Nikolay Milyutin

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Not to be confused with Nikolay Alexandrovich Milyutin.
Nikolay Milyutin

Nikolay Alexeyevich Milyutin (Russian: Никола́й Алексе́евич Милю́тин; June 6, 1818 – January 26, 1872) was a Russian statesman remembered as the chief architect of the great liberal reforms undertaken during Alexander II's reign, including the emancipation of the serfs and the establishment of zemstvo.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Nikolay Milyutin was born in Moscow on June 6, 1818, the scion of an influential, but impoverished, aristocratic Russian family.[3] He was the nephew of Count Pavel Kiselev, the most brilliant Russian reformer of Nicholas I's reactionary reign.[4][5][6] Milyutin's brothers were Vladimir Milyutin (1826–55), a social philosopher, journalist and economist, and Dmitry Milyutin (1816–1912), who served as Minister of War under Alexander II.[7][8]

Milyutin's formative years were spent on his father's estate, Titovo, in Kaluga Oblast.[9] Slaves – or serfs, as they were known in Russia – worked the land at Titovo, while Milyutin's father occupied most of his time hunting and carousing with friends.[10] Milyutin's mother was left to oversee most aspects of life on their estate.[11] According to Milyutin, there were so many serfs at Titovo that "to list all would be impossible."[12] While Milyutin largely omitted the more unsavory aspects regarding life at Titovo from his published memoirs, an unpublished draft, detailing his childhood, discusses the brutality with which his father treated his serfs.[13] On one occasion Milyutin witnessed his father "mercilessly" flog one their serfs, as he later explained: "But thus were the mores in those times: a good landowner considered [flogging] unavoidable to keep his serfs in line."[14] Afterwards, as was then common practice, the serf was made to come and "thank the master" for having administered his "lesson."[15] The incident left an indelible impression on Milyutin's young mind.[16]

Career[edit]

Milyutin graduated from Moscow University and joined the Ministry of the Interior in 1835. A man of liberal views who sympathized with the Slavophile cause, Milyutin helped reform the municipal administration in St Petersburg, Moscow, and Odessa during the 1840s.[17]

As an Assistant Minister of Interior since 1859, he succeeded in defending his vision of ambitious liberal reforms against attacks by conservatives and disconcerted nobility. The Emancipation Manifesto of 1861 was largely drafted by him.[18]

During the January Uprising he was dispatched to Poland in order to implement reforms there. He devised a program which involved the emancipation of the peasantry at the expense of the nationalist landowners and the expulsion of Roman Catholic priests from schools.[19] Over seven hundred thousand Polish peasants were granted freehold land to farm as the result of Milyutin's reforms.[20] A Russian university was established at Warsaw, and all secondary school lessons were required to be given in Russian, not Polish.[21] Finally, the property of the Catholic Church was confiscated and sold.[22] Although Milyutin had previously opposed the "direct and outright Russification" of Poland, according to one biographer, historian W. Bruce Lincoln, Milyutin's reforms effectively "hastened the coming of stern Russification policies" in Poland.[23]

Milyutin resigned his office in December 1866, after having suffered a paralytic stroke, and spent the rest of his life in seclusion.[24] He died on January 26, 1872 in Moscow.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moon, David (2001). The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia, 1762–1907, pp. 127, 178. Harlow: Longman ISBN 0-582-29486-X
  2. ^ Harcave, Sidney (1968). Years of the Golden Cockerel, p. 174. New York: Macmillan
  3. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce (1977) Nikolai Miliutin, an enlightened Russian Bureaucrat. p. 40 New York: Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0-89250-133-2
  4. ^ Harcave, Sidney (1968). Years of the Golden Cockerel, p. 174. New York: Macmillan
  5. ^ Frank, Joseph (1979). Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821–1849, p. 253. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
  6. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce (1977) Nikolai Miliutin, an enlightened Russian Bureaucrat. New York: Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0-89250-133-2
  7. ^ Moon, David (2001). The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia, 1762–1907, pp. 127, 178. Harlow: Longman ISBN 0-582-29486-X
  8. ^ Frank, Joseph (1979). Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821–1849, p. 253. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
  9. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. X-XI, 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  10. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  11. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  12. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  13. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  14. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  15. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  16. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  17. ^ Harcave, Sidney (1968). Years of the Golden Cockerel, p. 174. New York: Macmillan
  18. ^ Moon, David (2001). The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia, 1762–1907, pp. 127, 178. Harlow: Longman ISBN 0-582-29486-X
  19. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce (1977) Nikolai Miliutin, an enlightened Russian Bureaucrat. p. 90-102 New York: Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0-89250-133-2
  20. ^ Chapman, Timothy (2001). Imperial Russia, 1801–1905, p. 110 New York: Routledge
  21. ^ Chapman, Timothy (2001). Imperial Russia, 1801–1905, p. 110 New York: Routledge
  22. ^ Roosevelt, Priscilla (1995). Life on the Russian Country Estate, pp. 179, 230, 340. New Haven: Yale University Press
  23. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce (1977) Nikolai Miliutin, an enlightened Russian Bureaucrat. p. 90-102 New York: Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0-89250-133-2
  24. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce (1977) Nikolai Miliutin, an enlightened Russian Bureaucrat. p. 90, 94, 100 New York: Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0-89250-133-2
  25. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce (1977) Nikolai Miliutin, an enlightened Russian Bureaucrat. p. 90, 94, 100 New York: Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0-89250-133-2