This general history of Russia covers the Kiev period through to the 1990s. Whilst examining the internal history of Russia, it pays particular attention to Russia's role in its wider European context and to its impact on world affairs. The central theme of this book is Russia's failure to adapt to the world ushered in by the French Revolution. In examining the reigns of three rulers, Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II and the changes that took place under their rule, David Saunders finds multiple causes for Russia's failure to adapt. These include the personal failings of the Tsars themselves, an unwieldy bureaucracy, the potentially-explosive differences between Russians and the empire's ethnic minorities, and the government's chronic shortage of material resources. Themes covered include the political, diplomatic, intellectual, social and economic history of 19th century Russia. It is aimed at advanced sixth formers, undergraduates, general readership. It is a main text for courses in Imperial Russian history and can be used as supplementary reading for courses on the Russian Revolutions of the early 20th century, the general history of Europe in the 19th century and 19th century international relations.
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