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Defenders of the MotherlandThe Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia$
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Matthew Rendle

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199236251

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236251.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Defenders of the Motherland

Matthew Rendle (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The introduction examines the conditions underpinning the participation of tsarist elites in the Russian Revolution. It outlines the composition of the elite on the eve of the First World War, with a particular focus on nobles, landowners, and officers. It notes that elites were far from united and that, increasingly, occupational interests played a greater role than class loyalties. This paved the way for their participation in 1917, when the corporate nature of democracy influenced a range of social and professional groups, regardless of their size. Whilst most elites were conservative in their political outlook, very few were reactionaries, but they lacked a widespread desire for change prior to 1914.

Keywords:   Tsarist elites, Russian Revolution, nobles, landowners, officers, conservatism

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