Slavophile vs. Westernizer

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Slavophile vs. Westernizer
Yojin Yoon
Martin Camacho
Definition
A Slavophile (-phile: the Greek root
'love') – those who believed that Russia
had to develop and preserve its own
culture in order to become an
industrialized nation.
 Westernizer – a term that refers to
intellectuals who sided with Western
philosophy. They believed that Russia had
to adopt Western tradition in order to
succeed.
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History
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Decembrist Revolt 1825 was a pro-western movement
against Tsar Nicholas I of Russia
Slavophile philosophies emerged in the 1830s in Moscow
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It was based on Orthodox religion
Followed by decades of political repression until the liberal
Tsar, Alexander II freed the serfs in 1861
Alexander II assassinated 1881, his son was more radical
and strict, leading to many pro-western sentiments
The government became extremely conservative
As Russia industrialized rapidly and expanded its borders, it
became obvious that an autocratic monarchy was
inadequate
Origins of Bo
Prominent Figures
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Tsar Peter the Great was
one of the first great
Westernizers
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Brought Western thought to
Russia through exploration
and conquest
Transformed the Tsardom into
the Russian Empire and made
Russia a major European
power
PICS THAT NEED TO BE SORTED
Ivan Aksakov
Slavophile Philosophy
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The Slavophiles rejected Western thought and “argued that
Peter’s bureaucratic empire had destroyed the harmonious
interaction between the state and the “land.” Peter had
sought to change the age-old customs of the people”
(Polunov 63).
All of the Slavic people should be part of the same unified
nation, “Great Russia” in order to foster cultural identity.
Consistently criticized the conservative government
Were for abolishing serfdom
Tried to extend the Russian sphere of influence in
russification
Doctrines very hard to place on a political spectrum though
still very liberal
Westernizer Philosophy
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They believed that “progress depended on the
heroic deeds of a strong individual” (60).
The decade from the 1830-40s was known as the
“Remarkable Decade” for it “was a time of
intense spiritual and intellectual life and
passionate discussions” (58).
They wanted an all-powerful Russian state
They “placed little hope on the common people”
(60).
They idolized Peter the Great
Consequences
Alexander freed the serfs in 1861, finally
responding to Slavophile begging
 Afterwards Slavophilism became a form of
very powerful nationalism
 Westernizers developed into the early
form of the Russian Communist party
 Both parties opposed the repressive Tsar
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End
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“Yes, we were their opponents, but very strange
ones. We had the same love, but not the same
way of loving. From our early years, the same
powerful, unaccountable, physiologically
passionate feeling burned in both of us, They
took it for a memory and we for a prophecy: a
feeling of limitless, all-embracing love for the
Russian people, the Russian life, and the Russian
cast of mind… we looked in different directions
but one heart beat within us” (Polunov 64).

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