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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Imperial Imaginary and the Political Center

Imperial Imaginary and the Political Center

(p.267) 13 Imperial Imaginary and the Political Center
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the ideological representations of empire and political legitimacy in the eighteenth century. It begins with the reformed Orthodoxy brought to Moscow in the late seventeenth century by Ukrainian clerics that introduced the concept of “common good” and a more secular orientation to politics. Peter I (ruled 1682–1725) “refreshed” the empire’s ideology to fit new circumstances by introducing a “Polizeistaat” program of cameralist reform in politics and in imagery and architecture classical symbolism and European architectural styles. Catherine II similarly introduced new ideas to fit new needs, selectively promoting the German and French Enlightenment ideas. The chapter examines Peter I and Catherine II as leaders and details political succession across the century, before concluding with a survey of the dissemination of the St. Petersburg classical “Imperial style” in architecture around the realm.

Keywords:   ideology, Polizeistaat, baroque, cameralism, legitimacy, Catherine II, Peter I, political succession, architecture, Crimea

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