“Westernizations” from Peter I to Meiji: war, political competition, and institutional change
Radical “Westernizing” transformations in extra-European countries, from Peter I’s Russia to Meiji Japan, are traditionally presented as a response to pressures from the more militarily and technologically advanced European powers. This corresponds to the general tendency to view war as the driving force behind early modern state-building. However, the question remains: how exactly did such transformations happen, and what explains their timing? Why did some countries, such as Russia, embark on radical institutional restructuring that threatened large sections of the traditional military classes in the absence of any obvious existential threat, while in others even clear and immediate dangers failed to ignite a full-scale “Westernization”? This article seeks to complicate the “bellicist” narrative of “Westernizing” transformations and to generalize about the role of elite conflict in propelling “self-strengthening” reforms. It argues that “Westernizations” in extra-European polities were enabled by breakdown of domestic political balance and driven by “challengers” emerging in the course of these conflicts, as they strove to maximize their power. Factional struggles accompanying “Westernizations” are interpreted here not as a conservative reaction against reforms, but as a process that preceded and enabled institutional restructuring.
The article considers the Soviet outbound tourism of the eighties of the last century, who became the last decade of Soviet history. Period sharp turns in domestic and especially in foreign policy could not be reflected in the field of international, including foreign tourism. To limit the monopoly of trade unions and reducing the level requirements for traveling to overseas tours in the second half of the 1980s. (especially after 1988) have changed not only the size but also the nature of outbound tourism due to the growth in the number of business trips in capitalist countries and educational tourism in the English-speaking States. Of course, for the Soviet outbound tourism, along with a narrow geographical focus (more than 90% of the total tourist flow was accounted for by the socialist countries and Finland), characteristic and quantitative limitations in comparison with Western countries. Even in the second half of the 1980s, outbound tourism was less than 1% of the total world tourist flow. However, the weakening of the "iron curtain" was slowly destroyed the confidence of the Soviet people in the advantages of the Soviet way of life over the West.In the second half of the 1980s, the Soviet field acquired all the signs of "shopping tourism". Thus he became not only increasingly expanding channel penetration in the Soviet Union of the values of the Western world, but a peculiar form of dialogue between the West and the East, breaking the "iron barrier" in the minds of the representatives of the two "camps".
The article analyzes Nikolai Konrad's article "The Centennial of the Japanese Revolution," published in 1968.
This illuminating volume provides a new understanding of the subjective identity and public roles of Russia’s Europeanized elite between the years of 1762 and 1825. Through a series of rich case studies, the editors reconstruct the social group’s worldview, complex identities, conflicting loyalties, and evolving habits. The studies explore the institutions that shaped these nobles, their attitude toward state service, the changing patterns of their family life, their emotional world, religious beliefs, and sense of time.
The creation of a Europeanized elite in Russia was a state-initiated project that aimed to overcome the presumed “backwardness” of the country. The evolution of this social group in its relations to political authority provides insight into the fraught identity of a country developing on the geopolitical periphery of Europe. In contrast to postcolonial studies that explore the imposition of political, social, and cultural structures on colonized societies, this multidisciplinary volume explores the patterns of behavior and emotion that emerge from the processes of self-Europeanization.
The article concerns the problem of the Russian absolutist monarchy of the XVIII - the beginning of XX-th centuries in a comparative perspective. The social function of absolutism consisted in national integration, cultural unification and social transformation of traditional society by using of legal and coercive measures. The crucial problem is the changing role of the bureaucracy which could be the main protagonist of reforms or, just the opposite – its main opponent. From this point of view the author summarizes positive and negative aspects of absolutist reforms making outlook on the comparative experience of other absolutist empires of Europe and Asia.
This article uses the case of post-Petrine Russia to explore the role of formal schooling in social mobility and social reproduction among the elite in early modern context. A study of career and educational choices made by Russian nobles in the 1730s-1740s and recorded in the registers of the Heraldry and petitions for enrollment into the Noble Land Cadet Corps demonstrates that the members of post-Petrine elite did have very clear preferences regarding their service trajectories. As noble families acted on the basis of specific combinations of resources and threats each of them faced, there emerged deep cleavages within the elite in terms of its attitude towards schooling. While wealthier nobles tended to opt for joining state schools, especially the Noble Cadet Corps, the poorest nobility not only overwhelmingly ignored educational requirement and service registration rules imposed by the state, but also avoided applying for state schools, preferring instead to enlist directly into regiments as privates. Despite numerous attempts, the government failed to force these poorer nobles to follow new rules of entering schools and state service, codified in 1736-1737, and was forced to regularly issue collective pardons to the offenders. While wealth was one crucial factor shaping the nobles’ trajectories, their social connections and cultural endowments were no less important in channeling their educational and career choices and making them embrace or reject the post-Petrine service regime. As a result, the early modern “Westernization” of the elite emerges as a dynamic social process driven by the choices made by the nobles themselves.
Textology and history review.
The geographic information system (GIS) is based on the first and only Russian Imperial Census of 1897 and the First All-Union Census of the Soviet Union of 1926. The GIS features vector data (shapefiles) of allprovinces of the two states. For the 1897 census, there is information about linguistic, religious, and social estate groups. The part based on the 1926 census features nationality. Both shapefiles include information on gender, rural and urban population. The GIS allows for producing any necessary maps for individual studies of the period which require the administrative boundaries and demographic information.