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Russian national and religious identity during the later years of the Time of Troubles (1610-13)

Graystone, Edwynn Peter (2009)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

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.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Perrie, Maureen (1946-) and Smith, Jeremy
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Centre for Russian and East European Studies
Subjects:DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:281
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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