Russia to 1917 Syllabus

History 356 Fall 2003


NOTE!!!!  Although I want you to do all the reading for this week, we will only discuss those readings marked with an *

Study Questions, Week 11

I) Towards Reforms

Please read chapter introductions to Cracraft ch. 8 and Kaiser & Marker ch. 19!

Cracraft, 329-340  Herzen, "Hidden Russia" (1851):

Who was Alexander Herzen?

Who was this document addressed to? Explain.

How does Herzen describe the Russian state?

How does Herzen describe the Russian "people"? What does he mean by "hidden Russia"?

What relationship does Herzen see between Russia's elites and its "people"?

Was Herzen a defender of the commune? Explain.

Are Herzen's views here those of a slavophile or a westernizer? Explain.

Did Herzen in 1851 consider revolution necessary and inevitable? Explain.

What was Herzen's position on emancipation?

What was Herzen's view of the intelligentsia?

What were Herzen's aims? Explain.


Kaiser & Marker, p. 430: Alexander II's Speech to the Moscow Nobility (1856) *

What is the essence of Alexander's statement?


Kaiser & Marker, pp. 430-31 Solov'iev on the Editorial Commissions : *

How did Solov'iev describe the public's reception of Alexander's speech?

Who opposed emancipation and why? Who did not oppose it and why?


Kaiser & Marker, p. 431 Rostovtsev on the Editorial Commissions (1859)*

Why did Rostovtsev consider as the most basic framework terms of any emancipation?


Kaiser&Marker, pp. 431-32 Complaint of the Provincial Noble Committees (1859) *

Who did these nobles blame for "problems" that arose in the reform process? Explain.


Kaiser&Marker, p. 432 Rostovtsev's Version (1859): *

How does Rostovtsev explain tensions between the Editorial Commission and the ProvincialNoble Committees?

How does R. justify the reform process?

How does this all relate to Solov'ev's remembrances?


Kaiser&Marker, p. 432 Alexander II's Speech to the State Council (1861): *

Explain Alexander's position on the emancipation by 1861.


II) The Great Reforms

Cracraft, pp. 340-44 Emancipation Manifesto (1861)*

How does Alexander II use history to legitimize this manifesto?

How does he explain the nobility's attitude towards emancipation?

How does he describe the process of drafting the reform?

Were serfs emancipated with or without land? Explain. What became of their duties to the landlords?

What was to become of house serfs?

How were disputes over land and duties to be settled?

Did serfs become free peasants immediately? Explain.

What did the nobility receive in return for the emancipation? Explain.

What sorts of behaviors did Alexander "expect" out of nobles and freed serfs? Explain.

Is there anything in particular that strikes you about the language or organization of this document? Does it "read" differently than previous statutes?


Kaiser & Marker, pp. 432-33 General Statute on Emancipation (1861): *

Again, did the emancipation give peasants land? Explain.

How was village-level "government" organized? What powers and duties did the village assembly (mir) have under this law? Explain.


Kaiser & Marker, p. 435 Decree on State Peasants (1866): *

How did the conditions granted to state peasants differ from those of serfs? Who was better off?


Cracraft, pp. 315-16 Wcislo, "Dilemmas of Emancipation": *

To whom does Wcislo give credit for the emancipation?

Explain the 4 main consequences of the emancipation Wcislo identifies.


Kaiser & Marker, pp. 436-441 Zakharova, "Government and the Great Reforms"*

Why does Zakharova consider Alexander II's manifestos of 1856 so important?

Why was Russia "ready" for reform in 1856? How do we know this?

How was the Crimean war related to the reforming "mood"?

According to Z., what was important about Alexander II's 1857 "instructions"?

How does she explain the nobility's response to these instructions?

Did the government expect and could it control the provincial nobility's response?

What "new" idea emerged in the course of discussions of the emancipation in 1858?

What two clashing principles for emancipation did the Main Committee discuss?

According to Z., how did "liberals" gain control over the reform process?

What was the Editing Commission, and why does Z. call it "non-traditional"?

How did the Editing Committee use openness as a "policy tool"? Was the process really open?

According to Z., how did liberal bureaucrats understand the nature of the emancipation?

According to Z., why did Alexander give these "liberals" so much leeway?

What does she consider the most important legacy of the emancipation?

Kaiser&Marker, pp. 433-35 Zemstvo Statute (1864):

What were the functions of the zemstvo?

How much independent authority did the zemstvo have? Explain.

Who elected the zemstvo? Who ran the zemstvo?


Kaiser & Marker, p. 435 Judicial Reform (1864):

In what ways does this statute move towards establishing a law-guided society?

What sorts of restrictions mark elections of Justices of the Peace, etc., and what does this tell you?


Cracraft, pp. 316-327 Wortman, "Towards Rule of Law":

According to Wortman, in what ways did the 1864 legal reforms contribute to building rule of law in Russia?

In what ways did the reforms contribute to the rise of professionalism in Russia?

According to W., was it possible to have rule of law and still have autocratic authority?

How did the tensions between law and autocracy effect the high levels of the bureaucracy?

The lower levels of the bureaucracy?

Did the Minister of Justice continue to be a supporter of law vs. autocracy throughout the reform era? Explain. What became of Zamiatin? Did Urosov and Pahlen share his views?

Did the court system work the way Alexander II wanted it to work? Explain.

What is Wortman's main point?


III) Summing Up

Kaiser & Marker, pp. 441-45 Emmons, "The Emancipation and the Nobility":

According to Emmons, why is Russia's reform period proof of Tocqueville's dictum?

What does Emmons consider the key to understanding the reform era?

According to Emmons, what effect did the reforms have on the nature of Russian autocracy?

How do the reforms fit into the history of Russian liberalism?

According to Emmons, what effects did the reforms have on the gentry?

Russia to 1917 Syllabus