Alexander Andreevich Bezborodko was born in 1747. He was a very energetic person, but did not differ in his wealth.
In 1765, Alexander Bezborodko graduated from the Kiev Theological Academy, after which he entered the office of P.A.Rumyantsev, who was the ruler of Little Russia. Rumyantsev helped Alexander a lot in his career. Naturally, Bezborodko's own talents contributed to this. Alexander Andreevich in 1771 was already a colonel. Rumyantsev also recommended Bezborodko to Catherine II as secretary.
In 1780, Alexander Andreevich was appointed by the Empress to the College of Foreign Affairs. Since 1784, Bezborodko became the second person in this board (after Osterman) - in fact, the leader.
Bezborodko received the post of Chancellor only under Paul I - on April 21, 1797. At this time, Alexander Andreevich felt unwell. He passed away two years later.
Myths about Alexander Andreevich Bezborodko
A.A. Bezborodko possessed extraordinary talents. It was thanks to them that he, the son of the general clerk, was able to independently climb the career ladder. Bezborodko's enormous capacity for work, the ability to clearly pose a question and formulate thoughts came in handy in his life. And his excellent memory and the ability to grasp everything on the fly were noted by his peers while still studying at the Kiev Theological Academy.
Catherine II herself was convinced of the tenacious memory of Alexander Andreevich. Once she read out some law - so Bezborodko could tell it exactly from memory without hesitation. When Catherine the Great asked for a book in which this law was written in order to check the correctness of what was stated, Alexander Andreevich pointed out to her the page number where it was printed!
Bezborodko was interested in the history of his country. The free time that remained after the service, Alexander Andreevich gave to history: he penned three works, which covered individual subjects in the history of the country. In 1776 he finished writing his first work. It was dedicated to the history of the Tatars. Bezborodko substantiated the following thesis in it - Crimea must be annexed to the Russian Empire, since the recognition of its independence is only a fiction. Based on this, we can say that Bezborodko was the first person who openly expressed this idea. It was carried out by G.A. Potemkin. The second essay dealt with the history of Ukraine. The authors were Bezborodko and Rubak, they published it in 1778. The third work of Bezborodko was associated with the main achievements of the reign of Catherine the Great.
Catherine II was very supportive of her secretary. Bezborodko was proud of this, he shared his successes with his father. He calculated that in 1778 he dined at the same table with Catherine II and other important dignitaries of the country (Potemkin, Vyazemsky, etc.) twenty times. In 1779, Catherine the Great expressed her benevolent attitude towards Bezborodko materially: he was gifted with 1,220 souls of peasants, and was also elevated to the rank of brigadier.
Bezborodko was fluent in words. It took him one minute to compose the paper. As noted by Gelbig, no one could cope better than Alexander Andreevich with writing letters and decrees. In the shortest possible time, he brought written paper, which was made in accordance with all the patterns and rules. By the way, the Manifesto on the annexation of Crimea was also drawn up by Bezborodko.
Catherine II completely trusted Bezborodko. He knew how to smooth out conflicts, find a middle ground even in an extremely confusing situation; he was not stubborn. For all this, the empress greatly appreciated Alexander Andreevich, often it was with him that she shared her plans and secrets. In any case, until 1792 Bezborodko had complete confidence on the part of Catherine the Great. Bezborodko in no way abused this trust, did not use the existing position for his own purposes, did not take bribes.
Bezborodko played an important role as a speaker. A huge amount of information passed through the hands of Alexander Andreevich. Bezborodko conveyed all this information to the empress. A tenacious memory helped to withstand the enormous load.
Bezborodko is an important government official. In 1780, Alexander Andreevich was assigned to the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. Then he received the rank of major general. This was a much more important position than secretary. From now on, Alexander Andreevich Bezborodko could make completely independent decisions.
Bezborodko was also admitted to domestic affairs. For example, in 1783, Catherine II organized a commission whose purpose was to increase the revenue side of the state. Bezborodko also joined this commission. The measures developed by the commission were reduced to an increase in the tax burden: for state, palace and economic peasants the quitrent was increased from two to three rubles; taxes levied on peasants in some regions were equalized with taxes paid by Russian peasants. The activities of the commission also affected merchants. For the supply of recruits, the amount collected was increased from 360 to 500 rubles. Prices for some products have increased. For all her labors, Catherine the Great granted Alexander Andreevich about two thousand peasants on the territory of Ukraine.
In 1784, Bezborodko became the second person in the College of Foreign Affairs. In fact, it was Alexander Andreevich who became its leader. The fact is that the president of this department was I.A. Osterman, who was reputed to be very colorless in nature - he did not have any important influence on the matter. That is why the threads of control were in the hands of Bezborodko, who, by the way, expressed dissatisfaction with being in a subordinate position in this case.
Bezborodko was indifferent to receiving material rewards. Rather the opposite. He loved when his hard work was marked by the award of titles, the receipt of the next rank, material awards.
Bezborodko reached the zenith of fame in the 80s of the 18th century. After Potemkin, he occupied an honorable second place among the nobles of Catherine the Great. However, if we take into account the fact that Potemkin was absent from the capital most of the time, then Alexander Andreevich played the role of the main grandee under the empress at that very time.
Bezborodko had a very tense relationship with the favorites of Catherine II. There was a complicated relationship between Alexander Andreevich and Dmitriev-Mamonov, so complicated that Bezborodko calculated the time to report to the empress so as not to find Mamonov with her. Bezborodko also had bad relations with Platon Zubov.
Bezborodko headed the Russian delegation to conclude the Yassy Peace with the Ottoman Empire (1791). Alexander Andreevich had rather difficult tasks, but it was in their solution that Bezborodko's diplomatic abilities were fully revealed. The goals that Alexander Andreevich should have been guided by were two: peace must be concluded as quickly as possible and peace must be beneficial for the Russian Empire. Bezborodko introduced Catherine II to all the actions taken. The head of the delegation led the negotiations firmly, declaring to the Turks that Russia wants peace, but, nevertheless, has sufficient potential to continue the war. Thus, in this Russian-Turkish war, Bezborodko's diplomatic talents were expressed in the fact that he was the author of the Manifesto on the beginning of the war, as well as the head of the delegation for the signing of the peace treaty (Yassy Peace). However, the merit of Bezborodko in concluding peace was very modestly noted by Catherine the Great. Alexander Andreevich was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called and fifty thousand rubles. Probably, the behavior of the empress was associated with the influence of the favorite Zubov, who assured her of not very good results of the negotiations. However, if we consider that Russia did not have the resources for further hostilities, then peace was indeed beneficial for the country.
After the conclusion of the Yassy Peace Treaty, Bezborodko's situation worsened. He was rushed to Petersburg to inform him of the appointment of Zubov in his place, and Bezborodko himself - to serve the favorite. Alexander Andreevich no longer had the previous position. The empress did not recognize his merit: she included him in the list of those people who played almost an ordinary role in the diplomatic field.
After Bezborodko returned to St. Petersburg, his reconciliation with Catherine II was only formal. The empress made amends for the cooling in relations with generous gifts: Bezborodko in 1793 were granted seven thousand peasants and the rank of chief-gofmeister - the highest rank at court. Still, Alexander Andreevich was outraged by the fact that the favorite of the Empress Zubov appropriated his merits to himself.
Under Paul I, the position of Alexander Andreevich strengthened. The precariousness of Bezborodko's position was out of the question, on the contrary, the emperor paid such attention to him, which Bezborodko did not have even under Catherine the Great. This was partly due to the fact that Paul I tried to imitate his mother as little as possible (from an early age of Paul, they had a difficult relationship).
Bezborodko was gifted by Paul I. In honor of the coronation of the new tsar (April 6, 1797) A.A. Bezborodko received so many favors from him that he himself realized "how much they are beyond measure." Among the gifts were: a portrait of the emperor covered with diamonds; more than 10 thousand peasants; also Bezborodko received princely dignity; and on April 21, 1797, Alexander Andreevich became chancellor. Such generosity is connected precisely with the persecution of Bezborodko during the time of Catherine the Great: partly on the part of the Empress herself, mainly on the part of her favorite, Zubov. Bezborodko wanted to thank Paul I with his hard work. However, in the first years of his reign, the new emperor did not carry out any important foreign policy acts. And the forces of Alexander Andreevich Bezborodko were no longer the same as Catherine the Great.
Bezborodko resisted the disease as best he could. The effect of the drugs was negligible, there was no improvement in health. However, Alexander Andreevich overcame the pain. On February 20, 1799, he was present in the palace - the ceremony of the betrothal of the daughter of Paul I Alexandra was going on, in early March he gave a magnificent ball in her honor. On April 6, 1799, he had a stroke, in this year of his life he died.