A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy's) and Modern Russia - Term Paper Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Today’s Russia appears different from the Russia in which Leo Tolstoy lived in terms of political and economic development.Tolstoy was born in 1828, three years after military reformists had staged a revolt to try to stop the accession of Nicholas I to power…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.5% of users find it useful
A Comparison of Old (Tolstoys) and Modern Russia
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy's) and Modern Russia"

A COMPARISON OF OLD (TOLTOY’S) AND MODERN RUSSIA Today’s Russia appears remarkably different from the Russia in which Leo Toltoy lived in terms of political, social and economic development. Toltoy was born in 1828, three years after military reformists had staged a revolt to try to stop the accession of Nicholas I to power. The military reformists were there after the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. However, the revolt had failed, leading to an era of a very reactionary leader in which Toltoy lived. The era of the expansionist Alexander II (1855-1881) brought no difference in Russia as the status quo was maintained. Nicholas II (1894-1917) was forced into granting Russia a representative national body by revolutionary strikes; however, little was to change in terms of governance.1 This historical review indicates that the old Russia was governed by aristocratic monarchs with an iron fist. These are the situations in which Toltoy wrote his work and, as a result, constructed his view of Russia at the time. Toltoy belonged to a cadre of writers viewed as being realist writers, who considered the novel as a framework through which they could discuss the socio-political influences in their lives. As a result, Toltoy’s work can help define what Russia was in the 19th Century. One of the main themes of his work centers around aristocracy in Russia, which effectively captures the political situation, described earlier. Hence, the old Russia can be defined as an aristocratic nation- and, consequently, a nation characterized by great inequality and intolerance between the aristocrats and the masses of peasants. For instance, Toltoy’ The Cossacks exposes the experiences of the Cossack peasants through telling the story of an aristocrat who is in love with a Cossack girl.2 War and Peace also gives the audience a view of Russian aristocratic families during the French invasion of Russia. Hence, there is a sufficient argument that Russia was defined as an aristocracy and unequal society in the 19th Century. Contemporary Russia bears influences from the nation’s rich history and global turns of events. Influences of aspects such as the Revolution are discernible as well as Western-influenced privatization of the largely nationalized economy inherited from the Soviet system. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia experienced economic woes and political near-anarchy as the nation sought to adopt multi-party politics. The political challenges were the result of structural problems, which pitted the president and parliament against each other in a race for supremacy, a situation worsened by a disorderly party system. Currently, Russia politically is a guided by a constitution that provides for a president as head of state, a prime minister (appointed by the president with approval from the parliament) as head of government, and a parliament, the Federal Assembly, which has legislative powers. Russia faces challenges in charting a future political direction as strains occur along several perspectives. For instance, strains are evident between the seemingly pro-reform executive and the legislature where nationalist and communist elements are still present. Another aspect of political challenges are seen in the way the powers of the central government in Moscow wane as the regional entities gain significant levels of economic and political autonomy. Power hungry governors and aristocratic presidents of republics lead the way in denouncing Moscow border demarcations and agreements on foreign relations.3 However, modern Russia has experienced economic growth especially in the 21st Century, alongside a strong history of education and scientific exploit. Thus, Russia’s current definition would entail the society being a stable and progressive one. When the two definitions of Russia, old and current, are compared, a number of similarities emerge. First, the lack of political stability that impacted the socio-economic being of old Russia is replicated in the current Russia. Although old Russia was heavily aristocratic and led by monarchs while the current Russia pursues constitutional multi-party governance, both forms showcase instability due to differences in views of political direction. During the 19th Century, revolts and resistance were aimed against the ruling monarchs; currently, disagreements are due to conflicts of opinion in terms of whether Russia should pursue communism or capitalism and federal or national governance. Another aspect of comparison is aristocratic rule which appears in both ages of Russia which again results in failure to address inequality. The current society is clearly divisible into a wealthy and luxurious minority on one side and millions of individuals in social decline on the other.4 Russia has also been cited as one of the most unequal societies in the world.5 This is very comparable with the definition of old Russia in Toltoy’s time where the society was also divided in terms of wealthy aristocrats and masses of peasants. The unrest caused by the societal inequality in both old and new Russia is also a shared aspect. Hence, Toltoy’s definition of Russia would still be relevant for the current Russia. Bibliography Gory, Leninskie. “A Short Overview of the Russian History”. 2008. (accessed April 25, 2012). Nunn, Sam and Stulberg, Adam N. “The Many Faces of Modern Russia”. Council of Foreign Relations, 2009. (accessed April 25, 2012). Orwin, Donna. The Cambridge Companion to Tolstoy. Cambridge: CUP, 2002. Sergi, Bruno. Misinterpreting Modern Russia. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2009. Volkov, Vladimir and Denenberg, Julia. “Wealth and Poverty in Modern Russia”. International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), 2005. (accessed April 25, 2012) Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy's) and Modern Russia Term Paper”, n.d.)
A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy's) and Modern Russia Term Paper. Retrieved from
(A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy'S) and Modern Russia Term Paper)
A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy'S) and Modern Russia Term Paper.
“A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy'S) and Modern Russia Term Paper”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy's) and Modern Russia

Leadership styes used in modern Russia

..., 1994). Russia’s future will have to depend on the relations between the different major players in the economy and the government. Within the competitive framework of the modern economic Russia, the country’s management core is diverse in its economic and political interests (Gratchev, 2001). Some groups are known as the Old Guard who are highly adept at large-scale activities, including the management of technological innovations (Gratchev,, 2005). These leaders also manage to access the primary decision-making points and utilize connections in order to control resources. These leaders manage large industrial corporations in highly competitive sectors including...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Leo Tolstoy and Kurosawa

...? Leo Tolstoy and Kurosawa The novel The death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy deals with the life and death of Ivan Ilyich Golovin, the protagonist. To be specific, the protagonist’s realization of his self or enlightenment is the core aspect of the novel. The protagonist’s fear of imminent death forced him to be pessimistic and resulted in gradual enlightenment. This self-realization or the revelation of the secret of life forced him view death as a dilemmatic situation in life. On the other side, the movie Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa deals with the passionate life and enlightenment of Kanji Watanabe, the protagonist. The movie revolves around the protagonist’s enlightenment and passion towards life. Both the...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

The Culture of Old Russia in Old Chronicles

...-modern era.22Indeed, the Christianization of Kievan Rus dictated each and every cultural development that took place on the soil of Russia for centuries to come. Addressing this aspect of the discussion, Hughes and Paperno refer to Vladimir’s emissaries’ religious epiphany, which enlightened them on the notion of heaven and paradise on earth. The authors claim that literary journeys that took place in seventeenth and eighteenth century Russia continued to explore and praise theocracy as a means of advancing the agendas of leaders who wished to safeguard the religious foundations of Old Russian society.23 Consequently, the transition between church and state did occur...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper


...$526 billion. The economy now depends as much on consumer demand as it does on high oil prices. Moreover, foreign direct investments (FDI) rose by 43% in the first half of 2006, but total investment is still modest in comparison with other transition economies. B. Political Factors Since taking office, Vladimir Putin's government faced several pressing issues on the domestic landscape, including a weak economy, decentralized power and waning international recognition. In terms of the economy, one third of the population lives in poverty while the country's wealth is concentrated in a small percentage. President Putin announced his intention to modernize the economy with the hope of rescuing...
10 Pages(2500 words)Essay


...Running Head: Russia Russia [Institute’s Russia Tourism has always been a major and imperative aspect globally that plays a significant role in the economic, cultural, as well as, social development of a country. In the past, such important aspect has been inauspicious in acquiring its significance; however, studies have indicated that a number of steps have been taken to develop the tourism industry since two decades, which has resulted in its noteworthy impact economically, as well as, culturally. In addition, tourism sector is now considered one of the most imperative industries that contribute significantly to a country’s economy. Specifically, this paper will discuss and analyze some...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Modern Art Movement in Russia

...losing relevance in the modern industrial age, and thus must be changed. Modernism to some extent rejected the philosophy of Enlightenment, and completely denied the existence of the powerful creator, God (Pericles, 2000). It questioned all the theories of the past era, and believed in the theory of self consciousness. It is this belief that led to various experiments in the field of art and led to the formation of what is known as ‘abstract art’ (Gardner, De la Croix, Richard, Tansey, and Kirkpatrick, 1991).   In Russia, this wave of modernism in the world of art, is also known as avant-garde, and it broke away from all traditional and old forms,...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

Leo Tolstoy

...How Much Land Does a Man Require How Much Land Does a Man Require is a 19th century short story by Leo Tolstoy that focuses around a mans lust for land and how in his quest to fulfill this he loses everything that really matters. Many people consider this to be one of the finest pieces of literature ever written. One of the most impressive things about this story is how the critical themes discussed within can be applied to modern day society. For example, the main theme of the book is greed. The story revolves around a peasant named Pahom who feels that he does not own enough land, even going so far as to suggest he should not fear the Devil himself if he had more. The story covers his quest to own more land, first buying some... is that...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Comparison Between Two Modern Paintings

...Comparison Between Two Modern Paintings Throughout the centuries art has experienced tremendous change. In the 20th century alone, artists experimented with surrealist, cubist, and conceptual trends ("Art history resources," 2009). Even while art has changed much over the years, many old types of artistic expression surface in later forms and others sometimes combine into new types of art. In the modern art world there are many such forms of old and new art. This essay compares two modern paintings – ‘Orange Moon Over Ocean (Evening)’, and ‘The Old Window’. While both of these works of art were made in recent years,...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Medieval / Modern Islamic Civilization Comparison

...MEDIEVAL/MODERN ISLAMIC CIVILISATION COMPARISON Medieval/Modern Islamic Civilization Comparison One of the things that are synonymous with the medieval age is innovation. This was a time of discovery and most societies embraced the fad. As such, the Muslim community had a number of innovation and creativity during the medieval age when it was undergoing civilization. However, the spirit of innovation that had so much thrived during this time experienced a setback with the emergence of the modern era. This was attributed to a number of factors that the Muslims could not control, thus the setback. This paper will be a discussion of the reason why the spirit...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment


...The Transcaucasian area of Russia is a “hot spot” in geopolitical terms. Discuss the current problems facing this region including the conflict between neighbors, centripetal and centrifugal forces in the area, and their long history with each other and Russia. While it matters for Russia to focus on the lawful exercise of federal authorities in relation to the Northern Caucasus, it is rather concerned with the compliance of the Transcaucasian independent states to the policies regarding international organizations. The establishment and agreement to these policies occur to determine the regional development problems in Transcaucasia including the issue on Russia’s...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Term Paper on topic A Comparison of Old (Tolstoy's) and Modern Russia for FREE!

Contact Us