Mikhail Mikhailovich Speransky was born in 1772 into the family of a poor priest, in 1779 he began his studies at the Vladimir Theological Seminary. In 1788 Speransky, as one of the best seminarians, was sent to the Alexander Nevsky Seminary, which was opened in St. Petersburg the same year. Mikhail graduated from this educational institution in 1792, immediately after that he became a teacher of mathematics at the same seminary.
He conducted intense work on the project of transformations entrusted to him by Alexander I. However, in 1812, as a result of all sorts of slander against him, Speransky was sent into exile. He returned to St. Petersburg only in 1821 (which, however, was preceded by service in Penza and Siberia). During the reign of Nicholas I, he conducted codification activities.
During the years of study at the Vladimir seminary, Mikhail showed brilliant abilities. Speransky devoted a significant part of his time to reading, as a result of which Mikhail's reasoning acquired the character of not just presenting thoughts about what he had read, but also what was learned from life: he could talk about the fate of people, the peculiarities of their behavior. Young Speransky preferred intellectual activity to all kinds of entertainment, which was largely due to his firmness of character and independence of nature.
Mikhail Speransky was well versed in people. Studying their psychology was Mikhail's favorite pastime. In more mature years, he will become an expert in psychology. This feature, and as a result, the ability to get along with others and to please them, helped Mikhail Mikhailovich a lot in a variety of life situations.
In the Alexander Nevsky Seminary (where Speransky began his studies in 1788) Mikhail became the best. The training program for the trainees was very intense. Speransky, along with the rest of the seminarians, was accustomed to prolonged mental activity under the conditions of a severe monastic education. Frequent writing of essays on a wide variety of topics allowed students to learn how to easily and correctly express their opinions in writing. M.M. Within the walls of the Alexander Nevsky Seminary, Speransky was fond of philosophy, studied the works of many scientists. While studying at this educational institution, Mikhail wrote his first works on a philosophical topic. In them, he expressed a desire to respect the dignity and observance of the civil rights of any Russian person. Thus, Speransky had a negative attitude towards all kinds of arbitrariness and manifestations of despotism.
In 1791, Speransky dared to deliver a speech that warned the sovereign himself. This happened in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. The main idea of the report was that the sovereign must learn about human rights and adhere to them, that he is not allowed to tighten the chains of slavery. If the tsar does not comply with these instructions, then, according to Speransky, he is a "happy villain" whom his descendants will call only "the tyrant of their fatherland." It should be noted that the seminary instilled in students completely different beliefs: seminarians had to be submissive, respect and fear all those who were higher on the career ladder. However, the personality of Mikhail Mikhailovich was fully formed by this time - it was no longer possible to re-educate him, since within himself Mikhail remained a free man.
Fate predicted Speransky the role of an outstanding church figure. After graduating from the Alexander Nevsky Seminary, Speransky remains to work with her as a mathematics teacher. For four years of teaching, he broadened his horizons even more - in addition to his passion for philosophy, Mikhail Mikhailovich studied the works of scientists on economic and political topics, learned Russian reality; his knowledge becomes encyclopedic. Contemporaries notice in him a promising church figure - Metropolitan Gabriel insists on accepting monasticism. But Speransky did not accept this proposal - fate prepared for him the role of an outstanding statesman.
Speransky - home secretary A.B. Kurakin. Speransky was recommended to Prince Kurakin as a person who knows his business; but before Mikhail Mikhailovich was accepted, he had to pass the exam. The prince ordered Speransky to compose eleven letters, which were addressed to different people, but the prince did not give exact information - Kurakin told about his correspondence with them in general terms. When, at six o'clock in the morning, the letters were presented to Kurakin, he was very surprised at how elegant they were all written in a syllable. Having begun service with the prince, M.M. Speransky did not stop teaching at the Alexander Nevsky Chancellery.
Speransky's career was rapidly going uphill. With the accession to the throne of Paul I, Mikhail Mikhailovich became a senator, and after a while he was granted the post of prosecutor general. Kurakin advised Mikhail Mikhailovich to devote all the time in the service in his office, that is, to stop combining it with teaching. Speransky did not refuse the offer. Surprisingly, in just four years, the poor secretary became an important nobleman in Russia. In July 1801, he was granted a full state councilor.
Speransky is the father of the business language. The unique abilities of Mikhail Mikhailovich became the reason for his rapid career advancement - during the reign of Paul I, when new decrees and decrees were constantly appearing, such a competent official as Speransky was in demand. Mikhail Mikhailovich undertook the preparation of even the most complex documents. Speransky was patronized by all prosecutors general, and under Emperor Paul I, four were replaced.
The text of the appeal of the new emperor Alexander I to the people was compiled by M.M. Speransky. It was he who prepared the words that Alexander I uttered on the day of coronation, when he told the people the plan of action for the new reign. In the office of the Permanent Council (created in 1801), where the "young friends" of the emperor sat, M.M. Speransky - it was he who was part of the projects for "young friends".
Speransky - State Secretary V.P. Kochubei. While serving in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mikhail Mikhailovich was in parallel to work in the office of the Permanent Council. And Kochubey, by the way, was an approximate of the emperor himself. By 1814, Speransky for the first time outlined in his own political notes thoughts about the state apparatus of the Russian Empire; also argued in them the need for reforms.
Speransky is a supporter of the constitutional order. However, Mikhail Mikhailovich rightly assumed that the Russian Empire at the moment was not ready for the transition to a constitutional system, since for the beginning of reforms it is very important to transform the state apparatus itself. Mikhail Mikhailovich substantiated the need for civil and criminal law, freedom of the press, publicity in court - that is, he spoke about the introduction of new rights for society.
Until 1806, Mikhail Mikhailovich was regarded as a rising political star. For the time being, while Speransky remained in the shadows, he had no real enemies and envious people. The common origin of Mikhail Mikhailovich did not induce a feeling of irritation. Probably, such a loyal attitude towards him from the high society is explained by the fact that Speransky at that time did not touch anyone's interests at all.
The take-off of Speransky's career dates back to 1806. It was at this time that Kochubey allowed Speransky to report to Emperor Alexander I, who appreciated the abilities of State Secretary Mikhail Mikhailovich. The latter had many advantages: Speransky, by virtue of his origin, was not involved in palace intrigues, was not associated with court circles, and Mikhail Mikhailovich's talents were immediately evident. By 1806, "young friends" had ceased to be of interest to Alexander I - the emperor gave them various orders outside the capital. Therefore, a person like Speransky was very useful to the emperor.
Speransky did not condemn the Tilsit Peace Treaty concluded in 1807. And he also attracted Alexander I. While the entire public was only talking about national humiliation (as a result of the defeat of Russian troops to the French), as well as about the need to change the government, Mikhail Mikhailovich Speransky even somewhat sympathized with both the French in general and himself Napoleon. The Emperor of Russia found support for himself in Mikhail Mikhailovich - after all, Speransky had authority in society. When Alexander I met with Napoleon in Erfurt, the latter also appreciated the choice of the Russian emperor.
Speransky is the main adviser to Alexander I in state affairs. Mikhail Mikhailovich received this appointment (together with the post of assistant minister of justice) immediately after the meeting of the Russian and French emperors in Erfurt. From now on, all documents intended for Alexander I passed through the hands of M.M. Speransky. A very trusting relationship arose between Mikhail Mikhailovich and the emperor, so trusting that Alexander I could talk for hours with Speransky about state affairs, and in 1808 he instructed him to prepare a plan for the necessary reforms. Mikhail Mikhailovich agreed, although he was afraid that his work would draw a line under a calm promotion.
The plan of state reforms was ready in 1809. Its appearance was preceded by colossal work on the study of legislative documents of other countries. Speransky, together with his employees, analyzed the French Constitution, the United States Declaration of Independence and other similar documents. Catherine II's attempts to draw up a code of laws were not ignored. The plan, developed in 1809, secured the legal rights of the class division of society, provided for the organization of the judicial and executive powers as independent structures. At the same time, Mikhail Mikhailovich assumed that Alexander I himself would present the Constitution of the Russian Empire. To implement all the points, the establishment of a system of elected bodies, including the State Duma, was required. True, its activities would still be completely dependent on the emperor, who, if desired, could dismiss all members and cancel any meeting. In other words, the State Duma was supposed to be only a legislative body, but not a legislative one.
Speransky's plan for state reforms was considered at a meeting of the State Council. It was created in 1810 and was the highest advisory body in Russia. Individual points of the plan, although they gained very few votes, were approved by Alexander I. However, many of the provisions proposed by Speransky, according to members of the State Council, replaced the autocratic power of the monarch. After all, the emperor in the Russian Empire has always personally been both the supreme judge and the ruler of all kinds of power. Therefore, the provisions submitted for consideration on the separation of the judicial and executive powers seemed to many to be blasphemy. It is because of this that the generalized assessment of Speransky's plan, which emerged by the fall of 1811, read: "Good, but not the time." Indeed, the time for such transformations has not yet come.
Speransky carried out a wide range of activities. The judgment refers to the period from 1807 to 1812. At this time, Speransky was constantly a member of various committees and commissions, however, his work was always correlated with issues of state transformations. The scale of his activities was amazing. But it was during the take-off of his career that Mikhail Mikhailovich discovered many enemies - people dissatisfied with the reforms carried out by Speransky. For example, at the initiative of M.M. Speransky in 1809, a decree on court titles was adopted, according to which it became necessary for all chamberlains and chamber junkers to serve. For comparison, since the time of Empress Catherine the Great, high ranks in the civil service were also prescribed to young representatives of the nobility who received the appropriate titles. From now on, a career could only be made while in the service. It was this that dealt a serious blow to the titled nobility.
M.M. Speransky - Secretary of State. He received this position in 1810 - immediately after the establishment of the State Council. From that moment on, Mikhail Mikhailovich became in fact the second person in the Russian Empire. He can be called the most influential dignitary of the state. Speransky was such a significant person in Russia that even members of the imperial family sometimes asked him for any kind of favor, while Mikhail Mikhailovich himself could reject any of their requests if he regarded it as contrary to existing laws. Speransky always suppressed embezzlement and bribery.
Speransky developed a plan for transformations in the field of finance. Reforms were necessary in the context of the wars in which the Russian Empire participated, and the transformations began in 1810. The following measures were taken: the issue of banknotes was stopped; the sums of money directed at the disposal of ministries were cut, the activities of which, by the way, were put under control; the tax burden increased (including for the noble landowners, who had not previously been burdened with taxes). Naturally, these new formations also caused a storm of discontent among the nobles, mainly the aristocracy.
M.M. Speransky was accused of undermining the established state foundations. A whole army of officials and nobles opposed him - they gave negative assessments to Speransky. These people knew about the suspiciousness of Alexander I, therefore, in order to protect themselves, they influenced the emperor with unflattering comments about Mikhail Mikhailovich. They even accused him of Freemasonry, although Speransky himself had a negative attitude towards this trend. And here the enemies of Mikhail Mikhailovich hit right on target - the emperor was afraid of possible revolutionary actions of the Freemasons. However, the fall of Speransky's authority was also influenced by a blow to the pride of Alexander I - the emperor saw with what diligence Mikhail Mikhailovich decides matters, for example, related to preparations for war with France. In addition, the entire capital was full of talk about M.M.'s betrayal. Speransky to his Fatherland - he was even called a French spy. In connection with all of the above, Alexander I decided to resign the outstanding statesman of the 19th century.
Speransky did not immediately manage to justify himself before Alexander I. On March 17, 1812, Mikhail Mikhailovich was summoned to the palace, and on the night of the same date he was already on his way to exile to Nizhny Novgorod. Speransky regarded the incident as intrigue. He sent letters to Alexander I, hoping for an excuse - asking to be allowed to live on his estate. However, such permission did not follow - Speransky was sent into exile in Perm; his family also moved to a new place to live with Mikhail Mikhailovich.
While in exile, Speransky devoted himself to literature. Its content was mainly spiritual. All this time, Mikhail Mikhailovich sent applications for permission to return to his native estate. They gave their results - in the fall of 1814, the former reformer was allowed to move to his village of Velikopolye, which was in the Novgorod province.
Alexander I granted Speransky's request to appoint him to the civil service. In 1816 Mikhail Mikhailovich became the governor of Penza.
Speransky managed to return to Petersburg only in March 1821.Mikhail Mikhailovich dreamed of coming to the capital since his appointment as governor of Penza. While working in Penza, he restored ties with ministers and high-ranking officials. In 1819 M.M. Speransky was sent to Siberia by the governor-general, here he developed a project for reorganizing the administration of Siberia. When Mikhail Mikhailovich proposes it for consideration to Alexander I - after returning to Petersburg - the emperor immediately approves it. Arrival in the capital was marked by the receipt of several positions at once. Speransky became a member of the Siberian Committee and the State Council. In addition, Mikhail Mikhailovich was appointed manager of the Commission for the drafting of laws.
Speransky is a participant in the trial of the Decembrists. Emperor Nicholas I suspected Speransky's sympathy for the Decembrists; by appointment to the court, he wanted to check Mikhail Mikhailovich. Speransky, although he was not a member of the societies of the future Decembrists, had many friends among them. But M.M. Speransky realized that his participation in the trial was necessary.
Speransky is the government's legal adviser. This was Speransky's last service. But it was she who brought him fame. Mikhail Mikhailovich began work on the Code of Laws of Russia. The fact is that by the time of the accession to the throne of the new Emperor Nicholas I (1825), only the Cathedral Code, adopted in 1649, was in force in the Russian Empire, no collection of laws existed.
Speransky - Manager of the II Branch of His Imperial Majesty's own Chancellery. This department was created with the aim of systematizing laws in the relevant branches of law. The result of Mikhail Mikhailovich's work was the forty-five volumes of the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire, published by 1830, after which six more volumes were published. Speransky's activities were not limited to this - by 1833 work on fifteen volumes of the Code of Laws of the Russian Empire was completed.
Speransky's codification activity was appreciated by Nicholas I. Throughout the rest of his life - until 1839 - Mikhail Mikhailovich worked on the preparation of various manuals on jurisprudence, thought about the charter of the school of jurisprudence. Speransky's diligence was encouraged by the emperor - in 1837 M.M. Speransky was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called. This order was the highest award in Russia. And in 1839 Mikhail Mikhailovich became a count.