Vorontsov, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vorontsov, Mikhail Semenovich


Born May 19 (30), 1782; died Nov. 6 (18), 1856, in Odessa. Prince, Russian statesman, field marshal (1856). Son of S. R. Vorontsov and a member of the important Vorontsov family.

In the Patriotic War of 1812, Vorontsov commanded a division, and from 1815 to 1818, the Russian occupational corps in France. Vorontsov was close to members of preDecembrist organizations. In 1823 he became the Novorossiian governor-general and vicegerent of the Bessarabian Oblast; from 1828 to 1844 he was the Novorossiian and Bessarabian governor-general. From 1844 to 1854 he was vicegerent in the Caucasus and the commander in chief of the Separate Caucasian Corps. Vorontsov was one of the major pomes he hiks (landlords), employing hired labor on his lands together with feudal forms of exploitation. In Novorossiia (the official name of the northern Black Sea region beginning in the second half of the 18th century), he strove to create favorable conditions for the capitalizing landowners and the big merchants, and he fostered the development of agriculture. According to a project of Vorontsov’s, Bessarabia became part of the Novorossiian governor-generalship in 1828. In the Caucasus, Vorontsov took advantage of hostilities among individual feudal lords and was able to annex a significant part of their holdings to Russia. Despite the fact that Vorontsov was a courtier and a careerist, his intellect, education, and noted liberalism distinguished him among tsarist administrators.


Arkhiv kn. Vorontsova, vols. 1-40. St. Petersburg, 1870-95. (See “Rospis … ,” Moscow, 1897.)
Vypiski iz dnevnika s 1845 po 1854. St. Petersburg, 1902.
Shcherbinin, M. P. Biografiia general-fel’dmarshala kniazia M. S. Vorontsova. St. Petersburg, 1858.
Avaliani, S. L. Graf M. S. Vorontsov i krest’ianskii vopros, vols. 1-2. Odessa, 1912-14.
Indova, E. I. Krepostnoe khoziaistvo v nachale XIX v.: Po materialam votchinnogo arkhiva Vorontsovykh. Moscow, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.