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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.53) 3 Nobles
Defenders of the Motherland

Matthew Rendle (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Russian nobility from February to late summer 1917. Initially, the nobility played a prominent role in national and local government, and this was something that its main body, the United Nobility, sought to promote. Increasingly, however, the popular movement forced nobles out of local government as the former privileged classes, whilst their prominence in the Provisional Government declined. The increasing social conflict and attacks on former elites forced the United Nobility to focus on preserving the nobility. Yet nobles seemed unconvinced that this class‐based body was effective, and instead favoured new, professional unions that represented particular interest groups within the elites, such as the Union of Homeowners. An attempt to transform the United Nobility into such a group, the Society of Nobles, to safeguard its property was a hesitant process.

Keywords:   Russian nobility, nobles, United Nobility, Provisional Government, Union of Homeowners, Society of Nobles, social conflict, professional unions

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