Russian Nationalism as a Social and Political Phenomenon in the Electoral Process of Right-bank Ukraine (1906-1912).

Мартинюк, Ольга Володимирівна (2017) Russian Nationalism as a Social and Political Phenomenon in the Electoral Process of Right-bank Ukraine (1906-1912). PhD thesis, Київський університет імені Бориса Грінченка.

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Abstract

This dissertation presents conservative Russian nationalism in the Right-bank Ukrainian provinces of the Russian Empire as an electoral project, based on electoral campaigns to all four State Dumas from 1906 till 1912. Electoral strategies, the electorate, the competition on a provincial level, and the process of constructing the ideology of Russian nationalism are tackled through a new approach to political history. This approach places a major focus on voter motivations, real-ground competition on the regional level, and the consideration of media and administrative resources that political groups used to win the vote. A vast array of research sources is cited, including documents of the Ministry of Interior, complaints and petitions of local activists, correspondence between Russian nationalists and their partners, local newspaper reports, public and secret documents of authorities regarding electoral process, leaflets and proclamations, memoirs, diaries and more. It is shown that the inviolability of private property, the acceptance of the constitutional order and the denial of equal rights for non-Russians were peculiar ideological traits of Russian nationalism, represented by the Party of Legal Order, the Party of Sales and Manufacturing Business, Russian Voter Conventions, the Kyiv Club of Russian Nationalists, and other groups. By using imperfections of electoral law and gaining support from authorities, Russian nationalists achieved success in the region during the elections to the Third and Fourth State Dumas, although their activities started already in early 1906. The local administration excluded from voting lists potentially disloyal voters (for instance urban Jewry, workers), divided electoral curiae into national subdivisions to support Orthodox populations in areas where they constituted a minority, significantly influenced the organization of the electoral process. Upon the initiative of the Kyiv general-governor, the court slowed down the proceedings of the Beilis blood libel case to stir anti-Semitism and thus help Russian nationalists win the elections in Kyiv at 1912. Although the authorities viewed this support as fully compliant with existing Law, their means were contested numerous times by oppositional activists. As the study shows, local and imperial governors had a crucial influence on the formation of the Russian nationalist movement; however, their aim was to build a strong conservative civic party, based on tme popular support. The research finds that Russian nationalists had a stable electorate among the wealthy and educated classes in Kyiv, and strove to extend their constituency to other sectors of population. In line with the prime-minister Petr Stolypin’s politics, Russian nationalists attempted to reach Orthodox small-holding landowners of the Right bank. Not having enough resources for campaigning in largely illiterate areas, the Russian nationalists mobilized provincial voters with the help of Orthodox parochial priests. During elections for the Third and Fourth State Dumas, the priests replaced the electoral participation of small landowners, who overall showed indifference towards the ideology of Russian nationalism, as well as to State Duma elections as such. Despite ambitions to form a comprehensive ideology, the Russian nationalists failed to gain true support of the peasantry and urban low classes. For this reason, Russian nationalists cooperated with monarchist parties on elections, although they distanced themselves from the latter otherwise. The electoral experience of 1917-1918 also proves that Russian nationalism appealed to educated urban voters, oftentimes state-employed, but had little impact on the vast rural populations. This was caused particularly by the inability to offer a viable solution to “land hunger”. Throughout the whole electoral period a minority group of Russian nationalists was inclined to cooperate with loyal Polish landlords in the Right-bank region with the idea of defending common class interests. Although such situational cooperation did take place during 1906-1907, the elections to the Third Duma marked an end to any sort of alliance with non-Orthodox political partners. In 1908 the Kyiv Club of Russian Nationalists launched a massive intellectual and public project promoting an idea of Russian national unity. The ideal image of a Russian was imagined as educated, bourgeois middle class, eager to engage in commerce and trade, and at the same time politically active and loyal to the imperial rule. The Russian national project denied the distinctiveness of the Ukrainian nation as a “Western intrigue”; the target audience of the two projects largely coincided. Instead, the Russian nationalists developed a positive image of Little Russian local identity as a conscious and progressive part of Russian nation. The biography and political views of their informal leader Anatoliy Savenko are discussed in detail together with the views of other Russian nationalist activists - Ivan Sikorsky, Serhii Shcheholev, Vasily Shulgin, Timofey Florinskiy and other. Rare documents from the SBU archive indicate, that voting for Russian nationalists and other Right-wing parties during the 1912 elections became a ground for political charges in 1941.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: electoral strategies, Russian nationalism, elections, State Duma of Russian Empire, anti-Semitism.
Subjects: Abstracts > Спецради Університету
Divisions: НМЦ > НМЦ досліджень, наукових проектів та програм
Depositing User: Ганна Сало
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 07:16
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2017 07:28
URI: http://elibrary.kubg.edu.ua/id/eprint/18549

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