Schools that Peter the Great Built: Projectors & the State in Early Modern Russia

Schools that Peter the Great Built: Projectors & the State in Early Modern Russia


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, DC.>>Grant Harris: Welcome
to the Library of Congress. I’m Grant Harris, I’m head
of the European Reading Room in this European division. And we’re very pleased to have
today Igor Fedyukin speaking to us about the Schools that Peter
the Great Built, Projectors and the State in Early
Modern Russia. And Professor Fedyukin works at
the National Research University, the Higher School of
Economics in Moscow. He’s an associate professor
of history there. But he’s been here since
September in Washington, DC as a Woodrow Wilson
scholar and he only has about two more weeks left and
then he goes back to Moscow. So this is for us kind
of a high point. We get to hear from him some of what he’s been researching
while he’s been here. And part of that topic is the
Schools that Peter the Great Built, that’s just part of a larger
book that he’s working on. There is this conception that
Peter the Great pretty much he was so great he did everything. He created schools, he
created all these institutions. But in fact, he did not
do this single-handedly and what Professor
Fedyukin will be talking about today is the
greater role played by the administrative entrepreneurs or they use this word
projecteur [phonetic] also. So I assume they take
that from the French.>>Right.>>Very much. And it was they who pursued their
own career goals and pet ideas and competed for status
and resources that when they were heading or administrating these
various institutions. So Professor Fedyukin, thank you for
being here today and I’ll turn it over to you and please help me
welcome Mr. Fedyukin for being here.>>Igor Fedyukin: Thank you so much. It’s great to be here and
it is certainly a high point of my stay here in order
to be able to talk here. I’m really grateful to a number
of wonderful institutions which made this talk possible. First and foremost of course,
the Library of Congress and the European Division
that was [inaudible]. I’m very, I mean it’s a huge honor. Also of course, the Woodward
Wilson Center for Scholars, which enabled me to spend a
wonderful year here working at the library. As you might know or might not the
Woodward Wilson Center actually has a program where they let you
do sort of inter library loan, actually sort of requesting
books from the library to be brought to your office. And I just sort of didn’t do that
preferring instead to come here. Well because I’m very sort
of conscientious whatever.>>Conscientious.>>Conscientious yeah and care
about the books a lot and just kind of really bothered me a lot to
make book trail kind of all the way from here or like over
here, you know, like to the Wilson Center and back. But also because it’s
just nice to be here, it’s such a wonderful library,
it’s such a wonderful reading room and just great to be here. And it’s my particular pleasure
to present here my book project, which is finished by now. It’s under review at one
of the major publishers, hopefully it will be showing up in your catalogue,
you know, at some point. Maybe next year or year after. And indeed it’s about schools. Now when we talk about schools
in Russia, education in Russia — modern education in Russia
of course we think that, I mean the first thing
that comes to our mind is that well it’s the
state run schools right. It’s a state whatever it means
that administers them, creates the, staffs them, funds them,
determines, you know, the direction of their development. But what does the state mean? I mean today it’s easy right,
I mean there’s the Ministry of Education signs
for bad to worse right which that’s what it does right. Appoints directors, creates
institutions, merges them, closes them down, funds them. Well in the 18th century
[inaudible] 18th century in Russia and elsewhere those normally there
was no Ministry of Education signs. So how did it work and indeed
it’s very easy because of course, we have Peter the Great who single
handedly was creating everything, you know, designing
all the institutions, all the wonderful new ideas,
projects, innovations. All of them are traceable
to his insights, his energy, and his just vision. And of course, he did all of that because he was creating a new
regular army and so it was natural in the Navy, in engineering
and fortresses whatever right. So it was natural for
him to establish schools. Modern secular technical schools. Now Peter the Great was a great
ruler no question about that. So my purpose today is not
to undermine, you know, his claims for greatness
and, you know, for vision. And he certainly was a very active
ruler no question about that. I mean if we go into archives we’ll
find piles upon piles of documents which he personally edited. You know, he would really spend
like days or weeks personally in his own hand, kind of
edit and successive drafts of whatever regulations or documents
or for, you know, his navy. I mean whatever documents
he considered important. Can write entire sections sort
of from scratch in his own hand. So no question about that. The problem is that the schools
were not one of those sort of topics that he really wrote much about. I mean we know Peter as this great
sort of educator of Russia right of course and create new
schools, teaching his subjects, instructing them in the new
secular or technical sciences. It’s one of the trademarks
of his reign right. Well the problem is there’s
not much of a paper trail. What we really have from
human schools are, you know, just sort of like one-liners,
teach young guys arithmetic. Well that’s very important that he sends this message
right and we appreciate that. But any of us who have
ever had anything to do with administering things, you
know, we realize that, you know, there is a huge gap between
this sort of, you know, let it be kind of you know thing. And actual institutions somebody has
to actually determine teach where, teach whom, teach how, who
should be doing the teaching, how those people should be funded. And I mean I don’t want
to sound as if, you know, I’m trying to retroactively impose
our modern kind of standards of administrative kind
of deficiency, administrative clarity upon, you
know, like 18th century people. No, I mean if we look
at his contemporaries, his officials they do firmly I mean
this is problem that, you know, it’s just kind of too vague. I mean one of his most
famous decrees on education and school his 1714 decree
on so-called cipher schools. A decree which set up a network of
cipher schools all over the empire. Like two teachers was supposed to
be dispatched to every province to teach young guys arithmetic. And that’s what — here’s what one
Andre Belikov [assumed spelling] has to say about that and Mr. Belikov
he was an experienced official, I mean he spent his entire career in
the sort of administrative agencies. And he was also like reactionary
or conservative, you know, who is like a [inaudible]. I mean he was actually
a close associate of this one person who’s
name is Leonty Magnitsky who was most prominent
teacher of mathematics at the time, he was his patron. He was very closely involved with managing so-called
navigation school sort of a very important school period. So he was empathetic towards
schooling and learning and studying. But here’s what he has to
say, I mean and he writes to his immediate superior
at [inaudible] referring to this February 1714
decree on cipher schools. This decree is obscure
[inaudible] and without many of the conditions which
should be there. If you order us to implement it more
specific chapters ought to be sent to us and without them this business of cipher schools can be neither
extend nor even established. And so he lists, you know,
specific questions which has to be answered before he
could actually proceed with implementing decrees like, you
know, who should be his counterparts in the provinces, how many
teachers should be sent like, you know, and so on and so forth. In 1720, Peter orders that 100
apprentice pilots be thought and again, among the [inaudible]
malpractice papers there is a copy of this decree and the anonymous
official [inaudible] margins. And what they have to be taught
and how they have to be maintained in said teaching there is
no exact resolution on that. So there is this gap. Now I don’t want to be too
harsh on Peter in a sense that, I mean how exactly should he kind
of modern secular technical school for officers, for sailors,
for [inaudible]. How exactly should [inaudible]
period was not immediately clear. In a sense I mean that
if we go into sort of western Europe [inaudible]
century those kind of schools are only beginning
to emerge there as well. I mean the British Navy, the
Royal Navy didn’t have any school for training, you know,
naval officers until well into pretty much the
end of the 19th century. I mean they were training aboard
ships and [inaudible] would, I mean would get some
basic education, you know, like whatever schools
were there on land. But then, you know, as for like actual navigation they would
actually would go on board ships and like learn as apprentices,
learn kind of by doing. You know, they would be
involved in practical tasks. And, you know, perhaps the
captain will spend, you know, a few hours a day or a week, you
know, kind of instructing them and do mathematics, but that’s all. And actually when Peter himself,
well I mean of course, you know, all the education here
he got himself was kind of personal tutorship
right as all other kings, you know, of that age would right. But I mean when he famously
went to Western Europe to learn ship building,
you know, the Dutch or the English what could they
could offer him, you know. I mean he had to learn by doing it
again, you know, the work you know through this apprentice
sort of non-formalized, non-institutionalized
kind of apprenticeship. So those things were
only being invented. And my question is how
exactly they were invented. And here I want to talk about the
specific school it’s called the Naval Academy. It was establish in 1715 in Saint
Petersburg, an important school, sort of one of the first schools
of the kind in Europe actually. Trained scores of admirals and naval
officers and of course, you know, lots of graduates, you know,
went elsewhere, you know, sort of pursued careers
in government or other technical branches. Now how exactly it was created. How exactly it was created, I
mean we know that Peter created it in 1715 and we know that its
founder was this guy called baron de Saint-Hilaire. A Frenchman not much
is known about him until of course yours
truly came along. But it was generally assumed that
he was probably a French, you know, admiral, a naval expert
who was, you know, hired by Peter to set up the school. I mean it was also known that he
was fired pretty soon after a couple of years and it was known that
he had like all sorts of tensions with his Russian colleagues. So it was assumed that
he has this sort of very troublesome
kind of personality. And now what — how
did it actually work? I mean this baron de Saint-Hilaire
he was born in Southern France in Bordeaux I think in the merchant
family, in the [inaudible] family and his name was Hilaire
[inaudible]. He was involved in trade
for a while, got imprisoned for insurance fraud, sentenced
for galleys and escaped. Escaped across the border to
Spain where the war was going on, the war of Spain succession
between the Franco Spanish army on the one hand and the Anglo
Portuguese army on the other hand. So he somehow gets in touch
with this French commander and he’s employed for a while as a
messenger between the French camp and Lisbon trying to arrange for separate peace
negotiations with the Portuguese. After a few months
of doing that he goes over to the English with the papers. Thereby sabotaging, you know,
the separate peace negotiations. He’s taken over to
London, he gets 500 pounds. The English at that point know
him as Joseph Haller, a merchant. So he gets 500 pounds, he wants
more, begins kind of scheming and intriguing and
gets into English jail. In May 1712, he is extradited,
they dump him on the Dutch coast. In September 1712, the same
year in Vienna there is a decree which is signed by the emperor
which appoints a Flemish nobleman, baron de Saint-Hilaire or
[inaudible] de Saint-Hilaire as the Capitan del mar e Guerra. Sorry my Spanish pronunciation. Captain of war and
then sea in Naples. It’s the same person. He claimed later on that when he
got to the Hague he got in touch with Duke of Marlborough
who was kind of appalled by the shabby treatment of
the distinguished, you know, kind of agent that, you know, that
he got so little for his services to the English crown and Spain. So he introduces him
to Prince Eugene, but of course in fact Duke
Marlborough he arrived to Hague that year only in December so they
couldn’t have met in Netherlands. Anyhow, he starts new career
as baron de Saint-Hilaire in the service of the [inaudible]. There are like also conspiracies, he attempts to burn the
French navy in [inaudible]. He is imprisoned in Genoa, no
in Milan I think for an affair with the general’s lady, released. Then the Imperials imprison him
again in Naples, he escapes again. So one way or another by January
1715 he’s in Saint Petersburg. Allegedly, he has been
invited to join us in service. [Inaudible] story not clear,
it’s neither confirmed nor denied by the Russians who
allegedly invited him. Anyhow, when he gets to Saint
Petersburg he does two things. First, he gets introduced to
the court of Princess Charlotte who is the wife of
[inaudible], the son and the heir to throne, Peter’s son. And a month later he’s engaged to
her favorite lady in the waiting who by the time was 38 years old. So for the period of
course, that was you know.>>Old.>>Igor Fedyukin: Quite yeah. So I mean that might be the
explanation why she kind of jumped from the start, you know,
he was dashing or whatever. He should have been
dashing, you know, Frenchman. But suddenly she provides him with
a channel for access to the court, to the princess, you know, he
gets like all sorts of letters of introduction from her
to Russian officials. Actually to the English court again. But he also gets to meet Peter
and a few weeks later he produces, you know, this number of
projects and we’re going to talk about projectors or projecteurs. A number of projects
of very different kind. There is a project established
in the commission for producing, you know, naval regulations. There’s a project for
building little [inaudible]. So he promised to go there
because there’s the cheap lumber and cheap sort of artisans
and sailors there. So all he need is a
letter of credit. And he also writes the proposal
for setting up a naval academy in Russia and that Peter approves. Now what does it mean, what exactly
does it mean that Peter approves it? How exactly does it work and
what kind of project tis that? I mean first of all, the very
project is a verbatim translation of a French 1689 I think regulation
sort of took verbatim two sections from the French regulation and
just kind of translated them. Now Peter certainly was
interested in training his subjects in things naval right,
I mean even before that. No question about that, I
mean he was very much involved in sending the young Russian nobles
to train with the European navies. He was very much interested
in just sort of overall pushing the Russian
nobles to study, you know, in couple of years before
that he kind of begins to sort of [inaudible] systematically kind
of force like young nobles to kind of to come to Saint
Petersburg to sort of where he views them
personally, assigns some of them into the service and
some of them to study. So this overall framework,
this overall interest right on Peter’s part is sort of there. What’s not there is the specific
idea to have a naval academy right, to have a sort of an
institutionalized school. And also certainly Peter was
familiar with this regulation, with the French regulation
which Saint-Hilaire used. Actually and before meeting
Saint-Hilaire Peter orders a translation of this
regulation right. But Saint-Hilaire actually
didn’t use it and he did his own translation. So it’s like certainly Peter was
predisposed towards like, you know, teaching his nobles, instructing
them in naval regulations. But the specific idea, the specific
institutional form was produced by this guy. Peter approved it in a sense that
we, I mean we have no evidence of Peter actually specifically
reacting to this document right. No corrections, no changes, no
paper trail of him like giving sort of like any — providing any input. So was it like, you know, okay
[inaudible] here’s the project. Yeah fine okay great,
you know, like do it. I mean how did it work, I
mean did Peter actually buy — how much Peter actually bought into
this idea, how much he actually, you know, was involved in talking about specific details,
I mean we don’t know. There is no, I mean we don’t — at least we neither me nor my
predecessors were actually able to find a copy of the project
actually signed by Peter. But we do know that so this
guy comes to Saint Petersburg in January, in February
he submits the proposal. In the spring he marries this girl
in the presence of [inaudible], in the presence of the court so
it’s kind of she’s the favorite late in waiting to the crown princes,
so it’s a kind of court event. Peter is present, his wife,
his you know like his family. And as a part of the
celebration, as a part of the — well as when gift almost like, you
know, it’s announced publicly that, you know, the thing that the
school is going to be created, this guy is going to be
appointed director with a title of general and admiral both. You know, he will get a good salary
and the school will get a building where of course, the
newlyweds would also reside. So in summer of the same year the
thing is sort of set in motion. Students come, you know, the
school is actually being set up. Now how much is Peter
involved with it later on? I mean there is one episode when he actually does write
things regarding school. In October 1715 he approves
instruction to this naval academy. This instruction is
actually again written by this guy Saint-Hilaire himself. It does have sort of sections added
on by Peter with his own hand. But they added again
[inaudible] from this guy. So what he does, you know, he
writes like rules for the school and he actually explicitly refers
people to assign, you know, to establish some punishments
for violating those rules right. So that’s what Peter does
he scribbles in, you know, like for this for violating
this rule, you know, they should be beaten
or whatever right. So that’s his contribution. He does visit the school
twice in the fall of that year, in the fall of 1715. Then he departs to Europe
again for a year and a half. And the next recorded instance of
him visiting the school is 1724 kind of right before his dead. And that’s also interesting because,
you know, there’s wonderful source of so-called campaign journals,
basically journals which Peter or his staff kept where
they recorded, you know, like what he had been doing. I mean those journals of
course are not complete right, but they are pretty detailed. I mean so for many weeks or days
we know okay, where he went to eat, where he let’s say [inaudible]
like he went to church, you know, he stayed overnight there,
he planted apple trees, he went to the hospital to inspect,
you know, sick soldiers whatever. Not a single mention of him
ever visiting this old modern secular school. At the same time there
are like numerous records of him being personally involved with training what he called
Gaza [phonetic] marine, you know, so naval guards, sort of midget men. Basically a sort of scheme to
train naval offices as apprentices. So many graduates of this naval
academy they will join this company of Gaza marine. And with that Peter was very much
like hands-on kind of involved, you know, he would actually make
sure they will get their salaries, their stipends are paid, you know, they will be like transferred
assign. He would like oh, you know, like
you know those guys are assigned for raining in Venice, you
know, but now Venice is at peace with the [inaudible] so there
is not much stuff going on. So like transfer them to
Spain instead, you know, like. So that’s his project right, that’s
his understanding of training. That’s what he is kind of very
much personally involved with. As for the school, this
formal institution, it’s just not his kind of thing. So to the extent Peter
created the school right? To the extent I could say
that he defined this sort of institutional outlook. I would argue that in this case
as in many, many other cases yes, he set the — or other rulers. He set the overall framework
right, he set this sort of — he indicated the overall
direction kind of. He indicated what sorts of
projects would be supported or would be more likely
to be supported. Sort of set the boundaries of
what’s possible what’s not. But otherwise, you know, sort
of the specific trajectories, the specific institutional
shapes that was very much defined in [inaudible] by yes,
administrative entrepreneurs. By people who are hoping to make
career by selling expertise, by selling projects hoping to invent
jobs for themselves who are hoping to invent jobs for their clients. But of course, they also needed
clients to set up institutions, so that’s the kind of sort
of process who are hoping to impress the sovereign
by being effective. So if you do a project right you
also make sure that you present, you know, your achievements that
are like parades or presentations of the best students so that your
star pupils are sort of taken to the court and there they,
you know, like recite poems or parade or, you know, perform. There were tricks to
presenting the best light. So if you’re an important official
you try to do many projects, you might be acting
as a broker right sort of kind of all sorts of experts. They’re real experts and of
course, not [inaudible] you know between the real expertise
and imposter. What’s really kind of tricky I
mean this guy I mean if he — well I mean the thing he wasn’t
really kicked out because, you know, sort of somebody was
unhappy with it. Oh that’s a [inaudible]
model school, you know, it’s poorly run whatever. I mean he was kicked out because
he got into this ego sort of thing with the Russian aristocrats sort
of assigned to supervise him. The Frenchman thought
that, you know, like he should have no supervision. And if he managed to get along with the Russian government he might
have well, you know, like be listed in the history books as this,
you know, wonderful, you know, expert who we know Peter so
wisely invited, you know, to join the Russian service. So basically what with I do in my
book I look at the key episodes of institutional [inaudible] like
that beginning from sort of kind of late 17th century and
up to Catherine the Second. And I stop on the eve of Catherine’s
reign for a variety of reasons. One of them being that because
Catherine is such a big topic since, you know, should be kind of so
much stuff going on that, you know, like that could be a book, you
know, sort of a separate book. And basically I look
at the key episodes of institutional innovations in
that period in education kind of new schools being
created or reformed. And try to look at them not from
the point of view of this kind of progressive [inaudible]
kind of sort of oh, you know, things were developing, you know,
like becoming more sort of secular, formal, institutionalized
because they had to right. But rather show how this sort of
institutionalized and the creation of new schools, new institutions
their evolution how it reflects the [inaudible] of different
types of entrepreneurs. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Grant Harris: Thank you,
very entertaining [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Thank you.>>Grant Harris: Are
there questions? [ Inaudible Comment ]>>Igor Fedyukin: Well
it’s a very good question. [ Inaudible Comment ] Well I mean for that
period of course, most of those guys they
didn’t know German French, so it had to be Russian. Sometimes they would involve
translators, but what they would do of course — well I mean
most teachers were actually Russians right. So there were few foreigners who
kind of would take a few Russians who already knew kind
of the math for example. I mean math, I mean for those
technical schools of course, math was a key thing right because
you needed math for engineering, you needed math for navigation. So those teachers would arrive
and they would really kind of work with a few kind of advanced
pupils right, kind of elder people who already know the math, you know,
who learns the math in [inaudible] and who also knows
all four languages. So they will be instructing
those Russians in sort of advanced math while
those, you know, kind of apprentices right would
in turn be instructing, you know, sort of the beginners right. So yeah, so that was mostly Russian.>>I have kind of a
similar situation. I understand [inaudible] that Peter
everywhere he went they knew him.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>In which ever area
he [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>He took up so many
different things [inaudible]. He would pick experts.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>In that particular field and he would send them
or take them to Russia. So he also had this
huge [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right,
absolutely yeah. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>And so what he would do —
so these people [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>And I would have assumed that they would have
instructors [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>Whereas there was a whole
group of foreigners [inaudible] in Saint Petersburgh [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>And there I would
have assumed that some of these people would training the.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>The people from the [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>So I [inaudible] and then
you have the other side.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>Where Peter was very much against all the [inaudible]
of tradition and.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right yeah.>>And he wanted people in
general to kind of shed that.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>And kind of move
into the modern world. So I was kind of looking to
hearing a little bit not just about the [inaudible] I was kind
of hoping to hear a little bit more if there were any way that
education [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right,
right, right. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>But I knew he had certain
interests and those he focused on.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>But was there [inaudible]
by the rest of the [inaudible]. Do you see what I’m getting?>>Igor Fedyukin: No.>>Okay, the Russians in general.>>Igor Fedyukin: Well, I mean —
well I mean movement you mean like, you know, kind of sort
from below kind of right.>>No, not just from
below from him to say to his people I have been abroad.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>I have seen how this function, let’s see what we can
do here and [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right, yeah but I mean I guess that’s
you’re absolutely right and I guess that’s exactly
what I’m saying right. In a sense that, you know,
that he sets his direction and then there are people who want
to exploit this sort of all kind of, you know, message to
make careers or to.>>Any results from any efforts? How far did he move Russia
from before he was there in general terms of education? Educating the Russians
in particular areas or?>>Igor Fedyukin: Right.>>In general [inaudible]?>>Igor Fedyukin: Well, I mean
I’m afraid it’s impossible to say, you know, sort of like how far
kind of move or didn’t move. I mean that’s, I mean what
does really kind of movement. What do you mean like
[inaudible] of literacy or? [ Inaudible Comment ] Well that’s impossible to
say, that’s impossible to say. But certainly [inaudible] there
were both sort of Russians who went abroad and who came back
and who tried to make careers by kind of selling their, I mean
whatever skills they have acquired. But also foreigners can be invited. But I mean here again, I mean there
is [inaudible] most important called the [inaudible], a Scotsman. So I mean Peter personally
hires him while in London at the end of the 17th century. He personally hires him,
invites him to come to Russia. He does that with two
sort of assistants. But what happens then is that he
sort of he [inaudible] in Moscow like for two years, you know,
there are like no evidence of Peter actually sort of, you know,
kind have been involved and kind of setting up a school whatever. And I mean I get it, you know,
Peter was pretty busy, you know, doing like all those wars
and diplomacy and rebellions. But sort of when the thing
actually kind of moved ahead is when this guy projector sort of
profiteer whatever you call him, sort of inventor of
new things comes along. This guy sort of who
promotes himself by sort of submitting all sorts
of projects to Peter, by advising Peter on
all sort of things. And one of the things, you know,
he takes over those teachers. Requests Peter to appoint him to
be in charge of the school sort of. Finds a way to actually redirect
funding from a different source because he’s also official
elsewhere. So he’s official at the armory, so he requested those teachers
be transferred to the armory so then now he could use,
you know, the armory funding to actually to fund the thing. He also uses, you know,
this new school. He gets Peter to sign decree
like setting up a school, but then he uses to school to
employ his kind of own friends. Which I mean it doesn’t mean that,
you know, that it’s like terrible, I mean his friends are
actually educated and, you know, turn out to be pretty
good teachers and sort of important cultural initiative. He uses the school to
promote himself later on. I mean immediately
when they do this sort of when they start the school
they write a textbook of their own and they prepare this, you know,
very sort of luxurious edition, you know, sort of very nicely kind
of done on expensive paper and sort of present it to Peter saying
like look at us we’ve done that. I mean we’re your faithful servants,
we need to be rewarded by the way. So and just to finish up and
actually what happens is that yes, I mean Peter sends an overall
message, but then, you know, they’re all like really lots of
kind of well private teachers or private initiatives to
instruct, you know, [inaudible]. Foreign teachers coming to
kind of practice, you know, either trying to get
support from Peter or just like privately kind of
practicing teachers. Peter is at war trying to earn money
by, you know, by teaching the Swedes or also the Russians kind of trying
to earn extra money, you know, like by just teaching
basic literacy. So I mean you really kind
of find this movement. As I say, [inaudible] interaction to
Peter’s kind of sort of vague push, you know, kind of [inaudible] so. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>Igor Fedyukin: Well, I mean disorganized is a
tricky thing because, you know, well I mean in the
sense that you know like when you want to
kind of to do reform. When you only want to
sell yourself [inaudible], I mean that’s what you say oh
they’re so disorganized, you know, I must appoint a [inaudible]
straighten them up. So it’s kind of tricky,
but you’re right yeah. [ Inaudible Comment ] Yeah. [ Inaudible Comment ] Of course, of course sure yeah. I mean that’s [inaudible] help
and, you know, there are all those and of course, there are articles
and now that so many books are, especially older books
are available, you know, sort of digitized, you know. [ Inaudible Comment ] The resource? [ Inaudible Comment ] Well, I mean of course I using
[inaudible] of course right, I mean that’s for like
[inaudible] magazine articles. I use [inaudible] here it’s
really great to be able to use how is it pronounced
ha, hati? [ Inaudible Comment ] [Inaudible] yeah, absolutely
it’s a really great resource for like older books
where you could, you know, sort of download things. Yeah, I mean going beyond
the Library of Congress of course the one sort
of real amazing thing which the French have is
this thing called Gallica where you could actually do — I
know with those old books, you know, sort of scanned copies
could actually do kind of, you know, like a keyword search. You know, they have sort of like,
you know, word recognition software which allows you to
search, you know, through like 17th century
books kind of. That’s like really amazing
and helpful kind of. [ Inaudible Comment ] Yeah, national [inaudible]. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>Grant Harris: I’d ask you to
speak up [inaudible] so we can.>>Well you focused on the
naval academy I’m interested about other schools and how popular
they were and what the [inaudible].>>Igor Fedyukin: Right okay. Yeah.>>Grant Harris: If you
could repeat the question.>>Igor Fedyukin: Right yeah. So the overall — sort of other
schools and like, you know, how the population react. Well I think it actually
reacted pretty positively. In the sense that I
know there was this myth that oh they’re all
like against learning. I don’t think we actually have,
you know, direct evidence for that. What they were against actually
they were against, you know, like being forced to do things
which did not correspond to their, you know, life and
career strategies. And that was really important
and that changes, you know, kind of throughout the period. Because I mean what
happened initially, you know, say around the year 1700, say
this navigation school is created, everybody’s invited, they
pay this small stipend. So they actually have
like, you know, lots of people coming
to study there. Of course, that’s [inaudible] right, it’s like usually [inaudible]
ability, some of the soldiers or for instance, you know, all
those kind of like poor boys who really kind of
want to get, you know, the small stipend of
whom it’s important. You know, they come
making hundreds you know. So they hire [inaudible], lots of
them, you know, like go ahead and, you know, enroll in schools too. But of course, they prefer
to enroll into other schools. You know, for example there
is this like private school around by this German
pastor who provides — well he presents as
a gymnasium right. So he presents it as sort
of more like, you know, kind of more refined education
kind of, which more fits, you know, their self-perception as a part
of European [inaudible] right. So there you would have like fencing
and, you know, sort of horse riding in terms of more of sort of [inaudible] academy
kind of type of education. And they go there too on their own. When it does change is when
around 1715 he actually tries to push them all into schools
where he wants them to be not where they want to be right. For example, he bans all
the sort of like no nobles from entering this navigation
school and naval academy and instead forces, you
know, [inaudible] to be able to go into naval academy. Which doesn’t fit their,
you know, life strategies which is really expensive. And actually one of the reasons why
they want to force the [inaudible] in the naval academy because
it’s in Saint Petersburg. It’s real expensive to live
there because it’s far away from the major kind
of population center, so it’s like really all the
supplies are really expensive there. And by that time the war
has been going on for like 20 years they really
don’t have the money. So they basically want them to
kind of to live on their own, to use their own kind of money. And people kind of like are
really unhappy about that. And there is like no clear sort
of argument for promoting them. So like earlier in this navigation
school like lower in ability, sons of soldiers, I mean they were
happy just to get their salary and to get, you know, like
entry-level job [inaudible] scribes or technicians or money counters. And now you have those princes,
you know, who spend like, you know, like whatever number of years at
this naval academy have to pay for that and [inaudible]
prospects, you know, because I mean after graduation they get
to them sort of Gaza marine. The great northern war ends,
so there’s like, you know, demand for naval offices,
you know, like is lower. You know, like promotion
is much lower because people not being killed,
you know, like every year right. So like no openings and
they’re like stuck there like for 10 years without
any promotions. Yeah of course, they resist that,
of course they tried to evade that. So what happens in 1730
is that they actually — all the nobles still have to
serve and still have to study, but what they do they actually
give them freedom of choice. They let them themselves choose,
you know, between sort of going to school or going straight into
regiments as private soldiers and making their career there. And they give them a choice of —
give them a sort of right to choose between different schools. Actually when young nobles come to
this place called the [inaudible], the special office which
registers young nobles for service and then kind of supervises
their careers sort of kind of human resources kind of office,
you know, the imperial scale. And they actually ask them, you
know, where they want to serve and, you know, they record
their preferences. And I’ve actually looked into
that and sort of an article came out in the Journal of Social
History just [inaudible]. But in about two thirds of cases
they actually appoint them according to their preferences right. And that works much, much better
in the sense that, you know, they’re actually people for who — for whatever reasons because
of family connections, family preferences, you
know, who opt for schools. And then there are other
people who opt for, you know, just joining the service as
private soldiers and it works. So freedom is important,
freedom of choice yeah.>>I have a question. What happened to this
fellow Hilaire after?>>Igor Fedyukin: Yeah. [ Inaudible Comment ] He is kicked out. I mean the last, so the
latest we hear from him is — I mean he hangs out in Saint
Petersburg for like about a year and a half kind of
tries to sort of — tries to get his salary kind of due
to him plus gets new appointment. And then in 1720 he goes over
to the Swedes and the last kind of thing I was able to find
about him is his letter to the Swedish admiral
kind of advising him of how to attack the Russian
held [inaudible]. So it’s a long and
winding road yeah. [ Inaudible Comment ] Well, you know, I mean it’s. [ Inaudible Comment ] Right well, I mean of course
education is always [inaudible]. Yeah, no well that’s
a good question. Certainly, I wouldn’t say that right
now that Peter is the most popular of the rulers, I mean in sort
of, you know, official discourse. In the sense that this idea of kind
of learning from Europeans kind of sounds a little bit
kind of questionable. Also there is a large
difference in the sense that — there is a huge difference in the
sense that yes, I mean there are like all sorts of reform initiatives
in the Russian education kind of that’s been going on for the
past like 10 years or whatever. But at the same time certainly
I’ll say that for President Putin, you know, education sense
it’s not his thing right. I mean he doesn’t have this — I mean there are like areas
where he sort of once again, he’s kind of passionate about right. And sort of and education
is not one of them. So it’s much more again,
you know, about project, about you know important
dignitaries, important ministers, you know, battling various
visions, various projects. President Putin kind of like
saying yeah like whatever. And then, you know, it’s like,
you know, it’s like kind of driven by career, by ambitions,
by grant seeking, by sort of individual
administrative entrepreneurs. [ Inaudible Comment ] But I mean, I think there
is some — that’s how. [ Inaudible Comment ] Well actually I’m trying
to make an argument that states actually
from the [inaudible]. That’s what I’ve been
trying to say again yeah. Well, I mean yeah it’s much kind
of — much less kind of top down, much less kind of directed from
the very top, much more sort of, you know, growing up from below,
from you know, okay maybe not from below, but from the middle
[inaudible] kind of yeah.>>That’s interesting.>>Grant Harris: Listen,
we’ll have to stop there. Thank you all for coming. Professor Fedyukin, really
thank you that was really.>>Igor Fedyukin: Thank you.>>This has been a presenting
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at LOC.gov.

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