The turbulent period of renewal and innovation that followed Russia's crushing defeat in the Crimea has been interpreted, historically, in terms of the emancipation of the serfs and the evolution of the gentry class. But, contends Frederick Starr, such an approach underestimates the breadth and intensity of the impulse for local reforms per se. After tracing the ideological sources of the reform, Mr. Starr examines in detail the legislative process by which administrative decentralization and public self-government were instituted.
Originally published in 1972.
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