Opposition: Individual, Radical & Liberal


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●1.5 - Opposition: ideas & ideology, individual, liberal & radical groups and Tsar reaction

Moderate Liberal Opposition

Made up of the intelligentsia

Sought the truth via philosophical ideas:

Nihilism - belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known

Anarchism - belief in self-governed institutions

  • Westernisers

  • Wanted to catch up with the West

  • Abandon Slavic traditions, adopt modern Western values

  • Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

  • Russian novelist and playwright

  • Developed Westernising ideas whilst traveling in Europe

  • Father and Sons, 1862 - addressed problems of contemporary Russian society

  • Slavophiles

  • Favoured a superior Russian path to a better future

  • Believed Russia had a unique culture, which needed to be preserved

  • Count Leo Tolstoy

  • Started in the army

  • Wrote whilst traveling

  • Set up a school for peasant children

  • War and Peace, 1965 - concerned with the meaning of life

  • Later years, advocated simplicity and anti-violence

Radical Opposition

Nikolai Chernyshevsky

  • Author of radical journal The Contemporary

  • Author of book What is to be done? - 1862 whilst confined the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg.

  • suggested that peasants had to be made leaders for revolutionary change

Aleksandr Herzen

  • Editor of radical journal The Bell

  • Produced abroad, smuggled into Russia illegally

  • Advocated a new peasant-based social structure

Mikhail Bakunin

  • Anarchist and socialist

  • Private ownership of land should be replaced by collective ownership

  • Introduced Marxism into Russia by translating Marx’s The Communist Manifesto

Sergei Nechaev

  • Student radical activist

  • Fled from Russia after calling on students to assassinate Tsar

  • Catechism of a Revolutionary - published in Switzerland, smuggled into Russia

The Tchaikovsky Circle

  • Named after prominent member, Nikolai Tchaikovsky - 1868


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