A.Sources B.Historiography: “Reaction” to “Prereform” C.Themes 1.State: centralization, expansion at base 2.Emergence of serf question 3.Formation of “Intelligentsia” 4.Nationalities and Nationalism 5.Great Power complex and complications
2. State A.Paul’s legacy: the last palace coup 1.Violation of noble security 2.Abuse of high officials 3.Foreign policy: dysfunctional, unpopular 4.Intervention in master-serf relations
2. State B. Alexander I (r. 1801-25) 1. The good/bad binary myth 2. Early reformism 3. Challenge of the “Senatorial party” 4. M.M. Speranskii era 5. Post-Napoleonic: “reaction” and constitutions
1831: Nicholas Bans Pogodin Play on Peter I “The person of Peter the Great must be for every Russian an object of love and veneration. To bring this onto the stage would be almost a sacrilege, and thus entirely inappropriate. Prohibit publication.”
Nicholas I: Paradamania Description of Military Parade Here is order. Strict, unconditional legitimacy; no presumed omniscience; no contradictions.... Everything has its place. That is why it makes one feel so good to stand among these people, and that is why I always hold the profession of soldiers in esteem.
Conundrum of Serf Reform: Nicholas speech of 30 March 1842 There is no doubt that serfdom in its present situation in our country is an evil, palpable and obvious to all, but to attack it now would be something still more harmful. The late Emperor Alexander, at the beginning of his reign, intended to give the serfs freedom, but later he himself abandoned his thought, as being altogether premature and incapable of execution. I too shall never make up my mind to do this, considering that the time when it will be possible to undertake such a measure is in general very far away; any thought of it at present would be no less than a criminal sacrilege against public security and the welfare of the state.
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