Ivanov, Andrey Aleksandrovich. Treatment of the notion of «Russians» and Russian conservative thought (1860–1917)

Modified Date
Published Date:
Title of the article
Ivanov, Andrey Aleksandrovich ― Doctor in History, Associate Professor, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; а:, OrcID http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6438-5200; Scopus ID 56995528600
Treatment of the notion of «Russians» and Russian conservative thought (1860–1917)
Year 2017 Issue 2 Pages 40-50
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK BBK 87.3 И20; UDK 94 (47) Index DOI 10.21638/11701/spbu19.2017.203
The article analyzes and researches into the views of Russian conservators and nationalists of the second half of the 19th – the early 20th century on one of the most important aspects of the national question — «Russian question». The author attempts to characterize the ideas of the most prominent representatives of the pre-revolutionary conservative camp (M. N. Katkov, K. N. Leontiev, A. A. Kireev, V. M. Purishkevich, N. E. Markov, M. O. Menshikov etc.) about criteria of the notion of «Russians» and its content. Based on many sources, particularly under-reported publications in the pre-revolutionary press as well as studies of the foremost present-day academic specialists in the Russian conservatism and nationalism, the author provides a variety of opinions on the notion of «Russians» existed in Russia in the late-imperial period. The author proves that the representatives of the conservative camp, though not having a unified position about boundaries of the notion of «Russians», by and large were alien to the primitive ethnic nationalism. The notion of «Russians» was never limited to the concept of «Great Russians», but by absorbing it, was comprised of a significant number of subjects of the Russian Empire who identified themselves with the Russian culture. Even those among Russian conservators and nationalists who restricted the right of affiliation with Russian people only by Great Russians, Little Russians and Belarusians, did not deny the possibility of widening the criteria of the notion of «Russians» for account of the representatives of other ethnic groups who blended into Russians. Therefore, even within the most narrow interpretations of the notion of «Russians» the conservators of the second half of the 19th – the early 20th century never reduced it to the principles of ethnic purity, blood ties or racial-biological criterion, alien to the orthodox tradition.
Keywords Russian, Russian people, Russian conservatism, Russian nationalism
Full text version of the article. Article language Russian
  • Ivanov, Andrey Aleksandrovich; Repnikov, Aleksandr Vitalyevich. Kovalevsky Pavel Ivanovich, in Russkiy konservatizm serediny XVIII – nachala XX veka: Entsiklopediya. Moscow: Russian Political Encyclopedia Publ., 2010. P. 244–245 (in Russian).

    Kotov, Aleksandr Eduardovich. Ptentsy gnezda Katkova [Nestlings of the Katkov’s nest]. St. Petersburg: Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education, State University of sea and river fleet of the Admiral Makarov Press, 2013. 143 p. (in Russian).Kotov, Aleksandr Eduardovich. «Sovremennaya nefeodal’naya monarkhiya»: Russkaya konservativnaya pechat’ kontsa XIX veka v poiskakh natsional’noy ideologii [«Contemporary non-feudal monarchy»: Russian conservative press in the end of the 19th century in search of a national ideology], in Tetradi po konservatizmu. Al’manakh Fonda ISEPI. Moscow, 2015. № 4. P. 130–146 (in Russian).

    Kotov, Aleksandr Eduardovich. «Tsarskiy put’» Mikhaila Katkova. Ideologiya byurokraticheskogo natsionalizma v politicheskoy publitsistike 1860–1890-kh godov [The «Tsarist way» of Mikhail Katkov. Ideology of bureaucratic nationalism in the political journalism in 1860–1890]. St. Petersburg: Vladimir Dal’ Publ., 2016. 487 p. (in Russian).

    Kotsyubinskiy, Daniil Aleksandrovich. Russkiy natsionalizm v nachale XX stoletiya. Rozhdenie i gibel’ ideologii Vserossiyskogo natsional’nogo soyuza[Russian nationalism in the early 20th century. The birth-death of ideology of the All-Russian national union]. Moscow: Russian Political Encyclopedia Publ., 2001. 528 p. (in Russian).

    Repnikov, Aleksandr Vitalyevich. Konservativnye modeli rossiyskoy gosudarstvennosti [Conservative models of the Russian statesmanship]. Moscow: Political Encyclopedia Publ., 2014. 527 p. (in Russian).

    Repnikov, Aleksandr Vitalyevich. Konservativnye predstavleniya o pereustroystve Rossii (konets XIX – nachalo XX vekov) [Conservative concepts of rebuilding of Russia (the end of the 19th – the early 20th century)]. Moscow: Gotika Publ., 2006. 424 p. (in Russian).

    San’kova, Svetlana Mikhaylovna. Syromyatnikov Sergey Nikolaevich, in Petr Arkadevich Stolypin: Entsiklopediya. Moscow: Russian Political Encyclopedia Publ., 2011. P. 641–642 (in Russian).

    Shevtsov, Aleksey Vladimirovich. Izdatel’skaya deyatelnost’ russkikh nesotsialisticheskikh partiy nachala XX veka [Publishing activities of Russian non-socialist parties in the early 20th century]. St. Petersburg: Russian National Library Publ., 1997. 315 p. (in Russian).

    Vedernikov, Vladimir Viktorovich. Natsional’nyj vopros v zerkale konservativnoy publitsistiki. Gazeta «Vest’» [National question in the mirror of the conservative political journalism. The newspaper «Vest’»], in Istoricheskie zapiski. 2006. № 9 (127). P. 137–169 (in Russian).


Tags: Russians, Russian nationalism, Russian conservatism, Russian people, Slavic Congress, Russian question, pre-revolutionary conservative camp, second half of the 19th – the early 20th century, DISPUTATIO / DISCUSSION