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Genesis: Historical research

The influence of the image of Peter the Great on out-of-school education in the late Russian Empire and in the emigration.

Bulatov Ivan Aleksandrovich

ORCID: 0000-0001-7148-491X

PhD in History

Associate Professor, Department of History and Politology, Yuri Gagarin State Technical University of Saratov

77 Politechnicheskaya str., Saratov, 410054, Russia, Saratov region

Other publications by this author










Abstract: Part of the image of Peter I in the historical memory of the people are his comrades in children's games "funny". Thanks to them, the first emperor of Russia is strongly associated with youth associations. The subject of the study is how this part of the image of Peter the Great influenced the formation and development of youth movements in the Russian Empire and in the interwar Russian diaspora. Russian Russian Scouts (NORR), whose members worked with children in most of the countries of the Russian diaspora, as well as the senior wing of this organization, the Petrovsky Union, pay special attention to the organization of the Funny ones, created in the spring of 1909 in Bakhmut, and the National Organization of Russian Scouts (NORR), whose members worked with children in most of the countries of the Russian dispersion. The paper concludes that the appeal to the image of Peter the Great in the Russian Empire was logical, since there are no other children's organizations left in the historical memory of the Russian people except funny ones. And their connection with the Guards regiments only increased the prestige of this image. In emigration, the image of Peter the Great began to play a more significant role. Three factors contributed to this. Firstly, the general emigrant need for unifying symbols has grown. A.S. Pushkin became the main cultural symbol, while Peter I became the most compromising symbol of the statesman. Secondly, the struggle within Russian children's organizations played a role, within which funny ones became in demand again, as an alternative starting point for scouting. The third factor was the personal views of individual leaders of children's and youth organizations.


Peter I, poteshnye, NORR, Petrovsky Union, emigration, children's movements, Russian Youth Day, Bogdanovich, Lutskevich, scouting

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

During the XIX century . Russia, focusing on Western European countries and the United States, tried to keep up with the new era. One of the signs of the new time was the replacement of class society by mass. This manifested itself in the emergence of nations, changes in political institutions for better representation of the people, changes in the way armies are equipped, the creation of national (people's), not estate schools, the emergence of mass sports (as opposed to estate entertainment and clubs), etc. Another sign of the new era was the impossibility of preserving the patriarchal family in the city, and parents in a small family were separated from their children while being busy at work. Consequently, other institutions had to prepare children for adulthood. The state and society formulated a request for the physical development of children (it was also about pre-conscription military training), protection from the corrupting influence of the city street and revolutionary ideas, patriotic education and personal development. The school honestly tried to try on this function. At this time, leading Russian teachers talk about ways to democratize the school, increase its educational function, that the school should be national, that is, at the same time take into account national specifics in programs and educate the national character of students. The appearance of physical education lessons at school also applies to the turn of the last and last centuries.

In parallel with this, another process was underway extracurricular children's organizations were created, taking over the function of spiritual and physical development of young people and leaving only educational tasks for the school. But such movements required ideological content, both for working with children and for presenting to parents. In Europe and the USA, when choosing names, they turned to nature (the tourist society "Migratory Birds", the gymnastic society "Falcon"), Indian (the "League of Forest Craftsmen" Seton-Thompson) and military themes (scout scouts, "Boy Brigades"). Sokol and Scouts were represented in Russia, along with which an attempt was made to create their own military-type organization, but unlike foreign analogues, rooted in Russian history. So the funny ones appeared. The name was chosen specifically to emphasize the patriotism of the organization and commitment to the traditions of Russian statehood. The reference to the childhood of Peter the Great was a good move. This was reminiscent of the heroic era of the formation of the empire and that the "funny ones" had grown into two glorious guards regiments: Semenovsky and Preobrazhensky. But the main factor was that in historical memory it was Peter I who was associated with childhood.

The founder of the new movement was Antioch Andreevich Lutskevich, an inspector of public schools in Bakhmut. In the spring of 1909 he organized a company of children aged 8 to 14 years, from students of the exemplary primary school at the inspection, which he maintained at his own expense [14, p. 31]. Soon the emperor announced his highest gratitude to A.A. Lutskevich "for an excellent initiative and that he understood and carried out My idea." In the same year (Y.V. Kudryashov attributes the appearance of the official name to the meeting with the emperor on May 22, 1910 [12, p. 26]), with the royal permission, the company of Lutskevich became known as "The First People's class of the military system and gymnastics of His Imperial Majesty the Heir of the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Alexei Nikolaevich" [14, p. 31]. At the "Supreme Review" on May 22, 1910, the comedians met with the tsar. Nicholas II walked around the line, talked to the children, took pictures [23, 12, pp. 41-50]. On February 24, 1911, A.A. Lutskevich was granted an audience with the Emperor [14, p. 55]. Since the movement received support at the very top, many officials saw this as an opportunity to advance their careers and new detachments began to arise throughout the country. On July 28, 1911, not one Bakhmut company of Lutskevich arrived in the capital for the parade (it just wasn't there), but 6 thousand boys [5], in 1912 more than 9 thousand people participated [12, p. 28].

One of the first reviews of funny in the press, published on February 17, 1910 in the newspaper "Russian Speech," immediately turned to the image of the first emperor: "Remember the gentlemen, peers of the Great Peter and his funny shelves. These latter have glorified themselves and Russia to the whole world. Unfortunately, the idea of Peter, our Hero-Tsar, died with his death" [14, p. 43]. Of course, there was no pedagogical idea of Peter, as applied to the funny ones. To date, it is well known what the funny ones were like before they became guards regiments [2, 14]. They included not only teenagers, but also adults, and they had no pedagogical goal in front of them. And they faced the goals of entertaining Peter (initially) and military training.

Against the background of the heyday of the funny, the emergence of children's detachments that used scout methods in their work passed unnoticed. Scouting appeared in 1907 in England and gained great popularity around the world. The initiators of scouting in Russia were O.I. Pantyukhov in Tsarskoye Selo, G.A. Zakharchenko in Moscow and V.G. Yanchevetsky (Yan) in St. Petersburg [4]. At first, society perceived them as a kind of funny, but over time the scouts defended their subjectivity, and when, in 1912-1913, their predecessors practically disappeared, they took a leading position in working with children. To emphasize their patriotic spirit, scouts used a foreign word less and less often for self-designation, and more often called themselves "young scouts". The revolution split this children's movement, some of whose leaders supported the new government and helped to create a pioneer, while others were arrested or went into exile. Apart from the Motherland, the scouts developed active work, putting the fight against the denationalization of Russian youth at the forefront. The National Organization of Russian Scouts (NORC) was headed abroad by Colonel O.I. Pantyukhov, a pioneer of scouting in Russia. However, there were splits in this association, the biggest of which was the exit of the head of the French department, Colonel Pavel NikolaevichBogdanovich together with a large number of scoutmasters and children. He called his new brainchild the National Organization of Russian Intelligence Officers (NORR). In the 1930s, it was the most massive children's organization of the Russian diaspora, although after the Second World War it almost completely ceased its work [3]. To substantiate the ideological independence, P.N. Bogdanovich created a complex mythology of his organization, in which the funny and Peter I occupied an important place.

P.N. Bogdanovich outlined the main postulates of his concept in 1932 in the organization order No. 10, and later they were developed in a number of articles. The order was timed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the first camp of the funny by Peter I [19]. Then, "the wise sovereign, long before the appearance of youth organizations in the West: boy scouts among the Anglo-Saxons, Balilla in Italy, Young Germans among the Germans, Sokol among the Czechs, etc., understood what it means in the destinies of the state to have young people trained, and, most importantly, brought up in a patriotic spirit." And in order to strengthen their spiritual connection with the "glorious chicks of Peter", the following symbols were introduced:

a militia cross with the monogram of Peter I was adopted as a sign of the organization, subsequently two dates were added to it: 1682 and 1932.

The Day of the Transfiguration of the Lord became a holiday of the organization

The Preobrazhensky March was established by the NORR March.

Thus, in 1932, the spiritual succession of Bogdanovich's scouts from the funny ones of Peter the Great was justified. This was also important for the separation from the scouts of Pantyukhov. The members of the NORR strongly emphasized their difference from the parent organization: "we are not scouts, we are descendants of the funny" [1]. Later it turned into the fact that "Peter Alekseevich (Peter the Great) laid the foundation of the patriotic military organization of Russian youth" [13, p. 5], which was the first not only in Russia, but also in the world [10, p. 3], which was sometimes supplemented by the idea that the idea of the funny was It was borrowed "by many foreign states that timely assessed the importance of the National Youth Organization" [7, L. 6]. In fact, the ideas about the antiquity and exceptional Russianness of the student movement, as well as the independence of Russian pedagogy, were asserted. In 1982, a commemorative medal was even issued for the 300th anniversary of the funny scouts [15, p. 95]. Peter's memory was revered, also through the names of the links. Each squad in the NORR was divided into 2-4 links, and the first link in each squad was called Petrovsky [6, L. 2].

However, Peter I lived a long time ago, and roots were needed in the XX century, and since it was impossible to recognize the connection with Pantyukhov, the choice fell on the updated funny ones. But not on the classic funny Lutskevich, but on the scouts of Moscow led by Captain G.A. Zakharchenko, who at first really looked like funny. True, Zakharchenko received a personal blessing to work with the founder of the scout movement, Lord Baden-Powell, shortly after which he retired from working with children, but this did not stop the ideologists of the NORR. In 1934, the article "1909-1934" was published, written by the Chief of Staff of the NORR, Captain V.M. Sigal. The article said that in 1909, at the Alexander School, staff Captain Zakharchenko organized a detachment of Young Scouts, he also published the first Russian manual for working with children. An announcement was immediately placed about the search for former employees of Zakharchenko [21, p. 11]. In 1939, one was found. The senior instructor of the NORR, Captain Chervyakov, in two issues of the "Russian Scout", described how in 1909 in Moscow he joined the Zakharchenko detachment [25, 24]. And to dispel all doubts about the continuity of Zakharchenko's detachment, Bogdanovich issued an order that Chervyakov's membership in the NORR was considered from August 19, 1908. [20] The image of funny Norrists was also addressed in theatrical productions, so at the most massive all-emigrant holiday "Day of Russian Culture", Parisian scouts presented the production: "Funny Peter the Great" [11, p. 75]. The image of the emperor was imprinted on the jubilee badge "250 years of funny Peter I", where a belt image of the ruler was applied, with dates in the lower part "1703-1953" [15, p. 96] and on the medal "300 years of funny. NORR" on the obverse of which there was a chest image of the emperor [15, p. 95].

Another organization inspired by the image of the first emperor was Bogdanovich's next brainchild the Petrovsky Union, which was released in December 1938 in Paris [17]. At the same time, there are alternative points of view on the time and place of origin of this organization. S.V. Smirnov, referring to the article about the NORR on the website www.gallipoli.ru (it is not available now) [22, p. 84], believes that the organization was created by Bogdanovich instead of NORR after the occupation of France by the Germans. Yu.V. Kudryashov briefly mentions the emergence of the Union in July 1941 in Bulgaria [12, p. 250]. He is echoed by A.S. Terzov, with reference to the NORR magazine "Funny" published in Sofia (another reference to Peter I), and giving more detailed information. If we compare the information from the magazine "Sentinel" (apparently provided by Bogdanovich himself or his staff) and the materials of A.S. Terzov, then the following picture develops. Initially, the Russian Society for Economic Research and Socio-Historical Research appeared in the French capital, which aimed at scientific research in the interests of "the revival of Great Russia and the reborn Great Russia." On September 27, 1938, the first meeting of the Bureau of the governing center was held, headed by Colonel Bogdanovich. A few months later, it was decided to make this society the next step for the grown-up children of their NORR, and after that, on January 19, 1939, it was renamed the Petrovsky Union. It was emphasized that it was not a party, but "an association of Russian people who want to effectively serve their Homeland and Russian Statehood, following the precepts and ideas of Emperor Peter the Great" [17, p. 29]. It was planned to develop the new organization in those places where scout detachments already existed, which served as the personnel backbone of the new association. Subsequently, senior intelligence officers and young instructors in Bulgaria in July 1941 created a branch of the Union and developed the most active activities. In particular, by 1942, more than 100 Petrovets joined the Russian Security Corps in Serbia. The magazine funny proudly published photos of such members in the form of a security corps, in particular, the head of the NORR in Bulgaria, Colonel v Urnizhevsky [18], who served as a battery commander. Several dozen members of the organization went to the Soviet Union as employees of the Bulgarian military mission or as part of the Romanian army. More than 80% of Petrovets eventually died either in the war or in camps [24, p. 154].

Not only P.N. Bogdanovich addressed the image of Peter as the ruler closest to children. This was most clearly manifested in the Far East, where the Bureau of Emigration (the body that led Russian emigration to Manchukuo) approved the Day of Russian Youth on June 12, the birthday of Peter I [8, L. 2]. However, in those cases when schools were named after the first emperor [9, L. 29] or structural units of children's movements (for example, in France in 1941 there was a patrol of single scouts named after him. Peter the Great [12, p. 263]), it is not entirely clear to which component of the image of the emperor was addressed: a strong ruler or a young friend of the funny ones.

Summing up, it can be noted that Peter I, in historical memory, possessed a unique image of the organizer and participant of the children's movement. In the case of other rulers, childhood was either not mentioned or described as very difficult to explain the future rule. The most striking example here is the image of Ivan the Terrible. Thus, the appeal to the figure of Peter was justified not so much by historical knowledge as by the image of the masses. The reference to the funny ones was supposed to justify an attempt at import substitution in the field of child education in the Russian Empire. When the idea did not "take off", Russian society, without experiencing discomfort, switched to foreign analogues, renaming the scouts into young scouts for euphony. In emigration, the situation has changed. In isolation from the native land, the national feeling has intensified and the role of historical symbols has increased. This factor, multiplied by the need to justify the independence of individual Russian youth organizations from the scout movement, explains the increased importance of continuity from the funny movement. Therefore, Peter the Great turns into the world's first organizer of a children's organization with a unique method of work. Such ideas slipped through in the Russian Empire, but sounded much quieter. The fact that Peter the Great not only became the main symbol of the most massive children's organization of emigration, with headquarters in Paris, but also that the Day of Russian Youth was celebrated in Harbin on his birthday, shows the prevalence and significance of his image as a "patron of youth" for Russian people around the world.

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It is known that in relation to the era of Peter I, already in the XIX century. there was a split of the intelligentsia into two camps: Westerners, that is, who treat the reformist policy of the first Russian emperor positively, and Slavophiles, who treated Peter's activities negatively. In any case, Peter's transformations were actively used in the 20th century as part of ideological and educational work both in the Soviet Union and among Russian emigration. These circumstances determine the relevance of the article submitted for review, the subject of which is the use of the image of Peter I in imperial Russia and among emigration. The author sets out to show the development of extracurricular organizations in the pre-revolutionary period and among Russian emigration, to show a certain continuity from the organizations of Peter I, to determine the role of the first Russian emperor in the creation of children's organizations. The work is based on the principles of analysis and synthesis, reliability, objectivity, the methodological basis of the research is a systematic approach, which is based on the consideration of the object as an integral complex of interrelated elements. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the very formulation of the topic: the author seeks to characterize the role of Peter I in the organization of child education, as well as the use of these ideas in the future. The scientific novelty of the article also lies in the involvement of archival materials. Considering the bibliographic list of the article, its scale and versatility should be noted as a positive point: in total, the list of references includes over 20 different sources and studies. From the sources attracted by the author, we note the materials of the periodical press ("Russian Scout", "Sentry") and documents from the funds of the State Archive of the Khabarovsk Territory. Among the studies used, we will point to the works of I.A. Bulatov and S.V. Smirnov, which focus on various aspects of the ideology of the scout movement. Note that the bibliography is important both from a scientific and educational point of view: after reading the text of the article, readers can turn to other materials on its topic. In general, in our opinion, the integrated use of various sources and research contributed to the solution of the tasks facing the author. The style of writing the article can be attributed to a scientific one, at the same time understandable not only to specialists, but also to a wide readership, to anyone interested in both the history of the Scout movement in general and its ideology in particular. The appeal to the opponents is presented at the level of the collected information received by the author during the work on the topic of the article. The structure of the work is characterized by a certain logic and consistency, it can be distinguished by an introduction, the main part, and conclusion. At the beginning, the author defines the relevance of the topic, shows that in the context of the importance of preparing children for adulthood at the beginning of the XX century, various children's and youth organizations were created. It is noteworthy that in addition to the famous scouts, they were also funny ones, the very name of which refers us to the era of Peter I. And in Manchuria, among Russian emigrants, Peter I's birthday was celebrated as the Day of Russian Youth. The author draws attention to the fact that it was in the emigration environment that Peter began to be considered as the organizer of the children's movement. The main conclusion of the article is that in the emigrant environment Peter I was perceived as the "patron saint of youth". The article submitted for review is devoted to an urgent topic, will arouse readers' interest, and its materials can be used both in a course of lectures on the history of Russia and in various special courses. The author provides information that is little familiar to the modern reader. As a comment, we can point out the lack of information about whether there are facts of using the name of Peter I in the modern children's and youth movement. In general, in our opinion, the article can be recommended for publication in the journal Genesis: Historical Research.