"Reflections of a Russian Statesman" by Konstantin Pobedonostsev

by Newark Press

Konstantin Petrovich Pobyedonostsyev (1827-1907) was a Russian jurist, statesman and adviser to three Tsars. A lecturer in law, he became Ober-Procurator of the Holy Synod, the lay head of the Orthodox Church, a position established to bring the Church more under the control of the Tsar. As such, Pobedonostsev was a member of Alexander III's cabinet.

In his "Reflections of a Russian Statesman" (1896), he promoted autocracy and condemned elections, representation and democracy, the jury system, the press, free education, charities, and social reforms. Of representative government, he wrote, "It is terrible to think of our condition if destiny had sent us the fatal gift -- the all-Russian Parliament."

This edition of "Reflections of a Russian Statesman" also contains "The Manifesto on Unshakable Autocracy". It was issued by Tsar Alexander III of Russia on April 29, 1881 (O.S.), about two months after the assassination of his father, Alexander II of Russia. Influenced by, if not written by, Konstantin Pobedonostsev, the manifesto rejected the more liberal reforms of his father (and some of his father's ministers) in favor of "unshakable autocracy" which had been given to the tsars as a sacred duty from God. The document summed up Alexander's counter reform policies.

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