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1. | Feb 1, 2014
Congrats Catherine. I ordered one which airvred today and it's fab. I haven't stopped twirling it round yet and drooling over all the pretty colours!!
2. | Jan 31, 2014
I tripped over this blog by happy acencdit. I studied Catherine in the academic context of a comparison of Russian serfdom and US slavery but also in the rather startling immediate post 1989 political situation with lecturers rather grumpily having to completely rewrite their lecture notes and the (honest) students asking but where exactly is Abkhazia? .As a mature student I was very struck by the monumental task that C had to undertake to rebuild the Russian state. Is it true that at her first council meeting she asked for a map of Russia and there wasnt one so they sent a clerk to the nearest bookshop to buy one? It is at least indicative.There is plenty of evidence that C was an active participant in the enlightenment her correspondnence with Voltaire, funding the completion of the Encyclopedia inexchange for Diderot's archives ( are they still in Russia or did they never get there?) and of course poor old Diderot's visit not to mention Jeremy Bentham. I came to the view that whatever she might have believed personnally she did not believe that too much liberty would lead to the greatest good of the greatest number. Seeing what happened to France was she entirely wrong?To get to the point. Was she not right to sweep the immediate disasterous past under the rug? There is an interesting modern precedent in France. General de Gaulle did exactly the same after WW2 to heal the divisions in France. Interestingly there is reason to believe that Vladimir Putin models himself on de G. to some extent. Equally I have always thought his Russian role model (perhaps German would be more accurate) was Catherine not Peter but then that would not be very macho publicity wise.Final question is it really likely that all the peasants backed Pugachev? If so how was he defeated? It is quite likey that many of them went along with the rebels for their personal safety.What a ramble great blog.Robert
3. | Nov 15, 2013
This looks like the beginning of the diismlusionlent with the Table of Ranks' being able to critically define the Russian citizen. Where did these 273 lowly bureaucrats come from? Also, the category of Peasant, while certainly low, did possess a surprising amount of flexibility. It seems you would need to map out the networks' of connections with these 273 anomalies- who did they belong' to, what did they do in Moscow, were they from Central Region or somewhere more remote, etc Also, what so incensed the Senate? This hints towards larger issues than just wasteful bureaucratic hiring. Very interesting puzzle.
4. | Nov 12, 2013
Hi, Alison!I agree that the phrasing is stknirig. And I like the point you make about truth and reconciliation being a modern concept. I'd be interested to see when it first cropped up, because it's something human beings tend to shy away from, as a whole. Governments/powers/etc., certainly do, on the grounds of avoiding embarrassment.Another thing that occurred to me, too, after I replied, was the use of semantics. If I understand the climate of Catherine's time correctly, one couldn't pardon treason. It simply wasn't done. One could, however, pardon a disturbance.But you're right that it does sound an eerie note. I think because the language itself, however kindly, is only a mask for the motives. Catherine may have been looking to show mercy, but others have used similar phrases to mask some of the world's great horrors. Reading it is like looking through a smoky glass; what's hidden behind can be light or disturbingly dark.All the best,Lucy
5. | Nov 3, 2013
That was fascinating honstely, I think I could fall in love with trivia for its own sake, because it's like getting a few more pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle.Talking about why these men returned . I can think of a couple of possibilities. For one, unless they settled in areas with sizeable Russian enclaves, they had probably encountered isolation and loneliness. An amnesty that meant they could not only go home but be free would settle all their problems at once supposedly. Second, they had entered on a voluntary self-exile, but there does seem to be a strong theme in Russian culture that being exiled is only about two steps better than being dead. You're cut off, you've been sent to the outside. So the pull to go back could be very strong, even if they were living in an otherwise supportive or prosperous environment. And of course, as you suggested, they may have had families back home.(I too am familiar with the wish-I'd-found-that-earlier bug, as I think most historians/historical writers are. He's an itchy little pest.)Thanks for a fun post!
6. | Oct 17, 2013
This is so interesting, John! First, I feel like I see a spike of cases of pelpoe firming up their status in the early 1760s, too and my theory is that it has a lot to do with the third revision. The action of cleaning up the books certainly affected individuals and societies in terms of having them register properly, and I can also see it having the effect of making societies guard their privilege more carefully.As far as what makes it in to the PSZ, there's also the factor that apparently Nicholas didn't open all state archives and files to Speransky et al (see here: Marc Raeff, “Preface,” Catherine II’s Charters of 1785 to the Nobility and the Towns,, trans. and edited by David Griffiths and George E. Munro (Bakersfield: Charles Schlacks, Jr., Publisher, 1991), xii.)Then there were a number of books in the early 1800s in which individual authors tried to recover all the laws (or a lot of the laws) pertaining to various subject. I looked at one of them: P. Khavskii, Sobranie zakonov o kuptsakh, meshchanakh, posadskikh i tsekhovykh, ili Gorodovoe Polozhenie so vkliucheniem zakonov predshestvuiushchikh i posleduiushchikh s 1766 po 1823 god (SPb, 1823). I sat there in the Publichka using a usb modem to search through the PSZ online as I looked through the book, to see what wasn't in one or the other. Somewhat to my surprise, the things missing in the PSZ were mostly ukazes from Alexander's reign (and I should note that they may be there, hidden under a different date I had that problem, too, that things were reported oddly).
7. | Oct 6, 2013
etot kurginyan sodalt rothschildov! ego tozhe raskrutshiwaut w Rossii dlja psewdosozialisma po trotskomu (nowi tolpolitarism) i raswala Rossii (revoluzia kak eto uzhe bilo) Info pro kurginyana na KPE. ru !!!Dmitri Slawoljubov ..wash bibleiski projekt w rasnowidnoi forme skoro prowaliza i washa psewdowlast (kapitalism, pwsewdosozialism gde toka elita rulit a ne narod..) isbrannix balnix skoro bolshe nebudet