Cover image for The history of liberalism in Russia
The history of liberalism in Russia
Leontovitsch, Victor, author.
Uniform Title:
Geschichte des Liberalismus in Russland. English
Publication Information:
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012, 2012. (Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2015)
Physical Description:
1 online resource (392 p.)
Pitt series in Russian and East European studies

Series in Russian and East European studies.

UPCC book collections on Project MUSE.
The history of liberalism, 1762-1855 -- Catherine II -- Alexander I -- Speransky --- Karamzin -- The codification of the law -- Nicholas I -- Nicholas I (continued) -- The development of civil liberty, 1856-1914 -- The emancipation of the serfs -- The emancipation laws and their later interpretation -- Peasant law -- The peasant question in the reign of Alexander III -- The peasant question in the reign of Nicholas II before 1905 -- The agrarian program of the left-wing parties -- The peasant question after 1905 -- The history of political liberalism in the reign of Alexander II -- The period from 1881 to 1902 -- The liberation movement -- Liberalism in 1904 -- The Zemstvo congresses -- Further Zemstvo congresses and the aggravation of the revolutionary situation -- The Manifesto of October 17, 1905, and the Constitution of April 23, 1906 -- Witte and public opinion -- The Constitutional-Democratic Party and the Union of October 17 -- The First Duma -- The Second Duma -- The coup of June 3, 1907, and the Third and Fourth Dumas.
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eBook ER135382 DK62.9 .L4613 2012 Electronic Resources

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Foreword by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The influence of liberalism in tsarist Russia is deeply problematic to most historians. In this highly original study, Victor Leontovitsch offers a reinterpretation of liberalism in a uniquely Russian form. He documents the struggles to develop civil society and individual liberties in imperial Russia up until their ultimate demise in the face of war, revolution, and the collapse of the old regime.

From Catherine the Great's proposal of freedom for serfs born after a predetermined year, through the creation of zemstvos by Alexander II, and the emergence of the State Duma and a quasi-constitutional monarchy under Nicholas II, Leontovitsch chronicles the ebb and flow of liberal thought and action in the difficult circumstances of tsarist Russia. He cites numerous examples of debates over civil rights, property laws, emancipation, local jurisdiction, political rights, and constitutional proposals. Focusing on liberal reforms and reformers within the governing elite, Leontovitsch draws important distinctions between factions of radical (but fundamentally illiberal) progressives and true (but often concealed) liberalism.

This is the first English-language translation of Leontovitsch's monumental work, which was originally published to critical acclaim in German in 1957. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn sponsored a Russian edition in 1980, and his introduction is translated for the foreword of this edition. With a wide readership in today's Russia, The History of Liberalism in Russia continues to resonate as a penetrating analysis of the historical precedents of liberal thought and its potential as a counterweight to current autocratic tendencies and the uncertainties of Russia's political future.