'Honorary citizenship in the  Russian Empire' History magazine: researches nbpublish.com
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Akulenko I.V. Honorary citizenship in the  Russian Empire

Published in journal "History magazine: researches", 2014-4 in rubric "Social history", pages 425-431.

Resume: The class of honorary citizens in the Russian empire did not appear by chance: the formation of the class of eminent (and later honorary), citizens at the end of the 17th century allowed the Russian sovereign to solve several governmental problems through it. Some of the main problems included the appeasement of social tensions, the difficulty of integrating new subjects of various confessions and ethnic groups into the state structure, the distinction of certain citizens and the conferment of privileges on them (for the purpose of encouraging their benefit to the state), and other questions. The privileges of the honorary citizens established by Catherine II in the Charter to cities, consisted of: exemption from corporeal punishment and conscription, possession of suburban yards and gardens (except for populated estates), and travel within city limits with a two- or four-horse carriage. The titles of eminent citizen were made hereditary, which thus formed them into a distinct social class. The grandchildren of the eminent citizens, whose fathers and grandfathers bore this citizenship title faultlessly, at the age of 30 were allowed to request the conferring of nobility. In 1832 emperor Nicholas I formally established through a manifest the formation of a separate class of eminent citizens. These citizens were divided into singular and hereditary groups. Famous representatives of the given class were the Morozovs, the Riabouchinskys, the Guchkovs. The title of honorary citizens was abrogated by the decree of the All-Russian central executive committee and the Council of peoples commissars on 11 (24) November 1917 regarding the abolition of classes and civil titles. The creation of the new class had originally not only helped to solve problems of stately magnitude, but also encouraged the expansion of patronage, the system of government administration locally, and the whole Russian economy.

Keywords: honorary citizenship, class, nobility, merchant class, guilds, privileges, request, charter, manifest, Russian emperor.

DOI: 10.7256/2222-1972.2014.4.13944

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