Table of Ranks  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Table of Ranks (Template:Lang-ru; Tabel' o rangakh) was a formal list of positions and ranks in the military, government, and court of Imperial Russia. The Emperor Peter the Great introduced the system in 1722 while engaged in a struggle with the existing hereditary nobility, or boyars. The newly established Bolshevik government formally abolished the Table of Ranks on November 11, 1917.

The Table of Ranks recognized three fundamental types of service:

  1. military
  2. civil
  3. imperial court

and divided each into 14 ranks (grades). It determined the position and status of everybody according to service (sluzhba) rather than according to birth or seniority, as the mestnichestvo system had until 1682. Thus theoretically every Russian nobleman, regardless of birthright, started at the bottom and rose to the highest rank that his native ability, education and service devotion to the state's interests would allow.

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