Loukianov M. N. The Russian Right and the beginning of the Great War (.pdf)

 

On the eve of the Great War the Russian Right confronted official strategies in internal and foreign policy. The politicians of the Right were afraid that the orientation to reform and compromise would lead to the loss of national identity, which to their mind was inseparable from autocracy. Basing on those premises, they looked at authoritarian Germany as at a natural geopolitical partner of Russia, at the same time seeing liberal and democratic France and Great Britain as its geopolitical opponents. In any case, the beginning of the war made Germany Russia’s enemy, while France and Great Britain turned to become Russia’s war allies. The representatives of the Right showed their aversion to the war against Germany, and regret when the war was declared. In spite of their pro-German orientation, the Right demonstrated deep satisfaction with the burst of patriotism and social unity in response to the war and wanted to use it for strengthening political stability in Russia. The supporters of the Right differed in their visions of the ways of doing that. Some of them (e.g., Vos-torgov, Obleukhova, and Purishkevich) saw the changes of public atmosphere as an additional argument in favor of the policies of consensus and political modernization. Their opponents (e.g., Sheremetev, Shcheglovitov, Nikol’skiy), on contrary, feared that such a course would lead to total destruction of all political institutions.

 

Key words: the Great War, the Right, patriotism, political reform, modernization.

 

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