State principle is the leading principle of writing and explaining Russian history in nineteenth-century and, with some modifications, twentieth-century national historiography.
Professor Johann Philipp Georg Ewers (1781–1830) was the first to apply to the study of ancient Russian law the Hegelian theory of peoples' evolution from family or kin phase to that of a state. This idea was adopted and further elaborated by the founders of the so-called state (or juridical) school in Russian historiography, Konstantin Kavelin (1818–1885) and Sergei Soloviev (1820–1879). According to Soloviev, the transition from kin relations as the dominant system to the strong state organization in Russia took about four hundred years, from the end of the twelfth century till the reign of Ivan IV. Only after that, having endured severe experience in the Time of Troubles, the young Russian state found its place among other European powers. Thus the whole course of Russian history was presented as a progressive and logically necessary movement toward the modern centralized and autocratic state.
Though Soviet scholars, unlike Soloviev, considered Kievan Rus to be a feudal state, and thus found state organization even in the ninth century, they remained loyal to the state principle in their own way. Thus, disunity of the Rus lands in the twelfth through fourteenth centuries was regarded as a negative phenomenon, and historians explicitly sympathized with the process of gathering Rus' by Muscovite princes, dating the beginning of this process as early as possible, in the early fourteenth century (e.g., Cherepnin, 1960). Since the 1950s, well into the 1980s, it was much debated who had been allies and enemies of Muscovite centralization, but "centralization" itself was still perceived as an absolute good.
In spite of its teleological and nationalistic implications, the state principle can be detected in post-Soviet Russian historiography as well.
See also: historiography; kievan rus; muscovy; solovrev, vladimir sergeyevich; time of troubles
Mikhail M. Krom
"State Principle." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/state-principle
"State Principle." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/state-principle
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.