The Birth of the Russian Democracy

The Birth of the Russian Democracy

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The Birth of the Russian Democracy

The Birth of the Russian Democracy

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Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to present to the American people, first, the great movement which brought Russia to the Revolution of March, 1917, and then, as far as possible by documents, the development of the Revolution from March up to date.

The Revolution of March, 1917, was the outcome of a great movement which started a century ago, immediately after the Napoleonic War, and in which the best representatives of Russia's mind and soul participated from generation to generation. The first revolutionary uprising in Russia was the so-called "Decembrist" revolt, on December 14, 1825, organized by a small group of young officers who, visiting Paris in 1814, had become infected with the ideas of the Great French Revolution. Five Decembrists were executed, the others were exiled to Siberia. When Russia's greatest national poet, Pushkin, sent his greeting to the exiled Decembrists, they answered him from Siberia, "The spark will burst into flame." This prophesy has been fulfilled. While in 1825 it was only a small group of young idealists who rose in revolt against absolutism, by 1905 great masses were engaged in open conflict with Tzarism, and in 1917 the entire people, through a swift and almost bloodless Revolution, began its life as a democratic nation.

At this moment Russia is in a state of temporary disorganization known in the life of every country that has passed from tyranny to free, democratic development. Whatever has happened in Russia, our friends should not be too pessimistic. Russia is not an old man dying from exhaustion, she is a child hurt in trying to walk independently for the first time in her life. She is young and strong, and her people have already begun to understand the cruel lesson. With the help of her friends, we are certain Russia will be able to emerge from the present crisis.

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