Catherine the Great

Catherine’s vision was to create a better Russia through helping the people.  She recognized how vast her empire was and decided it would be better managed if divided into separate provinces.  The Statute on Provincial Administration created “a much more significant administrative presence in the provinces than been there before”1 .  The Statue on Provincial Administration creates a more structured, organized role of power for those in charge of the provinces by clearly stating  how the provinces are to be run; for example, “Each province shall establish a criminal court”  (Kaiser and Marker 242)) .  … Read the rest here

Peter The Great

Peter the Great was a formidable leader, creating an era of heavy changes in Russia as it began to Westernize through his multiple reforms. However, the majority of his reforms tend to focus on social hierarchy and importance of having or obtaining a title for oneself. For example, the Table of Ranks “expressed new definitions of nobility and opened up new avenues of achieving it”1 in order to suppress the boyars and other nobility from the previous years.… Read the rest here

How Terrible was Ivan the Terrible?

Ivan the Terrible is a very complicated ruler to label as simply “a good guy” or “a bad guy.”  Both good and overlapped throughout his life, coming up at different times, but I don’t believe one is more prominent than the other.  Even more interesting and important to remember is all of Ivan’s personal troubles while he was young and how they could have possibly affected his future as Tsar.

Ivan was successful in bringing change to Russia, although it can be difficult to view his rule as a reformation rule.  … Read the rest here

Religion and Pop Culture in Post-Kievan Rus’

Religion had a very prominent role in pop culture in Post-Kievan Rus’, influencing the social structure, everyday life,  and art as well.  Churchmen and high officials were easily threatened of the toppling of the social structure throughout Rus’ and were highly cautious of the entertaining minstrels. The Rus’ minstrels were looked down upon by the church because their performances “caricatured the world around them,”1 no doubt making fun of the church at times.  But because the church was a part of the elite society, they were able to “[prevent] the minstrels from bequeathing these performances to subsequent generations,”2 thus displaying the church’s power to the people of Rus’.… Read the rest here

Cultural Changes due to Mongol Invasion

It is clear that the Mongol’s conquest of Russia was the cause of huge amounts of destruction in Russia as they are consistently described as “cruel and evil infidels”1.  However, Halperin’s view on the Mongolian influence was particularly interesting as he does not focus on the negative contributions from the Mongols but the positive  influences the Rus people borrowed from them in order to better their society.  In order to fully understand the influence of the Mongol’s in Rus’ society, It is important to recognize the different perspectives taken when analyzing this historical event.… Read the rest here

Building a State in Post-Kievan Society

As Kiev was declining in power, Novgorod was growing and becoming more powerful, evolving into a “’merchant republic’”1 (Kaiser and Marker, 84). In Novgorod, princely power existed, but was limited, as seen in The First Treaty of Novgorod with Tver’ Grand Prince Iaroslave Iaroslavich.   This specific treaty lists a number of rules the prince is to follow when in power; it is interesting to note that the majority of the rules deal with land and property rights displaying the importance of land at this time.… Read the rest here

Jawaharlal Nehru

In order to progress India’s society, Jawaharlal Nehru analyzed the different forms of government around the world, specifically Marxism and Capitalism. Nehru admits that violence is present in both forms of government, but Marxism appealed more to Nehru because of the lesser amount of violence. Due to this appeal, India ended up adopting a Marxist form of government and adopting five year plans similar to that of Russia. Nehru believed that because India was such an underdeveloped nation, Marxism was the only way it could progress and succeed in the world because of the careful amounts of planning put into this kind of government.… Read the rest here

What is Fascism?

AUTHOR: Benito Mussolini started out as a strong advocate for socialism and was imprisoned multiple times for his promotion of strikes and the use of violence.  He earned the reputation of a potential revolutionary with incredible rhetorical skills.  Because he has such a strong background with socialism, many elements are prevalent in fascism.

CONTEXT: Mussolini had already been in power for ten years while writing this.  Although fascism had been in place for years, it lacked a clear definition and people were unsure if they were benefitting from this system at all.  … Read the rest here

Nationality

AUTHOR: Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian politician and journalist and played a vital role in the eventual unification of Italy. In 1831, he traveled to Marseille and started a up a secret society, Young Italy, which promoted Italy’s unification. Mazzini pursued his thoughts regarding unification by creating similar groups to Young Italy, such as Young Germany, Young Poland and Young Switzerland.   After Italy was successfully unified, he became a strong advocate of the European unification1 .… Read the rest here

Yorkshire Slavery

AUTHOR: Richard Oastler was born to a linen merchant in 1789 and later moved to Leeds. He was an Anglican, Tory and protectionist as well as a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery in the West Indies. He was also against Roman Catholic emancipation.

CONTEXT: “Yorkshire Slavery” was written in 1830 after Oastler met with John Wood, a manufacturer in Bradford who introduced the atrocities of the factories to Oastler. The Industrial Revolution had taken off around 1820, therefore, around the time “Yorkshire Slavery” was written in 1830, the revolution was in full force.… Read the rest here