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Hildermeier - Chapter 02

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Burgher and Town

Typological Differences and Functional Equivalents

The subject of this paper has implications that reach further than its comparative and perhaps somewhat abstract title suggests. Since the underdevelopment of towns and 'bourgeois society' has been interpreted as a key factor in the explanation of the two (or three) Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the violent and tumultuous collapse of the ancien régime is at stake. Both so-called 'liberal' historiography in pre-revolutionary Russia and Marxist historiography have argued along these lines. Other formulations that would spell out these corollaries — if only with a question mark — could be: was there a liberal alternative to the October Revolution? And did the emergence of a 'liberal milieu' in the principal Russian cities at the beginning of the twentieth century have more in common with other European experiences than is usually assumed?

Burgher and TownTypological Differences and Functional EquivalentsManfred Hildermeier The subject of this paper has implications that reach further than its comparative and perhaps somewhat abstract title suggests. Since the underdevelopment of to
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