Bironovshchina

Bironovshchina

 

an extremely reactionary regime in Russia in the 1730’s during the reign of Empress Anna Ivanovna; it was named after her favorite E. Biron, who was the brain and architect of this regime. The characteristic traits of Bironovshchina were the dominance of foreigners, mainly Germans, in all spheres of political and social life, rapacious exploitation of the people, pilfering of the country’s wealth, cruel persecutions of dissatisfied persons, espionage, and denunciations. The state was virtually governed by Biron, diplomacy was directed by A. I. Ostermann, the troops were commanded by B. C. Münnich, the mining industry was managed by A. K. Schemberg, the Commerz Collegium by K. L. Mengden, and so on. The state treasury was exhausted through the mismanagement of the country, unprecedented luxury of the court, and pilfering by the favorites. The domination of foreigners caused dissatisfaction among the small and middle Russian dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) and the guard regiments (A. P. Volynskii’s conspiracy).

REFERENCE

Istoriia SSSR s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei, vol. 3. Moscow, 1967.
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They provide new insight into the historical role and perception of the tsaritsa's favorite, Count Biron, whose traditional image as the evil and controlling German influence behind the throne is so persistent that the reign continues to be described as the Bironovshchina, the "Era of Biron.