CHAPTER VI
THE POLITICAL WORK OF PETER THE GREAT
I. Administration--The Spirit and the Form--Municipal Autonomy a mere fiscal, expedient--The first eight Governments--Another expedient-- Decentralisation--The Senate--The Institution develops and becomes a centralising organ--Absorption and confusion of Power--Administrative and Financial control--The Fiscals--Their unpopularity--The Procurators--lack of unity and equilibrium--The 'Colleges'--No general idea in their establishment--Fresh elements of confusion--Plethora of administrative organs--Poverty of individual administration.
II. Police--Repression of Brigandage--The low moral level of society a hindrance to progress.
III. Justice--Peter's tardy attention--His desire to accomplish everything at once--Reasons of his failure--General denial of the idea of Law--The progress of legislation a hindrance to codification--Lack of judicial principles and jurists--General view.

I

As regards economic, social and intellectual progress, Russia lags, to this day, behind her Western neighbours and rivals. But she has already built up an apparatus of human power, one of the most formidable the world has ever known-- archaic and Asiatic in its spirit and inner structure, modern and European in all its outward appearances. This is the undoubted outcome, and the crowning point, of Peter's work.

No idea of any general reform of his Governmental institutions, or of the constituent elements of his power, ever entered the Tsar's brain. For a considerable time, and during the whole course of the Northern war, his anxiety and his efforts were all directed to the solution of a comparatively limited problem--that of raising an army which should beat the Swedes, and a fleet which should make a good appearance on the Northern seas, and of finding funds to keep both up. Occasionally, accidentally and irregularly

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