Why the French financed the rebellion of Yemelyan Pugachev

History 22/01/20 Why the French financed the uprising of Yemelyan Pugachev

Soviet historiography interpreted the uprising led by Yemelyan Pugachev as a peasant war and fit it into the logic of the class struggle. Then look at the events became more voluminous and ambiguous, and in recent times be willing at all to explain the uprising to the machinations of the unfriendly Russian security services.

Involved people

One of the main arguments — Pugachev himself as Peter III and his someone told. Emelyan was not a dark, brooding man. A professional soldier, he was in the army in the status of a Junior officer. Yes, and in the memories he left as a smart, unconventional thinker. And to understand that for an obscure Cossack, in contrast, had miraculously escaped the Emperor, no one will go – many do not mind. Challenging the reign of Catherine II, it was necessary to oppose it with an appropriate level and the bid for legitimacy.

Note that the Empress called Pugachev “Marquis” and this, they say, is no accident. The title of nobility, and even the French… something fishy here! Just Catherine the great was an intellectual, sharp-tongued – hence the sarcastic nickname.

For the RAID, the rebellion of Pugachev were too massive, it involved tens of thousands of people and the vast territory of the Volga region and the Urals. On the side of was made by the Cossacks, peasants, petty nobles, artisans, Bashkirs and Tatars. Pugachev’s army fought hard, remained undaunted —hirelings so not fighting them more expensive, because dying will not be able to use the received from the customer money. The rebellion raged for two years 1773 – 1775 and was suppressed only after sending a special enhanced against the rebels contingent.

the Execution of Pugachev in Moscow conspiracy theorists see as proof of the importance of the Pugachev person. Here they are hardly mistaken. The execution of the rebel, which MEAlo half of Russia, somewhere on the outskirts of the Empire would not give the desired effect. Irregular hours, there would be “miraculously escaped Pugachev” and all would have gone in a new cycle. Public execution in the capital was removed these risks, but the execution does not indicate the presence of a foreign conspiracy.

Who’s hand?

however, the detected traces of participation in the uprising of the French and Turkish intelligence services. And it’s not being in the ranks of the rebels a few foreigners – you never know what wind is there different kinds of scams brought?

In the first place – money. Alexander Pushkin in his study of Pugachev’s rebellion wrote about 17 barrels of copper money with the profile “Peter III” and the inscription in Latin. It is unlikely the rebels themselves could mint such coins.

Indeed, a very active part in the support of the pugachevshchina was hosted by France, as evidenced by the secret correspondence of the French Ambassador in St. Petersburg Durand de Distrofia with the French Royal court. Documents are stored in the Archive of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of France in Paris. France saw Russia and personally to Catherine II as the enemy and was glad to annoy geopolitical, as we would say today, to the opponent.

the French fought on the side of the Polish confederates, participated in the war on the side of the Turks. The Versailles was in no hurry to help, carefully watching developments. And when the uprising gained momentum, it was decided to Pugachev to support. In particular, in March 1774 Prince Golitsyn sent count Panin report on the contents of the letter of the Comte de Saint-Prix to the Prince de Rohan’, which provided evidence that French officers in the Turkish army are willing to provide limited military support to “Peter III”. Not without the funding of the rebels by the French side at least, we are talking about 50 thousand francs. The French newspaper called Pugachev only as “Peter III”.

His interest was the Turkey. Troops associated operations against Pugacheva, could not be deployed on the Russian-Turkish front. In addition, STOeh a large-scale revolt in the rear of the undermined resources of the Russian Empire as a whole. Some historians believe that because of the uprising, Russia has concluded a hasty peace with Turkey in 1774.

However, if desired, can be found in Pugachev and Polish, and Crimean Tatar trail. Has not done without participation of Russian old believers. In the army of Pugachev were a lot of them.

it would be Strange if all stakeholders are not used to their advantage in such a large event. But the search for the causes of the Pugachev rebellion is in the actions of Catherine the great and difficult position of various segments of the population, then Russia.

Konstantin Baranovsky

© Russian Seven

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