Academician M. V. NECHKINA. The Decembrists' Role in the World-Historic Process
The main slogans of the Decembrist movement-the abolition of serfdom and the overthrow of the autocracy (absolutism)-were determined by the development of the world-historic process: the shackling feudal dependence of the peasant on his landlord and the absolute monarchy already outlived their day and were toppling under the impact of the revolutionary struggle in a whole number of countries which were embarking on the road of capitalist development during that period. Examining the gradual spread of this process in many European and American countries, the author defines the place held in it by the Decembrists' uprising in Russia, tracing their connections with the general movement of world history and their close study of its experience. The article highlights the Decembrists' independent analysis of the uprisings and revolutions of their time, their criticism of sporadic manifestations of protest in Western Europe and America, their sober appraisal and careful account of advanced experience. The author makes a detailed analysis of the Decembrists' own evaluation of the world-historic process of that period, when, as the Decembrist P. I. Pestel aptly put it, "one and the same picture could be observed all over the European continent,... when the spirit of change, so to say, revolutionized the minds everywhere."
R. G. EIMONTOVA. Soviet Publications of Sources Relating to the History of the Decembrist Movement
The article briefly surveys the most important publications of the various sources pertaining to the Decembrist theme, which appeared during the Soviet period. Particular attention is devoted by the author to the many-volume edition entitled "The Decembrist Uprising" (Vols. 1 - 13), which contains criminal investigation materials relating to the participants in the movement condemned by the Supreme Criminal Court-the basic documentary complex on the problem. The survey briefly describes a number of Soviet publications containing programmatic and agitation-propaganda documents belonging to clandestine societies, the writings of individual Decembrists, their epistolary heritage, diaries and reminiscences, as well as multivarious notes and letters by contemporaries about the events of December 14, 1825, the mutiny in the Chernigov Regiment, icono-graphic materials, chrestomathies and bibliographic reference books on the Decembrist movement.
V. L. ISRAELYAN. The Soviet Union and the Founding of the United Nations Organization
The author sheds light on the diplomatic negotiations preceding the adoption on June 26, 1945, of the U. N. Charter at the conference in San Francisco, illustrating the prominent part played by the U.S.S.R in the founding of this international organization for the maintenance and strengthening of universal peace and security, and characterizing the positions adopted by the governments of the U.S.A. and Great Britain. The materials contained in the article graphically confirm that the attitude of the U.S.S.R. to the idea of establishing such an organization directly followed from the principles underlying Soviet foreign policy, notably the provision that the threat of another war can be averted only by the collective efforts of all the peace-loving forces. Particular attention is devoted by the author to the conferences at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington) and in San Francisco, which became major landmarks in the process of formulating the Charter and establishing the United Nations Organization which has made and continues to make a useful contribution to the cause of strengthening world peace, to the solution of urgent and pressing international problems.
S. V. OBOLENSKAYA. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 - 1871 and Bourgeois Public Opinion in the German States
The article examines the role of bourgeois public opinion in the German states during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 - 1871. By and large, bourgeois public opinion in the German states created a favourable atmosphere for the unification of Germany by "iron and blood". While reflecting the urgent need for national unity, it at the same time clearly
manifested the utterly reactionary views shared by the bourgeois circles. The only force that put forward a concrete programme of struggle for a just solution of the question of war and peace, for the country's unification based on democratic principles in those years was the Social-Democratic Party which followed the recommendations and directions of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels - the universally recognized leaders of the international working-class movement.
N. A. BORTNIK. The Medieval City-States in Europe
The author makes a point of stressing that the peculiarity of the feudal basis determined the emergence of monarchies and republics in the shape of city-states. Founded in the process of the class struggle, the city- state from its very inception had a clearly expressed class character: the dominant power in it was wielded by a minority (patricians). The chief function of the city-state was the oppression by this minority of the overwhelming majority of its citizens and the suppression of their resistance. The class character of its policy was also graphically manifested in its struggle against the nobility and in its striving to liberate the peasants, while at the same time subjecting them to brutal exploitation. One of the aspects of the class policy pursued by the city-state was its struggle against the clergy. The city-states testify to the existence under the feudal system, side by side with the monarchy as the prevailing form of state, of some other state formations differing in their class essence and form. In contradistinction to the monarchy, which can be abolished only in the process of liquidating the feudal system, the city-state, as a rule, begins to decline and disintegrates much earlier.
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