Dmitrii Tolstoi

Tolstoi, Dmitrii Andreevich


Born Mar. 1 (13), 1823, in Moscow; died Apr. 25 (May 7), 1889, in St. Petersburg. Russian government figure; member of the State Council (1866); count.

Tolstoi graduated from the Tsarskoe Selo Lycée in 1843. In 1853 he became director of the office of the Naval Ministry. He was chief procurator of the Synod from 1865 to 1880, and beginning in 1866 was also minister of public education. In 1871, Tolstoi effected a reform of the Gymnasiums that gave predominance to classical education. He was minister of internal affairs and chief of the gendarmerie from 1882 to 1889.

Tolstoi supported political reaction in the 1880’s and was an advocate of strong governmental power. He sought to raise the status of the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry), to regulate the life of the peasantry, and to expand governmental authority over local administration. The Provisional Rules (1882), adopted on his initiative, placed further restrictions on the freedom of the press. Together with A. D. Pazukhin, Tolstoi prepared the draft of a counterreform. He became president of the Academy of Sciences in 1882.

Tolstoi’s main works, which dealt with Russian history, included the History of the Financial Institutions of Russia From the Founding of the State to the Death of Empress Catherine II (1848), Roman Catholicism in Russia (1876), and the biographical dictionary Figures From the Age of Catherine (1882).


Zaionchkovskii, P. A. Rossiiskoe samoderzhavie v kontse XIX st. Moscow, 1970.