Rostovtsev, Iakov Ivanovich
Born Dec. 28, 1803 (Jan. 9, 1804), in St. Petersburg; died there Feb. 6 (18), 1860. Russian statesman and military figure; one of the planners of the Peasant Reform of 1861. Member of the State Council (1856); adjutant general (1849); general of the infantry (1859). Count.
Rostovtsev graduated from the Corps of Pages in 1822. He was close to the Decembrists. He warned the future tsar Nicholas I of the conspiracy on Dec. 12, 1825, but did not provide any names. He served as chief of staff of military educational institutions from 1835, and commander of them from 1849. Rostovtsev was a member of the Secret Committee in 1857 and of the Main Committee for Peasant Affairs in 1858. In the same year he became a strong proponent of the abolition of serfdom and advocated the right of peasants to redeem their land allotments and the limitation of the former landowners’ property rights. As president of the Editing Commissions in 1859, Rostovtsev countered the conservative faction, which sought to infringe on the peasants’ rights.
REFERENCESBogoslovskii, M. “Ia. I Rostovtsev.” In Osvobozhdenie krest’ian: Deiatelireformy. Moscow, 1911.
Zaionchkovskii, P. A. Otmena krepostnogo prava ν Rossii, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1968.