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Does the past Soviet Union stands for an Empire? Writers from the West have resurrected the comparison of 'empire' refer to the previous Soviet Union and even for Russia after the Soviet period. This name was adopted to point out the outside relationship between the natives of the USSR and its East European people, who were granted inferior to the Russian natives (Suny 1). Awareness now changes to how the establishment of such a union ascribed as an empire will influence worldwide's politics and how it will influence the financial frontier.
Cultured study of the Soviet Union began with the incipience of the Cold war. This was to try to follow Communist Eastern Europe. This was necessitated by the interest to get to understand the political fallout in East Central Europe. What captures the attention was the concentration of single country (Suny and Martins, A STATE of NATIONS 1). This led to the unexamined history of Russian and non-Russian national identities. Assumptions of Russia role played by member states of the empire divided into two with the like of Moscow who was referred to as the mainstream focused on high politics, economic growth, and foreign policy. With few exceptions non-Russian were treated as objects of political manipulation and central directives. This is what some scholars referred to as ‘’Russification’’ as was not on a willing base but socio-political and economic manipulation. They were considered inferior to the Russians in all aspect of life (Suny and Martins, A STATE of NATIONS 4).
In contrast to what the Russian had informed the world concerning the national question. Russia had painted a good picture internationally probably a coalition of the willing was what was happening in the empire. When a study was carried out to the amusement of the world, it was established that the Soviet state was fundamentally an imperial arrangement possibly a colonial connection between Russia and its borderland (Suny and Martins, A STATE of NATIONS 17). This led now to the shaping of the worlds opinion toward the empire which was practicing imperialism. A period of enlightenment started taking shape, and dissenting opinion started emerging requesting for reforms as was happening the world over. A good example is a dissenting opinion on the composition of the parliamentary groups to be all inclusive for all members (Lenin 303).
Citizen started turning away their belief in God as they were influenced by new philosophical ideas and beliefs. Many of such ideals and belief originated in Germany and had a tremendous influence on the Russian political life. Atheism was the new philosophy replacing the former attitude of respect and love for Tsar (Walsh 10). Treason was also incorporated as a key ingredient. All this was accelerated by the willingness of Russia to corporate after German to Kaisers, the proponent of such ideals. A society that for long was guided by the respect of a supreme being began absolving new ideas that rationalized their perspective on an issue. Some ideas though corrupted their moral grounds and judgment of issues.
Events of the World War 1 had catastrophic effects on the Union economy and the relationship with its neighbor. This greatly contributed to the turning of the public opinion against Tsar. He refused to enter into negotiation with the Central powers despite having suffered several setbacks on the Eastern front of the war and the rampant suffering of the ordinary people (Polle 1). The situation was further compounded by the scandals that emerged mainly on the ruling elites. Russian people no doubt staged the various strike to dissent on the developments. They could not bear the economic burden and loss of lives anymore fighting what looked to them as a losing battle.
The Russia army was determined to fight revolutionist. The army partly succeeded but when the Central Powers counter-attacked after the offensive in Galicia in June (LIEVEN). Russian lines broke this time for good. This was mainly due to the imperial consensus fraying in the Metropole which led to the periphery resulting in violent disorder. Self-determination and Revolutions was now the new ideal amongst states and leaders as the empire was seemingly becoming difficult to run and maintain. Russia was faced with a situation of decreasing economic prospects at home at the expense of maintaining prestige regarding states internationally. It was time to retract and focus on home policies for the welfare of its citizens.
International laws were also changing significantly. This was necessitated by the globalization process that was taking center stage in the world. Russia was the major contributor to the imperial laws and its application. Russia was given space to argue the best practice of imperial laws in uniformity to other best international laws practices that shaped the international foreign policy (Holquist 9). In line with the applicability of the law, it could not have been possible to continue oppressing other states in its empire.
The role of women in shaping the world politics could not also be ignored. Men are easily swayed by human emotion, and women knew and understood this sometimes applying it as an enticing tool. Historians who record the history of the Russian revolution will not afford not to state the content of the Tsarina’s letters to her husband (The Atlantic 1). The tone of the letter over the last of the Romanovs may be judged while he was at the front. Supportive of this fact is when the letter will, later on, be translated and establish that indeed was a romantic document.
The main objective of the study is to establish whether the Soviet Union was an empire or just a union of states. The emergence of the Soviet Union and its policy traces origin on the onset of Cold war. Countries and nations were in mistrust at the time. The fallout in East Central Europe and the effort to try to understand the Communist Eastern Europe.
It is established contrary to what was portrayed by Russia outside that indeed it was an empire. This is so because of the imperialist nature of the union. Members especially the non-Russian were subject to imperialism. The assumption of roles was also divided into two with the like of Russia who was regarded as the mainstream focussed on high politics, economic growth, and foreign policy. Non-Russian was treated as an object of political manipulative and subjects to the central directives from the mainstream members.
The research finds the various forms of resistance that followed up were influenced by the Imperialism acts that were being practiced in the Empire. Changes that were taking place in the world also contribute to the revolutions. The period of enlightenment was being experienced the world over. Non-member's states were getting more and conversant with their rights and hence agitated for equality. International laws were also changing regarding any form of oppression against states and human rights.
Russia was reluctant at initial stages to grant rights and equality to member states. The revolution that will follow after that has some forces Russia to consider its decision since it has suffered dire consequences. The Soviet Union was indeed an empire with imperialism ideals. Internationally all forms of neo-colonial domination were still happening just as was in Russia. Unions were painting a different picture to the world yet what they subjected their members to political manipulation for economic gains. That was the reason the Russian case could not have been looked in isolation.
Indeed what was happening in Russia was the formation of an empire given in mind that the political rights were not equally enjoyed. Russia was practicing a form of neo-colonialism to other members while at the same time portraying to the world as if it is them that were assisting the merged state. The globalization process made it practically impossible for Russia to conceal its intention. Free movement of people and the period of enlightenment that was taking shape world over was an idea whose time has come and could not be stopped. The challenges that struck Russia regarding the vast territory were also immense. Financial muscle and organizational skills were required to coordinate the vast territory. This was not readily available hence a gap existed that required urgent attention.
Holquist, Peter. "International Law as Principle and Practice ." NCEER (2006): 40.
Lenin. "The Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P." The Unity of Congress (2004): 309.
LIEVEN, DOMINIC. "Imperial Russia." THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF RUSSIA (2006): 711.
Polle, Ad. Defeating the Russians on the Eastern Front. 7 August 2015. 24 November 2017 .
Suny, Ronald Grigor, and Terry Martins. A STATE of NATIONS. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Suny, Ronald Grigor. The Empire Strikes Out: Imperial Russia, ''National'' identity, and Theories of empire. Paper. Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1997.
The Atlantic. "The Fall of the Russian Empire: The End of the Monarchy." February 1928. The Atlantic. 24 November 2017 .
Walsh, Edmund. The Fall of the Russian Empire: The End of the Monarchy. February 1928. 24 Nov 2017 .
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