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[31] The Russian Revolution.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

The Russian Revolution - In order to understand 20 c - look at Russian rEV th - Russian Rev = single most important event in 20 c? - Ideas institutionalized in state founded by Lenin and Stalin => spread - Where had Russia begin and how did it develop (compared to other Europe) - Fossilized state - e. Borders of prussia (poland) to pacific - Poles, ukrainians, germans… => dozens of nationalities put together in inefficient empire th - Small professional middle class until late 19 c - concentrated in citires - Nobilities - courtiers, soldiers, etc. => poorly-educated, loyal to czar when they felt they were threatened - Russian army - noble, poorly trained, no natural advancement - your rank and connections got you senior positions - W. Ideas were only felt until later 19 cth - Ruthless repression, state-manafed centralization - State laborers => serfdom survived in russia until 1871 - Great fear of mass of humanity that constituted to russian land-workers => nobles and czar if they should rise, there’s nothing to stop them - 1825: liberal nobles and army officers - coup d’etat => death of alexander with no heir, went to nicholas - Decembrists 1825 - tried to institute liberalism into russian empire => czar felt threatened and challenged when he should be unchallenged - Return to sense of russian tradition - autocracy and repression - Pregoress, industrialization, liberalism = outlawed, forbidden concepts (you couldn’t even say the word) - Only nationalism was allowed => pan-slavish movement - Secret police established by Nicholas I (1825-1855) - W. Ideas - pernicious, contrary to russian traditions and culture => russia = holier place, heir to byzantine empire - Only way to keep “holier”, “purer” idea => autocracy - Czar - portrayed as father of children => always knew best - All children’s duty to obey; his to act and decide - Ssecret police - keep russia pure against dangerous ideas that could corrupt slavic people (e.g. Liberalism, socialism, competition) - Hostilely to w. Tradition, collapse of ottoman empire => russians were nervous: ottoman em- pire would be filled ith foreign ideas that would corrupt the slavs - Crimean wars = russia vs. Turks supported by british - Russia defeated; drove russians inwards rather than out => investigating souls: if we’re so much purer, why are we defeated - Russia became paranoid: surrouned by non-slavic people who weren’t good, necessary for rus- sia to act - Alexander II (1855-1881) - czar who had to admit defeat; realized its state system couldn’t de- liver army to defend like england and france - He had to modernize - Reformed country: new form of autocracy - Russian agriculture = outdated - 1861: russian serfs liberated => became indentured agricultural laborers (at least they had free- dom) - Attempt to change nature of russian gov’t so it could be more effective - Top-down legal system - everyone under the law (but the czar) => law to operate rather than ar- bitrary decisions by civil servants, judges - Lawyers (dymanic, educated group) => came to cities to make sure law would operate - Liberal, educated, progressiver urban class in russia => indigenous middle class became visible - Army modernized, brutal practices reduced - Military service = mandatory - Some training of officer class - Still difficult to rise to the top unless you knew the right people - Recognition that economy of europe changed: built railroads, connecting empire, move goods into markets, harbors for seaboard trade - Russia entered european economy for the first time: exportation to the west of grain/agriculture - W. Imported industries, manufactured goods - 1860s-1870s - explosion of economic activity - New classes created - oversaw by Czar - Rapidly-grownign middle classes and even some liberal members of gentry and noility, spread- ing education and literacy => it was only a matter of time until w. Ideas would be brought (books, educators) - Deep roots of pan-salvist nationalism - providing an alternative: cultural - Writers like Tolstoy and dostoevsy - writing novels and stories reflecting nature of russian soci- ety - Painters - “patinign the soul of russia” - Identify socially with tradtional russian values => part of culure - Increased adoption of w. Ideas - Czar and advisors belived new cultural awakenng would protect russia from western ideas; pan- slavish that characterized how russia viewed the world (you need to know w. Ideas to know they are wrong) - But western ideas like liberalism and socialism = became clear that these ideas had resonance in russia - Dangerous situation = powerfully reinforced - Polish rebellion 1863 - Secret police = look for pople who wanted rebellion, who talked about it, who even discussed liberalism - Drove educated into underground cells of revolutionaries - 1870s - widespread, large cells - Revolutionaries = members of new professional class, members of gentry and nobility - When czar and advisors saw revolutionary activity, they became more and more repressive - 1881 - Czar Alex II - assassinated - Any talk of constitutionalism stopped - Idea of reform stopped, social or political experimentation - illegal - Talking/wr
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