Feofanov Aleksandr

Educational preferences of the Russian nobility: the case of generals of the second half of XVIII - first quarter of XIX century

Feofanov Aleksandr (2017) "Educational preferences of the Russian nobility: the case of generals of the second half of XVIII - first quarter of XIX century ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2017, vol. 77, pp. 66-77 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201777.66-77


In the present article educational preferences of the Russian nobility, especially generals, in the second half of XVIII first quarter of XIX century are analysed. The author comes to the conclusion that the interest in Western education grew among the Russian gentry, including ordinary gentry. However, the high cost and lack of direct advantages for the service, unlike in the case of cadet corps, made foreign studies less attractive for the service nobility, while the opportunity to receive education in cadet corps was stably popular. The children of the ordinary gentry were much more likely to receive education in Russian educational institutions, primarily in the Land noble corps, than abroad. For the elite children on the contrary the European education was on the first place, and among Russian institutions, the Corps of Pages and artillery institutions were preferred. Peter the Great forced the nobility to acquire knowledge, considering training as a public service, and during the period of palace revolutions there was a kind of "relaxation" of the noble class, which received the opportunity not to serve and didn’t want to develop itself in state educational institutions, but prefered home education. The age of Enlightenment made the European culture and study abroad popular, but not all, even the nobles, were able to afford it. Nevertheless, the number of people who received higher education abroad or in Russia, were growing gradually. This way the cultural and spiritual reproduction of the upper stratum of society took place


education, elite, general officers, nobility, career advancement, social status, cadet corps


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Information about the author

Feofanov Aleksandr

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University; 23b Novokuznetskaya st., Moscow 115184, Russian Federation; Associate Professor of the department of History of Russia;
ORCID: 0000-0001-7180-0927;
Email: aleksandr-feofanov@yandex.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


The article is written in 2017 within the framework of the project "Education as a social Elevator in Russia XVIII century: intergenerational social mobility of students of the Academy of Sciences" supported by RFBR Foundation