Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union was the most authoritative legislative body of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics beginning 1936, the only one with the power to approve constitutional amendments. It elected the Presidium, served as the collective head of state of the USSR, appointed the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Court, the Procurator General of the USSR; the Supreme Soviet was composed of two chambers, each with equal legislative powers, with members elected for four-year terms: The Soviet of the Union, elected on the basis of population with one deputy for every 300,000 people in the Soviet federation. The Soviet of Nationalities, represented the ethnic populations as units, with members elected on the basis of 32 deputies from each union republic, 11 from each autonomous republic, five from each autonomous oblast, one from each autonomous okrug; the administrative units of the same type would send the same number of members regardless of their size or population. By the Soviet constitutions of 1936 and 1977, the Supreme Soviet was defined as the highest organ of state power in the Soviet Union, was imbued with great lawmaking powers.
In practice, however, it did little more than approve decisions made by the USSR's executive organs and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This was in accordance with the Communist Party's principle of democratic centralism, became the norm for other Communist legislatures; the Supreme Soviet convened twice a year for less than a week. For the rest of the year, the Presidium performed its ordinary functions; the CPSU bypassed the Supreme Soviet altogether and had major laws enacted as Presidium decrees. Nominally, such decrees had to be ratified by the full Supreme Soviet–- a process, a mere formality. However, in some cases this formality was not observed. After 1989 it consisted of 542 deputies; the meetings of the body were more frequent, from six to eight months a year. Between 1938 and February 1990, more than 50 years, only 80 laws were passed by the Supreme Soviet, less than 1% of total legislative acts. Mikhail Kalinin 1938–1946 Nikolay Shvernik 1946–1953 Kliment Voroshilov 1953–1960 Leonid Brezhnev 1960–1964 Anastas Mikoyan 1964–1965 Nikolai Podgorny 1965–1977 Leonid Brezhnev 1977–1982 Yuri Andropov 1982–1984 Konstantin Chernenko 1984–1985 Andrei Gromyko 1985–1988 Mikhail Gorbachev 1 October 1988 – 25 May 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev 25 May 1989 – 15 March 1990 Anatoly Lukyanov 15 March 1990 – 22 August 1991 1st convocation session 1938 – 1946, World War II 2nd convocation session 1946 – 1950 3rd convocation session 1950 – 1954 4th convocation session 1954 – 1958 5th convocation session 1958 – 1962 6th convocation session 1962 – 1966 7th convocation session 1966 – 1970 8th convocation session 1970 – 1974 9th convocation session 1974 – 1979 10th convocation session 1979 – 1984 11th convocation session 1984 – 1989 1st convocation 1989 – 1991, sessions were conducted in the form of Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union New composition 1991, unlike previous convocations, there were no elections for the new composition of the Supreme Council instead members of the council were delegated from the council of union republics that continued to be members of the Soviet Union.
Beside the Supreme Council, in the Soviet Union supreme councils existed in each of the union and autonomous republics. The supreme councils of republican level had presidiums, but all those councils consisted of one chamber. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, some councils of the succeeded independent republics changed their name to their more historic name or to emphasise the importance of the council as a national parliament, while others changed to double-chamber assemblies. All republics in the USSR were soviet, yet 15 were of union level, while the other, autonomous republics, were subordinated to the union republics. Supreme Council of Russia, until 4 October 1993 when it was dissolved as part of the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis. Supreme Council of Georgia, during 1992 changed its name to State Council of Georgia. Supreme Council of Kazakhstan, until 1995. Supreme Council of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic, during 1940–1956. Supreme Council of Belarus, until 1996.
Supreme Council of Lithuania, during 1991 changed its name to the Seimas. Supreme Council of Moldavia, during 1991 changed its name to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Supreme Council of Azerbaijan, during 1991 changed its name to National Assembly of Azerbaijan. Supreme Council of Ukraine, during 1991 adopted the Ukrainian transliterated name Verkhovna Rada. Supreme Council of Armenia, until 1995. List of known autonomous republics councils: Supreme Council of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, existed during 1938–1994, except for the 1940–1956 when the erstwhile Karelian ASSR was a union republic, the Karelo-Finnish SSR. Supreme Council of Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, during 1938–
The Kremlin Armoury, is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1851 and located in the Moscow Kremlin, now a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums. The Kremlin Armoury originated as the royal arsenal in 1508; until the transfer of the court to St Petersburg, the Armoury was in charge of producing and storing weapons and various household articles of the tsars. The finest Muscovite gunsmiths and painters used to work there. In 1640 and 1683, they opened the iconography and pictorial studios, where the lessons on painting and handicrafts could be given. In 1700, the Armoury was enriched with the treasures of the Golden and Silver chambers of the Russian tsars. In 1711, Peter the Great had the majority of masters transferred to St Petersburg. 15 years the Armoury was merged with the Fiscal Yard, Stables Treasury and the Master Chamber. After that, the Armoury was renamed into Master Chamber. Alexander I of Russia nominated the Armoury as the first public museum in Moscow in 1806, but the collections were not opened to the public until seven years later.
The current Armoury building was erected in 1844–1851 by the imperial architect Konstantin Ton. The director of the museum from 1852 to 1870 was the writer Alexander Veltman. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Armoury collection was enriched with treasures taken from the Patriarch sacristy, Kremlin cathedrals and private collections; some of these were sold abroad on behest of Joseph Stalin in the 1930s. In 1960, the Armoury became the official museum of the Kremlin. Two years the Patriarch chambers and the Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles were assigned to the Armoury in order to house the Applied Arts Museum; the Kremlin Armoury is home to the Russian Diamond Fund. It holds unique collections of the Russian, Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning the period from the 5th to the 20th centuries; some of the highlights include the Imperial Crown of Russia by jeweller Jérémie Pauzié, Monomakh's Cap, the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible, other regal thrones and regalia. The ten Fabergé eggs in the Armoury collection are the most Imperial eggs, the second-most overall Fabergé eggs, owned by a single owner.
Kremlin Museums: The Armoury Chamber The Armory Chamber - Travel Guide
State Kremlin Palace
The State Kremlin Palace and unofficially still better known as the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, is a large modern building inside the Moscow Kremlin. The building was built at the initiative of Nikita Khrushchev as a modern arena for Communist Party meetings. Although the architecture of the projected building contrasted with the historic milieu, building work started in 1959; the structure was opened along with the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on October 17, 1961. In 1962 the architects of the project, headed by Mikhail Posokhin were awarded the Lenin Prize for their work; the building is concrete design, with nearly half of it submerged underground. The main hall is able to hold six thousand people and its acoustics were considered to be the most advanced at the time. Over the years this was the main place for mass state events. Presently it is used for popular concerts. American singers Mariah Carey, Tina Turner and Cher have played in the palace, as did Canadian poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
Additionally, it is the venue of the Kremlin ballet group. The Bolshoi Theatre was performing there while its historic building was closed for repairs; the number of individual rooms is well over eight hundred. Externally the palace is faced with white marble and the windows are tinted and reflective, which makes the ancient architecture in the Kremlin appear picturesque. However, from the start, the construction of a large modern public building in an historic neighborhood generated quite an uproar since the building replaced several heritage buildings including the old neo-classical building of the State Armory and some of the back corpuses of the Great Kremlin Palace. Although this was hardly the first time that the Soviet government destroyed architectural heritage in the Kremlin and in the country in general, by the mid 1950s laws were in place considering all pre-Soviet constructions as historical monuments and preventing their demolition, in someways making the construction illegal; the Palace was integrated into the larger complex of the Great Kremlin Palace with walkways linking it to the Patriarchal chambers and the Terem Palace.
In Tom Clancy's 1986 novel Red Storm Rising, the building is bombed in a false-flag operation by the KGB to justify an invasion of Western Europe, with West Germany being framed for the attack. The building is depicted as being the meeting place for the Council of Ministers. Ordinarily, the Council convened in the Kremlin Senate, explained in the novel as being closed for repairs. Palace of the Republic House of the Unions Palace of the Soviets Great Hall of the People, Beijing http://www.gkd-kremlin.ru/ Official site / Description on the Official page of the Kremlin museum / Description on the Official page of the Presidency Satellite shot centred on the building
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Order of St. George
The Order of Saint George is today the highest purely military decoration of the Russian Federation. Established 26 November 1769 as the highest military decoration of the Russian Empire by Empress Catherine the Great. After the 1917 Russian Revolution it was awarded by the White movement anti-communist forces under Alexander Kolchak until their collapse in 1921; the order was revived in the Russian Federation on 8 August 2000 by Decree №1463 of the President of Russia. The current award criteria were amended on 7 September 2010 by Presidential Decree 1099; the current Order of Saint George is awarded to highest and senior military officers for the conduct of military operations to protect the Fatherland from attack by an external enemy which resulted in the complete defeat of the enemy, for the execution of combat and other operations in other states aimed at restoring international peace and security, or for being a model of military science with feats that exemplify military prowess. The Order of Saint George is divided from the First Class to the Fourth class.
The four classes are awarded sequentially from the fourth to the first. These four classes are individually identified by the size and manner of wearing the two principal insignia of the Order, the cross and the star. Cross: A white enamelled cross pattée with a central medallion bearing the image of Saint George on horseback slaying the dragon; the cross measures 60mm across in the case of the Order first class and is worn on a sash in the colours of Saint George. The same 60mm cross is worn around the neck on a 45mm wide ribbon in the colours of Saint George for the Order second class; the cross is 50mm across for the Order third class and is worn around the neck but from a 24mm wide ribbon in the same colours. The Order fourth class is a 40mm cross worn on the left breast hanging from a pentagonal mount covered with a 24mm wide ribbon of Saint George. Star: A four-pointed silver gilt star with a gold central medallion bearing the cipher of Saint George "SG" topped by a crown and surrounded by a black enamelled band bearing the motto of the order "For Service and Bravery".
The star is worn on second classes. Ribbon: The ribbon of the Order of Saint George is orange with three black stripes called "George's Ribbon", it symbolises fire and gunpowder: the Russian "colors of military glory", is thought to be derived from the colours of the original Russian imperial coat of arms. It was subsequently associated to the colors of the Russian Guard units. Unlike the other classes, the Order of Saint George fourth class can be awarded to junior officers while the rest is for senior and flag officers. Recipient Knights Grand Cross use the post-nominal letters "GCSG", Knights use the post-nominal letters "KSG", Knight Commander use the post-nominal letters "KCSG", Knight Officer use the post-nominal letters "OSG"; when an individual is entitled to use multiple post-nominal letters, those of the Order of the Saint Anne appear before all others, except "Bt" or "Bart" when received by foreign nationals with those titles, "KA". The ribbon bar for the Order first class is adorned with a miniature golden star.
The ribbon bar for the Order second class is adorned with a miniature silver star. The ribbon bar for the Order third class is adorned with a miniature white cross; the ribbon bar for the Order fourth class has no device. Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Mikhail Kutuzov Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Barclay de Tolly General of the Army Nikolay Yegorovich Makarov Colonel General Alexander Zelin General of the Army Vladimir Boldyrev Marshal of France Ferdinand Foch Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Mikhail Kutuzov Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Barclay de Tolly King Leopold I of Belgium. Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Mikhail Kutuzov Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Barclay de Tolly HIM Czar Nicholas II of Russia Colonel Lambros Katsonis, Greek 18th century revolutionary Colonel General Sergei Makarov Lieutenant General Vladimir Shamanov Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Lebed British Captain Albert Ball, World War I fighter pilot Dutch War Correspondent Louis Grondijs, World War I, White Army, Russian Civil War Major General Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Imperial Russia, WWI General Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, Imperial Russia, World War I, White Army, Russian Civil War Brigadier John Alexander Sinton, Indian Army, WWI Field Marshal Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary Major General Hermann Christoph Gamper, Imperial Russian cavalry commander during the Patriotic War of 1812 African Spir Baron Roman Von Ungern-Sternberg Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Mikhail Kutuzov Field Marshal of the Russian Empire Barclay de Tolly Robert Quigg, Northern Irish soldier Cross of Saint George Gold Sword for Bravery Ribbon of Saint George Awards and decorations of the Russian Federation Voennyĭ orden sviatogo velikomuchenika i pobedonostsa Georgiia: imennye spiski 1769 - 1920.
Moskva 2004, ISBN 5-89577-059-2 The Commission on State Awards to the President of the Russian Federation Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Orders of St. George". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company
Konstantin Andreyevich Thon spelled Ton was an official architect of Imperial Russia during the reign of Nicholas I. His major works include the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow. Konstantin, born in St. Petersburg to the family of a German jeweller, was one of three Thon brothers who all rose to become notable architects, he studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts under the Empire Style architect Andrey Voronikhin, best remembered for his work on the Kazan Cathedral, situated right in the middle of the Nevsky Prospekt. He studied Italian art in Rome from 1819 to 1828, on his return home was admitted to the academy as its member and professor. In 1854, he was appointed rector of the architectural division of the academy. Thon first attracted public attention with his sumptuous design for the interiors of the Academy building on the Neva embankment. In 1827, he submitted to the tsar his project of St Catherine church at the Obvodnyi Canal, the first design in the Russian Revival style.
Nicholas I, who felt disaffected with the prevailing Neoclassicism of Russian architecture, remarked that "Russians have their own great art traditions and don't need to cringe before Rome". Thon's project was to become a revered model for other churches in St Petersburg and across Russia. In 1830, Thon completed his most ambitious design to date, that of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow; the Russian-Byzantine Revival style of his project, intended to underline similarity of the new church with old cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin, displeased many of his fellows, who wanted to see the cathedral built in the severe Neoclassical style. The emperor approved his design. Thon and his disciples continued to work on the cathedral for the next 50 years, until the master's death in 1881. In 1836–42, Thon supervised the construction of another ponderous church with a spacious interior, that of Presentation to the Temple for the Semenovsky regiment in St Petersburg, he followed this with dozens of Neo-Russian-Byzantine designs for churches and cathedrals in provincial towns, including Sveaborg, Tomsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnoyarsk.
Some of his revivalist projects were assembled in the Model Album for Church Designs. From 1838 to 1851, Thon was employed in construction of the Neo-Russian Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow; the grandiose palace, famed for opulent interiors of its 700 rooms and halls, was meant to symbolize the grandeur of the Russian state. It was a daring design which incorporated parts of earlier structures, standing on the spot; the palace has served successively as an official residence for the Russian tsars, Soviet rulers, the Presidents of the Russian Federation. At the same time, Thon rehabilitated the abandoned Izmaylovo Estate into an almshouse for the veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. Thon's last important commissions were the Nikolaevsky railway stations in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In his design for the stations the architect implemented some of the newest construction technologies. Despite large pieces of steelwork used in the construction, Venetian facades and medieval clock towers of the stations cleverly masked their modern function.
Both structures, although extensively reconstructed, are still standing. After the death of his patron, the Emperor, Thon's failing health prevented him from working on other projects apart from the great cathedral in Moscow, he died at St. Petersburg in 1881. During his lifetime, the more radical of his contemporaries, such as Alexander Herzen, dismissed his architecture as "reactionary manifestation of the tyrant's rule"; the Soviet authorities, labelling Thon's churches ugly chests of drawers, systematically destroyed as many of them as possible, including all his churches in St Petersburg and vicinity and the work of his life, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The fall of the Soviet rule in 1991 brought about a renewed interest in the work of the Neo-Russian-Byzantine master. Official site of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Ton's Design, Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, 92-108
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I reigned as Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. He was the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland, he has become best known as a political conservative whose reign was marked by geographical expansion, repression of dissent, economic stagnation, poor administrative policies, a corrupt bureaucracy, frequent wars that culminated in Russia's defeat in the Crimean War of 1853–56. Nicholas had a happy marriage, his biographer Nicholas V. Riasanovsky says that Nicholas displayed determination, singleness of purpose, an iron will, along with a powerful sense of duty and a dedication to hard work, he saw himself as a soldier—a junior officer consumed by spit and polish. A handsome man, he was nervous and aggressive. Trained as an engineer, he was a stickler for minute detail. In his public persona, says Riasanovsky, "Nicholas I came to represent autocracy personified: infinitely majestic and powerful, hard as stone, relentless as fate." He was the younger brother of his predecessor, Alexander I.
Nicholas inherited his brother's throne despite the failed Decembrist revolt against him and went on to become the most reactionary of all Russian leaders. Nicholas I was instrumental in helping to create an independent Greek state, was successful against Russia's neighbouring southern rivals as he seized the last territories in the Caucasus held by Persia by ending the Russo-Persian War. By now, Russia had gained what is now Dagestan, Georgia and Armenia from Persia, had therefore at last gained the clear upper hand in the Caucasus, both geopolitically as well as territorially, he ended the Russo-Turkish War as well. On, however, he led Russia into the Crimean War, with disastrous results. Historians emphasize that his micromanagement of the armies hindered his generals, as did his misguided strategy. Fuller notes that historians have concluded that "the reign of Nicholas I was a catastrophic failure in both domestic and foreign policy." On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its geographical zenith, spanning over 20 million square kilometers, but had a desperate need for reform.
Nicholas was born at Gatchina Palace in Gatchina to Grand Duke Paul, Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna of Russia. Five months after his birth, his grandmother, Catherine the Great and his parents became emperor and empress of Russia, he was a younger brother of Emperor Alexander I of Russia, who succeeded to the throne in 1801, of Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia. Riasanovsky says he was, "the most handsome man in Europe, but a charmer who enjoyed feminine company and was at his best with the ladies."On 13 July 1817, Nicholas married Princess Charlotte of Prussia, who thereafter went by the name Alexandra Feodorovna when she converted to Orthodoxy. Charlotte's parents were Frederick William III of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Nicholas and Charlotte were third cousins, as they were both great-great-grandchildren of Frederick William I of Prussia. With two older brothers, it seemed unlikely Nicholas would become Tsar. However, as Alexander and Constantine both failed to produce sons, Nicholas remained to rule one day.
In 1825, when Alexander I died of typhus, Nicholas was caught between swearing allegiance to Constantine and accepting the throne for himself. The interregnum lasted until Constantine, in Warsaw at that time, confirmed his refusal. Additionally, on 25 December, Nicholas issued the manifesto proclaiming his accession to the throne; that manifesto retroactively named 1 December, the date of Alexander I's death, as the beginning of his reign. During this confusion, a plot was hatched by some members of the military to overthrow Nicholas and to seize power; this led to the Decembrist Revolt on 26 December 1825, an uprising Nicholas was successful in suppressing. Nicholas lacked his brother's spiritual and intellectual breadth. Nicholas I began his reign on 14 December 1825; this particular Monday dawned cold, with temperatures of −8 degrees Celsius. This was regarded by the Russian people as a bad omen for the coming reign; the accession of Nicholas I was marred by a demonstration of 3000 young Imperial Army officers and other liberal-minded citizens.
This demonstration was an attempt to force the government to accept a constitution and a representative form of government. Nicholas ordered the army out to smash the demonstration; the "uprising" was put down and became known as the Decembrist Revolt. Having experienced the trauma of the Decembrist Revolt on the first day of his reign, Nicholas I was determined to restrain Russian society; the Third Section of the Imperial Chancellery ran a huge network of spies and informers with the help of Gendarmes. The government exercised censorship and other forms of control over education and all manifestations of public life, he appointed Alexander Benckendorff to head this Chancellery. Benckendorff employed 16 staff in his office, he began intercepting mail at a high rate. Soon, because of Benckendorff, the saying that it was impossible to sneeze in one's house before it is report