Inventing Russian History: ‘Reflections on Russia’ – an unearthed essay by Yakov Ivanovič Bulgakov (1743-1809)
Title: Inventing Russian History: ‘Reflections on Russia’ – an unearthed essay by Yakov Ivanovič Bulgakov (1743-1809)
Author: VELIZHEV, Mikhail
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2008/37
This paper analyzes the anonymous article “Reflections on Russia, or Some Remarks on Russians Civil and Moral Status Until Peter I’s Reign” published in 1807 in the Moscow literary magazine “Messenger of Europe”. ‘Reflections’ can provide us with an excellent example of the circulation of ideas between Russia and Western Europe. It elaborated the mythology of Russian history in the seventeenth- and eighteenthcenturies idealizing Russian patriarchal antiquity and strongly criticizing Peter the Great’s reformist activity as an attempt “to transform Russians into foreigners” (as stated previously by J.-J. Rousseau). The anonymous writer argued that to be Russian meant to follow Russian “national” moral rules stamped in history. ‘Reflections on Russia’ are attributed here to the well-known diplomat and man of letters Jakov Ivanovič Bulgakov who might have written the piece in order to convince a part of the European, French-speaking (probably, Polish) aristocracy to change positively its views on Russia and its history in the 1790s. “Reflections” remained a manuscript until the Napoleonic wars when its rhetoric was claimed again as an instrument to win the sympathy of the European public towards Russia. The paper seeks to grasp the moment of the birth of Russian public spaces for debating the problems of Russian history. The publication of the ‘Reflections’ in 1807, through the mechanism of noble patronage, points out the moment of the construction of Russian public space when the common and most famous form of sociability (the salon) starts to be substituted by a new form – by the printed press.
Subject: History of Russian diplomacy in the eighteenth-century; transnational history; Russian nineteenth-century nationalism; public sphere in Russia; Russo-Polish relations; Russian historiography in the eighteenth-century; history of Russian journalism at the beginning of the nineteenth-century
Type of Access: openAccess
Files in this item
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Title:Role of International Labour Migration in Russian Economic Development Author(s):IONTSEV, Vladimir; IVAKHNYUK, IrinaDate:2012Type:Technical ReportSeries/Number:Migration Policy Centre; CARIM-East Research Report; 2012/04Abstract:In the two post-Soviet decades Russia has become actively involved in international labour flows. Today Russia acts as an exporter and an importer of labour in the global labour market: Russian citizens work all over the ...
Title:Annotated Bibliography of Recent Ukrainian and Russian Language Sources on Ukrainian Labour Migration Author(s):VOLODKO, Viktoria; FEDYUK, OlenaDate:2012Type:Technical ReportSeries/Number:Migration Policy Centre; CARIM-East Research Report; 2012/07
Title:Labour Migration and the Host Country: Russian case Author(s):MUKOMEL, VladimirDate:2012Type:Technical ReportSeries/Number:Migration Policy Centre; CARIM-East Research Report; 2012/31Abstract:Labour migration is discussed here in the context of the transformation of the Russian market and labour migrants’ communication with their host society. Of central importance is the analysis of changes in the labour market ...