Inept Russian Reforms

1447 Words6 Pages
Prior the Russian Revolution in 1917, tsarist regimes had gone through centuries of attempted reforms on the social and political structures that handcuffed Russia from taking a place in the west’s’ fraternity of a military and economic power. Although these reforms had already taken place in western countries such as Great Britain and eventually the United States, Russian Tsars worried more about maintaining the autocracy, and the stability of the nobility, through backward methods of taxation and enacting social change. Because of the ever present threat of European attack, and occasional invasion by a western nation Russian leaders were constantly struggling between upgrading Russia’s military and economic capacity, while trying to avoid the social consequences of reform that could ultimately undermine their power. Russian leaders and political activists felt they had the asset of hindsight to look at the corruption, greed, and social inequality that they felt dominated the industrialized nations of the west. So they felt through various reforms, and careful maneuvering by way of social changes that they could emaciate, or totally avoid the social problems, and political turmoil that the west struggled through in the centuries leading up to the emergence of capitalism. Western Europe’s journey from the institutional anarchy of feudalism to the free flowing movement of labor, goods, and ideas of capitalism was only brought on by each regions need to expand economic capacity to gain a military advantage over the other half-dozen empires that may have bordered it. In regions where feudalism reigned until late in the nineteenth century such as Japan in the Tokugawa period, it wasn’t until significant pressure from western nations in the form of unbalanced treaties, colonization, and threat of military conquest, spurred nobles to make major political and social
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