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Birthday anniversary of Maxim Kovalevsky, Russian historian, lawyer, sociologist, ethnographer

8 September 1851

August 27 (September 8), 1851 in Kharkov province, in a noble family was born Maxim Kovalevsky, a Russian scientist, lawyer, sociologist, anthropologist, social and political activist, member of the Ist  State Duma (1906), the State Council of the Russian Empire (1907), St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1914), publisher of the magazine "Herald of Europe" (1909-16).

Kovalevsky received his primary education in the 3rd Kharkov school, graduating with honors. In 1868 he entered the law faculty of Kharkov University, where, under the leadership of D. I. Kachenovsky began to study the history of English institutions. Later, the young man continued his education abroad, where he met with many major figures of science and public life, in particular, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

In 1877, Kovalevsky defended his master's thesis on "The history of police administration and police court in English counties from ancient times to the death of Edward III» and began lecturing on constitutional law of foreign powers and history of institutions at Moscow University. In 1880, having obtained his doctoral dissertation "The social system of England in the late Middle Ages," he was elected full professor of the university. In 1887, the scientist was banned from teaching for "negative attitude toward the Russian state system." Having gone abroad, Kovalevsky began to lecture at major universities in Europe.

After returning to Russia the scholar got engaged in public activity. In 1906 he was elected professor of the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute and the Petrograd University, then - a professor of the Petrograd women's higher courses, and the Psychoneurological Institute and the Pedagogical Academy. That same year Kovalevsky became a deputy of the Ist State Duma representing the Kharkov province. From 1907, he had been a member of the State Council, elected as a representative from the Academy of Sciences and Russian universities.

Kovalevsky had chaired many societies and clubs: the Petrograd Law Society and the Free Economic Society, Russian Branch of the Society of Peace, Professor's Disciplinary Court (1907-1914). In 1914, the scientist has been elected a member of the International Institute of Sociology, corresponding member of the British Association of Science. Kovalevsky was one of the organizers of the Graduate School of Russian social sciences in Paris (1901), the private Psychoneurological Institute (1908), and a member of the Society of Sociology in Paris.

The breadth of scientific interests of Kovalevsky demonstrated his vast erudition. He was the author of numerous works on history and economics, creator of a new law school, researcher on ethnography of the Caucasian peoples, a prominent sociologist, who had spearheaded the sociological education in Russia.

Along with research activities Kovalevsky was engaged in journalistic work: in 1906-1907 together with I. I. Ivanyukov he published a newspaper, "Country", and in 1909 he was the publisher of the magazine "Herald of Europe", where he headed the department of social and legal sciences. During this time he published several articles on current issues of domestic and foreign policy of Russia. Kovalevsky published several works in French, covering the acquaintance of the West with the economic life of Russia, with history of its political institutions, with the crisis of 1905-1906 that Russia had experienced. The professor also served as editor of the Encyclopaedic dictionary "Granat" and the series "New Ideas in Sociology", for which he had written several articles. In March 1914 Kovalevsky was elected a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the department of political science.

Beginning of the World War I caught the scientist in Carlsbad, where he was treated. This turn of events in international relations was a heavy blow for him. Austrian authorities interned Kovalevsky, but thanks to the efforts of the international community the professor was freed and returned to Russia in February 1915.

From the autumn of 1915, Kovalevsky had rapidly developed a heart disease. Overcoming illness, in February 1916 he gave a speech at the State Council the last time in favor of the bill on income tax, protecting the interests of the poor.

Maxim Kovalevsky died March 23 (April 5), 1916 in Petrograd, and was buried at St. Nicholas cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.

Lit.: Ардабацкая Ю. Е. Социологические взгляды М. М. Ковалевского на эволюцию российской государственной власти: автореф. … к. социол. н. Саратов, 2003; Гуревич П. В. Максим Максимович Ковалевский // Правоведение. 1971. № 5. С. 127—130; Зоць С. А. Общественно-политическая деятельность и государственно-политические взгляды М. М. Ковалевского: автореф. … к. и. н. Орёл, 2007; Игнатьева И. В. М. М. Ковалевский как антрополог права: автореф. … к. юр. н. СПб., 2006; Калоев Б. А. М. М. Ковалевский и его исследования горских народов Кавказа. М., 1979; Лытов Б. В., Турчинов А. М. Обретение бессмертия. 150 лет со дня рождения академика М. М. Ковалевского // Вестник РАН. 2001. Т. 71. № 11. С. 1012—1025; М. М. Ковалевский в истории российской социологии и общественной мысли. СПб., 1996; Миронов Д. В. Социально-антропологическая концепция М. М. Ковалевского: дис. … к. социол. н. СПб., 2006; Наумов А. А. Проблема эволюции государственной власти в социологии М. М. Ковалевского: автореф. … к. социол. н. М., 2007; Сафронов Б. Г. М. М. Ковалевский как социолог М., 1960.

Works: Сочинения. В 2 т. СПб., 1997; Закон и обычай на Кавказе. М., 1887; Историко-сравнительный метод в юриспруденции и приемы изучения истории права. М., 1880; Конституция графа Лорис-Меликова и его частные письма. Берлин, 1904; Общинное землевладение, причины, ход и последствия его разложения. М., 1879; От прямого народоправства к представительному и от патриархальной монархии к парламентаризму. М., 1906; Экономический строй России. СПб., 1900; Этнография и социология. М., 1904.

From the Presidential library materials:

Булла К. К. Группа депутатов Первой Государственной Думы [Изоматериал]: [фотография]. 27 апреля 1906;

Булла К. К. Группа профессоров, депутатов Первой Государственной Думы [Изоматериал]: [фотография]. 1906;

Булла К. К. Лидеры российских либеральных партий в кулуарах Таврического дворца [Изоматериал]: апрель-май 1906 г.: [фотография]. 1906;

Ковалевский М. М. Очерки по истории политических учреждений России. СПб., [1908];

Нечаев В. Ковалевский Максим Максимович // Энциклопедический словарь / Под ред. проф. И. Е. Андреевского. Т. 15а. СПб., 1895. С. 502-504.