V. O. (Vasilii Osipovich) Kliuchevskii.

A history of Russia (Volume 3) online

. (page 1 of 43)
Online LibraryV. O. (Vasilii Osipovich) KliuchevskiiA history of Russia (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 43)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook









Ut^H 1 1 ma



^ M/si • n ii inn


NOV U 4 199


FFB 1 S 2000

>/)f\\ 'H



I. Title

1. Russia - Hist
LW 4/72

Vasilii Osipovich

Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010


All risrhts reserved.









NEW YORK: E. P. BUTTON ^ CO. 19 13

Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson &= Co.
at the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh




Survey of the fourth period of Russian history — The chief factors of the period —
Manifest contradictions in the correlation of those factors — Influence of
foreign policy upon the domestic life of the State — Course of affairs during
the fourth period in connection with that influence — The State and the
political sense of the community— The beginning of the Period of Troubles
— The end of the dynasty — Tsar Theodor and Boris Godunov — Circum-
stances which contributed to the Period of Troubles — The Pretendership . i


The consecutive parts played in the Period of Troubles by the various classes of
the Russian community — Boris Godunov and the boyars — The first false
Dmitri and the boyars — Tsar Vassilii Shuiski and the "great boyars" — The
oath to which Vassilii subscribed, and its importance — The "middle boyars"
and the metropolitan dvoriane — The treaty of February 4th, 16 10, and the
treaty of Moscow of August 17th, 1610 — A comparison of the two instru-
ments — The provincial dvoj-iane, and the decree passed by the Zemski Sobor
on June 30th, 161 1 — Part played in the Period of Troubles by the lower
classes of the community .......... 25


The causes of the Period of Troubles — Its dynastic cause — The hereditary-
dynastic view of the State — The popular view of an elected Tsar — The
socio-political cause of the Period — The taxatory organisation of the State
— Public dissension — The part played by Pretendership in the course of the
Period — Results of the same — The second expeditionary force, and its
expulsion of the Poles from Moscow — The election of Michael — The causes
of his success 47


Immediate results of the Period of Troubles — New political ideas — Their mani-
festation during the Period of Troubles — Change in the composition of the
ruling class — Reform of the viiestnichestvo — New setting of the supreme
power — Tsar and boyars — The Boyarskaia Duma and the Zemski Sobor —
Simplification of the supreme power — The boyar attempt of 1681^ — Change
in the composition and status of the Zemski Sobor — The general ruin entailed
by the Period of Troubles — Attitude of the community after that period . 64




External position of the Muscovite Empire after the Period of Troubles — Tasks
of foreign policy under the new dynasty — Western Rus from the time of the
union of Lithuania with Poland — Changes in adminislration and in class
relations — Lithuanian towns and the Jtts Magdebttrgiaint — The Union of
Lublin — Consequences of that Union — Settlement of the Ukrainian Steppes
— Origin of the Cossacks — The Little Russian Cossacks — The Saporozhski
Cossacks ............. 91


The moral character of the Little Russian Cossacks — The stand which they made
for faith and nationality — Differences in Cossackdom — The Little Russian
question — The Baltic and Eastern questions — European relations of the
Muscovite Empire — The importance of Moscow's foreign policy during the
seventeenth century . . . . . . . . . . . 113



Fluctuations in the internal life of the Muscovite Empire — Two sets of innova-
tions therein — Tendencies of the legislation of the day, and the need for a
new compendium of laws — The Muscovite insurrection of 1648, and its rela-
tion to the Ulozhenie — The warrant of July i6th, 1648, for drawing up the
U/ozhenie — The fulfilment of that convention — Written sources of the
Ulozhenie — The part taken in its composition by the deputies of the Sobor
— The conditions under which it was composed — Its importance — New ideas
therein — New statutory articles in the same . . . . . . 130


Difficulties encountered by the Government — Centralisation of the local adminis-
trations — Voievodi 2ii\di gubnie starosti — The fortunes of local institutions —
Razriadi or military districts — Concentration of the central administration
— The Offices of Accounts and of " Secret Affairs" — Concentration of the
community — Fundamental and intermediate classes — The formation of cor-
porate classes— Members of the State service class — The urban population —
Restoration of zakladchiki or " self-pledgers " to the payment of urlwn
iiaglo 150


The peasantry on the estates of private landowners — Conditions of their position
— Slavery in ancient Rus — Origin oi A'abala servitude — The n/:az of April,
1597 — Zadvorn'ie liudi — Appearance of the peasant "loan contract" — Its
origin — Its conditions — Bonded peasants under the Ulozhenie of 1649 —
Peasant effects — Responsibility of landowners for the taxpayment of their
serfs — Differences between serfdom and slavery during the period of the
Ulozhenie ............ 167




Masters and serfs — Serf right r.nd the Zemski Sobor — The social composition of
the Zemski Sobor during the seventeenth century — Its numerical composi-
tion — Election to the Zetnski Sobor — The course of business therein — The
political character of the Zemski Sobor — Conditions of the failure of that
institution to survive— The idea of the Zemski Sobor in the minds of the
commercial classes— The decline of representation in council — The origin
of the Zemski Sobor of the seventeenth century — Review of the foregoing . 193


The connection between the various phenomena — War and finance — Assessed,
indirect, and direct taxation — " Given money," " tithes money," "' posting
money," "prisoners' money," and ''■ Strieltsi money" — Census returns —
Non-assessed levies — Experiments and reforms — The salt tax and the
tobacco monopoly — Copper credit tokens, and the Muscovite rising of 1662
— The " living " quarter of land — Per-homestead taxation, and the census
of 1620 and the following years — Class apportionment of direct taxation —
Finance and the local administrative units — Extension oi tiaglo to zadvornie
liudi — Distribution of popular labour among the various forces of the State
— Extraordinary imposts — The budget statement of 1680 .... 221


Dissatisfaction with the position of affairs in the State — The causes of that dis-
satisfaction — Its principal manifestations — Popular risings — Expressions of
dissatisfaction in the literature of the day — Prince J. A. Chvorostinin — The
Patriarch Nikon — Gregory Kotoshikhin — Yuri Krizhanitch . . . 247


Western Influence — Its beginning — Why it began during the seventeenth century
— The meeting of two foreign influences — The difference between them —
Two tendencies in the intellectual life of the Russian community — The
gradual advance of Western influence — The reorganisation of the army —
Manufactures — Schemes for a mercantile marine — The idea of national
industry — The new German quarter of Moscow — European luxuries — The
theatre — The idea of scientific learning — The first exponents of such learn-
ing — The learned labours of Kievan savants in Moscow — The beginnings of
scholastic education — Home tuition — Simeon Polotski .... 266


The beginning of the reaction against Western influence — The protest against
the new learning — The great Church schism — A story concerning its incep-
tion — How the two sides explain its origin — The force of religious rites and
texts — The psychological basis of the schism — Rus and Byzantium — The
eclipse of the idea of the Church Universal — Tradition and the new learning
— The national conceit in matters ecclesiastical — State innovations — The
Patriarch Nikon 292



The position of the Russian Church at the time of Nikon's accession to the
Patriarchate — His idea of the Church Universal — His innovations— The
question of how he contributed to the Church schism — Latinophobia —
Recognition of the first Old Believers— Review of the foregoing — The
popular-psychological composition of Old Belief— The schism and enlighten-
ment — The assistance given by the schism to Western influence . . . 311


Tsar Alexis — T. M. Rtistchev .....


A. L. Ordin-Nastchokin 346

Prince V. V. Golitzin — The preparation and programme of his reforms . . 365



Survey of the fourth period of Russian history — The chief factors of the period — Manifest
contradictions in the correlation of those factors— Influence of foreign policy upon the
domestic hfe of the State — Course of affairs during the fourth period in connection with
that influence — The State and the political sense of the community — The beginning of
the Period of Troubles — The end of the dynasty — Tsar Theodor and Boris Godunov —
Circumstances which contributed to the Period of Troubles— The Pretendership.

In the last volume we stopped at the fourth period of Russian history —
the last period, and the only one accessible to study throughout the whole
of its length. By the fourth period I mean the epoch extending from
the beginning of the seventeenth century to the beginning of the reign of
the Emperor Alexander II. (to be precise, from the year 1613 to the year
1855).^ As its actual starting point we may take the year of the accession
of the first Tsar of the new dynasty, while the Period of Troubles figures
merely as a transitional interval between two adjoining epochs with the
former of which it was connected by its causes, and with the latter by its

The fourth period has for us a special interest, in that it is not merely
an historical space of time, but a whole chain of epochs through which
there runs a series of important factors constituting the secret basis of
our life of to-day — a basis which, though variable, never changes. I
repeat that the fourth period is more than one of the epochs of our
history : if is the ivhole of our modern history. In the ideas and relations
formed during those two centuries and a half we can detect the first
germs of ideas which coincide with our own; we can observe, in due order,
the institutions which constituted the first social impressions of the men
of my own generation. As one studies the phenomena of the period one

^ Since the author's death this history has been written up to date, with the aid of notes
which he left behind him.



feels that, the further one goes, the more does one enter into the province
of autobiography and approach the study of oneself, of one's own m el-
ectual outlool'n so far as it is bound up with the past of our country
All this tends to keep the attention engaged, and to 8""^ 'he houghts
from straying. Bound ever to be smcere seekers afer the truth we
annorde'ceive ourselves when it is «.r con growth that we
attempt to measure, our own social maturity that we seek to define.

Tn passing to a review of the phenomena of the period now
us et us first of all throw another glance at the centuries of our history
already sudied, and picture to ourselves, in a short sketch, their course.
We have seen'that the forms of political life which arose m Russia up
Tthe close of the sixteenth century were closely bound up with the
Igrlhical distribution of the population. The Muscovite Empire was
?reat 'd by the Russian people, as concentrated at the exact centre of the
ELtrn European plain, at the exact focus-point of "s water system
lie the region of the Upper Volga), where it came to form the Great
Russ an stock. In this Empire, under the sway of the house of I™r
Ka ita the Great Russian stock became united into a political nationality.
Th Tsar of Moscow ruled a united Great Rus, with the help of the
Muscovite boyars; who consisted of the old Muscovite noble stocks s
^presented by erstwhile appanage princes and their -'-.""- Jf^^'^;^
the order of State kept passing more and more to a basis of haglo o cess
!!^-.°. of compulsory apportionment of State dues among the -eral cesses
of the community. Yet, though this apportionment left peasant labour-
stilfthe chief productive force in the country-legally free, a large portion
o peasant population had, in reality, become dependent, through

debt, upon the landowners, who were likewise threatening it with legal

With the second decade of the seventeenth century, however, the e
enters into our history a series of new factors which markedly differemia.e
the succeeding epoch from the preceding one. In the first place, a new
dynasty kes its seat on the Muscovite throne. Furthermore it is a
dynasty which acts over an ever-widening area. The I-P-f '-.ory
hitherto limited to the confines of the origmal settlement of the Great
Russian stock, now passes far beyond those confines, until it ^as absorbed
The whole of the Russian plain, and has come to extend both to tha
plain's geographical boundaries and (in most directions) to the limits of
Russian popular migration. Thus to the Russian Empire there graduy
become added Little Russia. White Russia, and New Russia (the latter


a region formed by colonisation of the Southern Steppes). Stretching
from the shores of the White Sea and the Baltic to those of the Black Sea
and the Caspian, the territory of the State overflows southward beyond
the Caucasus, and eastward beyond the Urals and the Caspian. In the
internal organisation also of the State there takes place an important
change, since hand in hand with the new dynasty we see arise and
flourish a new ruling class. Gradually decaying, through genealogical
paucity and economic poverty, the old order of boyars disappears, and
with it go those political relations which custom had hitherto enabled
to maintain the supreme power in its place. Into the position of that
order at the head of the community there steps a new order — the order
of dvorianstvo or nobility ; which stratum is composed of the old metro-
politan and provincial servitors of the State, and finally absorbs into its
variegated, heterogeneous body the last remaining fragments of the old
boyar aristocracy. Meanwhile the original basis of the political edifice,
the class apportionment of imposts, becomes strengthened, and converts the
social classes into a number of inter-differentiated corporations. Gradually
(though more especially during the reign of Peter the Great) that basis
becomes widened, and complicates the existing aggregate of special dues
with new imposts which fall upon classes individually. Finally this cease-
less tension of the popular forces ends in the freedom of peasant labour
becoming finally extinguished. The seigniorial krestiatiiti lapses into
serfdom, and that serfdom becomes a new State obligation that is incident
only upon the class in question. Yet, though restricted in political rights,
the labour of the masses becomes broadened in its economic scope. To
the old purely agricultural exploitation of Rus there becomes added an
industrial working of the country, since, side by side with husbandry
(which still remains the chief productive force in the State), there appears,
with ever-growing importance in the popular menage, the task of obtaining,
elaborating, and perfecting certain natural resources of the country which
hitherto have been left untouched.

Such are the principal new features revealed in the period which we
are about to study. They comprise (i) a new dynasty, (2) new boundaries
to the territory of the State, (3) a new organisation of the community, with
a new ruling class at its head, and (4) a new adjustment of popular in-
dustry. Of these factors, however, the correlation may give rise to a
certain misapprehension. At the first glance we can distinguish in them
two parallel tendencies, namely, (i) the tendency that up to the middle
of the nineteenth century the external territorial expansion of the Empire


marched in inverse proportion to the growth of the internal freedom of
the people, and (2) the tendency that the political position of the labouring
classes became established in inverse proportion to the economic pro-
ductiveness of their labour {i.e. their labour became less free in propor-
tion as it became more productive). The relation of popular industry
to the social organisation of the people which we see revealed in the
latter process contradicts our customary notion of the existence of a
connection between the productiveness of popular labour and that
labour's freedom. It is our custom to think that servile labour can
never equal free labour in energy, and that labour efficiency can never
in any way prove detrimental to the juridical position of the labouring
classes. This economic contradiction is emphasized by a political con-
tradiction. In comparing the psychology of nations with the life of
individuals, we are accustomed to think that, in proportion to the growth
of activity in the masses and in individuals, as also in proportion to the ex-
tension of that activity in the masses and in individuals, consciousness of
political strength grows more acute, and acts as the source of the sense of
political freedom. Yet the influence which our history shows to have been
exercised by the territorial expansion of the Empire upon the relation
of the State power to the community does not justify this notion. On
the contrary, in proportion as Russian territory expanded with the growth
of the external strength of the nation, the nation's internal freedom
became restricted. The strain thrown upon the national activity tended
to absorb the nation's strength, and while the scope of national power
developed with success in war, the lifting force of the national spirit
became diminished. Indeed, the external progress of modern Russia
reminds one of the flight of a bird which, driven before the wind, cannot
make full use of its wings. With the contradictions mentioned there was
bound up a third. I have just spoken of the absorption of the old
Muscovite boyars by the dvorianstvo or gentry. That process was
hastened by a law of 1682, which abolished the viiestnichestvo, and
formally placed the two State service classes on an equal footing.
Hitherto the boyars — the aristocracy of birth — had been the ruling class ;
but with the abolition of the miestnichestvo a first step was taken towards
effecting democratisation of the Government. Moreover, the movement
did not stop here, since further steps followed upon the first. During
the time of Peter the Great the old Muscovite po otechesivu ^ nobility
became reinforced from all sections of the community (including the

1 By descent.


alien section) and all tchini or ranks — not only the "white" or untaxed
ranks, but also the "black" or taxed, including slaves who had been
promoted for meritorious service. To these raznotchintsi or members
of various Uhini the table of ranks of 1722 opened the door (through
State service), to "the better and olden dvoriatisivo." Although it might
have been supposed that this social shuffling and reshuffling of the ruling
class would have led to a more democratic administration of the com-
munity, the ruling class, though gradually weakening from the genea-
logical point of view, was growing immensely stronger from the political
standpoint, owing to the fact that the newly ennobled raztiotchintsi ac-
quired personal and public rights which the old " born " boyars had never
enjoyed. Pomiestia became the absolute property of their holders, the
dvoriane, and kresliatie absolute serfs to the latter. Under Peter III. the
dvoriane, as a corporation, were forced to render compulsory State service,
but under Catherine II. they acquired a new corporate organisation, corpo-
rate self-government, a considerable participation in the administration of
local affairs and local justice, and the right to " offer pleas and represen-
tations" to the supreme power itself. Finally, under Nicholas I. there
became added to the last-mentioned privilege a right whereby assemblies
of dvoriani could " offer representations " to the supreme power con-
cerning the needs of the other classes in their local communities. These
corporate acquisitions were accompanied by an increase in the political
strength of the dvoriajiin corporation. The Muscovite Government began
to administer the community through the dvoriatisivo in the seventeenth
century, while the eighteenth century saw the same dvoria?istvo attempt
to administer the community through the Government. But the political
principle under cover of which it attempted so to administer at length
permeated the whole, until by the nineteenth century the dvorianstvo had
become added to the tchi?iovnichestvo,^ as its most flourishing offshoot.
Thus the middle of the nineteenth century saw Russia under the adminis-
tration, not of an aristocracy, nor of a democracy, but of a bureaucracy —
i.e. of an army of officials of heterogeneous origin, who acted externally
to the community, had no particular social characteristic to distinguish
them, and were bound together only by their common status as tchinovniki.
The democratisation of the administration, therefore, was accompanied by
an increase of social cleavage and inequality ; which social disintegration
was further added to by the moral estrangement of the ruling class from
the masses whom that class administered. It is said that culture draws

1 The order of officials of the civil service.


all men together, and levels a community ; yet with us it has been other-
wise. Although ever-growing intercourse with Western Europe has brought
us abundance of ideas, morals, learning, and culture, the influx has swept
over the heads of the community, leaving a sediment of partial reforms
which have ever been more or less fruitless and niggardly. Enlighten-
ment has become a class monopoly which, so long as they remain in
darkness, the unenlightened masses may not touch without danger to the
State. At the close of the seventeenth century the men who conceived
the idea of instituting the Moscow Academy of Sciences (the earliest of
our higher educational establishments), found it possible to admit thereto
" every grade and rank and age of men " ; but, a hundred and fifty years
later, in the time of Nicholas I., Kotchube's secret committee— a purely
reforming commission — decided, when the court ofificial who was then
acting as Professor of Painting at the Academy committed suicide because
of the harm which he conceived to be done to the institution by the
admission of serfs, that the latter ought not to be received "into such
schools, where they only learn a fashion of life, a mode of thought, and
a form of ideas which are unsuited to their condition."

Though full of such contradictions embracing the principal phenomena
of the period, the three processes which I have expounded were not
anomalies, were not mere negations of historical rules. Rather they
were historical antinomies^ or exceptions from the rules of historical
life — i.e. products of such a peculiar local adjustment of conditions as,
once compounded, obeyed, in its further working, the general laws of
human life, even as an organism which suffers from a disordered nervous
system still performs its functions according to the general norms of
organic life, yet produces abnormal phenomena in harmony with its

For an explanation of these antinomies in our modern history we must

Online LibraryV. O. (Vasilii Osipovich) KliuchevskiiA history of Russia (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 43)