Moscow conspiracy of the decembrists

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Abstract

The article provides an insight into the important and crucial event in the history of the Decembrist Movement - the Moscow Conspiracy. This episode is related to one of the first planned attempts of the Decembrists on the life of an emperor. The subject has been widely covered by historiography; nevertheless, the question about the real motives for the regicide plan remains open. Research analysis reveals that even at the stage of investigation the government attempted at concealing the peasant causes of the Moscow Conspiracy. This effort, which can be traced in the report of the Committee of Inquiry, predetermined the perception of this issue by the pre-revolutionary historiography. The attempts to revise this tendency were made. For example, N. F. Lavrov tried to reconstruct the text of S. P. Trubetskoi's letter and demonstrated that the conspiracy was caused by the peasant issues. However, the concept of the Russian history, developed under Stalin, changed the direction of the studies. Thus, M. V. Nechkina explicitly stated that the main objectives of the movement were the deposition of the autocracy and the abolition of serfdom. The idea of interpreting the Moscow Conspiracy as an attempted resistance of the nobility to the authorities' plans to liberate the peasants would have become. This view prevailed both in the Soviet and foreign historiography for a long time. However, in the period of Perestroika S. V. Mironenko in his monograph comes up with the opposite view on this issue, arguing that the idea of regicide was related to Alexander I's alleged plans of retiring to Warsaw and sending the Manifest on the Liberation of the Serfs from there. This opinion was supported by many scholars. Furthermore, two previously unknown primary sources, discovered by P. V. Il'in and T. V. Andreeva, indicate that the causes of the Moscow Conspiracy were rooted in the fact that in 1817 the Decembrists strongly objected to the idea of the immediate abolition of serfdom carried out exclusively by the decision of the supreme authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalVestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Istoriya
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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Conspiracy
Moscow
Historiography
Peasants
Causes
Regicide
Abolition
Serfdom
Authority
Deposition
Perestroika
Letters
Primary Source
Revolution
Emperor
Warsaw
Autocracy
Nobility
History
Monographs

Scopus subject areas

  • History

Cite this

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abstract = "The article provides an insight into the important and crucial event in the history of the Decembrist Movement - the Moscow Conspiracy. This episode is related to one of the first planned attempts of the Decembrists on the life of an emperor. The subject has been widely covered by historiography; nevertheless, the question about the real motives for the regicide plan remains open. Research analysis reveals that even at the stage of investigation the government attempted at concealing the peasant causes of the Moscow Conspiracy. This effort, which can be traced in the report of the Committee of Inquiry, predetermined the perception of this issue by the pre-revolutionary historiography. The attempts to revise this tendency were made. For example, N. F. Lavrov tried to reconstruct the text of S. P. Trubetskoi's letter and demonstrated that the conspiracy was caused by the peasant issues. However, the concept of the Russian history, developed under Stalin, changed the direction of the studies. Thus, M. V. Nechkina explicitly stated that the main objectives of the movement were the deposition of the autocracy and the abolition of serfdom. The idea of interpreting the Moscow Conspiracy as an attempted resistance of the nobility to the authorities' plans to liberate the peasants would have become. This view prevailed both in the Soviet and foreign historiography for a long time. However, in the period of Perestroika S. V. Mironenko in his monograph comes up with the opposite view on this issue, arguing that the idea of regicide was related to Alexander I's alleged plans of retiring to Warsaw and sending the Manifest on the Liberation of the Serfs from there. This opinion was supported by many scholars. Furthermore, two previously unknown primary sources, discovered by P. V. Il'in and T. V. Andreeva, indicate that the causes of the Moscow Conspiracy were rooted in the fact that in 1817 the Decembrists strongly objected to the idea of the immediate abolition of serfdom carried out exclusively by the decision of the supreme authorities.",
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Moscow conspiracy of the decembrists. / Belousov, M. S.

In: Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Istoriya, Vol. 63, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 29-40.

Research outputpeer-review

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