Ivan Boltin

Picture of Ivan Boltin

Citizenship: Russia


At 16 Boltin was enlisted as a private in the Horse Guards Regiment; in 1768 he retired with the rank of Major General and was soon determined by the Director of Customs in Vasilkov; 10 years later, through the influence of Potemkin, he was transferred to St. Petersburg, to the main customs office, but for its closure in 1780, was appointed to the military college, first by the prosecutor, and then (in 1788) - a member of the board; Boltin traveled extensively in Russia and by direct observation is well acquainted with the various parties to the national life. At the same time, "through many summers in the country`s history practicing," he gathered a vast store of information about the Russian past the chronicles, letters and published writings of the time (for example, "Stories" Tatishcheva); there is news that he left behind a hundred bundles of different papers and manuscripts that were Solomon`s seal Catherine II. The results of his study Boltin tried first state in the form of historical-geographical dictionary that, in carrying out the plan, broken into two distinct: the actual historical-geographical dictionary and explanatory Slavic-Russian. Both were, however, not complete: the first focused on the letter C (sm. Schekatova, "Geographical Dictionary"), and the second - on the letter A. The work of compiling a dictionary Boltina served to further prepare for the role of the Russian historian. He owns two major historical works: "Notes on the history of ancient and present-day Russia Leclerc" (2 volumes, 1788) and "Critical Notes on the History of Prince Shcherbatova" (2 volumes, 1793 - 1794). Both works were, as can be seen from the titles, critical tasks; but the author in most large scale use of them gained their store of knowledge and observation, so that their positive historical affected his views in sufficient detail. At the very Boltina whole world. According to theoretical views, he is close to the representatives of the then mechanical direction of historical thought, which is adjacent to its source to Boden. And Boltina pattern of historical events is the central idea that guided historical research. The historian has, in his opinion, to express "the circumstances necessary for the explanation of the historical ties and consequential byty"; Details are permitted only on the condition that they serve to clarify the sequence of events; otherwise it will be "empty talk." The main type of "byty sequence" Boltin considers the causal link, as it manifests itself in the fact that the impact of the physical environment on human. "The main influence in human morals, in the heart and soul of quality, has a climate"; directly "produce different states of the climate changes in the human body, ... Inasmuch as the body and soul are closely involve ... the same actions and produce on the body." Next to the climate as the main factor Boltin recognizes the importance of other minor, what, for example, "treatment with foreign nations, outlandish EU ETS and spicy roots, lifestyles, customs, changed his clothes, education" and so on. These factors contribute to the influence of the main or impede it, and sometimes, when the latter is constant, and can themselves determine the "morals" of people; for example, "they are the reason that our current mores with morals of our fathers nikakova similarities do not have." Thus, climate and "adverse circumstances" as a valid reason to oppose an object of influence "manners." Morals or national character are to Boltina foundation on which to build a state order: the observed changes in the history of "in-laws" occur "as infidelity in manners." And it follows from this and the practical conclusion: "It is easier to figure out the laws of customs, mores than the laws; the last to do without violence is not possible." These theoretical views Boltin applies to the explanation of the Russian historical process. Russia "nothing like" to other European countries, because it is too different "physical location" and there was a very different course of its history. Russian Boltin story begins with the "coming of Rurik," which "has filed a case in the mixing of" Rus and the Slavs. Because the coming of Rurik Boltino and it seems the "age of conception of the Russian people", that these tribes, differing in the earlier their properties, formed by a mixture of new people, which is then "morals and property received in accordance climate, governance and education, with which lived under." Already at the first Russian princes were "rule on indigenous laws and regulations approved by the indispensable", with which we are familiar in part under contracts with the Greeks. At the heart of the ancient laws are identical with the "Russian truth", which were made only minor changes, "according to the difference of times and accidents." But the "great change" occurred "in the laws and usages" with fragmentation of Russia into fiefdoms, when the "needs and circumstances of each steel to be special." Under pressure from the last published an inheritance local laws that made their differences "still vyaschshuyu cancellation in morals." The difference in customs, created a specific fragmentation, retains its value and which began later the process of political unification of Russia, appearing an obstacle to the establishment of a unified state system under Ivan III and Vasily III: "It was impossible to reconcile the laws, not Soglo before morals, views and uses." Only during the reign of Ivan IV, the time has come for this, and with the publication of "Sudebnik" was restored in force the general law in force before, TE "Russian Truth", a simple modification which Boltin said "King`s of Law." In the subsequent time "morals" were exposed by the legislation, such as the publication of "The Code", and by education. Boltin, in general, does not approve of the way the first exposure; but the great results he expects from the second, especially from the educational activities of Catherine. In his "Notes" Boltin makes a number of interesting ideas and social history of Russia, for example, on the history of the peasantry and the nobility, on the vassals; but this aspect remained outside the main historical scheme. Integrity and consistency of views on Russian history Boltin far superior and contemporary, and many followed the historians it. According to numerous links in the "Notes" it shows that the Boltin was well acquainted with the western education (such as Voltaire, Montesquieu, Mercier, Rousseau, Bailey and others), but it has not lost the sense of living connection of the present with the native antiquities and not going to extremes, he was able to appreciate the significance of national identity. According to him, Russia has developed its own customs, and they should be protected - otherwise we risk becoming "different from itself"; but it was a poor education - and Boltin not opposed to Russian borrowed "knowledge and art" western neighbors. In this mood Boltin was hurt hurt Leclerc, who in his "Histoire physique, morale, civil et politique de la Russie ancienne et moderne", expressed a lot of negative, sometimes derogatory judgments about Russian life; hence the decision to locate errors Boltina French historian, voluntary and involuntary. But he could not resist to the point of view of an objective critical analysis of the works: under the influence of patriotic feelings he tries sometimes to weaken the impression of the dark sides of old Russian life, Noting the relevant shortcomings in the history of Western mores, sometimes even skrashivaya really at the expense of impartiality [eg, in agreement with the author Antidote (Catherine), arguing that the Russian peasants live better than in any other country]. This feature tells the historical worldview Boltina subjective moral connotation. Such a system of thoughts and feelings brought together Boltina with Catherine II, nationalist views which took direction from the time of the French Revolution. This explains why the "Notes" on the history and Leclerc were not conceived without the participation of the Empress, which operated through the Potemkin, and were published in its funds.