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Modern Russia: A Burgeoning Democracy or a Returning Autocracy - Research Paper Example

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This paper attempts to identify the main features of the transition from autocracy to democracy and trace it to various aspects of Russian history. Russia, as a major nation still exhibits elements of autocracy as it struggles to set up and operate democratic structures. …
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Modern Russia: A Burgeoning Democracy or a Returning Autocracy
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Download file to see previous pages links the Czarist regime with the Communist control and the re-constituted Soviet Union as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev. This paper attempts to identify the main features of the transition from autocracy to democracy and trace it to various aspects of Russian history. Final Days of the Czar At the turn of the 20th Century, the Russian economy was reliant on manufactured goods from Western Europe. Most of the economy was based on agricultural products. Sergei Witte's report to the last Czar in the late 1800s suggested that the ruling class (landed nobles) were at the head of affairs and they controlled everything (Berg & Perry, 2011 p86). In the report, Sergei Witte, a major statesman sought to encourage to Czar to undertake reforms that would transform the country's economy from one based on agricultural production to one that would be industrialized and advanced to stand neck-to-neck with other contemporary economies in Western Europe and United States. Unfortunately, the ruling class did not accept it because such a move would deprive them of the luxuries they enjoyed and this would also make them lose their hold on the control of the masses. The history of the ruling class of Russia could be traced to the Middle Ages where the Russian monarchy maintained a feudal system whereby the nobles were to collect rents from peasants with little or no control by the Czar (Sakwa, 2011 p112). Up until 1900, the ruling class was still influential and they kept the masses under very harsh conditions which needed to be addressed. Elsewhere in Europe the Enlightenment had already occurred and this had broken down feudal systems and absolute monarchies. Revolutions had successfully addressed the situation of economic and social discrimination in...
AThere is a lot of effort being made by Russia to set up and maintain institutions of democracy and economic freedom. However, generations of autocracy stands in the way of this transition, making it difficult for the nation to become fully democratized. Autocracy in Russia traces its root back to the feudalism practiced under Czar. Although the Communists promised classless society for Russians, they never attained democracy. Rather, they sought to promote the fair distribution of wealth but under very autocratic conditions. This was done through purges and the use of very tough measures. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, many institutions of the autocratic past of Russia continue to survive into the future. These institutions and some political traditions makes it difficult for the transition to be complete. Nonetheless the Vladmir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev governments have achieved some successes in democratic terms. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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