The French and Russian Revolutions: Before and After

1222 WordsJan 28, 20185 Pages
Throughout history, countries around the world have demanded political change. Most of these changes have resulted in a step in the direction of democracy. However, the sustainability of a new democratic regime depends on how strong the foundations of the democratic institutions are. France and Russia are two of the most notable states that sought to replace dysfunctional authoritarian models with democracy. Despite approaching democracy in similar ways, democracy in France proved to be successful and democracy in Russia was not. This is because unlike France, the democratic institutions in Russia were built on weak foundations making democratic performance in Russia illegitimate. Although the origins of Russia may be unclear, it is widely accepted that Ivan the terrible is known as the first Russian emperor, or tsar. Ivan demonstrated authoritarian rule through his destruction of government institutions that interfered with his consolidation of power and developed a personal police force to terrorize political oppositions. This type of authoritarian leader continued in Russia through leaders such as Vladimir Ilich Lenin and Joseph Stalin. After Lenin, and the Communist Party, took power after a revolutionary victory in 1917, Russia was renamed the Soviet Union and broken up into 15 districts. The USSR recognized Russia’s multinational identity by creating a federal system around major ethnic groups. However, the new republics had very little power and authority was in the
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