Russian Monarchy: Representation and Rule (Imperial Russia)
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Russian Monarchy: Representation and Rule is devoted to studies of the political culture of the Russian monarchy as it influenced aspects of historical development such as law, representations of family, and concepts of nation and empire. The articles show how the narratives described in the author’s two-volume study, Scenarios of Power, guided monarchical rule, shaped the thought patterns not only of the tsar and the imperial family but also of the political and social elite, and set the parameters of compromise that so constrained the policies of imperial Russia.
law.10 The dynastic laws of the Hohenzollerns and the princes of other German states typified the development of a dynastic monarchy in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. By accepting the principle of primogeniture of succession in the seventeenth century, members of German royal houses sacrificed their individual interests by acceding to the senior male as heir. In this way, primogeniture provided an impetus for an ethic of enlightened absolutism. It was formulated by Frederick the
on the monarch sole right to choose his successor. The testament was largely ignored in subsequent decades, but provided a basis for projects of hereditary succession at the close of the century. Peter’s succession law proved difficult or impossible to follow in succeeding decades. But his presentation of the succession in terms of heroic acts of salvation became accepted practice, elevating each aspirant to the throne to the fervent acclamation of the court elite expressing the joy of the
indefinite, permitting him to intervene without regard to law and to issue decrees with the force of law at will. These were not the immutable fundamental laws that Speranskii had envisioned, which is probably one reason why he did not expect them to be attached to the Digest of Laws. These laws remained in force until the revisions enacted in 1906 to take account of the October manifesto. In the meantime, the dynasty ruled on the basis of a legal system that was its own emanation. Ceremony and
preservation of the rights and privileges” of his house, in keeping with “Fundamental State Laws.” The decree exercised the power that Nolde had identified in the promulgation of Paul’s Fundamental Laws and bypassed the State Council. The practice was simplified by revisions of the Digest of Laws introduced by the chief of the Second Section, E. V. Frisch, in February 1885, which created the device of “a signed supreme decree” from the tsar. Th is made possible the insertion of decrees which
ideal family life. From the outset of his reign, he presented himself as a model of familial rectitude. At his accession in 1797, he banned his predecessor’s mistresses and introduced “almost the style of a German burgher home” to his court.15 In addition to this strict morality, his family 14 15 Thomas Stamm-Kuhlmann, “Der Hof Friedrich-Wilhelms III. von Preussen 1797 bis 1840,” in Hof und Hofgesellschaft in den deutschen Staaten im 19. und beginnenden 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Karl Möckl