Rusian History

Russia has always played a major roll in global politics, economics and thought. However, in the past two centuries, Russia has had probably the greatest influence on the international world in modern times, surpassed only by the United States. The Russia that we’ve known this century though, has its roots in last centuries Russian. At the end of the nineteenth century, Russia experienced great changes internally, politically, socially and spiritually. The half century leading up to the Communist revolution in 1917 was a time filled with sweeping changes, literary triumphs and military defeat. All of these factors played in the eventual revolution and not only affected politics and thought in Russia, but in every nation on earth. After the defeat of the Russian army in the Crimean War, Russian realized that it needed to modernize its country, socially and militarily. Alexander II realized that to modernize mean that Russia needed to westernize. So in 1861 he emancipated the serfs from bondage. The emancipation was mean to bridge the gap between the elite and the general population, but was not the first of such liberal western type reforms. Catherine and Peter the Great had also made western type reforms during their respective reigns. All of their reforms, and especially Alexander’s, were influenced by western thought. These thought were introduced into Russia by its Western European educated ruling class. Under Alexander II, the ruling class began to see serfdom as an immoral part of society. This moral problem was accompanied by the economics of the day, and the ethical conclusion was that serfdom must be dismantled. The abolition of serfdom was Alexander II greatest contribution to history. However, the ‘Liberating Czar’ enacted a whole series of fundamental changes including; comprehensive reform of the judicial system that finally introduced the unheard of idea of equality, trial by jury, public proceedings in legal mat…

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