Political allusions in the decembrist revolt

Research outputpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The article provides an insight into political allusions, i.e. references to the well-known historical events of the Decembrist milieu in the interregnum period. The emergence of a “dictator” was one of the most common allusions. The analysis enables us to debunk the statement that S. P. Trubetskoi was elected dictator. Instead, it can be stated that he was proclaimed one on the initiative of K. F. Ryleev. This appointment did not limit the powers of the latter in any way. Moreover, K. F. Ryleev managed to take advantage of S. P. Trubetskoi’s impressive title. Another example of allusion is the assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus. The usage of Roman tyrant-fighting references was one of the characteristic features of the regicide plot. The setting for the revolt can be also considered symbolic. The article points out that K. F. Ryleev’s objective was not to arrest certain senators and force them into issuing a manifest. On the contrary, going out to take a stand on the square was planned as an armed public demonstration (modeled on the Brazil revolution) in front of the building occupied by the state body whose sole function was to make decisions about the further fortune of the dynasty and the political order of Russia. Indeed, it took place on November 27, 1825, when the Senate broke the order of succession to the throne and ignored the will of Alexander I. Apart from these, the allusion to Leon Island (with regard to the plans to retire to Kronstadt in the case of the failure of St. Petersburg revolt) was also used by the conspirators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-360
Number of pages16
JournalVestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Istoriya
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Scopus subject areas

  • History

Cite this

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abstract = "The article provides an insight into political allusions, i.e. references to the well-known historical events of the Decembrist milieu in the interregnum period. The emergence of a “dictator” was one of the most common allusions. The analysis enables us to debunk the statement that S. P. Trubetskoi was elected dictator. Instead, it can be stated that he was proclaimed one on the initiative of K. F. Ryleev. This appointment did not limit the powers of the latter in any way. Moreover, K. F. Ryleev managed to take advantage of S. P. Trubetskoi’s impressive title. Another example of allusion is the assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus. The usage of Roman tyrant-fighting references was one of the characteristic features of the regicide plot. The setting for the revolt can be also considered symbolic. The article points out that K. F. Ryleev’s objective was not to arrest certain senators and force them into issuing a manifest. On the contrary, going out to take a stand on the square was planned as an armed public demonstration (modeled on the Brazil revolution) in front of the building occupied by the state body whose sole function was to make decisions about the further fortune of the dynasty and the political order of Russia. Indeed, it took place on November 27, 1825, when the Senate broke the order of succession to the throne and ignored the will of Alexander I. Apart from these, the allusion to Leon Island (with regard to the plans to retire to Kronstadt in the case of the failure of St. Petersburg revolt) was also used by the conspirators.",
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Political allusions in the decembrist revolt. / Belousov, M. S.

In: Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Istoriya, Vol. 63, No. 2, 01.01.2018, p. 345-360.

Research outputpeer-review

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