Russia under the Old Regime: Second Edition / Edition 2

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Newly revised for this edition, Richard Pipes's highly acclaimed study analyses the evolution of the Russian state from the ninth century to the 1880s and its unique role in managing Russian society. The harsh geographical conditions and sheer size of the country prevented the creation of participatory government, and a 'patrimonial' state emerged in which Russia was transformed into a gigantic royal domain. Richard Pipes traces these developments and goes on to analyse the political behaviour of the principal social groupings - peasantry, nobility, middle-class and clergy - and their failure to stand up to the increasing absolutism of the tsar. In order to strengthen his powers legal and institutional bases were set up that led to the creation of a bureaucratic police state under the Communists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140247688
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: Penguin History Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 596,845
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Second Edition

Chapter 1: The Environment and its Consequences
1. The geographic setting: vegetation, soils, climate, precipitation and waterways

2. The influence of Russia's northern location on her economy:
A. Short farming season
B. Poor yields
C. Lack of markets
D. Unprofitability of farming
E. Industrial side-occupations (promysly)

3. Influence on population movement

4. Influence on social organization:
A. Joint family
B. Peasant commune (obshchina)

5. Influence on political organization:
A. Incompatibility of means and ends
B. The 'patrimonial' system as solution

Part I: The State

Chapter 2: The Genesis of the Patrimonial State in Russia
1. Slav colonization of Russian territory

2. The Norman (Kievan) state:
A. The commercial nature of the state
B. Succession pattern
C. Assimilation of Normans
D. Origins of the name Rus'-Rossiia
E. The Norman legacy

3. The dissolution of the Kievan state:
A. Centrifugal forces
B. North west: Novgorod
C. Lithuania and Poland

4. The appanage (patrimonial) principality of the north-east:
A. The colonization of the Volga-Oka region
B. New political attitudes
C. The appanage principality as property
D. The prince's domain
E. The princely administration within and without
F. Boyars and boyar land
G. 'Black land'

5. The problem of feudalism in appanage Russia:
A. Political decentralization
B. Vassalage
C. Conditional land tenure
D. The political consequences of the absence in Russia of feudal tradition

6. Mongol conquest and domination:
A. The invasion
B. Character of rule and its influence on Russian politics

Chapter 3: The Triumph of Patrimonialism
1. The rise of Moscow:
A. 'Monocracy' and 'Autocracy'
B. The Great Principality of Vladimir and the Nevsky clan
C. Ivan I Kalita
D. Succession by primogeniture

2. The patrimonial principality:
A. Confusion of dominium and imperium
B. Domainial origin of Russia's administration
C. Failure to distinguish crown and state properties

3. The politicization of Moscow's patrimonial rulers:
A. Dissolution of the Golden Horde and collapse of Byzantium
B. The Mongol-Tatar sources of the Russian idea of kingship
C. Gosudar as sovereign

4. The expansion of Moscow:
A. Its psychological effects
B. The conquest of Novgorod by Ivan III
C. Subsequent acquisitions

Chapter 4: The Anatomy of the Patrimonial Regime
1. Servitors and commoners

2. The service estate:
A. Boyars lose right of free departure
B. Mestnichestvo as last boyar weapon
C. The rise of dvoriane
D. The oprichnina
E. Terms and forms of service

3. Commoners:
A. Tiaglo
B. Serfdom: its rise and spread

4. The administration: Duma, Sobor, bureaucracy

5. Mechanism of control and repression:
A. Denunciation as civic duty
B. Closed frontiers

Chapter 5: The Partial Dismantling of the Patrimonial State
1. The crisis of the patrimonial system

2. The Military reforms of Peter I:
A. Shortcomings of the old army
B. Creation of a standing army
C. Effect on commoners: soul tax and conscription
D. Effect on servitors: compulsory schooling and Table of Ranks

3. Construction of St. Petersburg

4. The idea of 'public good' and its implications

5. Creation of a political police under Peter I

6. Dvoriane emancipate themselves from service

7. The bureaucracy slips out of the crown's control

8. The dyarchic constitution of post-1762 Russia

Part II: Society

Chapter 6: The Peasantry
1. The routine of peasant life

2. Social stratification:
A. Proprietary peasants and state peasants
B. Peasants on quit rent and corvée

3. The condition of Russian serfs

4. The effect of serfdom on the peasant psyche

5. Some traits of the peasant mentality

6. The political outlook of the muzhik

7. The Emancipation settlement of 1861:
A. Causes of emancipation
B. Provisions of Edict of 19 February 1861
C. Shortcomings of the settlement

8. The agrarian crisis at the turn of the century

Chapter 7: Dvorianstvo
1. Dispersal and rapid turnover of landed wealth in Russia

2. Impoverishment of dvoriane:
A. Poverty of the rank and file and absence of primogeniture as its major cause
B. Statistics of serf distribution

3. Serfdom as cause of dvorianstvo dependence on the crown

4. Absence of corporate institutions and spirit

5. Political ineffectiveness of this class

6. Political attitudes:
A. Grandees
B. The middle group ('gentry')

7. Catastrophic decline of dvoriane after 1861

Chapter 8: The Missing Bourgeoisie
1. The aptitude of Russians for trade and industry

2. The Muscovite monarchy monopolizes industry and trade:
A. Regalia
B. Domestic merchants (gosti) and foreigners as servants of the crown

3. Russian urban institutions:
A. The city of the western type
B. Muscovite cities as microcosm of Russian society

4. The Muscovite merchant class:
A. Levantine characteristics
B. Pre-captialist economy

5. Change in the government's attitude towards merchants in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century: Peter's policies

6. The policies of Catherine II:
A. Freeing of trade and manufacture from restrictions
B. Effect of these measures on dvoriane
C. Emergence of serf-entrepreneurs

7. New policy towards the cities

8. The merchant of imperial Russia

9. Economic and political inertia of Russian merchants

Chapter 9: The Church as Servant of the State
1. The aesthetic and spiritual aspects of Orthodoxy

2. Orthodoxy and state: symphonia as the ideal

3. The Golden Age of the Russian Church (thirteenth-fifteenth centuries):
A. Growth of monasticism
B. Effect on clergy
C. Controversy over monastic landholding

4. The church works out the autocratic and imperial ideology for Moscow's rulers

5. The Schism:
A. Its origins and political aspects
B. The dissenters: Old Believers and Sectarians

6. The subordination of church to state in the eighteenth century:
A. Peter's measures
B. Secularization of church land under Catherine II

7. Growing isolation of church and clergy

Part III: Intelligentsia Versus the State

Chapter 10: The Intelligentsia
1. Inability of 'interest groups' to restrain Russian autocracy

2. The 'intelligentsia': origins and meaning of the term

3. Emergence of public opinion under Catherine II:
A. Antecedents
B. Catherine's own contribution
C. Novikov
D. Radishchev
E. The Decembrists

4. The generation of Idealists:
A. Impact of German Idealism on Russia
B. Psychological consequences

5. Social and institutional characteristics of the intelligentsia:
A. Influx of commoners after 1855
B. Salon, university, circle, journals, and zemstva

6. The Slavophile-Westerner controversy:
A. Chaadaev opens the debate
B. Slavophile theory
C. The 'Westerners'

7. Crystallization of opinion in the 1860s

8. The new radicalism:
A. Its western sources
B. 'Nihilism'
C. The historic function of the intelligentsia as seen by itself
D. Socialist-revolutionary tactics, 1860-80
E. Perplexed reaction of the liberal camp

9. Conservatism:
A. Conservative analysis of 'nihilism'
B. Need to rediscover lost roots
C. Political attitudes

10. The conflict between radicals, intellectuals, and writers:
A. Utilitarian aesthetics
B. Pushkin as an object of contention
C. The writers fight back
D. Long term implications of this conflict

Chapter 11: Towards the Police State
1. The bureaucracy in Russia:
A. Relative understaffing
B. Corruption as inherent in the Russia system of administration
C. Underpayment
D. Hierarchical distinctions
E. Gulf between central and provincial officialdom

2. Late and weak development of legality

3. Evolution of anti-subversive statutes:
A. Absence of adequate measures before 1825
B. Creation of regular political police (Third Section)
C. Censorship Code of 1826
D. Crimes against state defined and punishments provided for them
E. Efforts to improve justice for political offenders after 1864 frustrated by the intelligentsia

4. Initial government reactions to revolutionary terror:
A. The radicals go over to terror
B. Government over-reacts and lays bases for police state in Russia
C. Security measures, 1878-80
D. Creation of the Department of Police State (1880)
E. Its uniqueness

5. Failure of efforts at political reform

6. The 'Temporary' Law of 14 August 1881

7. Police interference in everyday Russian life

8. Exile and hard labour

9. Summary of police institutions in Russia of the early 1880s

10. Zubatov and portents of totalitarianism

11. Imperial Russia not an effective police state:
A. Private property
B. Foreign travel
C. Cultural inhibitions

12. Police powers undermine the old regime

13. Concluding remarks


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  • Posted January 14, 2010


    If you are interested in Russian history before the twentieth century, this is the book to get. It's only 300 some pages, but somehow it compresses an incredible amount of information in it. Very comprehensive. Very detailed. Very well written.

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