Yelena L. Sarayeva
Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogic University
Sergei Witte in the estimates of Vasily Maklakov
Sarayeva Y.L. Sergei Witte in the estimates of Vasily Maklakov. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2023, vol. 29, No. 4, рp. 26–33. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-4-26-33
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-4-26-33
УДК: 94(470)”1905/1906”
Publish date: 2023-10-30
Annotation: The ideas of Vasily Maklakov, the lawyer, a member of the Central Committee of the Constitutional Democratic Party, about the influence of Sergei Witte, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, on the process of Russian political transformation in 1905-1906 are analysed in the article. What served as sources for the study are recollections of Vasily Maklakov, Sergei Witte, Pavel Milyukov, Alexander Kiesewetter, Alexander Izvolsky. Vasily Maklakov’s ideas about the circumstances of the change in Sergei Witte’s perceptions of the form of government in Russia are revealed. It is proved that from October 1905 to April 1906, Vasily Maklakov perceived Sergei Witte as a supporter of Russia’s sustainable constitutional development. Vasily Maklakov’s perceptions of the reasons for Sergei Witte’s attempts to co-operate with the liberals are interpreted as follows – such an agreement would ensure liberal reforms. Maklkov’s judgements about the reasons for Witte’s shift to repressive policies against the revolutionaries – they were carrying out wrongdoing – are reconstructed in the article. Maklakov’s justification of the reasons for the right and liberal politicians’ refusal to support Witte’s policy is revealed. The differences in Maklakov’s and Milyukov’s views on Witte’s policy in 1905-1906 are disclosed. Maklakov characterised Witte as a great statesman able to persuade the emperor to introduce a constitution in order to create a state of law; however, to suppress the revolution, the said nobleman had to use repression as well. Witte’s first line of action led to criticism of his policies by conservatives, while constitutional democrats disagreed with the proposed version of the constitution and condemned the ill-treatment towards radicals. According to Maklakov, the lack of support from influential political forces was one of the reasons why Witte had to resign. Maklakov highlighted Witte’s significant ideas – strengthening the rule of law, organising the government’s interaction with the liberal public.
Keywords: Vasily Maklakov; Sergei Witte, Pavel Milyukov; constitutional democrats; October Manifesto on Improvement of State Order, 1905; Russian Imperial Basic Laws as of April 23, 1905.
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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