29.06.

1849: The First Prime Minister of the Russian Empire – Count Sergei Witte

1849: The First Prime Minister of the Russian Empire – Count Sergei Witte
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Historical center of Tbilisi

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 29 June 1849
  • His surname was of German-Dutch origin. Although the Witte family was a Protestant family, Count Sergei Witte was an Orthodox Christian.

Sergei Witte, the first Prime Minister of the Russian Empire, was born on this day in 1849.

He became the Chairman of the Council of Ministers in 1905. This position corresponds to the position of  Prime Minister in other countries.

Sergei Witte was born in Tbilisi, Georgia (formerly known as Tiflis).

He worked as a railway manager, but came into conflict with the Tsar’s aides when he warned of the danger in using two powerful freight locomotives to achieve high speeds for the Royal Train.

However, train disaster took place in 1888 when the imperial family was traveling to Saint Petersburg.

Alexander III allegedly held the roof of the royal car on his shoulders in order to save his family. Therefore, Witte’s warnings were proven to have been merited, and he was appointed Director of State Railways.

In 1892, he was appointed Minister of Transport, and Minister of Finance. He became the head of the Committee of Ministers in 1903.

When the mentioned Committee was renamed and became the Council of Ministers, Sergei Witte served as Prime Minister of the Russian Empire. He also held the title of Count.

Although the Witte family was a Protestant family, Count Sergei Witte was an Orthodox Christian. He died in St. Petersburg in 1915 (during World War I), aged 65.

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