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. History Decembrist Revolt 1825 was a pro-western movement against Tsar Nicholas I of Russia Slavophile philosophies emerged in the 1830s in Moscow 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 Tsar Peter the Great was one of the first great Westernizers 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 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 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 End “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).