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Motherland: Russia in the Twentieth Century

For a publication that's tough to discover, this booklet used to be in beautiful fine condition. the canopy had shelf put on, yet except that the order used to be nice!

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The Russian rank-holders (chiny) did not have the security of tenure that was built into the Prussian law 8 and they could be dismissed at a minute's notice without any explanation, severance pay or pension rights. There was no appeal from such a dismissal, no defence except by a petition to the tsar or his dignitaries. Second, selection and promotion by merit (be it intellectual capacity or the totality of obedience) was not the only consideration, even formally. Some of the ethnic groups were totally excluded from state service- for example, Jews, Asian 'natives' (inorodtsy) and, since the 1860s, Poles.

By the sixteenth century, the title 'grand duke' was increasingly replaced by that of'the Tsar by God's will'. e. unlimited ruler) was added to the title. Those ideological and legal images were directly linked to the twentieth-century laws of the Russian empire. Until the last days of the tsardom, the Section 1, Part 1 of the Code of Laws of the Russian empire proclaimed: 'To the Emperor of all the Russias, belongs unlimited autocratic power. ' 2 For four centuries of Russian history it meant just that.

They were met by the dogged conservatism at the top well expressed by Uvarov (a Minister of Education of Nikolai 1), as a credo of 'orthodoxy, autocracy and nationality'. Uvarov could have rightly added 'stolid brutality' of his triad of the tsardom's self-characterisation. The only immediate result of an attempt by young officers to force democratic changes by coup d'etat in 1825 was the gallows or exile for them, the establishment of a gendarmerie and the revamping of censorship and of political police.

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