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Russia Under the Last Tsar

Russia Under the Last Tsar

Copyright Date: 1969
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Russia Under the Last Tsar
    Book Description:

    The reign of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, from 1894 to 1917, constitutes a period of continuing controversy among historians. Interesting in its own right, it is also a time of great importance to an understanding of the cataclysmic events which followed in Russian history. In this volume eight scholars contribute interpretive essays on some of the most significant forces and issues in Imperial Russia during the two decades before the revolutions. Professor Stavrou writes an introductory essay. The other essays and authors are: “on Interpreting the Fate of Imperial Russia” by Arthur Mendel, University of Michigan; “Russian Conservative Thought before the Revolution” by Robert F. Brynes, Indiana University; “Russian Radical Thought, 1894-1917” by Donald W. Treadgold, University of Washington; “Russian Constitutional Developments” by Thomas Riha, University of Colorado; “Problems of Industrialization in Russia” by Theodore Von Laue, Washington University; “Politics, Universities, and Science” by Alexander Vucinich, University of Illinois; “The Cultural Renaissance” by Gleb Struve, formerly of the University of California, Berkeley; and “Some Imperatives of Russian Foreign Policy” by Roderick E. McGrew, Temple University. The book is illustrated with photographs of some of the principal figures in the history of the period, and there are a bibliography and index. As Professor Stavrou points out in his preface, the contributors did not consult with one another before preparing their respective essays, and the various approaches are refreshingly different in their assessments of the period. The book as a whole provides a panoramic view of the fascinating Russia of Nicholas and Alexandra. It will be interesting to general readers and especially useful as a textbook for courses in Russian or modern European history.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6454-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Theofanis George Stavrou
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    The fiftieth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution occasioned several conferences and publications, scholarly and popular, attempting to evaluate the Soviet experiment by assessing its achievements and failures. This preoccupation with revolutionary and Soviet themes reveals, among other things, the undeniable impact of the Soviet Union on the Western and non-Western world as well as a profound interest in the course and ultimate fate of sweeping revolutions such as those which befell Russia in the twentieth century. This interest is even more significantly relevant because revolutions have occurred and are likely to continue to occur in various parts of the world,...

  5. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  6. On Interpreting the Fate of Imperial Russia
    (pp. 13-41)

    What accounts for the resurgence of interest in the Russia of Nicholas II and the revolutions it spawned? One of the chief reasons lies in our understandable concern today with the fate of the economically “backward” societies, with the economic, social, psychological, and political transformations that are tearing these communities out of their preindustrial rituals and routines, and forcing them into the “modern” mold. The center of our interest is obviously political — Does this great transformation favor authoritarian government, or does it promote, indeed, is it even compatible with, some variety of popular, representative, parliamentary government?¹ Ours being an...

  7. Russian Conservative Thought before the Revolution
    (pp. 42-68)

    Conservatism and the history of conservative thought have been neglected by historians, Americans as well as those in other countries. Noisy, lively, and successful radicals and revolutionaries have naturally attracted the attention of scholars, most of whom write in societies which are, or consider themselves, revolutionary or which were the products of successful revolutions. Moreover, the study of conservatism involves analysis not only of highly complicated and complex forms of thought but also of institutions, customs, and values, all of which are more irksome to analyze and define than are radical and revolutionary movements. Consequently, the level of our knowledge...

  8. Russian Radical Thought, 1894-1917
    (pp. 69-86)

    The nineteenth century was, in the eyes of many Westerners, a time when Russia had an oppressively autocratic regime but when its thought was predominantly radical —that is, devoted to the aim of overthrowing the regime and violently replacing the existing political and social order with one something like that of Western Europe or North America. It is possible to make a case for this view; almost the entire apparatus of Soviet publishing does so every month, every year, but many Westerners not at all in sympathy with the Soviet regime have also contributed to such a case. It is...

  9. Constitutional Developments in Russia
    (pp. 87-116)

    On April 27, 1906, the Emperor and Autocrat (for he retained that title even in the new Fundamental Laws issued four days earlier) of All the Russias addressed, in the Winter Palace, the assembled deputies of his First Duma. “With ardent faith in the radiant future of Russia,” he told them, “I greet in you those best men whom I ordered my beloved subjects to choose from their midst . . . May this day be henceforth remembered as the day of the rebirth of the moral fibre of the Russian land, the day of the rebirth of her best...

  10. Problems of Industrialization
    (pp. 117-153)

    In the contemporary discussion of the destiny of nations, industrialization is one of the most prominent topics. For the “developing” countries, in particular, it seems to hold the key to the advance that will bring them equality, power, and self-respect in the global community. Furthermore, whatever sense of global community has emerged thus far, whatever hope we have of deepening it by providing for greater equality seems based on technological and industrial progress.

    Like the global community itself, the concept of industrialization is of rather recent origin. The word was not used in its present sense during the period with...

  11. Politics, Universities, and Science
    (pp. 154-178)

    Several months before Nicholas II ascended the throne, the Ninth Congress of Russian Naturalists and Physicians convened in Moscow to take inventory of the national effort and achievements in science. The 2,170 persons attending the Congress heard the eminent plant physiologist Kliment Timiriazev deliver the keynote address entitled “The Holiday of Russian Science,” in which he declared that science was an intellectual pillar of Russian culture and, together with the great literary works of Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, and Tolstoi, a most meaningful expression of the realistic bent of the Russian mind.¹ He placed particular emphasis on the continuous blossoming of...

  12. The Cultural Renaissance
    (pp. 179-201)

    In speaking of Russian literature of the first decade and a half of the present century, it has become usual to refer to the Silver Age. I do not know who was the first to use this appellation, on whom the blame for launching it falls, but it came to be used even by some leading representatives of that very literature — for example, by the late Sergei Makovskii, the founder and editor of that important and excellent periodical,Apollon,¹ and even by the last great poet of that age, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966).

    I regard this usage as very unfortunate...

  13. Some Imperatives of Russian Foreign Policy
    (pp. 202-230)

    A nation’s foreign policy is the product of a shifting complex of historical factors which range from individual personalities to the society’s moral or spiritual values; in turn, the development of foreign policy, and the results which flow from it, have the most profound effects on the nation’s historical destiny. The preceding essays in this collection have treated several aspects of the reign of Nicholas II, and each of the subjects covered, from modernization and industrialization through cultural development to political radicalism, has significant implications for Russian foreign policy. This is another way of saying that a nation’s foreign policy...

    (pp. 231-246)
    (pp. 247-252)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 253-265)