TOPIC 8. THE REIGN OF PAUL I
Years of government.
Personality of the monarch.
– The only son of Catherine II and Peter III.
– Received education and upbringing in the spirit of enlightened absolutism.
– Pavel’s educator, Count N.I. Panin, sought to make the boy an ideal sovereign.
– Being excommunicated from his mother in childhood, in adulthood he had a negative attitude towards the policy of Catherine II and the orders established in Russia.
– Hot-tempered, unbalanced, a supporter of rigid discipline, a fan of the Prussian order.
– Received the nicknames of “Russian Hamlet” and “Gatchinsky corporal.”
Circumstances of accession to the throne.
– Catherine II, disliking her son, prepared a will in favor of her eldest son Paul and her beloved grandson Alexander.
– On the eve of the death of the Empress, Count Bezborodko, close to Paul, stole the will, which was destroyed by Paul.
– After the death of Catherine II, he ascended the throne without the will of his mother as a direct heir.
Factors that influenced the policy of Paul I.
– Adherence to the ideals of enlightened absolutism.
– Commitment to the social order of Prussia (idol Frederick the Great).
– Critical attitude to the policy of the mother and the desire to change Catherine’s order.
– Unbalanced character of the emperor.
Goals of government.
– Eradicating the mistakes made in the previous government (breaking Catherine’s order), and putting things in order in the empire.
– Implementation in practice of the principles of enlightened absolutism.
– Strengthening autocratic power.
Characteristic features of the domestic policy of Paul I.
– Inconsistency and inconsistency, a combination of the course of enlightened absolutism with the course of police autocracy.
– Limitation of the privileges of the nobility.
– Guardianship of the people.
– Attempts to limit serfdom.
– The persecution of Catherine’s nobles and the breaking of Catherine’s orders.
– Regulation of the daily life of the nobility.
– Struggle against liberal and revolutionary ideas.
– Attempts to make of the nobility a disciplined and chivalrous estate devoted to the autocracy.
Measures of the domestic policy of Paul I in the spirit of enlightened absolutism.
– Amnesty to persons who suffered under Catherine II (including A. N. Radishchev, N. I. Novikov, Tadeusz Kosciuszko).
– Change of the law on succession, 1797 (transfer of the throne to the eldest in the male line).
– Acceptance by the emperor of the title of Grand Master of the Order of Malta, attempts to play the role of a knight on the throne.
– Combating bribery and abuse of officials (installation of a box for complaints against officials in front of the Winter Palace).
– Publication of the decree “on a three-day corvee”, 1797 (recommended landowners to involve serfs in corvee work no more than three days a week).
– A ban on attracting peasants to corvee work on Sundays and holidays.
– The admission of peasants to the oath to the emperor (before, landowners took the oath to the monarch for the peasants).
– Improving the conditions of service and life of soldiers.
– A ban on the persecution of the Old Believers.
– State regulation of food prices.
– An attempt to streamline the finances of the empire (he burned 5 million rubles in banknotes in front of the Winter Palace and melted palace services into a silver coin).
– Work on the creation of a new code of laws (remained unfinished).
8. Measures of the domestic policy of Paul I in the spirit of police autocracy.
– Persecution of favorites and nobles of Catherine’s time (a total of 12 thousand people suffered, including 7 field marshals, 333 generals and 2 thousand senior officers).
– The introduction of Prussian orders in the army, the tightening of army discipline.
– Cancellation of the Manifesto on the Liberty of the Nobility and the restoration of compulsory service for the nobles.
– Elimination of noble self-government.
– Introduction of corporal punishment for nobles.
– Petty regulation of the life of the nobles (ban on French clothes, the use of a number of words, etc.).
– The introduction of strict censorship, the closure of private printing houses, a ban on the import of printed publications from abroad.
– Distribution to the nobles as serfs 600 thousand state peasants.
The foreign policy of Paul I.
– The foreign policy of Paul I was also distinguished by inconsistency and inconsistency.
– Initially, Paul I refused the expensive foreign policy actions of Catherine II to maintain the international prestige of Russia:
1) Stopped preparing for war with France.
2) Withdrawn Russian troops from Transcaucasia, sent there to help Georgia.
– However, due to the threat of the spread of French expansion in Europe, Paul I was forced to move away from a peaceful foreign policy and join the fight against revolutionary France:
1) Russia’s entry into the anti-French coalition (allies Austria and England).
2) Italian and Swiss campaigns of A. V. Suvorov, 1799.
3) The Mediterranean campaign of the Russian fleet under the command of F. F. Ushakov, 1798-1799. (liberation of the Ionian Islands, capture of the fortress of Corfu, landings on the coast of Italy).
– Attempts by the allies in the anti-French coalition to take advantage of the fruits of Russian victories and the capture of Malta by the British forced Paul I to reconsider his foreign policy:
1) The rapprochement between Russia and France began.
2) Preparations began for war with England.
3) Russian troops from Orenburg were sent on a campaign against British India (40 Cossack regiments).
– The palace coup in March 1801 interrupted the implementation of these measures of Paul I.