What is a Russian?

At the very beginning of this course, we learned of the Scythians, a group of non-Slavic people living in what we know as Russia. Russia’s origins were never purely “Russian” for archeological evidence revealed many groups such as the Scythians in early Rus’. Fast forward four hundred years and Russia has expanded vastly. It has control of the Polish kingdom on its West side, and southern control in parts of Middle Asia. With this expansion of the Russian territory came along new demographics in Russia, in certain places, outnumbering the number of Russians in various towns and cities.… Read the rest here

Generalizations about Slavery

Slavery is not exclusive to one country or body of people. In Peter Kolchin’s Introduction, “The Origin and Consolidation of Unfree Labor” he argues against the idea that all slavery has emerged for the same isolated reason of economic attainment. Instead just as wars and social movements are inherent because of the historical conditions at hand, slavery emerged and was enforced in different ways for different purposes. Kolchin his book, Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian Serfdom, compares the two types of forced labor that arose around the same year.… Read the rest here

The Start of the Russian Revolution: Decembrist Thought

On December 14, 1825, the Decembrists stood tall in front of the government calling for revision in administration as well as a rule on behalf of the people.  Quickly such a revolt was ended in bloodshed by the government, but the ideas behind the revolt left quite the impression for years to follow.

The Decembrists, called such because of the time of the revolt, were comprised of three secret societies.  The Northern Society were young members of the educated elite who were dissatisfied with current conditions in Russia not only for the noblemen but also for the population as a whole. … Read the rest here

Peter the Modern

Peter the Modern

Peter the Great could be characterized as a “reforming tsar” as opposed to his predecessors who strived to be “good tsars.”  The reign of Peter even though in some ways categorized as ruthless, introduced Russia to the modern era.  This meant Russia entering the global field amongst Western countries and further developing in social, economic, and political ways that were secular.

The original founding of the name “Tsar” was meant to be a ruler dedicated to his country, but first and foremost to God. … Read the rest here

The Third Rome: Autocratic State in Moscow

Monday 28, 2015

After almost two centuries of Mongol rule and influence, the Moscow Empire compiles many of the old Kiev appendages into one Muscovite State.  Unlike the governance in Novgorod, in the Muscovite state, the Grand Prince becomes a lord, with all land belonging to him.  In fact when property was sold the deed read, “I have sold the land of the sovereign and of my possession,” (Kaiser & Marker, 103).  This feudal society is known as an autocracy, the Grand Prince having all the power as the head of state. … Read the rest here

The Diminishing Unity of “Russian Land”

The Kievan Empire can be characterized by its strong sense of unity in religion, language, and culture.  The State is very much governed by the Church which contributes to this concept of “Russian Land.”  This very concept provides Russians with the unity and strength that will be tested for the next hundred years because of decentralization and conquest.

Prior to the Mongol attack on the Kievan State, Russian Appanage weakened the great strength of Russian state and cultural capitals. … Read the rest here