Ivan Delyanov

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Ivan Delyanov.

Count Ivan Davidovich Delyanov (Russian: Иван Давыдович Делянов) (December 12, 1818 in Moscow – January 10, 1898) was a Russian statesman of Armenian descent.

Delyanov graduated from Moscow State University's Law School in 1838. In 1857 – 1897, he held a number of important governmental positions. Delyanov became a member of the State Council of Imperial Russia in 1874. In 1861 – 1882, he was a director of the National Library of Russia in St Petersburg. In 1882 – 1897, Delyanov held a post of the minister of public education. He introduced a new University charter in 1884, which would deprive universities of their former autonomy. Delyanov also closed down the universities for women (Bestuzhev Courses) in 1886.

On June 18, 1887, he issued a circular, which would limit the admittance of children of the non-noble origin to the gymnasiums. According to this document, gymnasiums and progymnasiums had to restrict the enrollent of children of people of lower classes.

The circular stated in part that the new rules free the gymnasiums from children of coachmen, lackeys, cooks, laundresses, petty merchants, with the possible exceptions for those endowed with extraordinary abilities, — all those who should not altogether be taken out the environment they belong to. For this reason it has become known as Cookwomen's Children Circular (Циркуляр о кухаркиных детях). This discrimitatory language was capitalized upon by Russian revolutionaries and was the base of the famous phrase of Vladimir Lenin that in the Soviet Union "even a cookwoman may manage the state".

Delyanov also introduced a certain percentage for accepting the Jews in educational institutions. National minority schools were subject to mandatory russification.

Preceded by
Aleksandr Nicolai
Minister of National Enlightenment
1882 – 1898
Succeeded by
Nikolay Bogolepov