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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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Army and Administration

Army and Administration

(p.296) 14 Army and Administration
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines reforms of army and administration across the eighteenth century. Under Peter I and his successors Russia’s navy expanded from virtually nothing to a fleet that defeated Sweden in the first decade of the century and the Ottoman navy by the 1760s; the infantry army and its officer corps greatly accelerated a seventeenth-century process of modernization and expansion along European standards; by mid-century it was the largest in Europe. On the southern borders, however, a garrison army oriented to steppe warfare was maintained. Social impact was great: the new annual capitation tax and military recruitment imposed on the Eeast Slavic peasantry were onerous; military reform, as well as Petrine cultural reforms, transformed the Muscovite elite into a European nobility; new taxation and imperial-scale mobilization required vast expansion of the bureaucracy and some modernization of its techniques. Catherine II’s territorial re-division of the realm and administrative, fiscal, and judicial reforms of 1775 rationalized administration across the realm, while Paul I instituted reforms to professionalize the civil service.

Keywords:   military, navy, recruitment, taxation, bureaucracy, civil service, Catherine II, Peter I, Paul I, judicial reform

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