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Grand ducal role and identity as a reflection on the interaction of state and dynasty in Imperial Russia

Lee, William Cary; (2000) Grand ducal role and identity as a reflection on the interaction of state and dynasty in Imperial Russia. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This study seeks to illuminate the historical significance of non-ruling male Romanovs within the life of the Russian Empire. Crucial to this work are the issues of state-centred versus tsar-centred ideology and the evolution of the service ethos. Thus we begin with a brief overview of seventeenth-century Muscovy, the reign of Peter I, and the post-Petrine eighteenth-century. The 'thread' of Petrine heritage, as interpreted by successive rulers and their servitors, runs through every chapter, sometimes obliquely, sometimes to the fore. Our examination of the grand dukes themselves is divided between the objective issue of role, and the subjective one of identity. With regard to the former, it is our hope to present a more thorough picture of the range and nature of grand ducal duties, honours, appointments, etc., than has hitherto been available in a single work. With regard to the latter, it is here that we seek to identify patterns of behaviour, the power dynamics within the imperial family, and the grand dukes' position in relation to the public at large, service colleagues, and disaffected portions of society. Important questions emerge concerning the consequences of grand ducal independence and/or non-comformity, the way behaviour was perceived and represented (e.g., as patriotic, Petrine, treasonous, etc.), the effects of modernization and family growth (upon both role and identity), and grand ducal response to conflict between state and crown. Our study focuses upon the nineteenth-century, encompassing the maturation of the first generation of adult grand dukes, the emergence of several junior branches of the imperial family, the evolution of the service establishment into a more modern, state-centred entity, and the origins of both revolution and reaction. Inevitably, certain individuals demand more attention than others. In this instance, grand dukes Konstantin Pavlovich and Konstantin Nikolaevich -- men who have already been written about at some length -- emerge as figures of particular note, but only insofar as they reveal patterns of behaviour with enduring relevance to our central theme, that of evolving relations between state and dynasty, and grand ducal allegiance to both entities. We conclude with a brief overview of relevant developments in the twentieth century.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Grand ducal role and identity as a reflection on the interaction of state and dynasty in Imperial Russia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108831
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