The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians

By Anatole L. Leroy-Beaulieu; Zaenaefde A. Ragozin | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Personal Privileges of the Nobles, and Prerogatives of their Order--What
Emancipation has Taken from the Nobles besides Landed Property--
The Dvoriànstvo Threatened with Gradual Expropriation--How, though
not Despoiled, it Practically Lost all its Privileges--Importance of the
Prerogatives Conferred on the "Nobiliary Assemblies" by Catherine II.
--Why they did not Manage to Benefit by them--Has Russia the Ele-
ments of a Political Aristocracy?

A NOBILITY can have two kinds of privileges: personal, which each noble enjoys individually; collective, belonging to all the nobles as a body. The law awards the Russian dvoriànsivo prerogatives of both kinds, both greatly reduced in our day by the extension of public liberty. The nobility, as a rule, has not been despoiled of its rights; but that which was the privilege of one class has become the right of all. Its prerogatives, collective or personal, the dvoriànstvo held not from the will of the rest of the nation, nor from its own achievements or ancestral conquests, but wholly and entirely as a gift of sovereign bounty, and they were all comparatively recent still when they were extended to the rest of the nation. Before Catherine II. the nobility had no sort of corporative rights, and if the nobles did claim some individual rights, they were ill-defined and ill-observed.

The nobles were not only, like all the rest, subject to the sovereign's will and pleasure; there was no coarse freak of whim or impertinent fancy which the sovereigns or their favorites scrupled to indulge in at the expense of members of the most illustrious families. The reign of Anna Ivànovna and Biron is full of instructive anecdotes to the point. The inheritors of the greatest names could be compelled to play clown for the delec-


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 588

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?