This book discusses how ideas about democracy took shape in Russia. It considers serfdom, colonisation, autocracy and the various protests, rebellions and attempts to impose checks on this in the period before 1800. The book then examines in detail evolving thought about democracy in the nineteenth century, outlining the various sources and movements which contributed to this, emphasising in particular the important work of the thinker Michael Speransky. The book then assesses the experiments to implement democracy in 1905 and 1917, explaining why these experiments failed. Throughout, the book stresses the special conditions which pertained in Russia, showing how these conditions contributed to the particular nature of Russian democracy.
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