The reforms of Alexey Romanov

Автор: Maks Дек 1, 2020

Alexey, son of Russia’s first Romanov czar . Michael, was reputed to have been a calm man, given to concentrating on matters that troubled him until a solution could be found and not one to waste time on trivialities, in contradistinction to his son, who was to become Emperor Peter the Great. Admittedly, Czar Alexey was not always inclined to show judiciousness, as his ill-conceived attempts at monetary reform bore witness. Nevertheless, he is historically regarded as a wise ruler who on the whole made beneficial contributions to a Russia barely emerging from the Middle Ages.

The first of his major reforms was the drafting of his Code of Laws in 1649. Historians note that when Russia’s complete many-volume edition of all the laws of the empire was published in 1830, Czar Alexey’s Code remained enforceable law.

The Code was drawn up on orders from the youthful czar, but it remains unclear how much of the actual document he personally composed. Historically it is a matter of record that in his mature years, Alexey held the reigns of his country’s numerous bureaucratic divisions in a firm grasp. He founded the Chancellory of Official Secrecy as an adjunct to the state’s ministries to keep personally informed on the conduct of the official personages he had himself appointed.

If a mysterious visitor, a kind of silent observer with authorization bearing the czar’s seal, entered the administrative suites of a magistrate, a militaiy commander, or even a provincial official far removed from Moscow, there was no misinterpreting the purpose. Such a visit was clear indication that Czar Alexey had decided to take personal control.

He issued a tax charter imposing a 19% tax on sales operations by foreign merchants, whereas Russian itttrepreneurs were charged only 5%. He established one of the world’s first postal services and, though it is a little known fact, initiated the building of Russia’s first sailing ships on the River Don. As a sign of his indefatigable will to master many fields, he was Russia’s first ruler to draught documents in his own hand, originals of which are still extant.

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