Евреи Петербурга. Три века истории


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Alexander II began his reign with far-reaching reforms of the social and government system. Having put an end to the hopeless Crimean war, the new Emperor started liberal reforms. He dismissed the most odious ministers and mitigated censorship. In 1857 the government began preparations for the emancipation of the serfs. On February 19, 1861, serfdom was abolished. This was followed by the Judicial, Local Administration, Municipal and Military reforms. The government gave up its monopoly on excise taxes for wine production; tortures and corporal punishments were outlawed. The censorship reform gave greater opportunities for publishing books, journals and newspapers. While reforms were still under preparation public discussion of such matters was permitted. It was in these years that the Russian word "glasnost'" (open discussion) was coined.Emperor Alexander II
In 1855 the Russian revolutionary emigrant Alexander Herzen began to publish in London the uncensored almanac "Polyarnaya Zvezda" ("Polar Star"). From 1857 to 1867 together with Nikolay Ogaryov he published the first Russian revolutionary newspaper, "Kolokol", which for some time united all revolutionary and liberal circles. It had a great influence on society, including some government circles. In Russia itself, the center of revolutionary propaganda was the magazine "Sovremennik", edited by Nekrasov and Chernyshevsky. In the early 1860s Chernyshevsky, with a group of young supporters, created the underground revolutionary organization "Land and Will".The magazine "Kolokol" ("The Bell"). 1857-1858 set
In 1863, an insurrection against Russian rule broke out in Poland. Guerrilla warfare continued until 1864. Herzen's "Kolokol" resolutely sided with the insurgents. Some Russian revolutionaries even fought in the Polish units. These events finally split the liberal camp. After the 1866 attempt on Alexander II's life government policies became increasingly reactionary. By the late 1860s hardliners largely prevailed over liberal ministers in the government. However, the Emperor had not yet completely given up the policy of liberal reforms.A portrait of Herzen by his daughter Natalia. 1867
The 1860s saw a rapid development of railroads and industry. New joint stock and private banks were set up throughout the country. The first private bankers in Russia were Poles, then Jews and Russians (most often, they were former tax-farmers). The growth of industry and trade was also very significant. The publishing business, especially publication of newspapers and magazines, became profitable. The new economic order engendered new figures - Jewish bankers, railroad magnates, lawyers, publishers and journalists. In the public mind Jews were often linked with big capital, business, and trade.At the Exchange. Engraving on wood
In the 1860s anti-semitism as an ideology was adopted for the first time by certain tendencies in Russian social thought. Ivan Aksakov, the editor of the newspaper "Den'", was the first writer to provide a theoretical justification of economic, not religious, anti-semitism. The Jew entered Russian literature as a frequent negative character in "anti-nihilist" novels. At the same time, the Jewish question was not of significant importance for the Russian revolutionary and liberal press... In 1858, anonymous anti-semitic articles in the magazine "Illustratsiya" provoked public protest not only from Turgenev and Chernyshevsky but also from the brothers Aksakov, Dostoyevsky

Emperor Alexander II
The magazine "Kolokol" ("The Bell"). 1857-1858 set
At the Exchange. Engraving on wood
A portrait of Herzen by his daughter Natalia. 1867

Emperor Alexander II