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“Outrageous Speech”: Boris Chicherin and the Coronation of Alexander III

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2017. Vol. 6. No. 4. Pp. 289-297.
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Krot M. N.
Southern Federal University
105/42 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russia


The article devoted to the significant episode of the socio-political activity of the famous Russian scientist B. N. Chicherin associated with his tenure as a mayor of Moscow and the speech delivered by him during the coronation festivities in May 1883. This subject is analyzed in the context of the transformation of the interaction between the authorities and society that took place in Russia in the early 80s of the 19th century in conditions of increasingly perceptible transition of autocracy to conservative-protective models of political development. The author of the article considers the mood that prevailed in social circles after the death of Alexander II, briefly reviews the program of the political development of the country proposed by B. N. Chicherin to exit from the deep crisis in which the autocratic power was at the turn of 1870-1880s. Particular attention is paid to the activities of B. N. Chicherin as the Moscow mayor and the nature of his relations with the government, as they clearly demonstrate the traits of his character and the idea of public service. The studied speech caused a negative reaction of the authorities that eventually led to the resignation of its author and put an end to his public activities. The article analyzes the content and context of the speech, Chicherin’s motives, and the following events. The author of the article pointed out that not only the content, but also the fact of pronouncing speech itself did not fit the established model of interaction between the authorities and society.


  • • Russian Empire
  • • 19th century
  • • B. N. Chicherin
  • • Moscow mayor
  • • public
  • • Alexander III
  • • coronation of 1883
  • • conservatism


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