The article mainly concentrates on the state religious policy of the middle of the 18th century — the least studied period in the process of formation of Russian religious tolerance in the early Modern Time. An ideological, political and legal controversy that accompanied the process of re-emigration of old believers to Russia and, accordingly, the formation of relative religious freedoms in Russia during the 1750 — 1790-ies, investigated for the first time in historiography. The author characterizes the main approaches to the re-emigration of old believers at the top on the basis of unknown archival materials. Most attention is paid to the enlightenment foundations for the interpretation of re-emigration related to understanding state interests and manifested during the period of active work of the Legislative Board of Empress Elizabeth (1754—1766). As a result, the author points that the southern program of Supreme power for the return of the old believers reflected the slow evolution of the Russian political system as a European (continental) tolerant monarchy.
Source: Andrey S. Ryazhev (2019) Old Believers’ Re-Emigration in 1750-ies in the South of Russia: the Struggle of Approaches in Legal Policy. Bylye Gody. 2019. Vol. 54. Is. 4: 1470-1478
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