A History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-First by Robert Service

By Robert Service

Russia had a unprecedented 20th century, present process upheaval and transformation. Updating his acclaimed History of recent Russia, Robert provider offers a wide ranging standpoint on a rustic whose Soviet earlier encompassed revolution, civil battle, mass terror, and global wars. He indicates how seven many years of communist rule, which penetrated each element of Soviet lifestyles, proceed to persuade Russia this present day. This new version takes the tale from 2002 throughout the whole presidency of Vladimir Putin to the election of his successor, Dmitri Medvedev.

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Extra resources for A History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-First Century, Third Edition

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Elective representative bodies known as the zemstva were set up in the localities to carry out administrative functions. 7 The armed forces reduced 6 and russia ? the term of service from twenty-five years to six years at the most. Still the peasants were unsatisfied. They were annoyed that they had to pay for the land they received through the Emancipation Edict. They resented also that they, unlike the nobility, were liable to corporal punishment for misdemeanours. They remained a class apart. Alexander II also insisted that they should have permission from their communes before taking up work in towns; for he and his ministers were fearful about the rapid creation of an unruly urban ‘proletariat’ such as existed in other countries.

But the popular mood was implacable. Army commanders reported that troops sent out to quell the demonstrations were instead handing over their rifles to the protesters or simply joining them. This convinced the local revolutionaries – Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries – that the monarchy could be overthrown, and they resumed the task of agitating and organizing for such an end. The capital had become a maelstrom of revolt; and by closing down the Duma, the Emperor had effectively thrust conservatives and liberals, too, into a posture of outright opposition.

Political opposition remained strident and determined. The monarchy was ever more widely regarded as an oppressive, obsolescent institution which failed to correspond to the country’s needs. Nicholas II had nearly been overthown in 1905. He had recovered his position, but the basic tensions in state and society had not been alleviated. 2 The Fall of the Romanovs (1914–1917) Yet it was not the internal but the external affairs of the empire that provided the definitive test of the dynasty. Clashes of interest with Japan, the United Kingdom and even France were settled peacefully; but rivalry with Austria-Hungary and Germany became ever more acute.

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