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The Orthodox Nationalist: Tsar St. Paul I - The Restorer of Old Russia – TON 062117

Портрет Павла I

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson hosts a new episode of The Orthodox Nationalist, this week looking at one of the greatest of the Russian rulers, Tsar St. Paul I.

In 1796, Russia was an oligarchy ruled by rent seeking, Masonic, deeply corrupt officials and aristocrats who did not even see themselves as Russian. Speaking French or German, they rejected the faith and were turning Russia into just another European empire.

Catherine II's "Charter of the Nobility" gave the elites free rein. No longer were they forced to serve the common good. Because of this, they became lazy, exploiting their serfs mercilessly. Serfdom, once a means to guarantee peasants a living and to protect small landowners from losing labor to large ones, became similar to slavery.

Tsar Paul had been kept from the throne by his mother, who favored Alexander I. Paul took over regardless in 1796 and instituted a dizzying array of reforms designed to both restore the Old Russian faith and still maintain Russia's standing in the modern world.

The nobles, outraged with his banning of Masonry, plotted to kill him. Led by the military governor of St. Petersburg Count von Pahlen, they murdered Paul by strangling him with a scarf on March 23, 1801.

Only the synod of Metropolitan Damascene of Moscow, a branch of the Catacomb church, has canonized him. Other Orthodox churches should do the same.

Until 1905, it was forbidden to speak of how Paul was murdered. After the massive Pugachev rebellion under Catherine, the nobles were fearful of peasant unrest. Had it been known the elites killed their monarch, another revolution would have broken out.

Paul set the stage for the freeing of the serfs, and was the first to legislate on their behalf. They could only work 3 days a week on their landlord's property and never on Sunday and they could complain against their landlords. Governors were ordered to strictly enforce this. He assisted the Old Believers, rebuilding their churches after centuries of persecution. He assisted struggling peasants and took military officers away from usury and other rent-seeking behaviors in peacetime.

He restored old Russia for a brief time. The great victories of the Tsars in the 19th century could not have occurred without Paul. He was one of the greatest of Russian rulers.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Tsar St. Paul I - The Restorer of Old Russia – TON 062117


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