Table of Ranks (Табель о рангах; Tabel o rangakh) was a formal list of positions and ranks in military, government, and court of the Imperial Russia. It was introduced by Peter the Great in 1722 in his struggle with the hereditary nobility, or boyars.
The Table of Ranks determined a person's position and status according to service to the emperor (tsar) rather than to birth or seniority. Even commoners who achieved a certain level on the Table were ennobled automatically.
For example, Vladimir Lenin's father progressed in the management of people's education up to the rank of Full State Councellor (действительный статский советник) (1874), which gave him a privilege of hereditary dvoryanstvo.
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