Russia Population: 143 million, Size~2x United States
Russia’s historical traditions: Why no democracy? State institutions: thoroughly authoritarian, with tsarist autocracy and a centralized bureaucracy.
Rurik 860 – Scandinavian invaders laid the foundation for the first Russian state in Novgorod. Arrival in Ladoga Rurik - 830-879
Kievan Rus 880-1150 From 880 until 1150, the Rurik dynasty expanded. The capital was moved to Kiev in the Ukraine in a period known as Kievan Rus.
Slavic Conversion to Christianity Slavs converted to Christianity largely through the work of traveling missionaries from Greece. Prince Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988. Kievan Grand Prince Vladimir Conversion in 988
Chief among them were Cyril and Methodius from Thessaloniki. When the Great Schism took place in 1054 AD, the Slavs remained loyal to the Eastern church in Constantinople while the western church was seated in Rome. Saints Cyril and Methodius of Greece (826-889)
The Great Schism of 1054 Today’s Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are a result of this schism and the religious divisions in Europe still exist. Religions of Modern Europe
Mongol Invasions In 1236 Kievan Rus became threatened by Mongol invaders from Asia. Mongol Empire at Height 1279
Mongol Empire 1206-1405 The Mongol empire of Genghis Khan lasted nearly 200 years (1206-1405). From 1251-1480, Russian principalities were forced to may tribute to the western rules of the empire known as the Golden Horde. Genghis Khan 1206-1227 Kublai Khan 1260-1294
The Golden Horde 1251-1480 In the 1400s, the power of the Mongols was in decline and Russian principalities rose in strength.
Grand Duchy of Muscovy 1340-1547 The most dominant of the Russian principalities was Muscovy. Under the leadership of Prince Ivan III (Ivan the Great), Muscovy territory expanded to become one of the largest states in Europe (1462-1505). Ivan declared himself Tsar– a term derived from the latin word Caesar or ruler. Tsar Ivan the Great 1462-1505
Rise of Tsarist Russia - Rurik Dynasty His grandson, Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) (1533-1584) declared himself Tsar of All Russia. Ivan the Terrible managed to finally push back the remnants of Mongol tribes, erecting the famous St. Basil’s cathedral in 1551 in commemoration. Ivan “the terrible” 1533-1584
Ivan’s death, however, caused a crisis in Russia known as the “Time of Troubles”. Ivan had murdered his sons and so there was no heir to the throne. St. Basil’s Cathedral 1551-1556
The Romanov Dynasty 1613-1917 In 1613, a grand council of Orthodox priests and nobles settled the matter of dynastic succession, designating the nobleman, Mikhail Romanov as tsar. The Romanov family would rule Russia for the next 300 years in autocratic tradition. Mikhail Romanov 1613-1645
Russia under the Romanovs Peter the Great (1682-1725) sought to modernize, westernize, and expand Russia’s power. However, he did little for the 99% of the population who remained slave laborers (serfs) to landed aristocratic families (princes and boyars). Politically Russia remained a backwater with no comparable parliament to Britain or France. Peter the Great 1682-1725
Empress Catherine the Great (1762-1796) also made administrative reforms along Western lines, but also opposed any expansion of political rights. By the 19th century, resistance to autocratic rule was growing. Catherine II the Great 1762-1796
Alexander II assumed the throne in 1855 and began a process of reform, culminating with the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. But radical elements in Russian society, most notably anarchists and Marxist socialists, fundamentally opposed tsarist rule. Alexander II was assassinated in 1881 by student radicals from St. Petersburg. Alexander II 1855-1881
Emancipation of the Serfs 1861 His son, Alexander III did not support his father’s reforms, launching another major crackdown on political radicals and consolidating power. Alexander III 1881-1894
His son, Nicholas II, carried on the autocratic tradition, bringing Russia into two disastrous wars Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 World War I, 1914-1917 Nicholas II, 1894-1917
Lenin and Leninism The working class is incapable of staging a spontaneous revolution; It must be organized by an elite revolutionary party (Lenin’s Bolsheviks or Communists) The party as an “organizational weapon”.
October Revolution 1917 Vladimir Lenin 1917-1924
The Soviet Union 1922-1991 The early Soviet State Primacy of the communist party - Politburo and Secretariat – highest party offices. Top-down command structure, powerful secret police (Cheka – NKVD-KGB). Executive branch - Council of Ministers – high party officials also served as heads of state – merging of party/state institutions.
Joseph Stalin Era of Soviet Consolidation and Totalitarian Oppression Served as General Secretary of the Communist Party under Lenin. Stalin uses his position in the party to consolidate power. Josef Stalin 1922-1953
The Great Purge (1934-1939) Following collectivization, Stalin began a brutal purge of the communist party and the red army – complete with show trials, secret prisons, and assassination of former elite. Some estimate as many as 1 million deaths and 8 million political prisoners – Gulag archipelago. By 1939, the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state. NKVD-KGB Secret Police
Era of Reform The Great Purge eliminated a generation of party cadres. Krushchev had been a loyal Stalinist during the Great Purge, rising in the ranks of the Politburo. After Stalin’s death in 1953, a power struggle ensues in which Krushchev emerges as party leader in 1955. Nikita Krushchev 1953-1964
De-Stalinization Immediately, Krushchev defies expectations and begins a long process of de-Stalinization. Though he had been one of Stalin’s chief supporters, in 1956 he delivered the now famous “secret speech” to members of the Politburo, denouncing Stalin’s rule and calling for reform. The first step was to simply purge all visible reference to Stalin throughout the Soviet Union, removing statues, renaming streets, and even cities (Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd). Stalin’s mausoleum next to Lenin’s was removed from Red Square and he was interred at a small site on the Kremlin wall.
Economic Stagnation (1978–85) • Virtually everything in the Soviet Union was centrally planned. • Scarcity of basic goods and services began to increase, and the massive military budget (1/3 of GDP) lead to declines in Soviet industrial innovation and productivity vis-à-vis the West. • However, the party virtually ignored warning signs in the Soviet economy. • Triumphal propaganda about Soviet strength superseded any self-criticism or problem solving. Economy of denial.
Mikhail Gorbachev Assumes power as General Secretary of CPSU in March 1985, aware of deep economic, social, and foreign policy problems Calls for “restructuring” (perestroika) of party and economy “openness” (glasnost) in the party’s dealings with the population (especially after Chernobyl), and “democratization,” though not a multiparty system Mikhail Gorbachev 1985-1991
The 1991 Coup and its aftermath The coup was an attempt by hard-line Soviets in the Politburo and KGB to remove Gorbachev and reestablish Soviet control. They realized that Gorbachev’s policies were destroying the Soviet Union, but by 1991, the coup plotters lacked any popular legitimacy, which had shifted to the pro-independence reformers like Boris Yeltsin – the only big winner in the aftermath of the August 1991 coup. Image of Coup Plotters
August 1991 Tanks rolling into Moscow Boris Yeltsin denouncing the coup
Several days after the coup falls apart, Yeltsin admonishes a humiliated Gorbachev, who resigns as chief of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev Last Premier of the USSR
December 1991 - Independence for Soviet Republics Russia was only one of 15 Soviet republics but its population accounting for half of the total Soviet population
Yeltsin and the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus sign an agreement withdrawing from the 15-member Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR, or Soviet Union). Within weeks, other members do likewise, creating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) December 8, 1991
December 31, 1991 End of Soviet Union USSR ceases to exist and Russia is an independent state. The Soviet flag was hauled down and the flag of independent Russia was hoisted in its place over the Kremlin, the historic seat of the Russian government.
Yeltsin’s Russia (1992-1999) Yeltsin’s rise to power (apparatchik from Sverdlovsk (Ural Mountains) who came to Moscow and rose in power to become the city’s chief party boss.
Transforming the economy Shock therapy (end price controls, allow for inflation, massive privatization, cut military/social spending) Largely a failure leading to hyperinflation, unemployment, poverty, major loss of productivity as Soviet industries collapsed. Economic power came under the control of oligarchs – no mass ownership society.
Hyperinflation About $50 in 1991 About $0.50 in 1993
Privatization Privatization Voucher
Politics of reform Between 1990-1993, Yeltsin lacked a political majority in the Russian Parliament. There were many deputies who opposed shock therapy. In 1993, Yeltsin dissolved the Russian parliament, calling for new elections (he lacked the constitutional authority to do this). When Parliament resisted, Yeltsin ordered the Russian army to fire on the parliament building and remove the deputies. Russian Constitutional Crisis October 1993
1996 Presidential Elections Yeltsin received 35%, Zyuganov 32%, and Lebed came in third with 15%. In the run-off election between Zyuganov and Yeltsin, Lebed threw his support to Yeltsin, who won with 53% of the vote. Gennady Zyuganov Communist Alexander Lebed Nationalist Boris Yeltsin Liberal Democrat
December 31, 1999 Yeltsin steps down Yeltsin addresses the Nation Vladimir Putin Yeltsin resigns as president, leaving office six months ahead of schedule. Then in March 2000, Vladimir Putin is elected president.
2000, 2004 Presidential Elections Putin (53%) v Zyuganov (29%) 2000 Putin (71%) v. Everyone Else (29%) 2004
Recent Elections 2008 Presidential Election Dmitry Medvedev (70%) vs. Everyone else (30%) 2007 Duma Elections
Semi-presidentialism President Medvedev 2008-2012 Prime Minister Putin 2008-2012
Putin’s Russia Putin becomes President again in 2012, Medvedev becomes Prime Minister