On the fall of Biren (November 8th), the regency passed to the baby tsar's mother, though the government was in the hands of the capable vice-chancellor, Andrei Osterman.
The successful rivalry of his supplanter, Andrei Osterman, prevented Shafirov from holding any high office during the last fourteen years of his life.
Brand-new institutions on Western models were gradually growing up among the cumbrous, antiquated, wornout machinery of old Muscovy; and new men, like Menshikov, Goloykin, Apraksin, Osterman, Kurakin, Tolstoy, Shafirov, Prokopovich, Yaguszhinsky, Yavorsky, all capable, audacious, and brimful of new ideas, were being trained under the eye of the great regenerator to help him to carry on his herculean task.
In 1738 he was introduced into the Russian cabinet by Biren as a counterpoise against Andrei Osterman.
The majority of the nation and three-quarters of the nobility were on his side, while his uncle, the emperor Charles VI., through the imperial ambassador at St Petersburg, Rabutin, persistently urged his claims. The matter was arranged between Menshikov, Osterman and Rabutin; and on the 18th of May 1727 Peter II., according to the terms of the supposed last will of Catherine I., was proclaimed sovereign autocrat.
The education of the young prince was wisely entrusted to the vice-chancellor Osterman.
ANDREI IVANOVICH, COUNT OSTERMAN (1686-1747), Russian statesman, was born at Bochum in Westphalia, of middle-class parents, his name being originally Heinrich Johann Friedrich Ostermann.
Osterman, together with General Bruce, represented Russia at the Aland peace congress of 1718.
In 1721 Osterman concluded the peace of Nystad with Sweden, and was created a baron for his services.
(1725-1727) Osterman's authority still further increased.
Osterman was appointed governor to the young emperor, and on his death (1730) he refused to participate in the attempt of Demetrius Golitsuin and the Dolgorukis to convert Russia into a limited constitutional monarchy.
During the brief regency of Anna Leopoldovna (October 1740-December 1741) Osterman stood at the height of his power, and the French ambassador, La Chetardie, reported to his court that "it is not too much to say that he is tsar of all Russia."
Osterman's foreign policy was based upon the Austrian alliance.
The dispositions previously made by Osterman enabled him, however, to counter the blow, and all danger from Sweden was over when, early in September, Field-Marshal Lacy routed the Swedish general Wrangel under the walls of the frontier-fortress of Villmanstrand, which was carried by assault.
It now became evident to La Chetardie that only a revolution would overthrow Osterman, and this he proposed to promote by elevating to the throne the tsesarevna Elizabeth, who hated the vice-chancellor because, though he owed everything to her father, he had systematically neglected her.
Osterman was therefore the first and the most illustrious victim of the coup d'etat of the 6th of December 1741.
Osterman and the proposed Partition of Turkey (Rus.) (Odessa, 1889); Hon.
Still more energetic on the other side, the Russian minister, Ivan Osterman, became the treasurer as well as the counsellor of the Caps, and scattered the largesse of the Russian empress with a lavish hand; and so lost to all feeling of patriotism were the Caps that they openly threatened all who ventured to vote against them with the Muscovite vengeance, and fixed Norrkoping, instead of Stockholm, as the place of meeting for the Riksdag as being more accessible to the Russian fleet.
From this time he was inseparably associated with Catharine in all important diplomatic affairs, though officially he was the subordinate of the vice-chancellor, Count Alexander Osterman.
On the retirement of Osterman he received the highest dignity in the Russian empire - that of imperial chancellor.
Fortunately, Biren was, sufficiently prudent not to meddle with foreign affairs or with the army, and these departments in the able hands of two other foreigners, who thoroughly identified themselves with Russia, Andrei Osterman and Burkhardt Miinnich (q.v.) did great things in the reign of Anne.
His own research was aided by France Scully Osterman and Mark Osterman, respected historians and modern masters of the wet-plate collodion process.
(principally directed by the astute Andrei Osterman), if purely pacific and extremely cautious, it was, nevertheless, dignified, consistent and independent.
Osterman" (Rus.) in Syevernoye Siyanie, vol.
Nevertheless, at this the eleventh hour of ter opportunities, Sweden might still have saved something from the wreck of her empire if Charles had behaved like a reasonable being (see CHARLES Peter The Great; Gortz, Georg Heinricii Von; Osterman, Andrei); but he would only consent to play off Russia against England, and his sudden death before Fredrikshald (Dec. i 1, 1718) left Sweden practically at the end of her resources and at the mercy of her enemies.
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