Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich, namestnik of the Kingdom of Poland in 1832-1856

Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich

Iwan Fiedorowicz Paskiewicz etched in the history of Polish-Russian relations as a held marshal, who suppressed the November Uprising in 1832, and as a result of it received the title of Duke of Warsaw. Iwan Paskiewicz after the uprising could also assume the position of Viceroy of the Kingdom of Poland, which he held in the years 1832-1856. He was also one of the most trusted and respected people by Tsar Mikolaj I. Russian emperor called him father-commander and he behaved to him as a soldier. At the same time Iwan Paskiewicz, who was commander of the I. Army, turned over the honors as one of the most influential commanders of the army of the Russian Empire [1, p. 321].

Iwan Paskiewicz was born in 1782 in Poltawa as a child of the landlords. Iwan Paskiewicz educated in the Corps of Cadets in Szklow, and then joined the Corps of Officers in Sankt Petersburg. His military career began during the reign of emperor Pawel I. During the period of 1805-1815 Iwan Paskiewicz took part in all the wars of the Russian Empire against France. In 1812, in Vilnius he took command of the seventh corps, which led by crossing the river Niemen, and came to Plock. In the years 1806-1810 he fought in the war against Turkey. Then Iwan Paskiewicz took part in a six- month siege of Modlin. In October 1813, he took a part in the Battle of Lipsk. In the next stage of life Iwan Paskiewicz was accompanied by the Grand Duke Michal, who traveled in Russia and abroad — to Prussia, Eng­land and Italy. In 1823, after returning from this trip he was appointed adjutant-general of Alek- sander I. Three years later, Iwan Paskiewicz com­manded an army in a military campaign against Persia. In 1826, the Russian commander defeated the Persians at the Battle of Jelizawetpol (today Ganja — a city in Azerbaijan) [2, p. 305]. In 1827, Iwan Paskiewicz, as a main commander in the war against Persia defeated Prince Abass-Mirza, who defended the fortress in Erewan (Yerevan). After the signing of the treaty in 1828 in Turkmenczaj (Turkmenchay), Tsar Mikolaj I gave him the title of Count. In 1829, after the Russo-Turkish war campaign Iwan Paskiewicz was appointed to field marshal, and after the capture of Erzerum he re­ceived the military order of St. George [3, p. 433]. After the November Uprising in Poland in 1832, field marshal Iwan Paskiewicz, who remainded on familiar terms with the Tsar Mikolaj I, was accom­panied by a Russian Emperor for the trip to Berlin in 1834. In 1835, he took part in the Russo-Prus- sian maneuvers near Kalisz. In 1849 Iwan Paskie­wicz became the head of the Russian army, which was sent to assist the Austrians, who fought with the insurgents in Elungary. Iwan Paskiewicz took also part in the Crimean War. In 1854 he fought for Isalccza, Hirsova (today — the cities in Romania) and Silistra (today — city in Bulgaria). In the last years of his life, Iwan Paskiewicz settled in Warsaw. Field marshal Paskevich died in Warsaw in 1856, and he was buried in Iwanogrod (today the city is known in Poland as Dublin). The property of Iwan­ogrod was given to him in 1840 by Tsar Mikolaj I [4, p. 496].

Nomination for the post of Viceroy of Polish Kingdom Iwan Paskiewicz received on March 3 1832. Before that, tsar of the Russian Empire saw after the outbreak of the Russo-Polish war that gen­eral Iwan Dybicz did not meet his expectations [5, p. 1]. On April 5, 1831 on the order of Mikolaj I was sent by Count Aleksander Czernyszew letter to Iwan Paskiewicz. The author of this letter called Iwan Paskiewicz to leave Tbilisi and arrival to Sankt Petersburg. The content of the correspondence was as follows: «The Emperor wishes to the current po­litical and military circumstances, that Sir should be at the Ruler. The Elighest ordered to inform your Majesty, and ordered to humbly ask you for com­ing — in the supreme will as soon as possible — to S. Petersburg». The writer also added: “Command of the forces and the country, that are subject to Sir, [the Majesty] deign to keep and organize, as as­sumed in the Your absence in S. Petersburg in the past year […] and the army in Georgia should be returned under the command of the chief of head­quarters — general-lieutenant Pankratiev, urban part base on the principles of what you desire”.

In the capital city of the Russian Empire com­mander arrived on May 12, 1831. This letter was announced by Iwan Paskiewicz take command of the Russian troops. The case becomed more urgent, since the end of May 1831. In that time in Kleczew near Pultusk died of cholera general Iwan Dybicz and temporarily Russian army was commanded by count Aleksander Toll. On 4 June 1831 field mar­shal IwanPaskiewicz was appointed commander of the Russian army, which operated in the Kingdom of Poland. Since then, the Russian commander began to effectively fulfill the expectations of Tsar Mikolaj I, who after the beginning of the military conflict, stressed that Poland was constant and im­placable enemy of Russia. In his opinion, the Polish anti-Russian activities began in 1812, when more than other nations Poles turned out to be “ruthless” and at the same time aroused “hatred and revenge”. Mikolaj I also thought that Aleksander I, who conquered Poland, worked towards safeguarding the interests of the Empire in this part of Europe. Mikolaj I also said that Poles did not respect the concept of the development of statehood “in con­nection” with the Russian Empire, which cared for Poland. In his opinion they also did not appreciate the fact that Aleksander I recreated the Kingdom of Poland as a component part of the Empire and gave the Constitution in 1815, that established a special administration for these lands.Under the influence of the military events in the Kingdom of Poland the Emperor pondered on the fate of Polish lands in the past few decades. Mikolaj I, in an interview with the French ambassador Baron de Burgoen, which took place in 1831 in St. Petersburg, said: “Yes, I know, Europe is unjust towards me. Both of us — my brother Aleksander and me — are liable for what we did not cause. It is not our idea of par­tition of Poland. This event caused a lot of trouble for Europe, shed a lot of blood […], and no one can make us an excuse. We had to take things as they were passed”.

Warsaw fell under the onslaught of the Empire on August 27, 1831. On that day, the grand duke Michal came to the city. That night, Iwan Paskiewicz also entered the Belvedere. From there he sent the Tsar one of his winning reports, in which he wrote: “Warsaw is at the foot your Majesty”. Tsar Mikolaj I replied to this letter and said: “From today you Serene and Enlightened Prince of Warsaw” [6, p. 149]. Tsar Mikolaj I, in a letter sent on September 4 1831 to Iwan Paskie­wicz, gave the first advices, which essentially con­sisted of a framework program for actions in the first period after the breakdown of the insurgent forces. Russian Emperor said that it was necessary to immediately enter the order in the country and rebuild the army in terms of material and moral factors. In these plans, the construction of the for­tress in a short time in Warsaw provided a strong position in the Russian army in the former Polish Kingdom. This was called the Citadel Fortress. At the time of Mikolaj I marked that Polish society was a bad influence on Russian troops in Warsaw. He wrote in a letter sent on 14 September 1831 to Prince Iwan Paskiewicz, that he was afraid of the spread of Russian soldiers “moral pestilence”. He advised frequent changes of garrisons and watch­ing the relations prevailing among the officers. On December 10 1831 Mikolaj I wrote that Iwan Paskiewicz must react strongly to any signs of re­bellion and insubordination of Poles.

Prince of Warsaw complied with the orders of the Emperor. He reported on December 18, 1831 in a letter to the tsar, that up to now there was peace in the country, and the officers took care of the morale of the troops and the appropriate discipline in the barracks. The principle, that was introduced by Iwan Paskiewicz assumed frequent changes of troops in the barracks. The discipline limited significantly interaction with other people and it forbade making friends by Russian soldiers, especially with women.

Hie overwhelming position of field marshal Iwan Paskiewicz was guaranteed his personal qualities and absolute confidence on the part of the tsar. It assured the viceroy of the Polish Kingdom advantage over other decision-making authorities. Hie Statut Organiczny Krolestwa Polskiego of 14 February 1832 only partially regulated activity of viceroy. This act was officially announced on 13 March 1832 by Iwan Paskiewicz in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. It admitted the viceroy the right to preside the Council of State (Rada Stanu) and the Administrative Council (Rada Administracyjna). In fact, field marshal Iwan Paskiewicz subdued the political authorities in the Polish Kingdom. To this end, he exploited the power as commander I. Army. Hie political management of Kingdom of Poland was in the hands of Iwan Paskiewicz. This process took place without taking account of legal [7, p. 138].

For the first time the Administrative Council met under the chairmanship of viceroy Iwan Paskiewicz on March 25,1832. It was composed of the: general Aleksander Strogonow, Roman Fuhrman, general Franciszek Kossecki, Ignacy Zielinski, general Jozef Rautenstrauchoraz Jozef Tymowski. The Administrative Council decided that the Statut Organiczny was a legal basis for operations of this authority. At the same time there was an increase of influence of the Chancellery of the Viceroy (Kancelaria Wlasna Namiestnika Krolestwa Polskiego). It was this institution that took care of the ost important matters of state, bypassing the Administrative Council. Hiis authority made decisions without the Administrative Council. Hie viceroy of the Polish Kingdom led to the Council of State. As before, the main tasks of this authority was the creation of draft laws that were in force in the Polish Kingdom. In fact, the most important functions that belonged to the competence of Council of State, was carried out by the Department for the Affairs of the Polish Kingdom (Departament do Spraw Krolestwa Polskiego). This institution was included in the structure of the State Council of the Russian Empire. It was directed by Iwan Paskiewicz. Vice-President of the institution were in the following years: Iwan Engel (1832-1837) and Dymitr Daszlcow (1838-1839) and Dymitr Bludow (1840-1856). Members of the departments were: duke Ksawery Drucki Lubecki, count Stefan Grabowski, count Wincenty Krasifiski (later viceroy of the Polish Kingdom), Nikolaj Nowosilcow, count Aleksander Rozniecki, count Leon Potocki, count Ignacy Turkull and count Iwan Worocnow-Daszlcow.

It should be noted the role played by Chancellery of Viceroy. During the reign of Iwan Paskiewicz this authority was greatly expanded. Hie Chancellery was the manifestation of a discretionary power of Iwan Paskiewicz. Daily management of this institution headed by a Director. The viceroy Iwan Paskiewicz was also directly available approximately ten officials, who were appointed to perform specific tasks.

The position of viceroy Iwan Paslciewicz strengthen personal relationships that bound him to tsar Mikolaj I, The correspondence between these two people, show that it was dedicated major state affairs, including matters of policy in the Kingdom of Polish. In a letter dated October 5, 1844, Mikolaj I informed the viceroy Iwan Paskiewicz that he could not give way to the Poles. Mikolaj I siad, if the Poles would break the rules, which were introduced by the Russian Empire, he started conduct anti-Polish policy. The Tsar wrote in this letter: “Dumb spirit in Poland more terrible than the past, because I stand firmly in the order […] What will be worse [for Poles] that I will be more severe, and so much the worse for them. If we will notice the slightest views of weakening of fear […] it all, of course, will be lost, because either my or your nature to be afraid of them” [8, p. 32].

On the other hand, Mikolaj I confided to the viceroy Iwan Paskiewicz as to his state of health and spirit, and also assured him many times in his letters, including a letter dated September 19, 1833 that he was personally grateful for the proper exercise of political and military tasks. Russian Emperor, at the same time stressed that the effectiveness of viceroy Iwan Paskiewicz should be associated with his personal qualities — perseverance, regularity and tenacity. It should be added that the strong position of viceroy Iwan Paskiewicz was a consequence of the fact that he was a commander of the I. Army. In subsequent years, he surrendered himself also troops of Military Police it the Kingdom of Poland (III. Korpus Zandarmerii). Mikolaj I announced in confidential correspondence with Iwan Paskiewicz, his journeys through the lands of the Kingdom of Poland during his trip to Europe. Tsar repeatedly asked the commander of the First Army to organize a review of the troops. In such celebrations often wanted to attend the Emperor. This correspondence testified to the fact that Iwan Paskiewicz was one of the few people who knew the route of the tsar’s procession. Mikolaj I in a letter, which he sent to Iwan Paskiewicz on July 16, 1833, wrote: “I received an invitation from the Austrian Emperor to meet him in Bohemia. Hie designated date is August 25 (September 7), the meeting will be very short and they have not decided yet whether there will come the King of Prussia, or whether I see him in a different place. That’s why I’m going to go by sea to Szczecin, a return by sea will be too late, and I come back through Prussia, where I will give myself into your hands and agree to all the precautions that you assign. I would like to enter [the former Kingdom of Poland] through Kalisz and not driving up to Warsaw go to Modlin and continue [journey] to Kaunas. If possible I would like to see your army […] I ask for quick response, you should not notify anyone, but only collect troops like for your review” [8, p. 11].

In the opinion of Mikolaj I start of work on the construction of the Citadel in Warsaw was an extraordinary event. Viceroy Iwan Paslcewicz laid the foundation stone for the construction of fortifications in May 1832. In a letter sent in May 29, 1832 Russian Emperor thanked Iwan Paskiewicz for starting the construction of the fortress. Ele pointed out that the absence of Poles in this celebration was for him to understand. Two years later, the citadel was opened. Since 1834 in the citadel started working the X. pavilion, which was the tsarist political prison.

Tlie X. Pavilion was the seat of the Commission of Inquiry (Stala Komisja Sledcza), which was dependent on the decision of the viceroy Paskiewicz. Hie main task of the Commission was to conduct investigations into political matters on the basis of military criminal law (Swod wojennych postanowlenij). One of the first actions that moved Iwan Paskiewicz was confiscated estates. This activity, which took place in 1832, was a manifestation of repressive policies pursued by the Russian authorities after the November Uprising On the other hand, landowners and industrialists, who were loyal to the tsar received — by a decision of Iwan Paskiewicz — financial assistance in the form of compensation.

Iwan Paskiewicz on the years of his reign strengthened his position, while he led a policy to unify the Polish Kingdom of the Russian Empire. In 1839 the political program envisaged the introduction of Scientific District in Warsaw (Okreg Naukowy Warszawski). Hie management of the District was carried out by the curator subsidiary of the Ministry of Public Education of the Russian Empire. Despite the introduction of such a decision, the position of viceroy in the conduct of educational policy did not diminished, because Iwan Paskiewicz together with the Ministry of Public Education held a general supervision of the Scientific District in Warsaw. Hie viceroy of the Polish Kingdom also played a significant role in the Committee of Censorship, that set up in 1843 in Warsaw. This institution was responsible for granting licenses for the publication of books and newspapers. In 1850, the Customs Service of the Polish Kingdom was incorporated into the structure of the Russian Empire. From that moment the customs service in Warsaw was subordinated to the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Empire. Elowever, the vicceroy Iwan Paskiewicz did not lost the real possibility of influencing the actions, that were taken by Customs. In 1846, the Board of Civil Communications (Zarz^d Komunikacji Ladoweji Wodnej) was subordinated to the central authorities of the Empire. Since then, the administration of the project and the conduct of investment were made in the capital of the Russian Empire. It did not change the fact that the viceroy of the Polish Kingdom guaranteed affects financial policy in this regard. Iwan Paskiewicz had also the right to appoint a person to the position of senior officials of postal. It should be added that the Post Offices in the former Polish Kingdom became one of the division (XIII. Division), which was part of the post in the Russian Empire.

Governments of Iwan Paskiewicz based on factual evidence. It was not based on the law. System of government created by Iwan Paskiewicz assumed the use of methods of fear and at the same time encourage. On one hand, the actions, which were taken by the Warsaw Duke proved to be very effective. Because they guaranteed the expanding sphere of influence viceroy of the Polish Kingdom. Iwan Paskiewicz was largely independent of the decision of the central government. On the other hand, it caused a reaction of the imperial administration, that wanted to complete the unification of the Polish Kingdom of the Russian Empire.


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Author: N. Tarkovsky