World War I The Russian Revolution and Stalinism

Chapter 3: Tsarism’s Most Dangerous Enemy (Part 1) :: Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “It is better that this come from above than from below”
  • “a form of conspicuous consumption on a national scale”

Thought Questions

  • What was Tsarism’s Most Dangerous Enemy?
  • In the opening quote why does the writer equate the granting of a Constitution with inspiring Revolution and why does he assume it is a situation unique to Russia
  • In what ways did the administrative example of Peter the Great allow the Russia Empire to continue
  • Describe the characteristics of Peter the Great’s reign
  • Compare and Contrast: the Russian and English nobility
  • Affirm or Refute: “modern Russia is but a metamorphosis of Muscovy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Russian state was top heavy and spread thin.”
  • Describe the European concept of “Autocratic Principle” and how it was applied in Russia
  • What were the long term impacts of the Crimean War on the Russian tsar and his power
  • Explain and Expand: “Tsarism suffered a debilitation it could not overcome: the imperatives of autocracy undermined the state.”
  • Who was Alexander Ulyanov
  • Describe the genesis of a modern “political police” security service in Russia
  • Explain and Expand: “Russia’s autocracy was deliberately archaic. Tsarism choked on the very modernity that it desperately needed and, to an extent, pursued in order to compete as a great power.”
  • Explain and Expand: the connections between “modernity” and colonialism and how Tsarist Russia fit into this mold
  • In what ways did(does) Russia’s landmass and geography impact its position in the great power world
  • What was the impact of Russian Far East relationships

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading