Yelena L. Sarayeva
Yaroslavl State Pedagogic University
Sarayeva Yelena L. The power system of the era of Peter I of Russia in political and legal discourse of Mikhail Speransky. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2022, vol. 28, № 3, pp. 16–24. https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2022-28-3-16-24
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2022-28-3-16-24
УДК: 94(470)”18”
Publish date: 2022-10-02
Annotation: Mikhail Speransky’s ideas about the importance of reforming the state apparatus in the era of Peter I of Russia are analysed in the article. The ideological and value bases of Mikhail Speransky’s criticism of state policy – the rule of law, security of life, protection of private property, civil rights – are revealed. Equal recognition of the rights of the state and citizens is the most important idea of Mikhail Speransky. He distinguished two types of government – despotic one and one based on laws. From his point of view, the main feature of despotism is unrestrictedness of power by laws. The political and social relations’ transformation is a long-term process. It is necessary for ideas about the importance and irreversibility of innovations to take root in the public consciousness, Mikhail Speransky believed. According to Mikhail Speransky, changing public opinion about the political and social system is the most important historical task, the solution of which secures innovation. The fight for introducing civil liberty may start only when people realise its necessity. What were the basic concepts of Mikhail Speransky’s discourse on the development of socio-political relations in Russia included the concepts of «human», «freedom», «laws» and «rights». The political system should evolve from despotism to the rule of law. The essence of social transformation must be the elimination of slavish dependence of certain estates on other ones. Mikhail Speransky highlighted the virtues of the public administration system that had been established by Peter I of Russia – a clearer definition by the laws of the functions of institutions, the way they were formed, the creation of a system of control over their work. According to Mikhail Speransky, the drawbacks of Peter’s state were broad powers of the Senate and Collegiums, poor organisation of paperwork. From his point of view, the shortcomings were largely due to the centralised system of governance in the country and the unlimited power of the autocrat.
Keywords: Mikhail Speransky, Peter I of Russia, era of Peter I of Russia, 1st quarter of 18th Century, state apparatus reform, Senate, Collegiums.
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Author's info: Yelena L. Sarayeva, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogic University, Yaroslavl, Russia, els5656@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6140-7806