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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.157) 6 Counter‐Revolution
Defenders of the Motherland

Matthew Rendle (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how organizations representing nobles, landowners, and officers were forging greater links by August 1917, uniting with industrialists, politicians, and the clergy to form a recognizable ‘conservative movement’. This movement was united in its calls for a ‘strong government’, which fuelled growing popular fears of imminent counter‐revolution. Yet, this chapter argues, despite having an obvious figurehead in General Kornilov, and elements pressing for a military dictatorship, elites continued to have different visions of Russia's future government. In particular, doubts over the viability and desirability of a military dictatorship made the failure of Kornilov's revolt at the end of August inevitable. Nevertheless, for ordinary Russians, the revolt demonstrated the real threat posed by counter‐revolutionary forces and led to an aggressive reaction against officers and other elites, making it difficult for them to maintain their activities in subsequent months.

Keywords:   Nobles, landowners, officers, industrialists, politicians, clergy, conservatism, Kornilov, counter‐revolution, military dictatorship

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