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Embracing the Concept of Democracy - Essay Example

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This paper "Embracing the Concept of Democracy" focuses on the Russian society that had to adapt to changes in different ways after the Great Reforms of the 1860s. The uncertainty was immense since it was as a result of drastic changes that summoned the aptitude to equally adapt drastically. …
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Embracing the Concept of Democracy
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Download file to see previous pages The intent of this paper is to lucidly determine these changes that were deemed to embrace the concept of democracy, and whether they actually achieved their intended purpose as expressed by the response of the people.
An incident that can be viewed as the genesis of the Russian transformation is the defeat in the Crimean War. It resulted in the sought of scenarios where individuals reassess their own status so as to forge a route forward. Russia has expected to win the war with ease seeing that it had the largest army in Europe but overlooked the morale of the soldiers to fight. The defeat opened channels for reassessments, which were mainly carried out in the 1860s and came to be commonly referred to as the Great Reforms. Realizing the underbelly of the army and the possibility of being attacked in the future, Alexander II initiated a number of reforms.1
One aspect to Russia that stood up in the Crimean War as compared to its enemies was that the country still practised serfdom. The enemies disliked this fact about Russia and Alexander II saw this as an opportunity to commence the reforms that would transform Russia. Ending selfdom was a move supported by the liberal intellectual in the country, but fiercely contested by the landowners. In 1861, Alexander II pushed forward to end the practice, and the country was one of the last to do so in the European continent. “The new democracy,” as Pobedonostsev refers to it, is nonetheless questionable as it still left so many in suffering whilst it was supposed to do the opposite. 2
As a result of the liberation of the peasants, there was a surge in the number of citizens in the local governments. The peasants now had a voice that was recognized by the government, and this required it to be embedded into the government itself. Initially, the local government was run by the sole representation of the landlords who were viewed in turn as representatives of their serfs. A new form of government referred to as the zemstvos were put into place, it required fair elections to be conducted. Pobedonostsev cites this form of government as ’a fatal error, and one of the most remarkable in the history of mankind.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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