Catechism of the Revolutionary

“Live to destroy” as the goal of a revolutionary turns Sergei Nechaev’s catechism into a program of broad -scale terrorist activity. He aims to infiltrate society with the purpose of “passionate, total, universal, and total destruction.” A scary idea, even thinking about Russian nineteenth-century society, where, according to the Program of the Narodnaia Volia, “economically and politically” Russian people lived “in a state of absolute slavery.” They were deprived of any citizens’ rights and worked to “support the parasitic classes,” – the Russian elite.… Read the rest here

Serfdom In Russia and American Slavery

Serfdom in Russia was such an important phenomenon because, like P. Kolchin mentions in his book, peasants “were the essence of” Russia “and 90 percent of its population.” Were the serfs really slaves, like P. Kolchin implies? He states that even some respectable Russian writers and historians referred to the serfs as slaves. I believe that this meant that the life conditions of serfs in Russia were very hard, and in this respect compared to the slaves in the United States.
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The Decembrist Revolt

Protests in early Russia seem to follow a similar trend of poor organization and consequently utter failure.The revolt against Nicholas I in December of 1825 follows this same doctrine despite it being organized by army officers and soldiers. The Monarchy handled the rebellion quite quickly and it quickly lost support. Despite this, I believe that the message behind the revolt did carry some weight.

Although the autocracy continued to rule for some time to come, Nicholas undoubtedly was forced to realize the issues within the empire.… Read the rest here

Analysis of an “A” Paper

Except for some minor digressions, the author follows all the requirements stipulated in professor Qualls’ rubric. Most importantly, the paper reflects the topic of the research providing detailed and nuanced answers to the “Why?” and “How?” questions posed within the broader subject of the challenge behind bringing order into Russian eighteenth-century society. Why was order a priority?- It was necessary “to strengthen Russia’s international presence and to pacify conflict within and regulate the daily lives of the nobility and townspeople.” How did the Russian reformist monarchs of the eighteenth century cope with this challenging task?
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New Rus Culture Post Mongol Occupation

Little evidence of culture and everyday life was left behind after the Mongol occupation. As A.M. Sakharov had pointed out in our previous readings, the Mongol Yoke destroyed centers of elite culture, cities, and markets all around Rus. Despite all that was lost during the occupation, it seems that starting in the  early fourteenth century, a new Russian culture had awakened.

One of Russian history’s most famous painters, Andrei Rublev lived during this era. Rublev pioneered a whole new style of art and invented painting techniques never known before.… Read the rest here

Putting An End To Feudal Strife

The unification of Russian lands around Moscow and putting an end to the feudal strife was the key to finally vanquishing the Mongol yoke in 1480. The desire of Russian princes to boost Russian economy in a centralized state is reflected in the new codes of law. Both the Novgorod Judicial Charter and the Moscovite Sudebnik of 1497 provide the foundation for land ownership and the legal guide to protect it in the court of law. … Read the rest here

Sakharov and Halperin’s Conflicting Viewpoints

When reading Charles Halperin’s and A. M. Sakharov’s one can clearly see two very opposing viewpoints on what the Mongols brought to Russian society. Halperin’s point of view illustrates that despite the fact the Mongol’s did significant damage, their culture was an integral part of society and would influence Russia for many years to come. He states that the invasion did not impact the governmental system in place beforehand much: “The Mongols restructured the social and political order of the steppe, the mainstay of international commerce and nomadism, but they left the political infrastructure of Russia alone because of its lesser importance to their economy and polity.” Russian princes remained to rule under the close watch of the Mongols.… Read the rest here

Feodossi’s Enduring Faith and Literacy in Ancient Rus

Christianity’s arrival to Rus was a major event that shaped Russia’s history as we know it today. Its heavy influence is explicitly stated in the Primary Chronicle and had an immense impact on Rus’ society. When Prince Vladimir brought Christianity to Rus, the way people lived their day to day lives changed dramatically. One story that served as a portrayal of an ideal Christian life was the Life of St. Theodosius.

Named Feodosii as a child, Theodosius’s life was devoted to modeling the behavior of Jesus Christ.… Read the rest here