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The Decembrist Pavel Pestel: Russia's First Republican by P. O'Meara

By P. O'Meara

Russia's First Republican is designed to fill a niche within the historiography of the Decembrist flow. The examine performed in files and libraries in Russia, the USA, and the united kingdom has ended in the construction of a accomplished research of Pestel, the political activist and ideologue. It includes a reconstruction of his youth, an research of his position within the Decembrist mystery societies from 1816 to 1825, and an evaluation of his ideological contribution to the early nineteenth-century Russian innovative move. specific realization is paid to his hugely unique undertaking for a Russian republic, Russian Justice.

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For many of the young officers this experience amounted to what might be termed a ‘defining moment’ in their personal development. Profound feelings of patriotism fired their desire to contribute somehow to political and social progress in Russia. I. Muraviev-Apostol famously put it, that ‘we were the children of 1812. D. 8 In August 1813, Pestel was appointed adjutant to the officer mentioned in his Leipzig citation, General Count Peter Vitgenshtein, who was destined to become Commander-in-Chief of the Second Army.

A. Zakrevskii, to Kiselev in particular bear this out. We have already referred to the latter’s disappointment at the delay in Pestel’s promotion as at July 1819. e. Vitgenshtein’s) adjutant, is doing whatever he likes with him. You had better take steps: the Emperor has not changed and will not be changing his opinion. ’35 This remark suggests that Alexander was ill disposed to Pestel well before receiving Gribovskii’s report in 1821. Perhaps the tsar’s disposition stemmed from both his irritation at the poor showing of Pestel’s father as governor-general of Siberia and his recollections of Director Klinger’s damning reference on the brilliant yet recalcitrant pupil at the Corps of Pages.

Dokumenty. (The Decembrist Uprising. ) This chapter considers the impact made on Pestel by the experience of Western Europe he gained as a serving officer during the Wars of Liberation from 1813 to 1815. It traces his military career, particularly with regard to the problems delaying his promotion, and investigates the reasons for the ambivalent attitudes to him on the part of some of his key superior officers and Tsar Alexander himself. As already mentioned, in spite of Pestel’s proven skills and high intelligence, which certainly earned him the respect and admiration of some, there were many who viewed him with suspicion and dislike.

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