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Liberalism was inappropriate for Russia." Do you agree? Illustrate your view with reference to Russian history in the period,1860-1917.

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"Liberalism was inappropriate for Russia." Do you agree? Illustrate your view with reference to Russian history in the period,1860-1917. One cannot say definitely that liberalism was inappropriate for Russia. To insist on this view is subjective and arbitrary. Liberalism had not been put into full practice in Russia in the period, 1860-1917, so no one can say decidedly that it was not appropriate for Russia. We can only make assumptions. By observing the history of Russia in this period, one can say that liberalism could not develop as a powerful or influential force because of the absence of favourable conditions, the most important one being the rise of a rich and strong middle class. Liberalism meant a plea for the liberty of the individual and his rights to self-expression. It showed itself in demands for constitutional rights such as the right to vote, the right to take part in the government and civil liberties. ...read more.


Another obstacle to the growth of liberalism in Russia was the extremely autocratic government. It would repress and suppress any demand for freedom. Although some of the czars came under liberal influence, they failed to keep it up and returned to repression after a brief period of liberalization. These were the cases of Alexander I and Alexander II. Alexander II had been considered the most liberal czar with his revolutionary measure of the emancipation of the serfs and other measures to modernize Russia. However, he did not go far enough. His reforms were not thorough enough and he fell back on repression after 01 years. Nicholas II had been forced to grant constitutional rule to the Russians by the 1905 Revolution. However, since he was autocratic at heart, he very soon withdrew his concessions. The Duma became a rubber stamp for the Czar. ...read more.


The Czarist regime had not been an efficient government. The peasants remained discontented after the end of serfdom because of the heavy redemption payments, the lack of land, heavy taxes. The government had not done much to help them. The workers in the cities were also suffering from low wages but long working hours and poor living conditions. The autocratic rule of the Czar had forced many to join the extreme groups. Under such conditions, it was very difficult for the liberals to capture their support. For all these reasons, we can say that liberalism could not develop into a powerful force in Russia. The circumstances were not favourable-the masses were ignorant and uneducated; the Czarist government was repressive; extreme ideas rose up against the government and they attracted the masses away from liberalism and there was a lack of a strong and rich middle class. However, one cannot just jump to the conclusion that liberalism was inappropriate for Russia. There was just a lack of favourable circumstances. ...read more.

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