By John P. LeDonne
This is often the 1st accomplished exam of the Russian ruling elite and its political associations in the course of a big interval of country construction, 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 targeting the good rulers of the period--Peter, Catherine, and Alexander--the paintings examines the the Aristocracy which by myself can make their strength potent. LeDonne not just supplies a whole chronological account of the advance of bureaucratic, army, fiscal, and political associations in Russia in this interval, but additionally skillfully analyzes the ways that neighborhood enterprises and the ruling type exercised regulate and shared energy with absolutely the monarchs.
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Additional resources for Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825
The service class, as it is called in history books, had nothing of the 18 Society Prussian tradition of an order that had fought its own battles and created its own legend. It had always been the ruling class of the country, possessing collectively and together with the ruling house the near totality of the country's wealth and carrying out its military mission within the framework of its own political mandate. 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.
61 Growing up in such a world, marked by constant drill, inspections, and transfers every spring from one part of the country to another, instilled a spirit of obedience and a habit of command—together with a great deal of nomadic restlessness—which many a nobleman would then take to his estate and his civilian post when he retired. The general mobilization of the ruling class in the 1700s had created a lasting shortage of personnel in the civilian apparatus—hence the concern, still in evidence 100 years later, over an influx of candidates from the dependent population: by November 1760 the curator of Moscow University, Ivan Shuvalov, had recommended the establishment of a separate promotion hierarchy (liniia) for nobles who had managed to avoid serving in the army.
33 The core of the urban population thus consisted of the guild merchants. 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.
Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825 by John P. LeDonne