Graystone, Edwynn Peter (2009)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis examines the concept of national identity, particularly applying the concept to the Russian people during the Time of Troubles. At a time when Russia was under foreign rule, it is striking that all classes of society were willing to work together to re-establish Russia's sovereignty. I use secondary theoretical literature to determine the nature of national identity and whether it can be applied to a pre-modern society. I then examine primary sources, mainly letters between the towns or general proclamations, to ascertain how the writers describe themselves and their main inspirations. This dissertation challenges the modernist opinion that pre-modern identity was largely introverted, owing to the cultural similarities between all Russian people and therefore takes a perennialist viewpoint. As well as the 'traditional' focuses of loyalty such as religion and monarch, I argue that the concept of the 'fatherland' as a focus of loyalty in its own right did exist during the Time of Troubles and that some Russians did indeed see this as their primary focus. Russian nationhood did exist by 1613, although only a minority of the population was part of this nation. It is therefore possible for a pre-modern, agrarian society to achieve nationhood.
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