Foundations of Russia Final

In: Historical Events

Submitted By musicalolivia
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Winkley 1

Olivia Winkley
Hist 341A Jenks
Final Exam Essay 1
When the novel
Oblomov was written by Ivan Goncharov in 1858, everyone in Imperial
Russia knew that serfdom was going to end. In our Foundations of Russia course we watched the movie based off
, which was directed by Nikita Mikhalkov in 1979. This book tried to address what was going to happen to the people of Russia when serfdom was going to end. The challenge that Russia faced at the time was adapting to modern European life.
Oblomov raised the question of whether the old elite could adapt to the rest of the world or if it would fail to implement a successful reform.
During the mid nineteenth century, the implications of Russia losing the Crimean War were that Russia lacks mobility and technology. The loss of the war was a great shock to the system. It also was a window for the rest of the European powers to look and see how Russia’s influence was losing traction. At the time the disillusioned Tsar, Nicholas I, believed that
“Russia’s greatness was founded on its Military forces”.1 After losing the Crimean War, it became obvious to Russia, and the rest of the world, that in order for Russia to keep growing and maintaining power, reform had to occur.
After Nicholas I came Alexander II’s reign. Alexander II looked for change in Russia, and his first plan was to liberate the serfs. Peasants in Russia have always been the majority of the population. Getting rid of serfdom was seen as a call for revolution from above. There were many unanswered questions in the preliminary years of Alexander II’s reign, and

David G. Rowley,
Exploring Russia’s Past: Narrative, Sources, Images: Volume I to 1865
Saddle, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc., 2006) 222.

Winkley 2

one response…...

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