Liivimaa Üldkasuliku ja Ökonoomilise Sotsieteedi esimene põhikiri ning selle ideelised allikad
The First Articles of Association of Livonian
Public Welfare and Economic Society
and its Ideological Sources
In the autumn of 1795 Georg Friedrich Parrot, a young scientist, joined the Livonian Public Welfare and Economic Society (LS), and was soon appointed its secretary of science. Parrot started to develop the activity programme of the LS that evolved into the organisation’s first articles of association. Parrot’s main points included, among others, the improvement of the natives’ situation, facilitating their education and bettering their living conditions. Those proposals were worded as main purposes in the style of the French physiocrats, intended
to guarantee the development of the society in its entirety, in
the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment. The physiocratic principles worded by Parrot had a role in the emancipation of Estonian and Latvian peasants in the early 19th century.
It is also interesting to view the visual output of the purposes
set by Parrot and his fellow thinkers, realized by Johan Wilhelm Krause, who worked as a tutor in the home of Ludvig August Mellin, a founding member of LS. His designs reflect several ideological directions in creating the symbols of the future LS – one that pointed to the French enlightened thinkers, and other that relied on ancient authors and underlined the paternalistic care that the estate owner
provided to the peasants. It is most likely significant that in the early 19th century the diploma of the LS was developed from the latter, which was probably not in accordance with Parrot’s programme.