Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian by John P. LeDonne

By John P. LeDonne

This is often the 1st complete exam of the Russian ruling elite and its political associations in the course of a tremendous interval of kingdom development, from the emergence of Russia at the degree of global politics round 1700 to the consolidation of its place after the victory over Napoleon. rather than concentrating on the nice rulers of the period--Peter, Catherine, and Alexander--the paintings examines the the Aristocracy which on my own can make their strength powerful. LeDonne not just offers a whole chronological account of the improvement of bureaucratic, army, monetary, and political associations in Russia in this interval, but in addition skillfully analyzes the ways that neighborhood firms and the ruling category exercised regulate and shared energy with absolutely the monarchs.

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Extra resources for Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825

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Applicants for membership in the first guild had to declare assets valued at between 10,000 and 50,000 rubles. These qualifications were raised during the reign of Alexander I to keep pace with inflation; by 1825 a minimum of 50,000 rubles was required. Membership was reserved for those engaged in foreign and domestic trade, both wholesale and retail, as well as entrepreneurs who built and managed factories and industrial plants and owned seagoing ships. The statute of 1824 emphasized mercantile activities and continued to recognize the right to engage in tax farming and bid for contracts to supply the army and the government.

From this subordination of military tasks to political imperatives there followed a refusal to accept a professionalization of the officer corps as creating an unacceptable division within the ruling elite and a threat to the integrity of the political leadership. This politicization of the officer corps is a theme running through the memoirs of General Langeron, the French emigre who served in it some 40 years. 56 Nevertheless, the impact of war—the Northern War, the Seven Years' War, the protracted struggle with Napoleon—gave the military an enormous stake in the councils of government and a dominant presence in society.

It marked the culmination of a trend that had begun 40 years earlier,13 and it split the corporate organization of the ruling class into two communities: the functional world of military and civil management and the territorial brotherhood of landowners. Its logical consequence had to be the recreation of corporate agencies for the landowners. Uezd marshals were elected in 1767 along with delegates to the Legislative Commission,14 but the completion of the reform 26 Society was delayed for nearly 20 years by the Turkish war and the administrativeterritorial reorganization.

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