Civil-Military Conflict in Imperial Russia, 1881-1914

Civil-Military Conflict in Imperial Russia, 1881-1914

William C. Fuller
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 334
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  • Book Info
    Civil-Military Conflict in Imperial Russia, 1881-1914
    Book Description:

    This book is a full-scale study in English of tsarist civil-military relations in the last decades of the Russian Empire.

    Originally published in 1985.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5772-2
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-2)

    One of the most persistent themes in the historiography of the Russian Empire is the interlocking of military necessity and state decision making. That the needs of the army preceded all other concerns in the thinking of successive Russian governments has been repeated so often by historians that one might well assume that solicitude for the military was an unchanging principle of Russian administration. Scholars have invoked this principle to elucidate a great number of historiographical problems. In part, Richard Hellie has maintained that the final establishment of serfdom in 1649 was the direct consequence of the governmentʹs need for...

  8. ONE Military Professionalism, the Imperial War Ministry, and the Officers
    (pp. 3-46)

    In Imperial Russia, as elsewhere, professional soldiers represented a distinct subgroup of professional men. The chief differences between the military profession and the associative professions such as medicine, law, and engineering are too obvious to review in detail. One distinction, of course, is that the struggle to monopolize the market for a particular service is foreign to the officer. As absolutist European states came to trammel the power of their nobilities and suppress private armies, so they raised their own standing forces, officered by men whose monopoly over the management of violence was secured to them by central authority. European...

  9. TWO Financing the Russian Army, 1881-1903
    (pp. 47-74)

    After the ignominious termination of the Russo-Japanese War, Gen. A. N. Kuropatkin composed a lengthy monograph while living in forced retirement on his Pskov estate. EntitledThe Results of the War (Itogi voiny), these volumes represented a self-justification by the commander who had led the Russian land forces in the Far East to disastrous defeat at Shakhe, Liao-yang, and Mukden. With an aggressiveness conspicuously absent from his conduct of the campaign of 1904, Kuropatkin boldly rebuked nearly every branch of the Russian civil administration for inadequately supporting the war effort. But Kuropatkin reserved the bulk of his wrath for the...

  10. THREE The Tsarist Army and Repression, 1881-1904
    (pp. 75-110)

    Upon his induction into the Imperial Russian army every soldier was required to swear a solemn oath to defend the sovereign and the fatherland from their foreign and internal enemies. Military commanders considered it exceptionally important to impress the significance of this oath on the draftees. A ʺdetailed program for the training of recruitsʺ devised in Kiev Military District and offered to the rest of the army as a model in 1890 contained the following lines: ʺThe soldierʹs task: the soldier is the servant of the sovereign and the fatherland, their defender from enemies.ʺ Commentary on this piety followed immediately:...

  11. FOUR Civilians in Russian Military Courts, 1881-1904
    (pp. 111-128)

    Clemenceau is once supposed to have remarked that ʺmilitary justice is to justice as military music is to music.ʺ These words expressed the most prevalent civilian conception of military courts: that they were arbitrary, that they did not respect due process of law, that the accused had little opportunity to clear himself, and that the punishments meted out by them were severe. For civilians in Imperial Russia, and many civilians today, military trials could be described in Hobbesian adjectives—nasty, brutish, and short.

    In early nineteenth-century Russia the subjugation of civilians to military justice was a relatively common phenomenon. Nicholas...

  12. FIVE Civil-Military Conflict in the Russian Revolution, 1905-1907
    (pp. 129-168)

    In the revolutionary years 1905-1907, a period of hysteria and bloodshed that provided the greatest challenge the Russian Empire was to know until the First World War, the army did in fact save the Imperial government from collapse. However, far from playing the part of enthusiastic helpmate to the repressive autocracy, the War Ministry discharged many of its obligations with reluctance. To what did the Ministry object? Generally it did not oppose supplying troops to civilians beleaguered by riot or open revolt. In thinking of the revolution one tends to recall the most dramatic episodes of military intervention: the army...

  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  14. SIX The Russian Revolution and Military Justice
    (pp. 169-191)

    If the gradual disengagement of the Russian army in the countryside was contemplated with pleasure by the War Ministry Chancellery at the beginning of 1908, officials of the Main Administration of Military Justice (GVSU) had no cause to share in the rejoicing. The number of civilian defendants tried in military courts on the basis of the safeguard laws or martial law attained all-time high levels in 1908. In fact, there is a sense in which the revolution never ended for the military judicial network. Although the number of civilian defendants abated sharply in the years after 1908, that number never...

  15. SEVEN The Officers and Politics, 1906-1913
    (pp. 192-218)

    On December 16, 1905, the Emperor Nicholas II assented to a special decision of the Council of Ministers which three days later was published for the army as War Department Order number 804. Point one of the order read:

    It is forbidden for any persons in the army or navy service, including officers of all ranks, civilian bureaucrats … military clergy, and all enlisted men: (1) to join and take part in any unions, groups, organizations, societies, etc., of any kind whatsoever which have been formed with a political goal. It is equally forbidden to attend meetings of any kind...

  16. EIGHT The War Ministry, the Duma, and Interministerial Politics, 1906-1914
    (pp. 219-258)

    The War Ministry, like other agencies of the Imperial state, began the year 1906 in anxiety over those changes which would result from the establishment of an entirely new political system. A Duma with popularly elected representatives was shortly to assume an important legislative role within the apparatus of government. Yet, at least initially, the War Ministry showed a remarkable willingness to exploit the Duma to achieve its institutional objectives. Especially in satisfying the armyʹs ballooning need for money, the Duma could prove a counterweight to the parsimonious Ministry of Finance and State Control. Yet to rely on the Duma...

  17. NINE The Significance of Civil-Military Conflict in Tsarist Russia
    (pp. 259-264)

    Civil-military conflict was a reality in late Imperial Russia. Arising in the early years of the reign of Alexander III, it grew in intensity throughout the nineties, was exacerbated by the multiple traumas of 1904-1907, and attained vast proportions during the constitutional period. The tsarist regime, which had so often underwritten the interests of the army in the past, largely reduced its support for these interests from 1881 to 1914. At the prodding of the Ministry of Finance, the Imperial government pursued a course of economic and industrial modernization in the nineties. In the opinion of the armyʹs leadership, this...

    (pp. 265-266)
  19. APPENDIX: Approximate Peacetime Strengths of Field Military Units in the Russian Army, 1890
    (pp. 267-268)
    (pp. 269-286)
  21. INDEX
    (pp. 287-295)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 296-296)