Research article
Issue: № 3 (129), 2023


In this paper, a study of causal relationship as a legal category affecting the development of institutions of state regulation and cultural and spiritual development of the state is done. To achieve the goal set in the article – to consider the actual causal relationships of internal and external phenomena that form the consequence, the following task was solved: to reveal the content of the causal relationship of crimes against the state in the vision of A.S. Pushkin on the example of historical monograph “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion”. Such methods as: historicism, analysis of the facts of Pugachev’s rebellion, logical explanation of the order of the appearance and development of the rebellion, comparative analysis of the facts of the work and the existing reality, the method of scientific modeling of the legal situation of the state at the time of the rebellion of 1773 were used.

1. Introduction

“Causal relationship” in legal science is the basis for bringing to responsibility in any form of responsibility (criminal, civil, administrative and disciplinary). This is an objectively existing link between the act (action / inaction) and the adverse consequences that have occurred. A person can only be responsible for the consequences that result from his actions. The action of third parties, external forces, exclude the culpability of person’s actions. The study of the cause of the connection is the subject of knowledge of the science “Philosophy”, and in legal science forms definitions of the presence or absence of guilt. The concept of guilt characterizes the action as intentional or careless. All these circumstances are established within the framework of specific cases under the guise of responsibility. In the case under consideration, Pugachev’s actions fall under criminal responsibility for the multiplicity of acts against the state system, the life and health of both military officers and their family members (women, children). The consequences of the acts have a direct connection and proximity, as the crimes occurred with or without the participation of Pugachev’s awareness.

The philosophical category of causes is an incentive to the actions of cognition, both empirically and epistemologically. Pugachev’s obvious dissatisfaction with the actual situation and the adventurous nature of his personality led to the transformation of consciousness and the exaltation of himself an emperor. Currently, the picture of the external impact of changing consciousness with the aim of committing crimes against the state by other states is clear. But this is also a complex structure of the legal nature of the causal relationship. Nowhere it is indicated, both in the verdict and in the investigation, who exactly pushed Pugachev to the exaltation himself the emperor. Therefore, the combination of sciences and knowledge can reveal the essence of the problem.

So, the ideologeme of the study is the study of the causal features of crimes of military service, based on Pugachev’s example in A.S. Pushkin’s work. An attempt is made to present the criminological aspect of betrayal inherent in military service. Terminologically, the study can be formulated as criminologoproditology. The set of the applied methods of cognition on the example of the description of crimes in A.S. Pushkin’s presentation allowed us to conclude that there were many reasons (actions of internal and external enemies of the state) that led Pugachev to criminal actions.

To achieve the goal set in the article – to consider the actual causal relationships of internal and external phenomena that form the consequence, the following task was solved: to reveal the content of the causal relationship of crimes against the state in the vision of A.S. Pushkin based on his work.

The relevance of the research lies in the fact that in the context of the “Defense Security” doctrine, it is provided not only by the military doctrine, but also by all social and scientific activities aimed at strengthening state-social ties and their development.

The study of the selected material required the choice of some methods: historicism, analysis of the facts of Pugachev’s rebellion, a logical explanation of the order of the appearance and development of the rebellion, a comparative analysis of the facts of the work and the existing reality, a method of scientific modeling of the legal situation of the state at the time of the rebellion


2. Research methods and principles

Methodological base. The available published research works on A.S. Pushkin’s historical monograph “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion” by the authors of various fields of scientific activity are aimed at studying the course of the historical event

their participants, for some authors, are divided not only by social origin
, but also by the national and ethnic affiliation of the participants in the events
, but without taking into account the historical and legal context of the events both during the writing of the monograph, and the events of Pugachev’s rebellion, correlated with the state-legal situation set forth by the poet in an accessible artistic style, with historical and legal accuracy

In the Russian legal understanding, the very construction of the causal relationship indicates that the cause is the precursor of the effect in time. The development of the research of the institute of dishonesty as an independent basis for bringing to responsibility, enshrined in the Civil Code in the tenth article, establishing the illegality of actions aimed at harming other persons. It is necessary for the direction of the entire sphere of legal regulation

. Transferring this construction to the way of presenting the monograph and historical conditions, the paper will attempt to describe the circumstances of bad conscience, the circle of persons causing harm and the correlation with the existing reality of the causal relationship.

The historical period of the monograph is Boldino 1830–1833. This is the period after the end of the Russian-Persian War of 1828–1829, the recent events of the December uprisings of 1825, the Polish Uprising of 1830–1831, as well as the “cholera rebellion” of the same period. The word “rebellion” itself is the only addition of Nicholas I to the title of the book “The History of Pugachev” by A.S. Pushkin “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion”. There was an indication that the poet sympathized unnecessarily with the rebels.

3. Main results

3.1. Prerequisites for the creation of the historical essay

In the preface of the historical essay “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion” A.S. Pushkin noted that he collected everything that was made public about Pugachev and recorded in manuscripts and legends and what was authentic to him in the works of foreign writers who spoke about him in their works.

“The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion”, which took A.S. Pushkin’s time and strength, did not have commercial success in selling copies, because the main buyers were nobles, and their images in an objective presentation had been presented in an impartial light based on confirmed historical facts and documents as betraying of the state interests. All the above said was the cause of the rebellion. Later he wrote a successful novel “The Captain’s Daughter” where the tragic fate of real historical heroes was revealed.

So, returning to the work “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion”, we can point out that it begins from the words of Archimandrite Platon Lyubarsky that Pugachev did not realize the full content and meaning of what was happening, since much depended on other people in different places.

In other words, in the committed crimes, using legal terminology, Pugachev acted as a performer, in fact, not being able to influence the crimes. The poet confirmed his dependence, since Pugachev was forced to abandon his attachment to the young widow Kharlova, who practically dissuaded Pugachev from further participation in the rebellion. Later, she and her younger brother were killed during Pugachev’s inaction.

The work indicates the toponymy of the hydronym “Yaik”, renamed by Catherine II to “Ural”, thereby changing the name of the rebellious Yaitsky Cossack army to “Ural”. As a rule, all names of Cossack troops were usually given due to hydronyms (Don, Kuban, Amur, etc.). The historical method of settling Cossacks in the Urals shows the resettlement of Don Cossacks. 

A.S. Pushkin supported the story that the Cossacks did not have families and the first family Cossack in this place was ataman Gugnya (an epic hero who had taken his wife on a campaign, and later, to the Urals). From that time, the Cossacks began to form families and have a settled lifestyle.

Revealing historical circumstances, in the monograph the poet formed a picture of life before Pugachev’s rebellion and a detailed course of events of crimes.

To illustrate the necessity of legal qualification of Pugachev’s actions, there are the following examples taken from the original text of A.S. Pushkin’ s work “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion” in Russian (they are translated into English by the authors of this article and are given in parentheses).

«Пугачев, зажегши ограбленные им Белорецкие заводы, быстро перешел через Уральские горы… приступил к Магнитной, не имея при себе ни одной пушки»

. (Pugachev, having burnt down the Beloretsk factories he had robbed, quickly crossed the Ural Mountains... and started to destroy the Magnitniy factory without having a single cannon.).

«23 июня Пугачев переправился через Каму и пошел на винокуренные заводы Ижевский и Воткинский. Венцель, начальник оных, был мучительски умерщвлен, заводы разграблены, и все работники забраны в злодейскую толпу»

. (On June 23, Pugachev crossed the Kama River and went to the Izhevsk and Votkinskiy distilleries. Wenzel’, the chief of the distilleries, was martyred. The factories were looted. All the workers were forced into the villainous crowd).

Thus, according to chapter 16 of the Military Article, Pugachev, as a Cossack, committed treason that unequivocally was punishable by death. But, realizing that, he exalted himself Peter III. Imposture according to the Military Article referred to state crimes with the aim of seizing power. The punishment, in such case, was quartering and for rebellion the punishment was hanging. Pugachev was sentenced to be quartered.

In addition, we would like to point out the criminological aspect of the formation of criminal behavior, which was later brightly revealed by A.S. Pushkin in “The Captain’s Daughter”: the underestimation of Pugachev and the overestimation of others in military service. 

3.2. Description of the content of category “rebellion”

Defining the chain of causal events and intentions of Pugachev’s rebellion, it is necessary to touch on the understanding beyond the legal assessment. In Russian law, the system of causal relationship is studied in sufficient detail, especially in the field of criminal law. It is also inherent in other branches of law, but to a lesser extent. In the modern period of multicolored revolutions in the most unexpected places, the development of legal and other general humanitarian sciences is required to assess the cause-effect relationships of these events. To be precise, the term consequence-causal relationships should be introduced because of the evidence of the preparation of causes and the achieved effect. For these purposes, the creation of suitable causes does not have a mass character and objective development.

Terminological certainty requires clarification of the content of the category “rebellion”, which has a German origin and literally means “union”. In the current understanding, it is a short-term uprising of people against the existing order with the use of violence. The element “people” has a qualifying meaning, which implies spontaneity and lack of intention to change the state structure, because the people are not capable of it without the participation of the ruling class.

In the text of the work, the poet casually mentioned the beginning of the rebellion without the participation of Pugachev, due to the failure to fulfill the duties of officialdom in terms of providing Cossacks and making exorbitant extortions from ordinary Cossacks groundlessly. Perhaps it was this provision that caused the rejection of the monograph by bureaucracy and military officers, who believe that this is not a reason for the murder of commanding officers with families and children. Naturally, there can be no excuses for such crimes and punishment. As illustrative consequences of “Pugachevism”, the poet gave an example of the irrepressible appetite of his contemporary, the fable-writer Krylov, who was the son of an officer Krylov and experienced hunger in his infancy during Pugachev’s siege. In the monograph, A.S. Pushkin did not take objectivity in describing details as not being a criminologist.

The work contained detailed descriptions of the course of the rebellion itself with a visual description of the battle scenes, with a clear definition of the involved forces, the results of the clashes, the dead people. Perhaps A.S. Pushkin influenced many subsequent both military specialists and writers in the way of presenting battle scenes as representatively as possible, minimizing insignificant details, but fully revealing the essence of the incidents. This is of decisive importance in the legal technique of presenting crimes, both in court verdicts and during the investigation. In this connection, the poet formed a legal technique for describing crimes in an accessible and understandable way.

A detailed description of the causes of the rebellion can be found in the appendix to the monograph. It should be noted that the poet’s note “On the nobility” refers to the period of writing of the work under the present study. The note was presented exclusively in the form of the list of questions about the nobility, the variability of the nobility, changes in the estate, the essence of the nobility and its place in the state to ensure recruitment. There were many questions that have to be answered in other works. Nevertheless, the leitmotif of A.S. Pushkin both in the monograph and in other works is the same: the people are against the nobility, but for the state and the emperor. The very approach to Pugachev’s exaltation of himself as Emperor Peter III and the support of the general population with expressed hatred of the nobility as distorting the will of the emperor and the purpose of the state arose in fact indirectly from every page of the monograph.

4. The cause of the Cossack rebellion

In the monograph the poet quite clearly indicated the reason for the discontent of the Yaitskiy Cossacks, who served as the beginning of unrest due to the violation of the established order. In this regard, in a note to the monograph, A.S. Pushkin described in detail the rule of fishing on the Yaik River, the violation of which triggered the unrest.

Therefore, the responsibility for observing the rule of fishing was on the military administration. The well-established fishing regulations described by the writer were admired for the picturesqueness of the image and the clear definition of the catch process with the participation of representatives of all families, on equal terms and at equal distance, with the same gear. A.S. Pushkin also indicated that the best catch (the first piece) was sent to the court accompanied by the Cossacks who recommended themselves most boldly. The very right to accompany the confirmation of the imperial authority over the Yaitskiy Cossacks in the form of the transfer of the best catch had a ritual of recognition of the supreme authority of the imperial power. A.S. Pushkin pointed out that the Cossacks were rewarded by the court upon arrival in the form of impressive travel expenses. In addition, the surplus of the best fishing production was sent for the sale, with subsequent use for general needs. Moreover, the catch was distributed according to the needs of Cossack families equally. However, the Cossacks became aware of cases of fishing secretly by persons close to the military nobility, which caused open indignation and turned into an armed demonstration due to the lack of solutions to the issues raised. 

As a characteristic of the causes of the rebellion, in the poet’s notes to the monograph, in a note to chapter two, it was indicated that Pugachev had been known in Yaitsk as a schismatic who pushed the Cossacks to escape to the Laba River (the modern Krasnodar Territory) to the Turkish region. It was repeatedly pointed out that Pugachev had relations with the Polish authorities during his service. That was why he was exiled to government work. Confirmation of Pugachev’s characterization was given as an idle person who neglected work and any duties, who was hostile to both state and communal orders of the Cossack army.

Obviously, considering A.S. Pushkin’s attention to the Cossacks, the main formalization of state regulation took place: the recognition of the tsarevichs, starting with Alexander II, as the ataman of all Cossack troops from October 2, 1827. That was preserved until the destruction of the Russian Empire. The future emperor, from childhood, was involved in regulating the activities of the Cossacks. The studied material made it possible to systematize rich information about the Cossacks to preserve and develop this institution and exclude the reasons for the unrest of the Cossacks, which could be the cause of another rebellion and achieve such the consequence as the weakening (destruction) of the state, since the Cossacks were located at the posts of protection of the state borders.

5. Conclusion

Therefore, there were no disturbances on the part of the Cossacks, and their victories began to glorify the Russian Empire, especially in the south, then the poet’s work cannot be overestimated. Effective mechanisms of both military organization and civil arrangement were formed with a built-up vertical of the manifestation of the Cossack will at gatherings (Military training camps) and justice according to established canons, considering the military state organization of the service. The only example of the discontent of the Cossacks of that period was the discontent of the Cossacks of the Azov Cossack army, due to the settlement in different places. That dispute was solved due to the participation of Alexander II, who settled them compactly, with the possibility to name the settlement, for example, the modern Azovskaya village of the Krasnodar Territory.

In the work under consideration, the poet revealed the reasons for the inaction of many state bodies that led to the tragic consequences of the rebellion. A.S. Pushkin paid his activities and life to strengthen statehood. It also manifested itself in the creation of a literary language having a folk character, involvement in the literature of folk tales, realistic works in both prose and poetry, for example, the description of Mazepa’s betrayal in “Poltava”, in the first, vivid, folk poem about the participation of the people in the victory. The poet, according to Odoevsky, was the founder of the “golden age” of Russian literature. Naturally, this undermined the “quasi-similarity” of the Western powers, including in literature. Therefore, the story of A.S. Pushkin’s deadly duel was tragic and was the same state crime as those described by him in the monograph “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion”.

For this reason, the development of the institute of causality in law enforcement, linguistics, and other branches of knowledge and science should have a systematic and logical character for the study of events and phenomena in their movement, considering the motivational reasons of all participants in the relationship and beneficiaries. The historical analysis of the causal relationship due to the examples of artistic images in the monograph “The History of Pugachev’s Rebellion” with the presence of accurate historical information in the appendix to the monograph is a rich source for the study by many sciences.

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