“Bogatyr Age” vs. “Cockroach on the Back”: The 17th Century in the Mirror of the Russian Social and Historical Consciousness

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Abstract. One of the perpetual themes of the Russian historiography and social mind is the place of the 17th century in Russian history. The discussions on this question were not as acute as, for example, on the Norman Theory. However, it was marked by a wide range of views and internal tension. This is not by accident, because this problem is part of a big issue of the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modernity and the features of Russia’s development in the wide European historical context. The conclusion that the phenomena of the Russian history of the 17th century predetermined the reforms of Peter I and other processes that took place in the 18th century, was deeply justified in the domestic historiography by S.M. Solovyov and developed by V.O. Klyuchevsky. However, there are still serious arguments in favor of the fact that the traditions of the Medieval Muscovite State that were destroyed in the course of Peter’s reforms were preserved in Russia in the 17th century. It was stated that the natural decomposition of the old Muscovite traditions could lead to the formation of civil society in Russia, but this process was interrupted by Peter I.

Keywords: Russian historiography, new period of Russian history, the ascending and descending stage in the development of Russian feudalism.

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