Admiral Nakhimov in the National Memory
Formation of historical images is a complex process of information contained in sources of various kinds smelting in a peculiar ‘historiographic' smelter. Regime of this furnace functioning depends on changing political, scientific and cultural realities of a respective epoch. The historical portrait of Admiral Nakhimov we have was created by efforts of several generations of historians, publicists and politicians. Nakhimov’s life and activities have become a part of the Russian national historic myth where real events, their adequate and inadequate appraisals as well as political constructs topical for different epochs are interwoven. The author demonstrates how very different circumstances of different kinds have contributed to Nakhimov’s ascension to the very top of the national pantheon, how socio-cultural realities of the 2nd half of the 19th century and the early 21st centuries allowed this undoubtedly meritorious man to become a symbol of the Russian naval glory.
historical myth; the Crimean War; defense of Sebastopol; Russian national pantheon; politics of history; Russian military leaders.
History of Russia within Military Technologies Framework, 17th-21st Centuries
In the history of Russia the military factor was exceptionally important virtually in all branches: in economics, in domestic and foreign policies, in social organization as well as in Russians' self-perception. During last three centuries Russia had to sustain a difficult race in the sphere of military technologies in order to retain its great power status and the opportunity to follow its own way. The author analyzes the domestic socio-cultural realities' impact on the process.
History of Russia in the 17th to the 21st century; military technologies; military and technical might; defense industry.
Russia and Europe: Chase in the Field of Technologies
In the Russian historiography studies in the field of technological history are traditionally ‘equidistant' from investigation of its impact on social, economic, and cultural development of a society while foreign historians have investigate interaction between technology and socio-cultural environment which is contemporary to a particular technology. Russia has accepted innovations that came from the West in waves selectively. It should be noted that a series of national development peculiarities proved to act as brakes to introduction of some technological innovations. The countryside turned out to be the least adapted for acceptance of Western technologies. Peasants and landlords were not ready for transition and latter-day methods of agronomics and cattle breeding. A feeling of lagging behind the West engendered a peculiar cultural phenomenon which the author takes liberty to designate as ‘Levshism'. The designation is derived from the name of N. S. Leskov’s short novel hero Levsha, a craftsman from Tula who hacked the English flea.
Peter the Great; Nicholas I; N.Leskov; A.Engelgardt; social, political and economic modernization of Russia; technological progress.
Some Hate War, Some War Adore
The public generally thought of military procurement and supply system as of the sphere that attracted people of low moral standards. In fact, corruption and embezzlement of state property in the military department of the Russian Empire were complex socio-cultural phenomena that reflected realities of the political system, of social life pattern, of legal conscience and administration technologies. The organized embezzlement of the state property in form of money or inventory items is the inescapable result of loose control over the bureaucratic machine where activities of all audit structures are effectively neutralized with techniques developed in the process of practical use of normative acts and by-laws that were presumably aimed at preservation of every public penny.
military procurement and supply system; embezzlement of the state property; lack of control over the bureaucracy.
The Army in the Empire, the Empire in the Army
The multinational and poly-confessional Russian empire experienced problems with use of human resources in military purposes. The government had to take into account martial customs of various regions' population as well as the danger connected with arming of nations political loyalty of which caused well-grounded doubts. Situation was aggravated by the estate differentiation of the society and negative attitude toward soldiery which was considered as a punishment. Different levels of Russia’s Western and Eastern peripheries cultural and social development hindered the process of military service regulations standardization. The authorities tried to use the army as a school of state education and the state integration.
The Caucasian Warof the 18th–19th Centuriesin the Historical Memory
The author considers commemorative complex of the Caucasian war of the 18th-19th centuries as it emerged by 1914. Monuments, names of warships, toponymy, historical publications, medals, jubilee ceremonies, museum exhibitions are considered in the context of forging of historical memory about inclusion of North Caucasus and Trans-Caucasia into the Russian Empire. Military operations against mountaineers appeared at the periphery of the state and pubic interest because such activities didn’t exactly fit the military-memorial scheme which emerged by the early 20th century.
The Memory of the “Conquest of Turkestan”. The War of Pre-Revolutionary Russia in the Symbolic Dimension
The article is dedicated to the memory of the conquest of Central Asia in the 1860-1880s. The focus is on monuments erected in battlefields, as well as in politically important points in the region. Medals played a great role in symbolizing victories in this region. At the same time, it should be noted that the presentation of victories in Central Asia was frankly peripheral in nature: no monument appeared in Moscow and St. Petersburg, no ship of the Navy was named after the victories in Turkestan.
Historical memory; Empire; Russian army; Central Asia; memorial complex
The Russian History within the Framework of History of Technologies. What it was, what it is and what it will be?
It is indisputable that the 21st century as well as the preceding century is the period of rapid transformations in the world of technologies. It turns out that position of every country in the world stage is increasingly depending on an extent to which a country succeeds in adjustment to generational change of machines and forms of labor organization. Historical traditions and mentality of population and of national elite find expressions in this breathtaking competition. Types of social and productive relationships of the past epochs that seem to be moribund reemerge first as menacing shadows and then acquire flesh and in its renewed forms they feel quite comfortable among very sophisticated devices the very ideas of which only fantasts or scientists who normally direct their regard to the future could grasp just a decade ago. The concluding article casts the total to the historian’s reflections on chances of Russia in the technological race and on the burden of the historical heritage that impedes progress of Russia in this race.
evolution of ways and means of communication; social mobility; ecological history of Russia; hunting culture; technological discipline; influence of engineering on public development.
The War of Monuments and the War Against Monuments
Destruction of monuments is one of the most vivid characteristics of revolutionary events. Raging crowds enthusiastically overturn bronze figures of hateful rulers and their servants and destroy other visible hostile symbols. During radical political transformations not only the power is seized in the center of a state and all over a country and not just control over armed forces and important facilities is established. A victory in symbolic dimension has an enormous significance because such victory exerts tremendous impact on people’s minds and hearts, mobilizes masses. A city belongs to a person whose monument stands at the central square of a city.
history of Russia; historical memory; wars of memory; politics of memory; monuments; names of ships.
“Conquerors of Turkestan”. The Main Persons of the Accession of Central Asia in the Historical Memory of Russia
The article is devoted to the main characters in the process of accession of Central Asia to the Russian Empire, generals M.Skobelev, M.Cherniaev, K.Kaufman, G.Kolpakovsky. The most famous in Russia were Generals Skobelev, Cherniaev, which was due to their charisma. The main reason for their popularity is the support from nationalist circles, who made from Skobelev and Cherniaev original icons of the heroes of the fighters for the freedom of the Slavs. To determine the degree of popularity of the generals - builders of the empire, a list of books devoted to these military leaders was studied. The first place was taken by Skobelev, since he is one of the central figures of the Russian historical myth.
historical memory; Central Asia; generals; Russian empire