Andrei Ivanovich Osterman

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Osterman, Andrei Ivanovich


(Heinrich Johann Friedrich Ostermann). Born May 30 (June 9), 1686, in Bochum, Westphalia; died May 20 (31), 1747, in Berezov, now Berezovo, Tiumen’ Oblast. Russian statesman and diplomat; count (1730).

The son of a Lutheran pastor, Osterman entered the Russian service in 1703. He participated in the Congress of Aland (1718–19) and in working out the terms of the Treaty of Nystadt (1721). In 1723 he became vice-president of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs and from 1725 to 1741 was its vice-chancellor. After Peter I’s death he obtained the highest government posts and immense land grants and income by skillfully maneuvering between the various political factions at court and brazenly intriguing against numerous rivals.

In 1726, Osterman became a member of the Supreme Privy Council. From 1727 to 1730 he was the tutor of Peter II, and beginning in 1731 it was he who directed Russia’s foreign and domestic policy. After the 1741 palace revolution, which brought Elizaveta Petrovna to the throne, Osterman was tried and sentenced to death. The sentence was changed to exile for life to Berezov, where he died.


Nikiforov, L. A. Vneshniaia politika Rossii v poslednie gody Severnoi voiny: Nishtadtskii mir. Moscow, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.