As a true daughter of the great Russian reformer, Elizabeth (1741-61) relegated the German element to a subordinate position in the administration and gave her confidence to genuine Russians like Bestuzhev, Vorontsov, Razumovski (her morganatic husband) and the Shuvalovs.
Bestuzhev-Riumin, Russkaya istoriya (2 vols., St Petersburg, 1872), especially for internal history and social life; A.
Politically he was a pupil of Alexis Bestuzhev; consequently, when in the middle 'fifties Russia suddenly turned Francophil instead of Francophobe, Panin's position became extremely difficult.
To get rid of Bestuzhev, which made the Russian court during the earlier years of Elizabeth's reign the centre of a tangle of intrigue impossible to unravel by those who do not possess the clue to it (see Bestuzhev-Ryumin, ALExiUS).
By sheer tenacity of purpose, Bestuzhev had extricated his country from the Swedish imbroglio; reconciled his imperial mistress with the courts of Vienna and London, her natural allies; enabled Russia to assert herself effectually in Poland, Turkey and Sweden, and isolated the restless king of Prussia by environing him with hostile alliances.
Neither the serious illness of the empress, which began with a fainting-fit at Tsarskoe Selo (September 19, 1757), nor the fall of Bestuzhev (February 21, 1758), nor the cabals and intrigues of the various foreign powers at St Petersburg,.
Returning to Mittau, he succeeded in gaining a footing at court there through one of his sisters, who was the fancy of the ruling minister, Peter Bestuzhev, whose established mistress was no less a person than the young duchess Anne Ivanovna.
During his patron's absence, Biren, a handsome, insinuating fellow, succeeded in supplanting him in the favour of Anne, and procuring the disgrace and banishment of Bestuzhev and his family.
Alexius Petrovich, Count Bestuzhev-Ryumin >>
ALEXIUS PETROVICH BESTUZHEV-RYUMIN, Count (1693-1768), grand chancellor of Russia, the second son of Count Peter Bestuzhev, the early favourite of the empress Anne, was born at Moscow on the 1st of June 1693.
Bestuzhev then returned to England, where he remained four years.
On the occasion of the peace of Nystad, which terminated the 21 years' war between Russia and Sweden, Bestuzhev designed and struck a commemorative medal with a panegyrical Latin inscription, which so delighted Peter (then at Derbent) that he sent a letter of thanks written with his own hand and his portrait set in brilliants.
Bestuzhev rightly recognized that, at this time, France was the natural enemy of Russia.
It was, therefore, the policy of Bestuzhev to bring about a quadruple alliance between Russia, Austria, Great Britain and Saxony, to counterpoise the Franco-Prussian league.
Nevertheless, step by step, Bestuzhev, aided by his elder brother Mikhail, carried out his policy.
Bestuzhev had previously rejected with scorn the proposals of the French government to mediate between Russia and Sweden on the basis of a territorial surrender on the part of the former; and he conducted the war so vigorously that by the end of 1742 Sweden lay at the mercy of the empress.
Bestuzhev prevent the signing of a Russo-Prussian defensive alliance (March 1 743); but he deprived it of all political significance by excluding from it the proposed guarantee of Frederick's Silesian conquests.
Frederick II., conscious of the instability of his French ally, was now eager to contract an offensive alliance with Russia; and the first step to its realization was the overthrow of Bestuzhev, "upon whom," he wrote to his minister Axel von Mardefeld, "the fate of Prussia and my own house depends."
But Bestuzhev succeeded, at last, in convincing the empress that Chetardie was an impudent intriguer, and on the 6th of June 174.4, that diplomatist was ordered to quit Russia within twenty-four hours.
Five weeks later Bestuzhev was made grand chancellor (July 15th).
Before the end of the year Elizabeth of Holstein was also expelled from Russia, and Bestuzhev was supreme.
At the same time Bestuzhev resisted any rapprochement with France, and severely rebuked the court of Saxony for its intrigues with that of Versailles.
When, on the 16th of January 1756, the Anglo-Prussian, and on the 2nd of May the Franco-Austrian alliances were concluded, Vorontsov advocated the accession of Russia to the latter league, whereas Bestuzhev insisted on a subsidy treaty with Great Britain.
To prevent undergound intrigues, Bestuzhev now proposed the erection of a council of ministers, to settle all important affairs, and at its first session (14th-30th of March) an alliance with Austria, France and Poland against Frederick II.
Was proposed, though Bestuzhev opposed any composition with France.
He endeavoured to support his failing credit by a secret alliance with the grand-duchess Catherine, whom he proposed to raise to the throne instead of her Holstein husband, Peter, from whom Bestuzhev expected nothing good either for himself or for Russia.
Mikhail Petrovich, Count Bestuzhev - Ryumin >>
The choice of her daughter as wife of the future tsar was the result of not a little diplomatic management in which Frederick the Great took an active part, the object being to strengthen the friendship between Prussia and Russia, to weaken the influence of Austria and to ruin the chancellor Bestuzhev, on whom Elizabeth relied, and who was a known partisan of the Austrian alliance.
Besides the well-known works of Castren, which are a very rich source of information on the subject, Schiefner (St Petersburg academy of science), Donner, Ahlqvist and other explorers of the Ural-Altaians, as also those of the Russian historians Soloviev, Kostomarov, Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Schapov, and Ilovaiskiy, the following containing valuable information may be mentioned: the publications of the Russian Geographical Society and its branches; the Russian Etnographicheskiy Sbornik; the Izvestia of the Moscow society of the amateurs of natural science; the works of the Russian ethnographical congresses; Kostrov's researches on the Siberian Tatars in the memoirs of the Siberian branch of the geographical society; Radlov's Reise durch den Altai, Aus Sibirien; " Picturesque Russia" (Zhivopisnaya Rossiya); Semenov's and Potanin's "Supplements" to Ritter's Asien: Harkavi's report to the congress at Kazan; Hartakhai's "Hist.