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The role of women in Russian history.
Wives of service-noblemen enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy in the 16th century, on whom  the
care of the farm and house fell during her husband spent a long time for "state service". However the
status of peasant women, urban dwellers and poor noblewomen was also unenviable in 17th century,
although they were not languishing in the locked towers. Despotic power of the father or husband did
sometimes their lives a living hell, from which one can escape, only if to take monastic vows. In the
monastery they faced the same class inequality, the same injustice that surrounded the women in
their life outside the monastery.
Even the era of Peter's reforms, the age of breakdown of old, has little changed the situation of
women from the people. The marriage transactions realized by parents who paid a little attention to
the fact that the bride walked down the aisle "whether on violence, or captivity". The word of parents
in these cases was the law, and the church stood guarding the morality of marriage and family life.
The moral influence of Orthodoxy was not the same in all the estates. The gradual assimilation of
universal norms of life in the society, mercy, compassion, led to increase of spirituality in women, to
the development of the special features of the female character. Is it a coincidence that the sacrificial
fate of Natalia Dolgorukaya, which was the forerunner of Decembrists' self-denial, has delighted her
contemporaries and remained in the memory of posterity?
At the same time the 18th century in Russia
gave to a history a galaxy of prominent activist
of the nobility, which were featured with a
desire to be personally involved in the
intricacies of political life. After Peter's decree
of 1714 on primogeniture, and particularly after
a special order in 1715, Russian noblewomen
again had the opportunity to be economically
self-sufficient. Family and property relations of
pre-Petrine times already could not be restored
in full. The woman on the throne in the 17th
century seemed unthinkable phenomenon yet.
Even in a short period of her power, a
half-sister of Peter the Princess Sophia ran a
State on behalf of the brothers, not possessing
full rights. Her predecessors in the 15th - 16ths
centuries also were regents. Princess Olga,
Elena Glinsky. In the 18th century, the
situation is drastically changed: Catherine, wife
of Peter I, ascended to the throne, she was
followed by Anna Ivanovna, Elizabeth and
finally, the "queen mother" Catherine II.
The reforms of the beginning of 18th century
made a considerable influence on the change
of women's rights in the field of education.
Peter I knew that the case of involving Russia
in terms of European culture will move forward
much faster if he can attach women to the
innovations. Contemporaries of Peter pointed
out that the king had thought about sending
abroad noble maidens for their education.
Associate of Peter I Saltykov made proposal to
expand the system of secular education of
women by establishing a special provincial
schools. Of course, they could teach only the
girls from noble families, but it was a step
forward. By the middle of the 18th century in
every noble house, distinguished by income,
you could meet tutors: they were hired to teach
the daughters, which thus obtained the
knowledge of good manners and foreign
Undivided rule of the church and its influence
on public opinion, attitudes towards women in
society, had weakened. In Catherine's era
(second half of 18th century) enlightened minds
of Russia have not read the "Lives of the
Saints",  but the memoirs, reminiscences,
diaries. Among them there were many
women's ones. Well-known activist of the 18th
century, including the Empress Catherine II
took up a pen to justify and glorify their lives.
The facts of their biographies have only partially
open the way of life of the Russian family in the
18th century. Nevertheless, the way of these
women is a sort of example of the changes,
which become possible due to familiarizing the
women to education and the secular life.
The role of Russian rulers in the political arena
is significant. For example, Elizabeth came to
Russian history, canceling the death penalty
earlier than it was done in Europe. Catherine II
was a role model of a statesman - clever and
successful, who managed, despite the strong
social upheavals (the revolt led by E. I.
Pugachev), to not lose a single war and greatly
expand the territory of the state. In this case, it
was during the reign of Catherine II in Russia
came the first educational institution for women
- Educational Society of Noble Ladies at the
Smolny Convent (1764). Began to issue the
first women's magazines, were published the
first literature opuses of the fair sex.
"Queen mother" Catherine II
Anna Ivanovna
Elena Glinsky
Traditional historiography has always tried to downplay the significance of "women's government " in
Russia, claiming that all the successes and achievements the role of the rulers itself was negligible,
formally, that everything depended on their environment, on the educated and energetic public
figures, men who allegedly were true, but not ostentatious arbiters of the fate of millions of Russians.
The comparison of "women's history" of 18th century with earlier periods, especially premoscowit of
10th - 15th centuries, can overcome the stereotype. Despite the dissimilarity of images of powdered
secular woman of fashion of postpetrine age and a staid Russian princess in gold-embroidered velvet
annuals, the history of Russian women was developing as evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The
socio-political activity of representatives of the privileged class of Russian society in the 18th
century, when compared with the previous eight centuries, presents a continuation of tradition, but
not something new, "opened" only by Peter I, who almost did export the Emancipation from
enlightened Europe.
Famous Russian women of 10th - 17th centuries and those who ruled Russia after the death of
Peter, share many common features. This is the active energy and the ambition, not only desire, but
also the ability to make independent decisions, it is often inherent in the woman-ruler - a political
flexibility, willingness to seek and find compromises. We may assume that the fate of Russian
empresses are exceptional, but are the biographies of many remarkable women not admirable, isn't
it important to compare their exclusivity with the "general rule"?
For the Russian women it is joyful and pleasant day: two in one like Mother's day and
Valentine's altogether. On this day, even the traffic police officers do not impose a fine to
women drivers using only oral remarks. Very often, particularly in recent times, a woman
at the wheel may receive flowers instead recovery from the policeman! 
read more>>>    
On December 14, 1825 in St. Petersburg on the Senate Square there was the first in the
history of Russia organized action of gentry revolutionaries against the tsarist autocracy
and tyranny. These were the senior officers of the tsarist army. The revolt was suppressed.
Five of its organizers were hanged, others were sent to hard labor in Siberia, demoted to
the ranks... Eleven wives of the Decembrists prisoners shared their Siberian exile of theirs
own free will.
read more>>>   
...Short name, in turn, has many different forms and varies in spelling and  pronunciation,
which leads foreigners to some confusion. In Russian language using a particular form of
the first name you can express your attitude to person.
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