Table of contents:

The Apostle of Anarchism: How a Russian Revolutionary "brought a rustle" to Europe and masterly outplayed the "crowned jailer"
The Apostle of Anarchism: How a Russian Revolutionary "brought a rustle" to Europe and masterly outplayed the "crowned jailer"

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin is a man of amazing fate, who spent himself without a trace on the struggle for the best in man and humanity, for the search in both that and in the other "living" that could be nurtured and affirmed. Freedom, equality, brotherhood - these words were not empty words for him. He looked for their echoes in life, he longed for this to become a reality. There was everything in his life - revolutions, immigration, prisons, exiles, successful escapes. There was only one thing - the possibility of practical implementation of the ideas for which he fought so relentlessly.

Where was born, and in what conditions the views of the future revolutionary Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin were formed

Watercolor portrait (self-portrait) of Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, 1830

Mikhail grew up in the family of an enlightened and highly educated gentleman with liberal views, Alexander Mikhailovich Bakunin. The father married Mikhail's mother, Varvara Muravyova, rather late (he was already forty at that time) and out of great love. As a result of their union, Mikhail Bakunin will have relatives and the governor of Siberia Muravyov-Amursky - a despot who ruled the region with extremely harsh methods, and the Grodno governor Muravyov-Vilensky - the strangler of the Polish uprising of 1863. On December 8, 1825, Mikhail Bakunin's relatives will be on both sides of the Senate Square.

Mikhail grew up on his father's estate in Pryamukhino (near Torzhok, in the Tver province). It was located on the banks of the picturesque Osuga River, surrounded by a splendid park with alleys, grottoes and a pond. Not far from the estate, a beautiful temple will be built according to the project of a family friend - architect Nikolai Lvov. The life of a large family (Mikhail had five more brothers and four sisters; by the way - the type of Turgenev girls was written off precisely from the Bakunin sisters) proceeded in the bosom of nature, the beauty of which was admired not only by family members, but also by everyone who visited the Bakunins' house (scientists, writers, philosophers). Painting, music, reading literature, talking about philosophy, thinking about the meaning of life - all this was here.

"Pryamukhinskaya harmony" - this will later be called this period of Bakunin's life in the family. Then, at the age of 15, Mikhail entered the artillery school. He studied there for 4 years, until he was expelled for a conflict with the head of the educational institution. Bakunin served one year in the army with the rank of ensign and, citing poor health, retired.

Why Bakunin hated the Nikolaev empire and embarked on the path of rebellion and anarchism

Mikhail Bakunin, 1843

Growing up in an atmosphere of free-thinking, subtle and intelligent conversations, enriching communication with interesting people, knowing five languages ​​and learning two more (German and Polish) during his military service, Bakunin found himself in the rough and harsh army conditions of the times of Nicholas I - narrowness, drill, Physical punishment. There was no question of any freedom of thought, to which Mikhail Bakunin was so accustomed and considered the natural state of any person. Carried away by philosophy, Bakunin went to study it in Germany. After the uprising of the Decembrists in Russia, the time of reaction came, while in Europe, on the contrary, revolutionary sentiments reigned, the energy of which became a natural and necessary environment for Bakunin.

What did Bakunin's wanderings in European countries lead to: participation in the Dresden uprising, arrest, extradition to Austria, death sentence, return to his homeland

"March Revolution" in Germany, 1848

Bakunin is actively involved in the West European revolutionary movement of 1848. The tsarist government of Russia demanded the return of Bakunin. But this was not included in the plans of the fiery rebel, then he was deprived of his nobility in absentia and sentenced to hard labor.

In addition to his violent revolutionary activities, Bakunin acted as an ardent propagandist of the idea of ​​an all-Slavic union of European states, free from monarchic tyranny. The Russian revolutionary "made a rustle" in Europe, participated in the Prague people's uprising, and then in the "March revolution" in Germany (he became one of the leaders of the Dresden uprising, entered the revolutionary council of the city).

After the defeat of the uprising in Dresden, Bakunin ended up in prison in Saxony, where he was sentenced to death. In 1851, he was handed over to the Austrian authorities, who first passed the same sentence and then replaced him with life imprisonment. In the same year, Bakunin was transferred to Russia at the request of the tsarist government, where he was imprisoned (first in the Peter and Paul Fortress, and then in Shlisselburg) from 1851 to 1857.

"Confession" of a "repentant sinner". How Bakunin managed to escape from prison

Portrait of Nicholas I

During his stay in the Peter and Paul Fortress, Bakunin wrote his work "Confession" at the request of Nicholas I. In it, Bakunin very directly and frankly tells the tsar about his views on the revolutionary movement and the Slavic question, pouring all this with loyal outpourings. But in fact, in his "Confession" he is an even greater rebel than in his entire past life. He sits in a fortress, chained, having lost his health, forced to be inactive, while vigorous activity is organic for him. He is forced to write a confession and repent of his revolutionary deeds, and instead receive a detailed analysis of the state of Western and Russian societies, the mistaken approach of the government and the tsar himself. Moreover, Bakunin proposes a model of how the matter could be improved.

Russian politician Alexander Solzhenitsyn regards Bakunin's "Confession" as a "revolutionary cunning" - Mikhail Alexandrovich humbly spat himself before Nicholas I and thus avoided the death penalty. It was in this way that Bakunin was able to masterly outplay his “crowned jailer”. The reaction to the "Confession" of Nicholas I was the transfer of Bakunin to the Shlisselburg fortress and some relaxation of the conditions of the prisoner. In 1857, the influential relatives of Bakunin succeeded in replacing their imprisonment with exile to Siberia. From there, in 1861, the tireless rebel and anarchist made a daring escape, leaving through Japan and America to London.

How was the career of the anarchist Bakunin in exile and where he spent his last days

Mikhail Bakunin speaks to members of the First International in Basel, 1869

After settling in the English capital, Bakunin took up publishing ("The Bell") and theoretical work. He advocated the destruction of states and their replacement by federal associations, created at the initiative of the bottom (workers and peasants). In 1864 he joined the International and became the main opponent of its creator, Karl Marx. According to Bakunin, the Germanic peoples are carriers of the idea of ​​a centralized state, while Bakunin's dream was a free Slavic federation. And the dictatorship of the proletariat was not what Bakunin wanted to end the revolution with.

In 1872 Bakunin was expelled from the International. Until 1874, he tried to carry out his last revolutionary actions. But his failing health prevents him from continuing to make efforts of this kind. In 1876, Mikhail Alexandrovich died in Bern, Switzerland.

And it was not revolutionaries who brought the revolution closer in practice, but ardent monarchists like Rodzianko.

Popular by topic