Naval Academy Graduates at Ural Mining Plants: Service and Destiny
Keywords:Naval Academy, history of education in the 18th century, nobility, mining officers, mining industry, history of the 18th-century Urals
This article analyses the prosopographic data concerning the fate of Navy Academy graduates. Based on information from archival documents found in the RGADA and GASO funds, the author examines the events of the life and career path of the academy graduates who served in the mining administration of the Urals in the 1720s‑50s. Also, the article presents data on the number of graduates, their descent, material status, conditions of service, successes, failures, and achievements by the end of their careers. Methods of historical genetic analysis and approaches of new biographical history make it possible to trace the mechanisms of adaptation of recent graduates to the realities of mining service and study the history of their education in mining sciences and the specifics of administration of the industrial economy of the region. The article also focuses on the graduates’ career strategies. Their success in moving up the career ladder was influenced not only by the knowledge and skills acquired at the academy but also by the personal talents and abilities of young specialists, as well as their social connections and material opportunities. An important topic is the history of the dismissal of mountain officers from service: the work presents a list of those who retired due to illness or injury and a list of those who died in the service. The author considers the hardships of mining service and mountain officers’ behavioural disorders resulting from it. Referring to specific biographies, the author studies the directions of mining service and the practice of using graduates’ talents and abilities in various areas. The author concludes that graduates of the Naval Academy, along with students of other military educational institutions in Russia, formed a stratum of competent mining managers in the Urals, who played a crucial role in the history of the modernisation of the mining industry in the region.
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