Ivan the Terrible questions:

Questions about the Ivan IV readings:

What was the significance of the oprichniki’s “brushes or brooms tied on the ends of sticks”?  When does this look like?

Why did Ivan kill everyone and plunder instead of taking over the lands to become more of a monarch of sorts?

On page 153 (second paragraph), it states Ivan accepts all the petitions that were being maintained for the oprichniki.  What was his motivation to do this?  Did he suspect foul play was involved?… Read the rest here

Culture In Post Kievan-Rus’- The Minstrels

One of the more overlooked aspects of culture of post- Kievan Rus’ was the role of the minstrel.  The minstrel, or skomorokhi, was a musician, actor, and all-around entertainer that operated in a wide variety of venues.  These could range from small villages to large cities such as Novgorod.  The minstrel sub population moved Northeast in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries into the region more known as Russia.

It is very surprising to note that Minstrels often played secular music and preformed secular entertainment.  … Read the rest here

Halperin and Sacharaov on The Ideology of Silence

The Ideology of Science, as defined by Halperin, is the refusal to acknowledge the genuine achievements of the conquerors (the Golden Horde).  Halperin is critical of this viewpoint, as none of the benefits of Mongol rule come to light, giving new researchers a skewed look at this era of Rus’ history.

Halperin begins be describing the Mongol’s ability to rework the social and political order in the region with great success.  However, they allowed them to retain their original political infrastructure.  … Read the rest here

The Rise of the Individual States in Rus’

As Kievan Rus’ became less and less centralized, individual principalities rose in its place as the chief governing bodies in the land.  These were much more independent of one another, and largely stayed more personal.  While this movement was occurring on the own accord of the princes, the pace was changed drastically as the hordes of Mongols began to go West.  While making it difficult for princes to stay sovereign, a large proportion of inhabitant of Rus’ felt the inclusion of Rus’ into the Mongol Yoke certainly had some benefits.… Read the rest here

The Iroslav Statutes

In addition Pravda Russkaia law code, the Iroslav Statutes were also written at approximately the same time period in the 11th century. The Iroslav Statues, however, focus more on offences dealing with social issues, particularly those that involve women in some fashion.  These laws thus help determine how prominent a role in society gender played was well as sexual behavior among men and women, as well as societies social values.

With a vast majority of these statutes dealing with women, a number of conclusion can be drawn about their place in society.  … Read the rest here

Kievan Rus’ & Pravda Russkaia

The Pravda Russkaia, or the law code of Kievan Rus’, has a very interesting and unique mixture of possible offenses and punishments, some of which are logical, while others are not.  For example, Point 9 states that “If someone unsheathes a sword, but does not strike anyone,then he pays 1 grivna.”  This offense is somewhat similar to laws about carrying a weapon with out a permit.  Another example is point 12, which states that “if someone rides on someone else’s horse, not having asked him for permission, then he is to provide three grivnas.”  This law is similar to that of auto theft.  … Read the rest here

Deutsch Multiculturalism

3 Points:

1. Cameron states that Germans “accentuate the negative” and are stubborn to progress, as they find it difficult to “come to terms with the changes they are witnessing”  Many Germans support restricting Muslims from practicing their religion and other social constraints on other minorities.

2.One main issue Germans have is on what terms immigrants are permitted to enter the country, such as the requirement to learn German culture.

3. Many of the immigrants within Germany drop out of school and live off of social welfare within the German system.  … Read the rest here

The Treaty on the European Union

3 Points:

1.The European Union brings together the member states under one single common law, while still allowing the nations to keep their own sovereignty.

2.The nations are bound together to “promote economic and social progress which is balanced and sustainable, in particular through the creation of an area without internal frontiers.”  ( It combines the nations economically and socially)

3. It will establish a new council and commission that all the member nations are subject to.… Read the rest here

Hitler-Stalin Pact

Thee Points:

1. The first section of the document The non-confidential pieces Show that the pact was not necessarily an alliance, but as a promise to stay neutral (hence the name non-aggression pact)

2. The Second part of the document takes into account territorial agreements.  This heavily alludes to the collusion of Russia and Germany and their ‘alliance’ and their support for one another in starting a new war.

3.The time the pact was signed, August 23rd 1939 is extremely close to the beginning of the war (about 8 days).  … Read the rest here

Benito Mussolini’s Fascism

Thee Points:

Politics: Mussolini states that Fascism is the exact opposite of Socialism/Communism.  This is due to Fascism’s core roots in “holiness and in heroism”.  Additionally, Fascism completely deviates away from the “whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application.”  Also, it refuses to recognize the majority as the main force behind the directing of society.

Economics: The economics of Fascism revolve around the fact that it is the opposite of Communism.… Read the rest here