The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917 - Vol. 1

The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917 - Vol. 1

The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917 - Vol. 1

The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917 - Vol. 1

Synopsis

This fully revised and updated volume of A Social History of Imperial Russia is a comprehensive synthesis of Russian social history from Peter the Great to the October Revolution of 1917. Boris Mironov begins with background information on pre-Petrine Russia and then focuses on the crucial events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He demonstrates how social events in this period--including the creation of a modernized autocratic state, the abolition of serfdom, increasing urbanization, and the first stirrings of capitalism (to name a few)--played out in the Revolution, and beyond.

Excerpt

Much has been written about Russia's territorial expansion and population growth over the centuries. This literature, both Russian and foreign, runs the gamut from labeling Russia an aggressive, expansionist power endlessly striving to expand its boundaries, to justifying colonization as in the best interests of the incorporated territories. These subjects are uniquely sensitive to the prevailing climate in international affairs. When relations are inflamed or when Russia's interests clash with those of the other great powers, attention to these subjects intensifies and the tone of Western publications about Russia becomes accusatory: Russia is described as "expansionist" and "imperialist." During periods of international accord, the situation changes; less attention is paid to these topics, and their treatment tends to be more objective and impartial.

Another topic that has received a great deal of attention from scholars is the effect of the geographic milieu on societal processes--on the economy and on political and societal institutions. This theme causes Russians a great deal of discomfort: Our land is blessed with natural resources, yet we have not thrived economically. Some foreign commentators have explained Russia's inability to make the best use of its natural wealth by pointing to the baneful consequences of repressive institutions such as serfdom and absolutism. In response, some Russian writers have employed the obverse

Translated by Ben Eklof, Indiana University.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.