The Systematization of Seventeenth-Century Russia

The excerpts from the Ulozhenie of 1649 indicated the continued centralization and bureaucratization of Russian government. Chapters five and six assert the state’s control over certain aspects of citizens’ daily lives such as currency and the ability to travel outside of Russia. We saw the start of the establishment of bureaucratic processes in the Sudebnik of 1497. The law code included many clauses pertaining to things such as payment of judicial officials, the proper process for slave manumission, and the documentation necessary in order to pursue a criminal case against another person.… Read the rest here

The Overcoat

The story of The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol is a witty commentary on the efficiency of the bureaucracy in Russia. The main character Akakiy Akakievitch is a short, bald toped red head who has an abundance of personal issues; he is shy, unconfident and a terrible communicator. Despite these traits, Akakiy loves his job in a “certain department” as a copier and is very good at his job, in fact he lives to copy things. The plot of the story is formed as Akakiy clearly needs a new cloak, for the harsh Russian winter is coming and he is constantly being made fun of at the office for his “cape” rather than cloak.… Read the rest here