The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians

By Anatole L. Leroy-Beaulieu; Zaenaefde A. Ragozin | Go to book overview

BOOK IV. CHAPTER IV.

Russia's Return to European Civilization--Antecedents of the Work of Peter the Great--The Reformer's Character and Way of Proceeding-- Consequences and Defects of the Reform--Moral and Social Dualism--

In what Manner Autocracy Seems to have Fulfilled its Historical Task. IN this belated and isolated country there arises one day a man who undertakes to bring it to Europe and make it jump at one leap all the interval that divides the two. Was it possible for Russia to snatch at one stroke all that ages had given to her rivals? to get at one pull to the term of a long road, the historical stations of which she had not travelled? Was this the conception of a genius or a chimerical dream, an individual fancy doomed to failure? or was it, in spite of its daring, a plan suggested by nature, facts, and men? For a long time Peter the Great was regarded as one of those lawgivers after the antique pattern, who fashioned states at their will, as a sort of Deucalion, the maker of peoples. History in Russia has not, any more than elsewhere, proceeded by leaps and bounds. The Russians have been the first to feel this; one of their historians' favorite tasks is to fill the apparent chasm between ancient and new Russia.

The work of Peter the Great did not lack historical antecedents. In principle, if not in form, it lay in the logical destinies of the Russian people. Russia was too near Europe, had too much affinity with her, by blood and by religion, not to feel one day the contagion of her civilization. The two parts of Peter's work--bringing his people nearer Europe materially, territorially; and morally, socially, by imitation of foreign

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The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • A Word from the Translator. iii
  • Author's Preface. Written Expressly for the American Edition. vii
  • Contents xiii
  • List of Maps xxi
  • Part I. the Country and Its Inhabitants xxiii
  • Book I. Nature, Climate, and Soil. 1
  • Book I. Chapter Ii. 15
  • Book I. Chapter Iii. 35
  • Book Ii. Races and Nationality. 54
  • Book Ii. Chapter Ii. 63
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iii. 77
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iv. 95
  • Book Ii. Chapter V. 122
  • Book III. the National Temperament and Character. 138
  • Book Iii. Chapter Ii. 161
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iii. 179
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iv. 195
  • Book Iv. History and the Elements of Civilization. 223
  • Book Iv. Chapter Ii. 241
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iii. 256
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iv. 282
  • Book V. the Social Hierarchy: the Towns and Urban Classes. 305
  • Book V. Chapter Ii. 322
  • Book V. Chapter Iii. 334
  • Book Vi. Nobility and Tchin. 346
  • Book Vi. Chapter Ii. 362
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iii. 381
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iv. 390
  • Book VII the Peasant and the Emancipation. 403
  • Book Vii. Chapter Ii. 422
  • Book Vii. Chapter Iii. 436
  • Book VII Chapter Iv. 450
  • Book VIII. Mir, Family, and Village Communities. 474
  • Book Viii. Chapter Ii. 486
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iii. 505
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iv. 521
  • Book Viii. Chapter V. 534
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vl. 548
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vii. 563
  • Index 581
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