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CONSTANTINE PETROVICH POBEDONOSTSEV (...

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 872 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONSTANTINE PETROVICH POBEDONOSTSEV (1827-1907), Russian jurist, state official, and writer on philosophical and literary subjects. Born in Moscow in 1827, he studied at the School of Law in St Petersburg, and entered the public service as an official in one of the Moscow departments of the senate. From 186o to 1865 he was professor of Russian civil law in the Moscow University, and instructed the sons of Alexander II. in the theory of law and administration. In 1868 he became a senator in St Petersburg, in 1872 a member of the council of the empire, and in r88o chief procurator of the Holy Synod. He always showed himself an uncompromising Conservative, and never shrank from expressing boldly his opinions. Consequently, in the so-called Liberal camp he was always denounced an an " obscurantist" and an enemy of progress. In the early years of the reign of Alexander II. (1855-1881), Pobedonostsev maintained, though keeping aloof from the Slavophils, that Occidental institutions were radically bad in themselves and totally inapplicable to Russia. Parliamentary methods of administration, modern judicial organization and procedure, trial by jury, freedom of the press, secular education—these were among the principal objects of his aversion. He 1 See G. Marinelli, in Atli inst. veneto sci., 8th series, vol. viii. (1896-1897); and " L'Accrescimento del Delta del Po nel Secolo XIX.," in Riv, Georg. Ital. (1898), vol. v. superior. Pop. about 6o,000, consisting of Cambodians, Annamese, Chinese, Malays, Indians and about 600 Europeans. It is situated on the Mekong about 173 m. from its mouth at the point where it divides into two arms and is joined by the branch connecting it with the Great Lake (Tonle-Sap). Its position makes it the market for the products of Cambodia, Laos, Upper Burma and part of Siam (dried fish, rice, cotton, indigo, cardamoms, &c.) The town is lighted by electricity. The palace of the king of Cambodia occupies a large space in the Cambodian quarter. The town gets its name from the Pn6m, a central hill surmounted by an ancient pagoda. PO (anc. Padus, Gr. lI66os), a river of northern Italy, and the largest in the whole country, with a total length of about 310 m. direct from the source to the mouth, but, including its many windings, of some 417 M. The navigable portion from Casale Monferrato to the mouth is 337 m.; the minimum width of this portion 656 ft., and its minimum depth 7 ft. Owing to the prevalence of shallows and sandbanks, navigation is difficult. The Po is the dominating factor in north Italian geography, north Italy practically consisting of the Po basin, with the surrounding slopes. of the Alps and Apennines. For a description of its course, and a list of its principal tributaries see ITALY. The area of its basin, which includes portions of Switzerland and Austria, is estimated at 26,798 sq. m. In the first 21 M. of its course, down to Revello (west of Saluzzo), the Po descends no less than 5250 ft., or a fall of 47.3: 1000, forming a very remarkable contrast to its fall lower down. From the confluence of the Ticino its fall is about 0•3:I000; from the beginning of the delta below Ferrara, o•o8':I000. At Turin it has an average width of 400 to 415 ft., a mean depth of 32 to 51 ft., and a velocity of I to 3 ft. in the second. The mean depth from the confluence of the Ticino (altitude 217 ft.) downwards is 6 to 15 ft. The river is embanked from Piacenza, and 'continuously from Cremona,. the total length of the embankments exceeding 600 m. Owing to its confinement between these high banks, and to the great amount of sedimentary matter which the river brings down with it, its bed has been gradually raised, so that in its lower course it is in many places above the level of the surrounding country. A result of confining the stream between its containing banks is the rapid growth of the delta. Lombardini calculated that the annual increase in the area of the Po delta during the period 1300 to 1600 amounted to 127 acres; but during the period 1600 to 183o it rose to 324 acres. Marinelli 1 estimated that between the years 1823 subjected all of them to a severe analysis in his Reflections of a Russian Statesman (English by R. C. Long, London, 1898). To these dangerous products of Occidental rationalism he found a counterpoise in popular vis inertiae, and in the respect of the masses for institutions developed slowly and automatically during the past centuries of national life. Among the practical deductions drawn from these premisses is the necessity of pre-serving the autocratic power, and of fostering among the people the traditional veneration for the ritual of the national Church. In the sphere of practical politics he exercised considerable influence by inspiring and encouraging the Russification policy of Alexander III. (1881-1894), which found expression in an administrative Nationalist propaganda and led to a good deal of religious persecution. After the death of Alexander III. he lost much of his influence, for Nicholas II., while clinging to his father's Russification policy and even extending it to Fin-land, disliked the idea of systematic religious persecution, and was not wholly averse from the partial emancipation of the Russian Church from civil control. During the revolutionary tumult which followed the disastrous war with Japan Pobedonostsev, being nearly 8o years of age, retired from public affairs. He died on the 23rd of March 1907.
End of Article: CONSTANTINE PETROVICH POBEDONOSTSEV (1827-1907)
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