The Significance of the 1957 Moscow World Festival

In Peacock’s article, the 1957 Moscow World Fair is established as a symbol for the newly-found importance in the youth’s involvement in the Soviet Union.  Peacock begins by pointing out the World Festival’s display of this view is not only for the international community, but to the Soviet youth as well.

Peacock give some historical  context to the feeling of necessity of the government to reemphasize the importance of the youth.  In World War II, the youth of that time “suffere disproportionately at the hands of the Nazis” who were able to “understand the necessity of peace against imperialist aggression” (Peacock 517).  … Read the rest here

Vagrant Minors in Post War USSR

Fürst’s article concerning the orphans and those who were living on the streets aims to distinguish the USSR’s claim of trying to save the children, while also subtly hiding this problem and keeping it out of the public eye.

Fürst begins by declaring that the the original ideal of the Soviet Union was to save the children and relieve them of their horrible state.  Fürst claims that this position was most prominent during the 1930’s and the beginning of the war period.  … Read the rest here

Five Cheers for Five Year Plans?

When collectivization started, it opened a new chapter in Soviet economics, while closing another.  With the ending of the NEP that attempted to use the private sector to bring Russia away from its perceived ‘backwardness’, the Five Year Plans were implemented to achieve the same goal.  However, as Lewin in On Soviet Industrialization describes, it was at great cost.

Lewin begins by establishing that he declares the NEP to be too weak and did not encompass enough of the economy to be successful.  … Read the rest here

A Russia of Iron & Gastev

Gastev’s poem “We Grow out of Iron” is a short, but powerful poem about the rise of a new Russia, one made of iron.  Utilizing iron as a motif, Gastev evokes that the new Russia is unlike anything in its history.

Iron has long been a symbol of strength, power, and industry in a variety of art forms and Gastev utilizes all three of these themes to create an image of the new Soviet Union.  Beginning with the aspect of strength, Gastev incorporates height, writing about beams that rise “to a height of seventy feet” (Gastev).  … Read the rest here

History and Research

When doing research, especially with primary sources, I always get enthralled with the source I am reading.  I always try to understand the situation of the author/ creator and I put myself into his/her shoes.  This type of thinking, admittedly, is not appealing to many.  Far too many individuals have little interest or time to be concerned with history and what it means for the future.  Some find it frivolous and inefficient to finance this style of research; however, it is as important as any other discipline.… Read the rest here

Russia as a Multi-Ethnic Empire

In the latter half of the nineteenth century,  Russia experienced a massive shift in population in a number of ways.  From ethnicity, to occupation, Russia became more modern than it had ever been before.

Kaeppler talk about the expansiveness of Russia’s ethnicity.  The vast array of backgrounds was established by the 1897 Russian Empire census, the only official one they had ever taken at that time.  In the census, it was revealed that the Russian ethnicity/ nationality made up only 44.3% of the entire Empire.  … Read the rest here

Russian Serfdom and American Slavery

While the two systems of human bondage appear significantly different, they are more similar that most realize.  At the basis for both systems was the shortage of labor.  For the Russian system, this was less prominent until the Mongol period.  Mongolian conquest, Mongolian centralization of the state, and plague  caused population shifts, forcing the nobility to largely abandon the indentured servitude systems that had been used for centuries, replacing it with serfdom, where the workers tied to land, rather than an individual.  … Read the rest here

The Decemberist Uprising

On December 14th, 1825, a group of about 3,000 soldiers amassed on Senate Square in protest over the crowning of Nicholas I.  Nicholas, hesitant at first, commanded his artillery to open fire.  All the revolt’s leaders were arrested and all the participating soldiers were ordered to stay in their barracks. The Decemberist Uprising was first true test of Nicholas I mere days after taking the throne.  What had caused such discontent in the ranks of the military to warrant such a large protest over their new commander?… Read the rest here

Cynthia Whittaker’s “The Reforming Tsar”

Cynthia Whittaker explores how the autocracy changed their own definition of a traditional ruling body into that of one that changes and reforms Russia.  Whittaker claims that the fact that the Russian Autocracy was one of reformist ideals was one of the major reasons why autocracy was allowed to be the predominant governing body for over a century.

Whittaker begins her argument stating that the reforms that the autocracy put in place were “dynamic and progressive” in nature.  … Read the rest here

Domostroi: 64-67

Beginning with chapter 64, these sections provide insight to how to run a proper household for privledged Russians.  Chapter 64 is a long list of instructions for the father of the household and how to raise and instruct his son in the ways of Chritianity.  The chapter proceeds chronologically, beginning with the baptism of the son and the promises the father makes to make God known to his son.  The Domonstroi instructs the father to tell his child “to fear God”, and to follow the Holy Scripture.  … Read the rest here