Traditionally, Soviet historians saw the origins of the Decembrist conspiracy in the foreign campaign of the Russian army: say, military officers, offended on behalf of your heroic people, Bonaparte had driven away, but remained in the castle's yoke, but still imbued in Paris ideas of equality and fraternity, decided to transplant to Russian soil is a delicate flower of Western freedom. It all sounds beautiful. Only the ends are not connected.
1. The legend of the heroes of 1812
As the analysis of biographies of the people involved, in the words of Pushkin, "between Lafite and Clicquot", only a quarter of them somehow participated in those hostilities. But because the legend has lost its gilding.
However, this does not mean that woke Herzen did not embrace Western culture – indeed, rather to the Russian culture, mentality and way of life they had the same attitude as news on "Echo of Moscow" to the ringing of bells.
Simple examples. Sergey Muravyov-Apostol, the author of the Decembrist Constitution, spent her childhood in Europe. Then Germany, then in France, his native Russian language actually began to study already in adolescence. Apparently, for purely Patriotic reasons. We had a foreigner in their own Homeland. Another colleague Alexander Odoevsky – just do not know the Russian alphabet. He was too busy to learn the Cyrillic alphabet in the turmoil of preparation of regicide.
Other Ants, Nikita, in August 1812, in a sincere Patriotic feeling decided to leave the University walls and run to the front. But somewhere halfway was caught by the watchful peasants, who considered the master... a French spy. As they say, much much farther to go!
Remember how the hero of "War and peace" has decided to tell a Russian joke, but he spoke like a foreigner who has lived many years in Russia. Many members of the conspiracy could not even boast of a long stay in the Fatherland.
Ignorance of Russian realities suffered by the majority of conspirators. One of them, for example, offered to create a Fund for the ransom of the peasants, the imprisoned for debts, while the peasants could not get into prison for the simple reason that could get a very small loan. The same Ants were proposed to give every peasant yard on two acres of land. Here only on this piece, even theoretically no one could eat. But because in their calculations the progressive conspirator did not differ from the "bigot" Arakcheev, who proposed roughly the same allotment.
And a potential dictator Colonel Pavel Pestel in their economic calculations came from the fact that the average Russian estate consisted of thousands of acres. In fact, these large estates was only fifteen percent. Well, once they were to explore their country, which they wanted to put on his hind legs! All was endless gatherings with champagne and endless disputes about who will occupy what position after the coup.
No wonder a real Russian hero, General skobeleff saw the origins of the Decembrist fermentation in French-the education of a coachman. And these "experts" were eager to bring people happiness on their bayonets... That's really really scary they are far from Russia, its people and history, remaining years of internal emigrants.
2. Why did you kill the General Miloradovich
Let us leave aside the Westernization of the conspirators. The funny side of the whole existence of secret societies is exacerbated by the fact that from a certain stage they become a tool in experienced and skillful hands of the Russian military and state elite, which, as usual, begins in the tumultuous phase of Russian history their game. And threads from the "varmints" as he called the conspirators Pushkin, in the hands of the Governor-General Miloradovich and his associates, in varying degrees, devoted to the ingenious plan of the hero of 1812, Debica, Speransky, Yermolov.
In Russia, the murder will out. And since the beginning of the twenties of the last century Miloradovich was aware of the plans of the conspirators, many of whom remained in his immediate official supervision. Whistleblowers in Russia is always missing, and therefore the Governor-General responsible for peace and security in the capital, decides to have a direct impact on the activists of the secret societies.
And I must say that the first third of their influence is in fact the second after the Emperor figure in the capital, subordinate to the twenty-thousand the garrison and a staff of specially trained people, which today we would call agents of the intelligence services. It is clear that very soon Miloradovich was aware of all that the conspirators were planning their congresses and gatherings.
Works, it, apparently, through his subordinates Turgenev and Glinka. Moreover, Glinka becomes a sort of adjutant or assistant of the General on the issues of secret societies. Hardly a wide circle of conspirators was devoted to the subtleties of communication with the Governor-General. But Trustees invariably hold among its supporters the line, developed the senior puppeteers. At first, Miloradovich, apparently, tends to inhibit the activity of the conspirators. Especially since he is well aware that most of them are in the present case are just no good and probably plays into the conspiracy, having fun, like most leaders of Masonic lodges. And now Golden youth playing the opposition, raising its importance in his own eyes.
But over time at the head of Miloradovich matured a plan for the use of the conspirators for serious redistribution of power in the country. Formed a fantastic plan that will allow him, the descendant of the Montenegrin Expat, move on the chessboard figures of kings. And future Decembrists begin to play the role of the puppets who pull the threads to the destabilizing forces, the destructive effect of which is metered.
Start whole gives a strange death in Taganrog Alexander the First. Many experts believe that leaving the king in a distant city – a direct result of his fear for his own life. Indirect parricide did not want to repeat the fate of Paul. Moreover, the future conflict with the dark circumstances of succession – the result of the manoeuvres of Alexander, who, as legally suspending and Constantine, and Nicholas, does not allow them to connect for a radical solution of the question of succession. But again: Alexander dies, and the version about the poisoning until proven nor refuted.
Meanwhile, Miloradovich begins to act. All information about the death of the king and the Royal family is actually on his initiative closes on 25 November 1825. But who owns the information – rules the world. And such a cap remains impermeable until 14 December. Importantly, withheld from the capital's broad public a clear idea about the abdication of Constantine. And if so, it is quite possible to believe the stories that Constantine sought to deprive the throne illegally.
There is reason to believe that Miloradovich wanted to gather the whole Royal family in St. Petersburg. Grab the hostage and Nicholas, and his brother Michael. To impose the throne of Constantine, has twice formally forsaken, but to turn it into a weak, dependent on his generals the will of the ruler. No wonder the General requires Nicholas to take the oath to Constantine. And the timid objection that the Senate seems to be stored the will of Alexander, promises to open the envelopes only after the oath.
But Miloradovich there is also a fallback position. There are suspicions that in an extreme case, the throne would go to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. Women on the throne in the country is used, and when the Empress always strong Regents. Besides, the weak idea of the Empress was supported by the so-called German party, which included Alexander of Württemberg, the Minister of Finance Cancrin, Chairman of the State Council Lopukhin and some others.
The plan certainly looks bold. But for folk hero Miloradovich, has only reached the only worthy goal remains the only Supreme power in the Empire.
In the decisive phase of the events of that winter Miloradovich acts more and more openly. So, on 12 December he receives from Nicholas ordered to arrest the conspirators identified, whose names have compiled a very impressive list. Among them with Ryleev and Bestuzhev. But the General is in no hurry to arrest them. It is possible that, by appealing to the heroes of this list, he on the contrary, induces them to action: see, they say, is the time you're running!
In fact matured the plan of peaceful military demonstration (in the words of Miloradovich, the guard should not interfere), which would set the stage for bargaining with Nicholas.
But events spiral out of control. And in Kakhovsky shot Miloradovich puts an end to the conspiracy inside the conspiracy. The patron of the conspirators are not necessary and even dangerous. At the same time are cut off and all the mysterious connection of the conspirators with the highest dignitary of the Empire. And in vain during interrogations, failed dictator Trubetskoy timidly calls the dead General as a co-author of the coup, because he concealed the abdication of Constantine. Nicholas does not need compromising on the very Foundation of the system.
The case of General closed. He dies as a hero, a closed chest monarchy.
3. And if they won...
Imagine for a moment that the uprising was a success. The Emperor eliminated. Russia declared a Republic. Would come to country's Golden age? Hardly.
Let's start with the fact that from declarations to real reform we always seven versts and all wood. In declarations and constitutions of the Decembrists – a lot of progressive suggestions, but there is a serious issue: the country was ready for such a drastic change?
In 1818, in his famous speech in Warsaw, the Emperor Alexander promised a Constitution and hinting at the abolition of serfdom. Now, it was after these declarations, the king clearly getting nervous, fearing that not to repeat the fate of Paul and of Peter the Third. The event culminated in the departure of the South and a mysterious death.
It is clear that attempts to hasty reforms, witnesses are not part of the elites, could provoke large-scale civil war, with the support of Western donors simply would have torn the country apart.
By the way, the most acute problem of the Russian land. It became the cause of numerous revolts, and later revolutions. As it was going to solve the Decembrists? It's very simple: in the English manner. The pretender in dictators Pavel Pestel did not hide, was a supporter of the English model farm. Here only it was necessary to drive away the peasants from the land and turn them into hired laborers. This idea was shared by his supporters. Thus, the famous conspirator the school decided to free his serfs, but without land. And was omilen the fact that the peasants asked him to leave everything as it was. He, being naive, agreed that this is a manifestation of people's love for him personally. So I wanted to do and Lunin. In the event of his execution, the peasants freedom and land to the relatives.
It is clear who would support the tiller, if the country would have started postdetails mess. Clearly not progressives. And the country for another century remained entirely peasant.
As for democracy, the country would stand the military junta, itself appointed, which de had to prepare the nation for democracy. As such processes are well demonstrated the French revolution. So sooner or later we would happen own 18 Brumaire, only much more bloody. And Pestel Russia had become a police state based security – secret service "the highest order". For comparison, in devotional universal anathema the Third Department had only thirty employees.
Revealing the Manifesto Trubetskoy, who painted a broad perspective of the reconstruction of the country. First, he proposes to replace all officials, "hitherto from the civilian government appointed" that was supposed to destroy the state apparatus, and then (not clear how) to proceed to the election of County and provincial boards. Chaos the country would be secured. Besides Trubetskoi believed that the best army to disband and to create instead a kind of "internal national guard." But officers type Pestel such a measure to the final disorganization of the state would support. And, apparently, soon in the ruling junta that would have caused such a conflict that led to the gallows not five, but a lot more persons accused of the most exotic betrayals. After all, revolutions always devour their own children.
We can debate different kinds of Decembrist ideas. But the lamentable result of all their work is let down by the man who "put the normal public opinion" – Chaadaev: "Thought speech Decembrists kind of provocation that has set Russia almost half a century ago, to tighten the reign of Nicholas the First".
This verdict was passed by the writer whom the reactionaries will not take.
By the way, the other day in Irkutsk was removed the Foundation stone, declaring that this place will be a monument to the Decembrists, and planted a humorous sculpture of the Babr – a mixture of beaver and the tiger. The citizens of such a move much.
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