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History reading assignment 3 - Essay Example

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Custine’s Assessment of Russia Name: Institution: CUSTINE’S ASSESSMENT OF RUSSIA French envoy Marquis de Custine published famous letters during a trip to Russia in 1839, when Tsar Nicholas I was ruler. For political and personal reasons, Custine completes his work in a very bitter manner…
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History reading assignment 3
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Download file to see previous pages At some point in her reign, she accepted foreign influence into her court. Products were imported from Europe during her reign. Even populations were “imported” from Europe including whole German colons that would later lead to the Russian-German conflicts. However, after 1518, Russia abandoned their Western fashion and began making steps to their sources. Everything changed after 1815 with Nicholas I wanting Russian spoken at the court. The local population increased and doubled very twenty years and the military power increased, with the emperor claiming that despotism and tyranny were not the same. The descriptions of Russia and St. Petersburg by the Marquis are very mediocre. He criticizes despotism banally as if it is something deja vu. The most enlightening parts are when Custine holds his talks with the empress and the Tsars and not with the reformists. Here, Custine enters the Russian exception core with Russian singularity. In Custine words, Russian singularity has not been liquidated by Anglo-mania. The Tsar explains his political choices in impeccable French. He is aware that Russia is under fire. He says that, in Custine’s country, they entertain prejudices against the Russians that are more difficult to overcome than passions of an army in revolt (Abbott, 2012: p 92). In his own country, he had to tackle liberals yet he still defended despotism. It still existed in Russia, and it was the essence of his government and accorded the nation with genius. Custine was prophetic in his harsh review of Russia by claiming that by blocking the road to imitation in Russia, the Tsar was restoring Russia to her old self. Custine understands that Russia has imitated a lot of what the new times have brought, but they will be conservative, peculiar, and traditional. To their enemies, this produces a dilemma: when they imitate, they are labeled as monkeys, but labeled Tartars when they attempt to be Russian. However, by the time of Nicholas, there was no more need to copy the western courts. Custine analyzes the democratic system as a parliament that acts as an aristocracy of the orators that is substituted for birth aristocracy and that it is the government of lawyers (Abbott, 2012: p94). The Tsar is in agreement and adds that since the entire social and political defects of democracy are known, buying votes, seducing in order to deceive, and corrupting conscience. He contends that he disdains these things and that he has paid the price for being straightforward, but shall never more be a king of the constitution. Custine at this point still agrees with him and remarks that without aristocracy, only tyranny would exist and those aristocrats not bending to the leveling hand wielded by despotism existed in both monarchial governments and pure democracies. Custine was of the belief that the end of aristocracy would signal the beginning of the end for the nations. He foresees in Tsar Nicholas the perilous nature of a democracy ruled by a moneyed and ruthless aristocracy. Custine dreads the lawyers and the echo of the newsprint that are nothing, but speeches whose echo is around for twenty-four hours; moreover, this is the despotism, which threatens the nations (Abbott, 2012: p94). Custine believes that the reasons that the Russians remained politically backward were because of religion and that the role of the church is fundamental. Custine then contends that the Russia of the time is still ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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