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Discuss The Effects Of The Decembrist Revolt Of 1825 In Russia Up To 1917

822 words - 4 pages

The Decembrists, most of them nobles and young officers, imbued with the French liberal ideas of the revolutionary tradition of 1789, attempted in December 1825 to secure a constitutional government under the Duke of Constantine. Its failure resulted in an ever deepening process of social disintegration. Although the insurgents were but lightly punished. Nicholas I applied a series of repressive measures to prevent the spread of liberalism. A strict censorship was imposed upon the press in 1826. The darkest aspect of Nicholas reaction was cultural. Nicholas I was particularly opposed to education of the poor because, as he put it, they became accustomed to a way of thinking and ideas which ...view middle of the document...

The Decembrist Revolt of 1825 discredit the nobility in the eyes of the Czar. The army continued to be the chief field of advance of individual nobles, but more recruitments of officers were made from other ranks. Large numbers of nobles were now relieved of their former obligations of services and retired to St. Petersburg and provincial capitals letting out their holdings. Absenteeism ruled among the landlords. As a result, they lacked that sense of home and particularism which had helped to bind class to class.

The Decembrist Revolt was a flashing outbreak of French liberalism in Russia. When this took place, the revolutionary spirit passed on from nobility and officers to a new generation of intellectuals. Two schools of though emerged, the Westernizers and the Slavophiles. The Westernizers included Herzen, the brilliant publicist, Belinsky, the founder of Russian literary criticism, Turgenev, the novelist, Granovsky, the historian and Bakunin, the future anarchist. Whatever their other differences, there was a fundamental belief in the urgent necessity for closer contact with the West with rationalism, individual liberty for the regeneration of Russia. The Slavophiles saw in unprevented Russian history a youthful force with its own innate strength and virtue, rooted in the people and the Orthodox Church, destined to supersede the West and to become the universal civilization of the future. The opposition between the Westerniser and Slavophiles,...

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