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Title:The Composition, Character and Competence of The Assembly of The Land in Seventeenth Century Russia
Author(s):Campbell, Ira Lynn
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Abstract:The Assembly of the Land in seventeenth century Russia has frequently been portrayed as an early form of a national representative institution. In this view, it differed little from such Western institutions as the Parliament of England, the Estates General of France, or the Cortes of Spain. This interpretation first arose in the nineteenth century in connection with political controversies of that day. It has continued since then partly as a response to other issues, and partly as a result of the ambiguity of the sources.
A re-examination of those sources suggests this nineteenth century interpretation is no longer tenable. The Muscovites had almost no consciousness of the assembly as a representative institution, and viewed participation in it as a form of service to the state. The assembly members generally came from the upper echelons of the society, and they participated in the meetings much as they fulfilled other obligations to the state.
When assembled, the members generally acted to support the program of the government and to provide it with information. Only rarely did the members go beyond the narrow parameters set by the government, and they were unable to move consistently or with a sense of purpose toward establishing a genuine representative body. The assembly meetings thus turned out to be a series of ad hoc meetings called by the government for the purposes of the government.
Issue Date:1984
Description:382 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8409755
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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