BRATOLYUBOVA M.V. Social and Political Activization of the Don Nobility in the Early 20th Century and “Noble Liberalism”


Bratolyubova Mariya Viktorovna

Сandidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Russian History,

Southern Federal University

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B. Sadovaya St., 33, 344082 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

Abstract. Peculiarity of the social, economic and legal status of the Don nobility influenced its political alertness and the opposition character of activity. The liberal wing supported the creation of a new world outlook system which was expected to provide the basis for transforming the political system by means of gradual transition to people’s representatives or constitutional form of government. The liberal landowners insisted on the introduction of zemstvo (district council), the solution of the Cossack issue; they strived for liberalization of the military and bureaucratic control of the Cossack troops and demanded the withdrawal of civil government agencies from the competence of the Military department. The liberal nobility actively supported the change of conditions of service for the Cossacks and pressed for easier draft obligation and releasing the Cossack troops from police duties which clashed with the military dignity.

The conservative type of liberalism prevailed within the noble class of the DHR that distanced itself from both the left and the right political forces. The liberalism of the Don nobles was also a reflection of social and cultural peculiarities of the Cossacks. The social basis of the Don liberalism differed from the common Russian analogs. As the Cossack class was rather numerous at the Don, and its representatives made up quite an important part of the regional liberal corporation, they influenced its tactics and the political programming considerably.

Key words: Don nobles, liberalism, Cossack specificity, Don Cossacks region, political life.

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