Russian Nationalism and Tsarist Nationalities Policies in Semi-Constitutional Russia, 1905-1914
"Unfortunately, the heartland of Russia did not possess sufficient
"Unfortunately, the heartland of Russia did not possess sufficient
sources of cultural and moral strength which could have served as an instrument
of ... assimilation, all the more so as many border regions - because of their
special historical and geographical development - stood culturally on a much
higher plane than the centre. Therefore endeavours directed at their russification
(obrusenie), mostly amounting to intervention by force, proved futile
and only angered local populations. At the same time these endeavours drained
the Russian national centre because they made it necessary to squander its
little developed forces over the huge expanse of the empire and to lower the
average level of the serving class that was called upon to fulfil the demands
of the state"
was the considered opinion of S. E. Kryzhanovskii, a former Deputy Minister of
Interior, who committed these lines to paper after many years of exile. It is
basically a very pessimistic view of Russian nationalism and of the
possibilities and chances of Tsarist nationalities policies. At first glance it
seems to contradict statements made by Petr Struve already in 1910:
"This whole official nationalism is indispensable under the present
political circumstances because it can conceal in people's minds the
powerlessness and the humiliation of the representative chamber. It dupes the
assembly and `justifies' absolutism and its anti‑liberal and
describes the function of a nationalism purposefully employed as a means of
deflecting attention from the inner tensions and contradictions of the Tsarist
system after the enactment of the October Manifesto, and especially after the
new electoral law of the 3rd June 1907 which reduced the importance of the
voters of the lower classes dramatically. Two years earlier Struve had stressed
the point even more strongly: "Psychologically and objectively the forces
of reaction can only continue to exist because they rely on the inorodtsy.
The inorodtsy are the last psychological weapon of the
. By this he obviously meant that only by playing up the largely
imagined threat against the Russians from the side of the non-Russians could
the old undemocratic and partly pre-modern system of the 3rd of June 1907 be
kept together. However, this was only one side of Struve's analysis. On the
other side he saw very clearly the artificial character and the weakness of
this officially sponsored nationalism of Russia's constitutional period. Going
beyond the judgement of the representative of the old system he believed that
the causes of this weakness and artificiality lay in the continuing claim of
the bureaucracy and nobility to a monopoly of power. The lack of modernity and
democracy, which was evident in this, meant for him that this Russian
nationalism could never be a viable political movement and that Russian
nationalism as such had not been able to reach its full potential yet
. His criticisms leads one to suspect that it was this very weakness of
Russian nationalism which lay at the bottom of repressive legislation against
other nationalities as it justified officially sponsored nationalism in the
eyes of its practitioners. Both official nationalism, the nationalism from
above, and also "general" nationalism, the nationalism from below,
were weak, because, in Struve's analysis, the political and social structure of
the Empire was backward and was deliberately kept backward to defend social and
political privileges which would not survive in a modern society. This
structural deficiency suggests - as does Kryzhanovskii's statement - an a
priori assumption to the effect that the policy of Russian governments towards
their nationalities could not be based on any clear concept, nor be directed
towards a single overriding goal. Basing itself on these introductory remarks,
this paper is an attempt to describe official nationalities policy, to investigate
some of its motives, and to look at the character of (Great-) Russian
policy towards other nationalities since Catherine II had for a long time been
primarily geared towards eliminating any historical political and social
structures which had developed independently from those of the Great Russians
and which were different from them, and to replace them with the general
structures of the Empire. This policy did continue for some time, although it
must be added that the policy was never rigorously applied, nor could it be. At
least since Nicholas I another element came into play, whereby many, but not
all, peoples were forbidden the use of their language in schools and in the
administration. Part and parcel of this policy was, already since Catherine,
the mobilisation of the orthodox church for Russian purposes on the one hand,
and on the other an energetic interference in the affairs of other
denominations or religions. Under Alexander II, certainly due to a good degree
to his reforms, there appeared for the first time a "societal"
nationalism which, supported by a still very narrow and small public, but at
least independent from "official" Russia, attempted to drive the
government towards a nationalities policy, which aimed not only at
administrative but also at cultural russification. However, the government
deflated such pressure already under the "Tsar-Reformer" by
forbidding or restricting the sphere of activities for nationalist
organisations such as the Slavic Welfare Committees
. Still, this policy of repression against movements of Russian
nationalism was accompanied by more or new measures to russify by suppressing
the cultural and language rights of others and by the official promotion of
Russian culture, especially under Alexander III.
policy stifled independent initiatives from "society", from the
grass-roots, even patriotic and nationalistic ones among the Russians
themselves. Equally it was the same fear of independent political action that
blocked necessary reforms and adjustments - as a result of which the
development of the obshchestvo [society], one should say: of a civic
society, was retarded. Worse, the reactionary direction of internal politics
particularly under Alexander III brought serious attempts at clawing back the
space granted "society" for (relatively) independent action, and the
involvement of the population in the anyway only rudimentary representative
bodies of local government was restricted to even smaller groups. As there is a
direct link between these forms of "civic society" on the one hand
and nationalism and the development of a national consciousness on the other,
all this meant that Russian nationalism remained weak, because the gulf between
the privileged few and the masses could not be narrowed quickly enough. Indeed
it may even be appropriate to speak of a retarded process of nation-building in
Russia. A new boost of political modernisation, i.e. a new level of political
mobilisation and participation was therefore necessary, before Russian
nationalism, for better or worse, could take a leap forward. Just such a phase
of accelerated modernization was a cause as well as a result of the revolution
of 1905. The introduction of a representative system of government therefore
institutionally reinforced the newly awakened nationalism. But at the same time
it restricted it and limited its effect, among other things, because of the
rather unequal electoral law of the 3rd June 1907 with its politically
demobilising and depoliticizing effects.
policy towards non‑Russian nationalities mellowed somewhat in the period
before and after the promulgation of the October-Manifesto of October 17th,
1905, with which the short period of Russian constitutionalism was heralded in.
However, it was to prove only a brief interruption of the general trend in the
empire's nationalities policy. Since the Manifesto aimed at winning various
opposition groups for a long-term co‑operation with the regime,
concessions were also directed at the nationalities. Thus in many regions
tuition in the mother tongue was granted in schools for the first year, in some
cases even until the second, as was the setting up of private schools where
tuition was always in the mother tongue, and where a minority culture could be
advanced. Grammar schools in Poland, an area which had been more strongly
affected than most by the generally repressive nationality policy, could at
least offer Polish as a school subject taught in Russian, and were allowed to
teach catholic religion in Polish. Lithuanian books, which for a long time
might appear in Cyrillic only, could now be printed in the Latin alphabet again
and for the first time ever two Lithuanian newspapers were tolerated by the
censor. Another first was the appearance of a newspaper in White-Russian in
1906, although Russian nationalists and many moderates, like certain elements
of the zemstvo-movement, denied - just as in the case of the Ukraine -
that there was something like a White-Russian language or a White-Russian
. On the other hand the Council of Ministers saw itself not in a
position to create at the University of Iur'ev two chairs in applied theology
where theology would have been taught in Estonian and Latvian
. Polish townspeople and nobles, who had been forbidden to buy land in
the nine western provinces of the Empire, were now at least allowed to buy land
from other Poles, while the determination of nationality in this ethnically
mixed region was still based on religion. Catholic peasants now even had the
right to buy land from anybody - even if the Peasant Land Bank, a state
institution, continued its policy of selling to orthodox peasants only. Peasant
communities in Poland were once again allowed to conduct their affairs in
Polish. But even at this time of official magnanimity it was insisted that
after 1910 only people who spoke both Polish and Russian could assume positions
in peasant self‑government in Congress Poland. Nor did anybody seriously
consider granting the concession of making the Russian university in Warsaw
into a Polish one. Yet at least the schools of the Finance Ministry in Poland
were permitted to teach in Polish. For the first time ever, Polish lawyers now
were granted the right to set up a professional body (sovet priiasnykh
poverennykh). In Central Asia the right was promised to teach in the mother
tongue in state schools, and the right for non‑Christians to become
private tutors - both measures, however, never materialized
. Many restrictions still in place could occasionally no longer be
enforced as a result of the general weakening of the government during the
revolution. On the other hand the existing nationalities policy was not
fundamentally reformed. Of primary importance was the imperial manifesto of
November 1905, as a result of which the constitutional status quo ante 1899 of
relations between Finland and the Empire was restored. But it was not to remain
valid for long. Despite these (partly very minor) concessions the various
national movements experienced a hitherto unknown growth. To the context of
nationalities policy also belonged, as we shall see, the Edict of Religious
Toleration of 17th April 1905, according to which the conversion from Orthodoxy
to another denomination was permitted for the first time.
hesitant readiness to grant concessions soon waned after the coup d'etat of 3rd
June 1907 and made way for a newly aggressive official nationalism, i. e. for a
return to a policy of restrictions against non-(Great)-Russian groups. A basic
assumption of this nationalistic domestic policy was the conviction among large
sectors of the bureaucracy that the revolution was the work of inorodtsy,
of non-Russians. This was why the electoral law of the 3rd June tried to filter
out non‑Russian elements and to reenforce the position of ethnic Russians
in the Duma (and later in the zemstva, municipal administration, the
assemblies of the nobility and in the Imperial Council) as a stabilising
factor. The "national" clauses in the new electoral law were
"the Duma must be Russian in spirit, since it was
created to safeguard the Russian Empire. Those foreign peoples who have come
into our dominions must have representatives in the Duma for their needs, but
they should never appear in such numbers which permit them to decide purely
Russian questions. In those border regions where the population has not
attained a sufficient level of civil education, the Duma elections must be
suspended for the time being"
informal means were also used to artificially prop up "Russian"
interests and to ensure political stability. For the defining of the
relationship between modernization and nationalism it is worth noting that the
Prime-Minister, Petr A. Stolypin, repeatedly emphasised, that constitutionalism
was a decisive means to mobilize the national Russian element in the provinces
and especially in the okrainy, the border-regions where non-Russians
efforts of the central authorities were paralleled by a movement primarily in
the periphery, where Russians were only in a minority and where they saw
themselves locked in constant conflict with non‑Russians. It was mainly
under the influence of the Duma elections, but also as a reaction to the
national awakening of other peoples, that Russian nationalist groups formed
here, which fought for the "the supremacy of the Russians" and the
"supremacy of the Orthodox Church" because they saw in this the only
way of protecting their own interests. To ensure supremacy, or the "right
to rule", for the Russians they demanded from the start that a new
electoral law be passed with national curiae, as otherwise they would
not be represented in the newly created imperial "parliament"
. The electoral law of 3rd June 1907 fulfilled this demand and thus
granted a quite disproportionate influence not only to the nobility and to the
upper classes in the towns, but also to the generally very radical right‑wing
groups of Russians in the border regions
. Non‑Russian, by contrast, lost the vast majority of their
deputies. From this it followed that on the one hand a policy of granting
concessions to non-Russian nationalities could hardly be implemented, and on
the other that general reforms had a chance of success only when they were
closely connected to (Great-) Russian interests
. However, it must be emphasised that the coup of June 3rd 1907 was
intended to make the continuation of the constitutional experiment possible,
not to end it, and that therefore nationalism could be used as a means of
making it impossible for the extreme conservatives to return to absolutism or
to block all plans for reform.
this constellation of political forces it cannot surprise that the short period
of toleration towards the cultural aspirations of other, especially smaller,
nations, ended soon and that once again a policy was pursued which sought to
limit these rights. The Council of Ministers expressly refused to recognise in
law Ukrainian as a language of tuition for the first two years. Rather, it made
its opinion very clear that state schools had to be entirely Russian in their
. The Ukrainian movement hardly experienced even unofficial toleration.
In 1905 the prosvita
in Kuban Province was forbidden, the one in Chernigov was effectively
forced to dissolve itself and those in Odessa and Podolia were paralysed by the
local administration. In other places branches were never even permitted. Local
authorities forbade the reading of Ukrainian books and the use of Ukrainian
even in private conversations at local teacher-training seminars. The inspector
of the Kiev school district banned non-Russian languages from school
celebrations - not only at state-schools, but also at private ones. Polish was
similarly subjected to persecution in the Western provinces as was secret
private tuition in the subject. Young Poles were thus denied any tuition in
their native language. In Vilnius the authorities closed a Polish library and
the Inspector of the school district Vilnius demanded, contrary to what the law
stipulated, that catholic religion be immediately taught again only in Russian.
In the regions which were later annexed from Congress Poland as Kholm Province,
Catholic peasants were no longer allowed to buy land: here the use of Polish
was forbidden even in private welfare organisations, in the fire brigade, in
credit co‑operatives, and in primary schools. Polish was not even on the
curriculum or used in religious instruction, while private schools and
kindergartens were also outlawed
. In the draft bill on the annexation of Kholm Province by Russia, the
government even refused to allow local peasant communities to use Polish. At
the same time the Russian system of trial by jury was not extended to the new
province in order that "Catholic‑Jesuit" or "Jewish‑Talmudic"
morality should not hinder the due process of law
. The school authorities tried to ensure that Jewish educational
institutions would not serve the cause of Jewish national renaissance. If there
was ever any suspicion that a school was led by Zionists, the head of the
school district generally closed it. The head of the Kiev school authority,
responsible for a third of the cherta (the Jewish Pale of Settlement),
even tried to limit drastically the access of Jews to any kind of school
education. Jewish schools in the Vilnius educational district experienced similar
and political penetration of non‑Russian regions often went hand in hand.
Especially when the Russian population was too weak for economic penetration,
let alone cultural domination, the long arm of the law had to step in, as, for
example, with the nationalisation of the Warsaw-Vienna railway (where the
strategic argument was advanced)
, in the draft law on municipal self-government in Poland, or in the
annexation of Kholm Province from Congress Poland
. The last, amounting to an annexation of Polish territory, occurred
mainly as the result of political pressure from clerical circles and especially
from the local bishop, in order to strengthen the Russian influence, and to
prevent the Polish pany from polonising the Russian (really Ukrainian)
peasants. The annexation was doubtless a reaction to the fact that after the
Edict of Religious Toleration of 17th April 1905 two thirds of those forcibly
converted formerly Uniate peasants returned to Catholicism, which was seen as
nothing less than a massive growth in Polish influence. The legislation on
Finland replaced the Manifesto of November 1905 and denied any special
constitutional status to this country. Superficially most of the laws on
Finland corresponded to the tradition of "administrative integration"
of historically different parts into the Empire. But they were obviously
intended to strengthen Russian - i. e. ethnically Russian - influence in this
region as well. Since this would not have been possible with Finnish administrative
personnel, naturally Russians had to be given "equal" rights in order
that they could be installed in the administration and as teachers in Finnish
. The Imperial government furthermore had plans to introduce the law on
languages in the schools of the border regions also into Finland, so that
Finnish would only have been on the curriculum as a school subject, to be
taught in Russian
. The central government had also required local administrations in
other regions to employ mainly Russians, especially of course in the police
to prevent non-Russians from buying land, or to drive them off the land also
remained a constant element in "national" policy. In 1914 public
companies in general, and especially those with Jewish directors, were
restricted acquiring land in the countryside. Some draft laws, though never
enacted, had aimed in the same direction - they were meant to prevent
foreigners and esp. German colonists (even as Russian subjects!) from acquiring
land. Russian nationalists threatened the Czechs, who seemed unwilling to vote
for extreme Russian nationalists in zemstvo-elections, that they would
be included in this law if they did not support "true" Russians. An
even more draconian bill which would have allowed German colonists who had not
become russified enough to be expropriated by administrative fiat of the
local governors was withdrawn by the government. The Peasant Land Bank
continued its policy of discriminating on grounds of nationality
. Even in European Russia the settlement of old‑believer peasants
was encouraged to combat Polish influence, which led to violent disputes
. In the outer regions of the Empire, in Central Asia, Siberia and the
Caucasus, millions of desiatiny of land were taken away from the
indigenous population and opened up to "orthodox" or (depending on
the distance from the centre) "christian" settlers. An increasingly
strong and often spontaneous movement of settlers, as a result of which
especially nomadic peoples lost their traditional grazing grounds and the
property rights on other land, was supported by the Prime Minister, Stolypin,
and his agriculture minister, although a senatorial revision under Senator
Pahlen had called attention to the increasingly unbearable situation and had
demanded that settlement be slowed down. The situation in Central Asia thus
became increasingly explosive, until in 1916 long-repressed grievances blew up
into an uprising which had to be bloodily suppressed
further act of wilful policy aimed against other nationalities was the banning
of the Catholic‑Constitutional party of the bishop of Vilnius, Eduard von
Ropp. Although the bishop was certainly socially conservative enough and as a
half-German no simple tool of Polish influence, he aroused the distrust of the
authorities because he succeeded in fostering a special catholic and regional
consciousness through his party which superseded ethnic boundaries by uniting
Poles and Lithuanians - something which Petersburg evidently feared would lead
only to the polonisation of the region or at least to renewed demands for
regional autonomy. Besides, Tsarism, it seems, could not tolerate a political
bishop who did not belong to the Orthodox Church. The watch dogs of official
nationalism in the chancellaries of St. Petersburg considered the bishop so
dangerous that, provoking a row with the Vatican, they rather unceremoniously
removed him from office
all these measures of "official" nationalism the Council of Ministers
still felt unable to do without the strength of the Orthodox Church in
relations with other nationalities. Without the Church, the pacification of
Tartar and other muslim elements after the revolution of 1905/1907 and their
russification seemed impossible. Ministers, and in particular P. A. Stolypin, wanted
to stop the wave of re-conversions to Islam and to contain the influence of the
new Tartar national movement with its new schools and new and better trained
clergy. The founding of many new orthodox parishes should work here as it had
in Orel province in combating socialism, the Prime-Minister argued
. In the Western provinces, the Orthodox Church was given several times
the financial support than that normal for central regions, in order to combat
Polish or Catholic influence
. Very often representatives of the church did not need any prompting in
pursuance of their "national" duty. Many demands for a policy with
russificatory tendencies, e. g. the demand for making the schools exclusively
"Russian", came directly from priests or higher clergy, especially
from those in the western provinces, in Poland or from other okrainy
. The "orthodox fraternities" attached to parishes in these
regions saw themselves as the spearhead of Russian influence and they were
indeed established as such by political bishops and by local authorities. Even
during the elections for the zemstva and the Duma priests and bishops
were leant on to urge, and often they did so without prompting, the people that
they should support "Russian" interests, not those of the Poles,
Germans or Jews, and that they should vote for ethnic Russians. At the same
time eager clergy-men kept watch over elections in the peasant volosti and their results
. All this was especially true of Kholm Province. Even the political
struggle against the Ukrainian movement was waged mainly by the Orthodox
Church, and partly understood as a disagreement between different confessions
. Religious militancy displayed by the state and by nationalist groups
against non‑orthodox denominations even after the Edict of Religious
Toleration of 17th April 1905 can be explained by the all too worldly functions
of the Russian Orthodox Church and by a treatment of other religions which
should be understood in political terms. The Edict of Religious Toleration
aroused sharp criticism from monarchists and nationalists. At the
"Congress of the Representatives of Western Russia" - that demanded
among other things the introduction of zemstva (organs of rural
self-government) in some of the western provinces and the annexation of the
Kholm territory from Poland as a measure to strengthen ethnic Russian influence
in the western periphery - the formalization of the Act of 1905 through the
Duma was attacked thus
"For our region, whose history has always developed as the fight of
Catholicism against Orthodoxy, or, what amounts to the same, as the fight of
the Polish element against the Russian, this is a question of life and death:
The reduction [in status] of the indigenous Orthodoxy would be the same as
attempt to extend the religious freedoms of Old Believers also failed because
its opponents did not see this as a question of religious toleration but as an
attack on the strength and unity of the Russian state
. In the same way demands from the Georgian Church for autocephaly could
only constitute a call for revolution
this context belongs the quite open support given to a catholic sect, the
Mariavites, which the state legalised in 1906 immediately after the Vatican had
excommunicated its members. Orthodox priests even demanded in a petition to St.
Petersburg that this group should be used to found a national Russian Catholic
church. Still, the Russian state gave the sect massive financial support in
Congress Poland so that within a short time it had considerable means at its
disposal which it used for extensive welfare activities and for mutual
assistance in the sphere of economic activities, via, among other things,
numerous credit co-operatives. The financial means of the Mariavites equalled
those of the generously provided Russian Orthodox Church in Congress-Poland
. The aim of such measures must clearly have been to weaken a competing
nationality, although Russian authorities could not have deluded themselves
that these measures would ever be anything more than a mere irritation for the
Poles and the Catholic Church.
great irony lay behind the fact that national differences in many regions were
still so weak and underdeveloped that for all practical purposes a Russian
could still not be defined by the language spoken or by the nationality of
parents. The defining criterion for being Russian in most legislation was the
membership of the Russian Orthodox Church. This had been so under Alexander II
when Poles of the western provinces lost the right to buy agricultural land
. It was still true in 1905 when this legislation was modified and
somewhat liberalized. The same principle was applied in the elections to the
newly introduced western zemstva and to the Duma with their national
(i.e. religious!) curiae through which a limit was placed on the number
of non-Russian representatives before any vote had been cast
nationalist rhetoric could not consistently be translated into politics. In
many cases this would have been quite pointless even in the eyes of the
politicians in St. Petersburg, as, for example, in the case of the German
Balts, who anyway might have had enough influence in the Empire to prevent any
return to Alexander III's policy towards the Baltic. Even in the Caucasus,
which was not directly under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry or of
the Council of Ministers, a thorough nationalist policy could not be
consistently carried out. The interests of the Empire and the interests of
Russian nationalism could conflict even in the eyes of the Petersburg
bureaucrats. Thus the Ministers of Finance and of Trade & Industry refused
to pursue a policy of "nationalisation" (i.e. russifi-cation) of the
economy and in particular of credit. Rather, they employed officials of all
nationalities and supported credit co-operatives and enterprises with capital,
irrespective of the nationality of
their owner. This was the case even with Jewish co-operatives and
entrepreneurs. The Finance Ministry, among others, tried to encourage capital
investments and to attract experience from the national minorities in order to
develop the country quickly and to pursue the Great Power interests of the
. The Tsarist state here operated from two kinds of rationale: on the
one hand it seemed expedient for domestic political reasons to favour the
Russians and to limit the rights of non-Russian groups, and on the other hand
it was thought necessary to ignore or abolish any restrictions against
non-Russian nationalities in order to modernise the country and to develop its
. But precisely because the nationalities policy had no underlying
concept, and was implemented not consistently but opportunistically to damage
other nationalities or to limit their influence, it appeared all the more
arbitrary and thus became all the more unbearable for the non‑Russians.
In many respects the anti-Semitic policy of the government and of local
authorities was a good example of the lack of underlying principles in official
policy. There were doubtless various old concepts on the minds of both local
and central decision makers, as for example that Jewish "solidarity"
and "unity" should be broken in order to speed up the assimilation of
the Jews, even though this aim had in practice been widely abandoned and was
futile where the Jews of 1905 (or before) were concerned. There remained then
only a policy of pin-pricks, or of bitterly resented acts of repression which
were intended to hit Jewish capitalism as the spearhead of social and political
change or Zionism as a force of Jewish national regenration. Further attempts
to lash out at "revolution" then led to the scandal of the Beilis
trial. Its only rationally understandable aim, as far as the historian is
concerned, was to manipulate a change in the climate of opinion at home, which
would have made it possible to pursue a much more reactionary course - with
far-reaching restrictions on press freedom and maybe even with the demotion of
the Duma to a mere consultative assembly
. These policies toward the nationalities show that important groups
even within the government increasingly saw themselves in a kind of domestic
state of war in which - in order to preserve the empire - it seemed necessary
to repeat the military conquests of the Empire again and again in daily
does not mean that nationalities policy was merely the result of short-term
calculations by St. Petersburg leaders. The party with whose policies the Prime
Minister, Stolypin, increasingly went along was the "National Union",
or the Nationalists' party, which in large measure owed its existence to the
electoral law of 3rd June. The party was largely limited to the Western
provinces, above all the South‑West, and it concentrated on representing
the interests of (Russian) landowners and of certain elements of city life
. Nationalism was an important part of the Nationalists' programme
because it enabled them, they argued, to represent their class interests, and
because it at the same time held the nation together above and beyond class
differences. It is significant that there was something thoroughly artificial
in their understanding of nationalism. For them "national" education
played the decisive role in developing a national consciousness, and they
accorded exaggerated importance to it. Like politicians and officials close to
them, they believed that the "Russian spirit" could be and had to be
spread by schools, even in the sense of russifying other nationalities. In such
a belief two elements are visible: the conviction that schools had educated
both bureaucrats and ordinary people in a "cosmopolitan", instead of
in a "national", i. e. "Russian" way. This was thought to
have been one of the causes of the 1905 revolution. "National"
education, therefore, had the clear purpose of educating "away"
. On the other hand, the feeling was abroad among Nationalists, though
seldom articulated, that, so to speak, the process that made Russians into
Russians was incomplete in large sections of the population and that the forces
which bound Russians together into a common heritage and a shared social
structure were substantially weaker than with other nationalities
. This was always clear when nationalists compared Russians to their
worst enemies, the Poles and the Jews: among these they recognised a highly
developed sense of national solidarity against which the Russians themselves
compared badly. In this they also believed to have discovered the reason why
the Russians had repeatedly fallen behind in the struggle for economic and
cultural hegemony even in their own country, with the consequence which they
feared and expected that they would lose political domination as well
. In the historical consciousness of the Nationalists and of those on
the Right generally, Russia experienced such critical situations, for example
in the decades before the first and second Polish uprisings, when Polish
culture threatened to drive out Russian culture in the Western provinces:
similar dangers loomed large in the 1905 revolution, which they understood as
an attack by the non-Russians (inorodtsy) of the empire on the
historical Russian state. They justified their participation in the
"Congress of Representatives of Western Russia" which demanded the
incorporation of the Kholm province and the introduction of zemstva in
the western provinces by maintaining that the question was still open whether
this region remained Russian or would once more turn Polish
. Concessions and attempts at reconciliation, in their view, only
encouraged revolution and separatist movements. Consistent legislation in a
nationalistic spirit, i. e. the installation of Russians into all important
positions, education in all schools only in Russian, settlement of Russians not
only in Siberia and Central Asia but also in the okrainy of European
Russia at the expense of the indigenous populations, strong "Russian"
political influence and the suppression of other nationalities, and
encouragement of one's own kind through the power of the state - this alone
created stability. If the supremacy of the Great Russian nation, its right to
rule, could be firmly rooted in the political system, this would end all
. To this end they even introduced a law into the Duma which would have
done away with the last appearances of a separate Polish political entity
. Such attitudes were, however, not based on racist beliefs: many
assimilated Ukrainians, Germans and others became active members of the
Nationalists. The St. Petersburg National Club, though not mainstream
"Nationalist" and really part of an older political aegis, put it
thus: The completely assimilated peoples, they declared, were one heart and one
soul with the Russians, "those tribes however, which strive to live
separately, as foreign organisms in the great body of Russia, have to remain in
this state of natural inequality which is constituted by their own
they analyzed the weaknesses of the Russian nation, the Nationalists often came
to conclusions which are quite surprising. They thought that the causes of this
weakness lay in the consequences of serfdom, in the paternalist traditions of
the Russian state and in what they called its state socialism, which manifested
itself in constant intervention in the economy and in the building up of a
large state industry
. This was why the Russians and Russian culture was so weak
. In other words, the Nationalists argued that the weakness of the
Russian nation was a result of the insufficient modernisation of the country.
Unlike other right‑wingers they did not baulk at admitting Russian
backwardness. But they did not like the modernisation which they observed
around them and in some respects they were groping towards a different model
. From this it followed logically that many Nationalists developed a
programme for modernising the country and mobilising the population in the
widest sense of the word, wedding modern economic and constitutional ideas to
thoroughly traditional concepts and institutions. A starting point had to be
compulsory education for all, in which schools controlled by the Russian Orthodox
Church would not only teach reading, writing and "things Russian",
but also skills which would help the population in the country-side and the
lower middle classes in the towns to be economically more successful. Not by
pogroms one had to fight against the Jews, it was argued, but by hard work
. Thus the "Russian" claim to political supremacy would gain
an economic basis. The sharpest weapons for this programme of mobilising the
Russian nation and for rolling back the non‑Russian elements would have
to be societies for mutual assistance, above all for cheap credit. Non-Russians
should be excluded from this field by the State Bank turning off the financial
tap and by further legislation. Without discrimination against other
nationalities things still seemed pretty bad for Russians. As A. I. Savenko, a
prominent Nationalist, put it: "Yes, give equal rights to the Jews and
there will be no Russian trade here with us in Russian Kiev...[Therefore] we
are not only political, but also economic nationalists"
. Basically, Nationalists wanted to create an exclusively national
Russian milieu, which would cater for all needs, especially in those areas
where Russians had become dependent on non-Russians. It is striking that this
programme had much in common with those late-comers among the East European
minorities and non-historic nations that began to assert themselves against the
domination of the ruling national group. It is possible that they had studied
how Polish and Jewish attempts to assert themselves as a nation had developed
. However, Russian Nationalists differed from them in that they never
succeeded in winning the intelligentsia to their cause. It was to a large
degree because of this that this Russian nationalism before 1917 was never able
to develop into a mass movement. Representatives of the National Union were
painfully aware of this problem and part of their economic program has to be
seen in this light. They argued that a "democracy of property" and a
national bourgeoisie were essential to spread the panaceas of nationalism among
the intelligentsia and their reliance on the orthodox clergy was a conscious
attempt to make good for lack of support from that quarter
paradigmatically, here began, next to a more conservative nationalism, the way
towards a more modern nationalism with more broadly democratic tendencies (in
the sense of political mobilisation rather than that of political freedom)
which had to be problematic for the regime. This nationalism was based on
reform and nurtured an idea of nation which was stripped of many old-fashioned
accessories such as the estates or the established Church. The Nationalists
accepted a constitution - or at least a representative system - as an
indispensable framework within which alone Russian nationalism could develop
fully, although it was by no means love at first sight
. That the Nationalists paid lip service to the idea of a more
democratic form of nationalism was an indirect recognition of this pressure.
They repeatedly emphasised that the Nationalist Party had to be
"national-democratic" (narodno-demokraticheskaia), whereby
admittedly the Russian word "narod" may have meant the people
organised within the estates system
. Their positive disposition towards the system of the 3rd June 1907 was
based above all on the fact that it had increased their influence. Thus the
demand that the Duma should be demoted to a merely consultative assembly was
heard less and less from them
. Rather, the Nationalists' most important policy demand became the
introduction of the zemstva in the West (in contrast to the beliefs of
the 1860s), albeit with national curiae to ensure "Russian"
supremacy - that is to say, they demanded the introduction of a system of local
government based on elections for the main purpose of strengthening the Russian
element not only administratively but also to mobilise it in a wider political
sense. That peasant deputies on the Right were partly able to satisfy their
demand that peasants should have a stronger influence in these institutions also
demonstrates the trend towards greater democracy inherent in this nationalism
. This tendency was further nourished by the fact that the Nationalists'
- to be true to nationalism - had to present themselves in their main
constituency as defenders of the interests of Ukrainian and White Russian
peasants (whom they regarded as purely Russians) against Polish landowners.
However, here the danger became apparent that nationalist policies could turn
into a class struggle against the landowners, many of whom were the very
Nationalists who attempted to operationalize nationalism as a means of
defending their own interests
. Also the fact that shortly before the First World War a small group of
Nationalists broke away in order to advance a more democratic kind of nationalism
demonstrates the existence of this tendency within the "National
Union", even though it was a weak one. This group, called
"Lado", called for universal suffrage at a time when representatives
of the main party wanted voting rights to be even more restricted than they
. A similar split off to the left, less radical than the first, but more
significant, occurred under the pressure of the First World War. A not
inconsiderable section of the Nationalists' faction in the Duma grouped together
as "Progressive Nationalists" to form with the non-socialist parties
to their left the "Progressive Block" as a pro-reform majority in the
Duma in order to organise the country better for the war effort, and to wrest
from the Tsar a ministry of "public confidence", which was widely
understood as the first step towards a parliamentary cabinet
Nationalists had to grapple with a similar dilemma as the bureaucrats and the
government. This lay in the fact that the interests of the empire and of Russian
nationalism were not identical. This conflict became particularly pronounced in
foreign policy when the country moved into the direction of the First World
War. But, if at the top the bureaucrats of the government were in the last
resort willing to give precedence to the interests of empire over those of an
exclusively "Russian" nationalism, the Nationalists were by no means
thus inclined. As one of their most prominent politicians, A. I. Savenko, put
"Now we are told imperialism is a higher notion than nationalism.
Yet, gentlemen, if it is true that imperialism is placed above nationalism
because an empire is wider, larger and greater than a people, then - if we
allow that logic - the world is above empire. Therefore, cosmopolitanism should
be placed above imperialism. But we will not follow that logic... The imperial
idea is that ideological cement by which the various national parts of the
state are bound into one permanent body. We must emphasize that any such
imperial idea can only be the Russian national idea"
spite of the rhetorical solution to this insoluble contradiction in the last
sentence quoted, the Nationalists found themselves in an impossible position.
As consequence of this they fell silent on questions of foreign policy, as
their most recent historiographer put it. They virtually had no answer to the
problem that in the interests of Russian conservatism and nationalism - in the
sense they understood them - they could not possibly accept a war with Germany.
Their dilemma was spotted early on by Peter Struve who in 1908 attacked the
nationalist journalist M. O. Men'shikov because he had advocated a peaceful
Russian policy in one of the crises unfolding on the international scene. To
Struve this moderation only demonstrated that the reactionaries stood helpless
before the task of restoring the external power and prestige of the Russian
. From here it was only a short step to his call to wrest the weapon of
nationalism from the hands of the government and the reactionaries.
important defensive feature of this form of nationalism was consciously to seek
support from the Russian Orthodox Church. "Reform" and mobilisation
of the population in the sense of a cautious modernisation was desirable only
with the closest co-operation with the Russian Orthodox Church. Nationalists
were not at all averse to organizing their own group inside the church to move
it along the lines they thought desirable
. The church was supposed to embrace all aspects of life for all
Russians, expressly not only as a spiritual but also as a national institution.
The local parish was seen as the organisational centre around which everything
else should be grouped, from the school to the care for the poor and to
economic mutual assistance. The role of the church was seen as absolutely
fundamental: only Orthodoxy made a Russian
. At least in part this emphasis on the Church was a reflection of the
lack of support for Nationalists and nationalism among the intelligentsia.
Another defence mechanism was that Nationalists wanted to preserve the estates
system at least for the peasantry - as this might serve as another element of
social control. This was exactly why they were up in arms against the suggested
reforms of rural self-government and of the peasant courts. Such reforms
counted as the first step towards a new revolution or at least to an
elimination of the "Russian" character of the country and to the
triumph of "cosmopolitanism", i.e. of Jewish and generally foreign
were two groups who were fundamentally opposed to this direction, but who were
in practice both politically allied with it and at the same time in constant
conflict with it: the legitimist nobility, which demanded a return to the
pre-constitutional order soon after the publication of the Manifesto of October
17th 1905 by agitating in the nobility's corporatist organisations
, and the "Union of the Russian People", together with similar
groups also known as the "Black Hundreds", who were politically close
to the nobles but, to varying degrees, of a different social make-up. The
latter mobilised support on the streets and even resorted to
counter-revolutionary terrorist activity. Such methods undermined their
legitimist ideology and lent the movement a colouring that has been called "proto-fascist"
. These groups and the "National Union" were, however, united
by a kind of administrative nationalism: at almost any cost they sought to
eliminate all historically developed special forms of administration or
autonomy for non-Russians. There was broad parliamentary support for various
bills to abolish Finland's special status within the empire and to refuse all
demands for autonomy regardless from whom they came. There was general
agreement that the Russian nation had to count as the "ruling" one,
which meant that even the cultural rights of other nationalities were denied.
Similarly the Orthodox Church had to exist not only as the State Church, the
official church, but also as the "ruling" one, with the result that
any public act of worship by other religious groups had to remain illegal, and
the conversion from Orthodoxy to other denominations had to be made a crime
again. Religious toleration in the modern sense of the word seemed more or less
unacceptable to all groups on the Right, because religion and nationality
seemed so insolubly bound together and perhaps because nationality could often
be determined only with the help of religion.
were divided over the constitution, over the question of the estates system for
the non‑peasant population and over the question of modernisation in
general. The "monarchist" right, i.e. the legitimists and the Black
Hundreds believed either that despite the 17th October 1905 Manifesto the Tsar
remained a monarch with unlimited powers or that the status quo ante had to be
restored. The Nationalists had at least developed into advocates of the Duma as
it stood and many, probably the majority, even of a fully developed
constitutional order. At the same time they wanted to maintain the estates
system as far as the peasants were concerned. Yet they were increasingly forced
to neglect the corporatist factor in the "national" interest. Their
readiness to do this led to a constitutional crisis during the passage of the
law introducing the zemstva in the West
. In general right-wing monarchists completely rejected modernisation
and the development of capitalism. Their ideology was anti-capitalist with the
goal of preserving the old estates system with the Tsar at its peak
. Their dislike for industry showed clearly in an attack on what they
called "cotton patriotism" for which Russia had no need; in their
opinion the truly "Russian" product was flax, not cotton, and they
thought it inadmissible that in the interests of Moscow's or Lodz' textile-industry
this "Russian" product - and therefore the "Russian"
producer, the peasant, could be put at a disadvantage
. The Nationalists accepted the newly emerging economic order but not
without an inner ambivalence. They feared that their interests would be
difficult to defend within it. That was why they demanded the
"nationalisation" of the economy, i.e. the state‑enforced
elimination or at least a serious reigning back of all non-Russians in the
economy of the empire, especially of Jews and Poles. Thus they hoped to ensure
that the Russians, and by extension they themselves, would not go under in a
freely competitive society.
general current of opinion and the deliberate use of (Great-) Russian
nationalism by the government influenced many political groups up to and
including the centre, such as the Octobrists and even to some degree the
Constitutional Democrats, the radical-liberals. Their origins and history were
different from that of the nationalist groupings, for they had always stood
steadfastly for constitutionalism and zemstvo-liberalism. The Octobrists
shared with the parties further to the right a rejection of all demands for
autonomy, even for Poland. Nonetheless they opposed petty measures against
language rights and a majority advocated o modern promary school system
separated from the Orthodox Church. Like the right-wing Cadets they expected
the smaller nations to assimilate and denied the existence of a White Russian
or Ukrainian nation. The Octobrists were socially and structurally in the same
camp as the Nationalists in that, like them, they owed their existence largely
to the new electoral law, although more to its property qualifications than
they, and less to its nationalist qualifications. But the Octobrists had
attracted support from many elements who were not so much interested in zemstvo liberalism or in constitutionalism as in "nationalism". These
advocated restrictions on the rights of non-Russian nationalities, they had no
desire to touch the "ruling" position of the Orthodox Church and they
were generally negative towards the rights of other religious groups. For these
reasons it was possible to pass most nationalist laws with the support of the
majority or at least a sizeable number of Octobrists
a particularly sharp observer of the political scene who often seemed ahead of
long‑term developments, Peter Struve had recognised the weakness of
official nationalism. Therefore he called for liberal and oppositional groups
to snatch the weapon of nationalism from the government's hand and to turn it
against the system
. Concerning the legislation to introduce zemstva in the West, he
drew attention to the fact that the complicated system of national curiae to
defend "Russian" interests was necessary only because the existing
political system would not be able to withstand a democratic electoral law. The
crucial weakness of Russian nationalism as propounded by the system lay, in his
view, in this restriction on political participation. Only the people, only
democracy, could safeguard Russian interests
"The Poles are no cause for fear in a democratic Russia; however, a
Russia in which the land‑owning nobility and the bureaucracy dominate has
to be protected from Poles with the fences of national curiae...From
this basic fact follow all the contradictions of official nationalism".
might go a step further: from a historical perspective we can see that tsarist
nationalities policy largely achieved only the opposite of what was intended.
All attempts at russification or indeed at only a certain degree of
assimilation of the smaller nations, whether in White Russia, the Baltic or the
Caucasus, whether towards Jews or Tartars, had the result that among the
various peoples an intelligentsia arose which originally appeared russified but
which soon developed an awareness of its national roots, and this contributed
decisively to the process of nation-building among the smaller peoples. In some
cases, such as the Jews or some Tartar elements, one can even say that these
people had become more educated than the Russians not least because of the
policy of russifica-tion. The problem was insoluble. It remained more or less
irrelevant whether russification was implemented by force, with circumspection
or not at all, for the Tsarist Empire was for the smaller peoples and ethnic
groups the mediator of "European" culture, whose assimilation
inevitably led to the development of a new level of national consciousness.
This problem was exacerbated by the fact that the new non-Russian national
movements especially after 1905 saw themselves without exception as democratic
(many even as socialist) and, in general, secular. The Empire, by contrast,
could neither be democratic nor was it secular and would have had no chances of
survival under a democratic system. It was especially ironic that the Tsarist
Empire often represented modernity for its non‑Russian peoples, and at an
early stage had even fostered modernity as a means of assimilation or
acculturation, as was the case with the Jews and the Tartars, while strong segments
of the bureaucracy and the ruling elite that governed the Empire were very
sceptical towards the modernisa-tion or secularisation of state and society and
tried to avoid or at least to slow down their arrival. Attempts at
russification strengthened the self-assertiveness and resistance not only among
a historic nation, such as the Poles, but also among nationalities which had
quickly developed a strong national consciousness, such as the Finns and others
most of the time measures which tried to strengthen Russian elements or the
Russian character of a region produced the opposite effect was also evident
when these measures did not proceed from the State. Thus the monks of the
Pochaev Monastery in Wolhynia province agitated for years under the leadership
of the reactionary archimandrit Vitalii, with the help of their equally
reactionary local bishop, Antonii of Wolhynia, to strengthen the
"church-national consciousness"(sic!), which they supported by
founding a "national" credit co-operative, among other things:
Paradoxically it was precisely here that the Ukrainian national movement became especially strong in the 1920s and 1930s, even though
during this period the monastery remained in the hands of Russian nationalist
monks of the Russian Orthodox Church
signs had been on the wall for some time. But especially after 1907 the Tsarist
system refused to read them and no conclusions were drawn from all this.
Instead a policy was pursued which annoyed non-Russian nationalities without
leading to russification or to a strengthening of support for the Empire,
although there were a few exceptions. Many in the ruling class excluded the
possibilities of a fundamental U-turn in nationalities policy, because they saw
non-Russian nationalities as the driving force of revolution, or even only -
which for most of them was just as bad - as the pioneers of democracy. Many may
also have made the pessimistic but not unjustified judgement that even a just
and non-repressive policy would probably not guarantee the preservation of the
Empire, either because they saw the Russian national movement and the Russians
generally as too weak, or because they thought that a construction such as the
Russian Empire simply could not survive without repression. At the same time
the institutional framework of the system of the 3rd of June produced ever
stronger demands for nationalistic policies to be radicalized, for the
non-Russian nationalities to be excluded from this or that activity ‑
precisely because it favoured the Russians in the border regions.
weakness of Russian nationalism and its official version explains two
phenomena: first, the fact that the State and the Right relied increasingly on
the Russian Orthodox Church. Whether to mobilise the population, for demonstrations
and celebrations or for elections, the priest was called in as the longest arm
of state administration, or rather as a substitute for it
. At least since his pilgrimage on the occasion of the canonization of
Seraphim of Sarov as a new saint of the church, the Tsar sought in the
religious union between the ruler and the ruled a new means to anchor the
monarchy more deeply in the consciousness of the people
. The "Union of the Russian People" would hardly have been
able to operate without its members from the orthodox clergy. The soiuzniki had borrowed all their political symbolism from the Orthodox Church: any other
symbolism which might have succeeded in mobilising the population was not
available to them or their like on the Right
weakness of Russian nationalism explains to a certain degree the virulence of
official anti‑Semitism. The Jews were subjected to a series of
discriminatory regulations which were more rigidly enforced after 1907. At the
same time there was a broad consensus on the Right that the Jews were catalysts
for change and a development towards modern capitalism which would ultimately
lead to parliamentarianism. This had to be prevented at all costs. Anti-Semitic
and anti‑Jewish propaganda could still be used to mobilise masses and to
persuade them to vote against the opposition, even if this effect was wearing
. Orthodox religion and anti-Semitism could not be foregone when the old
system wanted to appeal to the masses. Russian nationalism, in the very least
in its regime-sponsored version, does not seem to have exercised mass support
without the crutches of Orthodoxy and anti‑Semitism.
S. E. Kryzhanovskii: Vospominaniia.
Iz bumag S. E. Kryzhanovskago, poslednago gosudarstvennago sekretaria
Rossiiskoi imperii. Berlin n. d. , p. 128f.
Struve: Patriotica. Politika, kul'tura, religiia, socializm. Sbornik statei za piat' let (1905-1910). St.
Petersburg 1911, p. 295; first published in Russkaia Mysl' 1910, no. 7.
B. Struve: Velikaia Rossiia, in: Russkaia Mysl' 1908, no. 1; repr. in his
Patriotica p. 83.
Patriotica p. 76ff., 93ff., 295ff.
these see B. D. Grekov: Dokumenty k istorii slavianovedeniia v Rossi 185-192.
Moscow 1948; M. B. Petrovich: The Emergence of Russian Panslavism, 1856-1870.
New York 1956; S. A. Nikitin: Slavianskie komitety v Rossii v 1858-1876. Moscow
Krzivickii: Poliaki, I, in: Kastelianskii(ed.), Formy natsional'nago dvizheniia
v sovremmenykh gosudarstvakh. St. Petersburg 1910, p. 337; Okrainy Rossii 1906,
no. 18, p. 303; no. 25, p. 427, 429; no. 27, p. 453f., 465; A. Pogodin:
Litovskii vopros v nastoiashchee vremia, in: Russkaia Mysl' 1909, no. 12, pt.
2, p. 44; P. Vakar: Belorussia. The Making of a Nation. Cambridge, Ma. 1956, p. 88. The final irony, however, was that there existed in
St. Petersburg a Ukrainian language newspaper ranting against the very idea of
the existence of a Ukrainian literary language, see Okrainy Rossii 1906, no.
25, p. 430; Vestnik Evropy 1912, no. 1, p. 402; Sbornik Kluba Russkikh
Natsionalistov. Vol. I. Kiev 1909, p. 38f.
Rossii 1906, no. 26, p. 445.
Martov, A. Potresov(ed.): Obshchestvennoe dvizhenie v Rossi v nachale XX veka.
Vol. 4, pt. I. St. Peterburg 1911, p. 299; see also footnote 21.
from A. Izgoev: P. A. Stolypin. Ocherk
zhizni i deiatel'nosti. Moscow
1912, p. 88f.
Rossii 1906, no.7, p. 115f.; grouped around this paper existed a "Society
of the Borderlands" with which Evlogii, bishop of Kholm, pushed for the
exclusion of this province from Poland and its incorporation into Russia, see
Okrainy Rossii 1906, no. 10, p. 176f.
Levin: The Third Duma: Election and Profile. Hamden, Conn. 1973; A. Ia. Avrekh: Tret'eiiunskaia
monarchiia i obrazovanie tret'edumskogo pomeshchich'e-burzhuaznogo bloka, in:
Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Istoriko-filologicheskaia
seriia 1956, no. 1. In Ekaterinoslav guberniia,
during the elections to the IV. Duma, 347 non-Jews elected four electors, but
626 Jews only 1, see T. Iu. Burmistrova, V. S. Gusakova: Natsional'nyj vopros v
programmakh i taktike burzhuaznykh partii. Moscow 1976, p. 51.
Hosking: The Russian Constitutional Experiment, 1907-1914. Cambridge 1973, p.
Stolypin p. 26f.; the Kiev Club of Nationalists had shortly before passed a
resolution saying that from the "jargon of Grushevskii" it was only
on step to Polish.
was a Ukrainian cultural society.
dvizhenie IV, pt. 2, p. 205; M. Grushevskii: Ukraintsy, in: Kastelianskii(ed.):
Formy p. 309-330; Michail Römer, Elena
Römer: Poliaki II, in: ibidem 371ff.; Priamoi Put' 1912, no. 3, p. 231; I.
Zhilkin: Provintsial'noe obozrenie, in: Vestnik Evropy 1912, no. 1, p. 405; no.
4, p. 424; 1913; no. 6, p. 336-338, and no. 7, p. 374-376; the Orthodox Church
saw here, too, one of its tasks in eliminating Ukrainian customs and the
Ukrainian language; it prohibited the reading of the Easter gospel in Ukrainian
at the Spiritual Academy in Kiev.
Evropy 1912, no. 4, p. 422f.
Voskhod 1911, no. 2, cl. 3-5; Gr. Gol'dberg: Novoe ogranichenie dlia Talmud
Tor, in: Vestnik Obshchestva Rasprostraneniia Prosveshcheniia mezhdu Evreiami v
Rossii 1911, no. 11, pp. 53-64; ibid. p. 113f.; for Wilna see ibidem 1912, no.
12, p. 118f.; sometimes the inspector demanded that even in (newly instituted)
private schools all instruction had to be in Russian, ibidem p. 121f.
Iurskii [=G. G. Zamyslovskii]: Pravye v tret'ei dume. Khar'kov 1912, p. 109.
Chmielewski: The Polish Question in the Russian State Duma. Knoxville 1970; A.
K. Steinberg: The Kholm Question in the Russian Duma Period, 1906-1912: Opinion
and Action. Kent State PhD 1972.
Lundin: Finland, in: E. Thaden(ed.): Russification in the Baltic Provinces and
Finland, 1855-1914. Princeton 1981, p.
Gusakova: Natsional'nyi vopros p. 81.
revoliutsionnym dvizheniem na Kavkazie w epokhu stolypinshchiny (Iz perepiski
P. A. Stolypina s gr. I. I. Vorontsovym-Dashkovym), in: Krasnyi Arkhiv 34,
1929; p. 189f.; also Z. Avalov: Natsional'nyi vopros na Kavkazie, in: Russkaia
Mysl' 1911, no. 12, pt. 2; for Poland see L. Bazylow: Ostatnie Lata Rosji
Carskiej. Rzady Stolypina.
Warsaw 1972, pp. 351ff.
H. D. Löwe:
Antisemitismus und reaktionare Utopie. Russischer Konservatismus im Kampf gegen
den Wandel von Staat und Gesellschaft, 1890-1917. Hamburg 1978, pp. 141ff.; D.
A. Baturinskii: Agrarnaia politika tsarskogo pravitel'stva i krest'ianskii
pozemel'nyi bank. Moscow 1925, p. 75; O. Hoetzsch: Rußland. Eine Einführung
aufgrund seiner jüngsten Geschichte. Berlin 1916, pp. 337ff.; I. Zhilkin:
Provintsial'noe obozrenie, in: Vestnik Evropy 1911, no. 8, p. 358; K. Stählin:
Geschichte Russlands. Bd. IV/2. Reprint Graz 1974, p. 914; G. Alisov:
Musul'manskii vopros v Rossii, in: Russkaia Mysl' 1909, no. 7, pt. 2, p. 42;
Burmistrova, Gusakova: Natsional'nyi vopros p. 116ff. and passim. V. I. Gurko, a prominent member of the of the
bureaucracy and a former Assistant Minister of Interior argued as late as 1915
for the retention of restrictions based on nationality in the case of
landholding: "Restrictions on language are senseless. Religious
constraints are a remnant of the past, but landownership gives political
power", in: Krasnyi Arkhiv 50/51, 1932, p. 131
Rossii 3. 9. 1906, no. 27, p. 456f.; and 10. 9. 1906, no. 28, p. 471.
E. Sokol: The Revolt of 1916 in Russian Central Asia.
Baltimore 1954, pp. 21-43; for an overview G. J. Demko: The Russian
Colonization of Kazakhstan 1896-1916. Bloomington/ The Hague
1969; K. Stählin: Russisch Turkestan. Gestern und Heute. Berlin 1935.
government accused von Ropp also of having said that the Orthodox Church
schools were bad for young catholics, see La Civiltà Cattolica 58, 1907, no. 4,
pp. 627ff.(this source was pointed out to me by Ralph Tuchtenhagen, Freiburg);
also Okrainy Rossii 17, 1906, p. 292.
natsional'noi politiki tsarizma. Zhurnal osobogo soveshchaniia po vyrabotke mer
dlia protivodeistviia tatarsko-musul'manskogo vliianiiu v Privol'zhskom krae,
in: Krasnyi Arkhiv 35, 1929, pp. 108ff.; ibidem 36, 1929, pp. 79ff.; for a
similar case see I. Spitsberg: Tserkov i russifikatsiia buriato-mongol pri
tsarizme, in: ibidem 53, 1932, p. 100-126.
Stolypin p. 120
best known was, of course, Bishop Evlogii from Kholm; for others see Sbornik
Kluba vol. II, pp. 59, 160f.
example for many: I. Zhilkin: Provintsial'noe obozrenie, in: Vestnik Evropy
1911, no. 8, pp. 360ff.
Put' moei zhizni. Vospominaniia
Mitropolita Evlogiia izlozhennaia po ego razskazam T. Manukhinoi. Paris 1947, pp. 204f., 254-259.
archpriest G. Ia. Prozorov, quoted from Sbornik Kluba vol. II, p. 151. - For a
case of official persecution A. Prugavin: Religioznye goneniia pri obnovlennom
stroe, in: Vestnik Evropy 1911, no. 8, pp. 121-136; there was also persecution
of the Shtundists, see R. Rexheuser: Der Fremde im Dorf, in: Jahrbucher fur
Geschichte Osteuropas; G. B. Sliozberg: Dorevoliutsionnyi stroi Rossii. Paris 1933, p. 69f.
hostility against the Edict of Tolerance of April 17th, 1905 was shared by all
right-wingers; Iurskii [Zamyslovskii]: Pravye p. 14, 55; Hosking: Russian pp.
97ff.; on the political changes in 1909 E. Chmielewski: Stolypin and the
Russian Ministerial Crisis of 1909, in: California Slavic Studies 4, 1967, pp.
1-38; R. Edelman: The Russian Nationalist Party and the Political Crisis of
1909, in: Russian Review 34, 1975, pp. 22-54.
leader of the "Union of the Russian People", Father Vostorgov, see
Okrainy Rossii 1906, no. 7, p. 125.
dvizhenie IV, pt. 2, p. 74; Okrainy Rossii 1906, no. 7, p. 123; Gajkowski: Die
Mariawiten Sekte. Warschau 1911; the last reference I owe to Ralph
pravitel'stvennykh razporiazhenii po vodvoreniiu russkikh zemlevladel'tsev v
severo-zapadnom krae. Vil'na 1870.
new zemstva this was demanded for instance by representatives of the
Russian organizations at the "Congress of the Representatives of Western
Russia", see Sbornik Kluba vol. II, p. 167; for the elections see Zhilkin:
Provintsial'noe obozrenie, in: Vestnik Evropy 1911, no. 8, p. 357.
Russia needs her Jews for the economic penetration of
the Near East, wrote the official organ of the Ministry of Finance, see
Blizhnye vostochnye rynki, in: Vestnik Finansov 1907, no. 45; on the Ministry
of Finance and the Jews Löwe: Antisemitismus passim; the Imperial Bank granted
Jews and other non-Russians credits - which caused consternation among the
Right, see Vnutrennee Obozrenie, in: Vestnik Evropy 1911, no.11, p. 394.
This dualism showed also in a continuing conflict
between the Ministries of Interior and Finance in the "Jewish
question", see Löwe: Antisemitismus esp, pp. 40ff., 56ff.
Löwe: Antisemitismus pp. 106ff., esp. 134ff.; Hans
Rogger: The Beilis Case: Antisemitism and Politics in the Reign of Nicholas II,
in: ibidem: Jewish Policies and Right-Wing Politics in Imperial Russia.
Basingstoke, London 1986, pp. 40ff.
feeling that Russia's conquests were not really secured yet was rather
widespread, see for example the speech given by the old-time Panslavist and now
right-winger A. S. Budilovich: Vopros o okrainakh Rossii v sviazi s teoriei
samoopredeleniia narodnostei i trebovaniiami gosudarstvennago edinstva, in:
Okrainy Rossii 1906, no 21, pp. 366f.
Nationalists as a party developing a class-consciousness see R. Edelman: Gentry
Politics on the Eve of the Russian Revolution. The Nationalist Party,
1909-1917. New Brunswick 1980.
vein e. g. V. I. Gurko, one time assistant Minister of Interior and important
member of the "United Nobility" in its early phase and one of the
driving forces behind the Stolypin agrarian reforms, see his speech given to
the "Russian Assembly": Osnovnyia prichiny nashego
sotsial'no-revoliutsionnago dvizheniia, in: Vestnik Russkago Sobraniia 1908,
no. 14, p. 1f.; no. 15, p. 4f.; or P. I. Kovalevskii: Natsionalizm and
natsional'noe vospitanie v Rossii. St. Petersburg 1912, pp. 331ff.
Rossii 1906, no. 8, p. 133 - after a few words on the admirable capacity of the
English and the Germans to integrate other nationalities the paper continued:
"Not so with us. In spite of a thousand years [as a nation] we have not
created that strong national consciousness which would give us the right to
look to the future without fear".
Natsionalizm pp. 57, 66, 129, 107, 251; cf. E. Drabkina: Natsional'nyi i
kolonial'nyi voporos v tsar'skoi Rossii. Moscow 1930, p. 41: for the fear of
loosing political power to the Jews see the election campaign speech by A. I
Savenko, a leading Kiev Nationa-list, in Sbornik kluba Russkikh Natsionalistov.
Vol. IV/V. Kiev 1913, p. 111.
Kluba vol. II, p. 22; ibidem pp. 181ff.
From the many examples A. Liprandi:
Inorodcheskii vopros i nashi okrainy, in: Mirnyi Trud 1909, no. 7, p. 68;
Okrainy Rossii 1906, no. 11, p. 202; ibidem no. 8, p. 132; Löwe: Antisemitismus
pp. 99ff., 106ff. Stolypin saw the
cause of the Polish rising in 1863 in Alexander II's conciliatory policy, see
Gosudarstvennaia duma. Tret'ii sozyv, tret'ia sessiia, chast' 4, pp. 774-791.
The same argument was advanced in: Obzor deiatel'nosti Russkago Okrainnago
obshchestva za 1910 god. Tretii god sushestvovaniia. St. Petersburg 1911, p.
Russia 20. 3. 1912, p. 4.
Vserossiiskago Natsional'nago Kluba. St. Petersburg 1911, p. 8.
Put' moei zhizni p. 162.
Kovalevskii: Natsionalizm pp.
292ff., 321ff.; N. D. Vasil'ev: K evreiskomu voprosu, in: Okrainy Rossii 25. 6. 1906, no. 17, p. 290.
Natsionalizm p. 297, 323; The quote from Savenko in Sbornik Kluba Vol. IV/V, p.
For the Jews in Russia soon H. D. Löwe: From
"Charity" to "Social Policy": The Development of Jewish
Self-Help in Tsarist Russia, 1800-1914; in: D. Sorkin, L. Archer(ed.): Notions
of Jewish Community and Self-Identification. London 1991. Polish
"organic" work in the province of Poznan became known in Russia
through the polemic by Ludwig Bernhard: Das polnische Gemeinwesen im
preußischen Staate. Leipzig 1907; Struve: Patriotica p. 302, quoted this book.
Kluba vol. II, p. 168, 181; Kovalevskii: Natsionalizm p. 103-105: this was
actually the position of T. V. Lokot, a professor at Kiev university who had
begun his political career as a Trudovik (a kind of agrarian socialist), see T.
V. Lokot: Opravdanie natsionalizma. Kiev 1912. - One nationalist argued that it
was necessary to form a peasant intelligentsia in the west, because there was
no Russian landowning class in that region. This shows that many nationalists
still would have preferred to rely on the landlords as the backbone of Russian
nationality, see Sbornik Kluba vol. II, p. 178.
Opravdanie natsionalizma; Edelman: Gentry politics passim; for the increasingly
positive attitude towards the new system among Nationalists see Sbornik Kluba vol. II,
pp. 17, 25, 35f.
Natsionalizm p. 265; Sbornik Kluba vol. II, p. 26f.
report to his constituency by the deputy Vasilii Shul'gin on the activities of
the Duma, in: Sbornik Kluba vol. II, p. 21. Because of the existence of the
Duma local groups among the Nationalists sprang up that wanted to support and
control the work of their deputies. The political activities of the
Nationalists therefore became more "democratic", ibidem p. 6, 20.
Avrekh: Vopros o zapadnom Zemstve, in: Istoricheskie Zapiski 70, 1961, p. 85,
87; Hosking: Russian pp. 125-131.
are an enemy of landed property" a right-wing deputy said to bishop
Evlogii of Kholm after he had castigated the exploitation of the peasants in
his diocese by the Polish pany in a nationalistic fashion, see
[Evlogii]: Put' moei zhizni p. 183, similarly p. 213.
Stolypin pp. 411ff.
Diakin: Russkaia burzhuaziia i tsarizm v gody pervoi mirovoi vojny. Leningrad
1967, pp. 101ff.; for the splits developing among the Nationalists see Edelman:
Gentry politics pp. 98f., 177ff., 181ff.
Gentry politics p. 196.
Patriotica p. 76.
Kluba vol. II, p. 20.
Natsionalizm p. 297, 324.
Kluba vol. II p. 26f.and passim; Hosking: Russia pp. 170ff.
Diakin: Samoderzhavie, burzhuaziia in dvorianstvo v 1907-1914gg. Leningrad
On the "Union of the Russian People" see
Hans Rogger: Was there a Russian Fascism? The Union of the Russian People, in:
idem: Jewish Policies and Right-Wing Politics in Imperial Russia. Basingstoke
1986, p. 212-232; on its ideology Löwe: Antisemitism pp. S. 121ff.
Vopros pp. 61-112; Edward Chmielewski: Stolypin's Last Crisis, in: California
Slavic Studies 3 (1964).
pp. 123ff., 130ff.
Duma. Stenograficheskii otchet. Tretii sozyv, vtoraia sessiia, chast' III, cl.
1240; ibidem tret'ia sessiia, chast' III, cl. 1166f.
H. D. Löwe: Das
Spektrum der Parteien, in: Handbuch der Geschichte Rußlands. Bd. 3. Stuttgart 1982, pp. 397ff., with more
Avrekh: Stolypin pp. 30-43.
Patriotica pp. 295ff.; such a pronouncement, however, is only possible if one
denies, as Struve does, the existence of an Ukrainian nationality.
Georgia, Armenia, the Tatars, and the Baltic provinces see Kastelianskii(ed.):
Formy; Thaden(Hg.): Russification; Alisov: Musul'manskii vopros, pp. 54-56;
Löwe: From "Charity"; Rorlich: The Volga Tatars; Nicholas Vakar:
Provintsial'noe obozrenie, in: Vestnik Evropy 1911, no. 8, pp. 358, 364-366;
Priamoi Put' 1912, no. 3, p.232; [Evlogii]: Put' moei zhizni pp.245-247. M.
Turek-Papiezyn'ska; Ivan Vlasovs'kyi: Istoriia Ukrainskoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvy.
New York 1960, vol. IV, pt. 1; this reference I owe to Frank Sysin.
Evropy 1912, no. 5, pp. 429ff.; no. 6, p. 393f.; Vladimir I. Gurko: Features
and Figures of the Past. Stanford 1939.
be published R. L. Nichols: The Friends of God: Nicholas II and Alexandra at
the Canonization of Serafim of Sarov, July 1903, in: Charles Timberlake(ed.):
Essays on Religious and Secular Forces in Late Tsarist Russia. In Honor of
Donald W. Treadgold on his Sixty-fifth Birthday, November 1987.
For this see the unpublished conference paper by H. D.
Löwe: Symbols and Rituals of the Russian Radical Right, 1900-1917.
Löwe: Antisemitism pp.