... ”However, he was called a“ villain ”because he dismissed careless dignitaries, bosses, and even sent from the capital (!) to other cities of the European part of Russia (this is a villain!) several hundred people .
The myth of Paul's “madness” was written. He was accused of tyranny. So, on the second day of the reign, the police suggested that residents of the capital take off round hats, tailcoats and vests. However, this was nothing "crazy". The action of Peter the Great, when the residents of Moscow were ordered to change from a Russian dress into a German dress for several days, for some reason he was not blamed. Emperor Paul I ordered to take off round hats, vests and cut off collars from coats, because all this symbolized the French Jacobin revolutionaries. If Paul only ordered to take off his hat, then the French revolutionaries for such things (a manifestation of commitment to a fallen monarchy) removed their heads, and shed rivers of blood. Therefore, the order of the emperor was not “wild”, he defended the “symbolic field” of Russia (symbols are of paramount importance in the life of society, although the majority do not see this).
Another “clear evidence” of Paul’s alleged abnormality is the sending of a regiment to Siberia. They tell a historical anecdote, when Pavel once at a parade commanded a regiment that did not please him with a drill: "Step march ... to Siberia." However, this is not a historical fact, but a blatant lie, an invention. There is no data on such an order, the researchers were unable to establish the name of the regiment to which Emperor Paul I allegedly gave such an order.
The enemies of Paul during his lifetime, and especially after his death (trying to cover up his involvement in the conspiracy and murder of the legal ruler of Russia), spread rumors that he had lost his mind. Each act of the emperor was supplemented with such details, retouched to make him sick. As a result, the notoriety quickly spread to the noble salons of Russia. And in Europe, she gladly picked up. In the West, it was always with particular joy that any bad news from Russia was received, they distorted the facts (this has not changed even now). So the situation was that even now, for most ordinary people, the emperor Paul is a “little fool on the throne”, a royal madcap or a “gloomy and suspicious tyrant” who choked all manifestations of freedom.
It is clear that Paul was not holy. He had a hot-tempered and irritable temper. In anger, he allowed sharpness. However, he was not a tyrant. In addition, he was constantly deceived and provoked by secret enemies who wanted to kill him. Prince P. P. Lopukhin noted that Paul was an outspoken, unusually kind and noble man (as evidenced by the absence of executions of even outspoken pests and thieves). Also noted his courtesy and very sharp and sharp mind. In a good mood, it was harder to find a more pleasant and brilliant conversationalist, and even his son, Alexander Pavlovich, could not compare with Pavel.
High-ranking conspirators not only provoked Paul into outbursts of anger, but often carried out ridiculous events on his behalf that were supposed to affirm the public opinion about his abnormality, “tyranny”. The conspirators could not tell the truth that they want to eliminate Paul for his desire to be a “people's king”, pursuing a course in the interests of the whole society, and not just a narrow noble stratum, and also for breaking off relations with England. Therefore, the conspirators left only the path of deception, the most brazen slander, provocations and intrigues. The example of modern Ukraine shows that with skillful propaganda, the most blatant lie will be accepted by society and will become a reality.
Petersburg military governor Peter Palen (lead conspirator) served as the main provocateur under Pavel. He knew that it was necessary for the emperor to calm down, how he would change his mind and would cancel the instruction given in the heat of anger. Therefore, Palen tried to immediately fulfill the instructions expressed in a fit of anger, pretending to be "faithful servants." Paul, reassured, canceled the order. As a result, people had the impression that the sovereign himself did not know what he wanted. So, once, standing at one of the windows of the palace, Pavel noticed a drunken peasant and said: “He’s walking past the Royal Palace and will not take off hats”. After some time, he noticed that there were people without hats on the square in front of the Mikhailovsky Palace, in the winter in severe frost. Pavel asked why people without hats, because there is a strong frost outside. He was told that at his command. “I have never ordered this,” the sovereign protested.
As an undoubted proof of the emperor’s insanity, they like to give his order to repaint all the houses and fences of St. Petersburg with stripes, like barriers were painted at that time. However, this order was given by the St. Petersburg General Governor Nikolai Arkharov, the closest assistant to the organizer of the murder of Paul I - Palena. Any sound order, if desired, can be distorted so that it seems an act of a sick person. Pavel was discredited during his reign by exposing the abnormal and despot. This assessment migrated to historical works and became dominant in the public consciousness.
Portrait of paul i with family
The Russian historian V. Klyuchevsky gave a correct assessment of Pavel’s activities. The historian noted: “Having collected all the jokes, you will think that all this is some kind of motley and rather incoherent tale; meanwhile At the heart of the government policy (Emperor Paul), both external and internal, lay serious thoughts and principles that deserve our complete sympathy. ” Klyuchevsky wrote that Pavel Petrovich was the first “counter-noble king” of this era, and “the rule of the nobility and rule based on injustice was a sore point for a Russian hostel in the second half of the century”. Guiding the work of Paul was a sense of order, discipline, and equality. It was a kind of “knight on the throne” who tried to restore order and social justice in the empire. In fact, Emperor Paul I was the first king who tried to go off the wrong path, which Peter I had laid for Russia, “having cut through a window to Europe”. He planned to return Russia to the original political structures.
The personal life of the sovereign was very unfortunate. After the birth of October 1, the city of Paul 1754 was taken from his mother. He was brought up by the Empress Elizabeth. The teacher of the young heir was N. I. Panin. After the death of Elizabeth and the murder of Peter III, the situation of an impressionable and talented child has changed little. He still lived separately from his mother. Catherine did not pay attention to him. Apparently, she did not like a child from a hated husband. Paul felt this and avoided his mother, closed in himself. Over the years, the alienation between them has only grown. He was strengthened by the knowledge that the mother’s desire to gain power was the cause of his father’s death. Rumors that Catherine wants to deprive of the right to the throne and his, strengthened hostility. Catherine, who did not take part in the formation of Paul's personality, was to blame for this.
When Paul came of age, he was surrounded by spies. In that century of palace coups, he was suspected of wanting to seize power. When Paul had a son, Alexander, the relationship deteriorated further. Catherine II took away her son from Paul and began to raise him herself. There was a feeling that she wants to transfer power to her grandson, not her son. However, Alexander grew up a noble young man and did not want his father’s legal rights violated. He said that he would rather leave Russia than put on a crown belonging to his father.
Thus, up to 42, Pavel Petrovich lived a quiet family life in Gatchina and Pavlovsk. He was in the ambiguous position of the legitimate heir to the throne, who could be deprived of legal rights at any time. Such an ambiguity of almost any person will deprive of peace of mind.
Paul was a high flying person. Studying his biography, it is worth remembering that Russian historiography for almost the entire period of its existence was based on the point of view of Westernizers, people who believed that Russia is part of Western civilization and should follow the "advanced powers." The main measure of personality of the Russian rulers and statesmen for them is their political course. If the king acts for the good of the people, then he is stigmatized as a "tyrant", "crazy", an overwhelming "freedom" of a small stratum of the population, whose existence is closely connected with the West. The figures deserving a positive assessment are those whose activities lead to the destruction of Great Russia, who lead Russian civilization along an alien historical path, destroying the traditions and foundations of the Russian people and statehood.
Therefore, it is necessary to be very careful with the estimates of the personality of Paul. Obviously, Paul was not abnormal. Before the hard life undermined his mental strength and began to cause frequent periods of irritation, it was a noble man. Many of those who knew the Emperor Paul close, unanimously noted his knightly qualities. Princess Liven claimed: "At the basis of his character lay greatness and nobility - a generous enemy, a wonderful friend, he could forgive with greatness, and he would correct his guilt or injustice with great sincerity." Contemporaries noted the generosity, openness and nobility of Paul. The statesman and writer Jacob De Sanglen noted in his memoirs: "Paul was a knight of the times that had passed."
Pavel knew Russian, Slavonic, French and German perfectly, knew Latin, knew history and mathematics well. Contemporaries noted Paul's erudition, his brisk, sharp mind. Pavel loved children and willingly played with young students of the Smolny Institute. He had fun with them from the heart, having rare hours of fun and sincerity in his hard, full of painful experiences, life.
Accession to the throne. Internal policy
In the 1796 year, after the sudden death of Catherine, Paul came to the throne. The sovereign immediately restored the ancient order of inheritance of royal power. The Petrovsky law of 1721 of the year, which allowed the sovereign to choose a heir from among persons belonging to the royal family, was repealed.
Of great importance was the fact that Pavel Petrovich was going to be a national king. Even before his accession to the throne, in 1776, he wrote: “... If I had to form a political party for myself, I could have been silent about the riots in order to spare famous people, but, being what I am, for I have no parties, no interests other than the interests of the state, and with my character it’s hard for me to see that things are going at random and that this is caused by negligence and personal views. I wish it was better to be hated for a just cause than to be loved for a wrong cause. ” Paul was a guardian for a common, just cause.
The negative attitude towards Catherine was based not only on personal experiences and the tragedy of the death of her father, but on the manner of actions, the behavior of the mother empress. According to Paul, Catherine was only the "noble queen" and was completely dependent on the nobility. This led to a distortion of the political system of the Russian kingdom.
Having assumed the throne, Pavel Petrovich decided to base his state activities not on abstract philosophical and political ideas of Western thinkers and their Russian imitators, but on the interests of the Russian people. He sought to improve the social and political position of most of his subjects. The chartered diploma to the nobility of 1784 of the year, which created the privileged position of the nobles not only in personal rights, but also in local government, was canceled. Pavel tried to crush the privileges of the estates, to restore the truth and the rule of law in the Russian state. Hence the indication that the serfs would swear allegiance to him along with the rest of the Russian Empire. It is clear that a narrow group of higher aristocracy, accustomed to parasitizing on the people, could not forgive the sovereign. He became her enemy. The higher strata of the nobility expected further privileges, and not the restoration of a healthy hierarchy, order and law. They did not want to serve, but only wanted to enjoy the fruits of their high position.
As noted above, Pavel Petrovich was a noble and kind man, he had a sincere desire to bring good to people. The task was difficult. The Russian state, despite the visible success in foreign policy, was in an upset state. In the highest circles, the sprouts of a “freedom-loving” ideology (then liberalism) made their way, part of the nobility decayed and did not want to serve. Russia's finances were completely upset, the country had huge debts. Many commanders used the disenfranchised position of soldiers and recruits, took them into service, turning the soldiers into practically their serfs. In 1795, out of 400, thousands of soldiers around 50 thousand were in such “private service”. During the reign of Catherine II, the situation of the peasants sharply deteriorated. The peasant war led by Yemelyan Pugachev was a good indicator of popular sentiment.
If under Catherine the peasants were even forbidden to complain about the nobles, then Pavel Petrovich ordered the serfs to take an oath. By this he showed that they were for him the same subjects as the landlords. The governors were instructed to monitor how the owners treated the serfs and immediately report all abuses to the sovereign. In one of the windows of the Winter Palace, they even put an iron box in which everyone could throw a complaint or petition. This "iron box" has become a symbol of the era. The first nobles and dignitaries feared him.
Pavel respected the peasantry with great respect, understanding its importance for Russia. In his Manual to the children, he noted that the peasantry contains all the other parts of the state with its works, therefore it is "worthy of special respect." In February, 1797, the emperor Paul banned the sale of yard people and serfs without land. He forbade to force the peasants to work on holidays. State-owned farmers received self-government, on 15, acres of land, they were forgiven for 7 million arrears. The grain duty, which was a heavy burden on the peasants, was replaced by monetary. To reduce the price of bread, the sovereign ordered him to sell it at special prices from state-owned bread stores. The price of bread fell.
Researchers note that these decrees have caused great gratitude among millions of people in Russia. Even a century after the murder of Paul, the peasants came to worship the tomb of the people's king and put candles to him. The people remembered Paul as a benefactor, despite the brevity of his rule. It is clear that Paul managed to do a little. However, the peasantry (the overwhelming part of the population of Russia) in this short time received more than all the long reign of Catherine II.
In the realm of religion, Paul also showed himself to be a tolerant and kind person. He stopped the persecution of the Old Believer Christians, who, despite the heavy repression, preserved the identity of the Russian way. At the beginning of 1798, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, which was considered the center of the Old Believers, they even allowed to open their churches. When one of the schismatic hermitages on Kerzhents burned down, the Old Believers asked for help from the sovereign and received it. Pavel allocated benefits from his personal funds.
The pressure on the Orthodox Church, which in the XVIII century was turned into a "spiritual ministry", was also stopped. When the church became a seedy appendage of the state, Paul began to return the selected property and estates to the church. Partially returned rights and privileges. First of all it concerned the monasteries.
To be continued ...