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17 October 2018

The practical application of punishments to civil officials of the Russian Empire at the end of XVIII – the first half of the ХІХ centuries

Sumy Historical and Archival Journal
The practical application of punishments to civil officials of the Russian Empire at the end of XVIII – the first half of the ХІХ centuries

The article examines the practice of civil penalties on officials of state institutions of the Russian Empire, including those that operated on the Ukrainian lands in the late XVIII and the first half of the nineteenth century. The bureaucratic system of that period was not perfect and one couldn’t imagine it without numerous violations, corruption and bribery, official red tape, etc. The author points out that the special position of Empire’s public officers was expressed by them being subjects to all kinds of liability under the rules that differed from the general ones. A special kind of responsibility was established for them. A set of specific penalties for officials was finally systematized at the end of the first third of the nineteenth century. Officials, in addition to violations related to their duties, often committed administrative offences and crimes. The author confirms this with examples from the documentary sources of the studied period. The reason for punishment of government officials could be: complaints; noticed by the administration abuses and failures; accusations from subordinates or institutions; the trial of other people; audits; reviews of records statements, reports. The conclusion was made, that the number of misconducts and abuses in these institutions was very high, but the majority of guilty officials often avoided their responsibility or carried penalties that did not meet the degree of the guilt. The author believes that such situation is typical for modern bureaucratic system of Ukraine as well. This negatively affects the cooperation of various institutions of civil society with government and local authorities. It happened in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, when the Ukrainian lands finally lost their autonomyunder the rule of the Russian Empire and its bureaucratic system completely replaced the Ukrainian management practices.

Source: Degtyarev S. (2016). The practical application of punishments to civil officials of the Russian Empire at the end of XVIII – the first half of the ХІХ centuries. Sumy Historical and Archival Journal. № XXVІІ: 5-18

Source web-site: http://shaj.sumdu.edu.ua/data/27_2016/Degtyarev.pdf

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