Why did Russia not experience Renaissance, Reformation and Industrial Revolution

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,852
Why did Russia not experience these huge European events. Were there any specific reasons. Since Russia was always an important player in European issues yet it remained isolated from these cultural milestones in European history. Why?
 
May 2014
89
Earth
Since Russia was always an important player in European issues
What? AFAIK Russia was a tiny, obscure state (Muscovy) which happened to successfully stand up the Golden Horde Tartars well enough to grow. That state only started in 1283, and got its big break with the absorption of the much older Novgorod in 1478. Thus long after the Renaissance had germinated in Italy, a frontier area on the fringes of Mongol harshness had about as much interest of that trend as a California Gold Rush town had of Jane Austen, almost exclusively the tiny educated minority women folk minority.

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duchy_of_Moscow"]Grand Duchy of Moscow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Sure, some Russians took note, especially Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible (Ivan was said to be very fond of his huge and very expensive ancient library, the remnants of which have never been found and assumed to have been ordered destroyed by the ruler). But their interest was subjective, not at all like Frederick the Great's interest in Voltaire, picking out items to be adopted here and there -- usually only for the elite.

https://mostodd.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/lost-library-of-moscow/

As far as Russia as geographical region, the area had always been at best on the fringe of civilization. Doing well for the times, perhaps, an active trading partner and potential military danger, yes, but not otherwise especially important til the decay and eventual downfall of Byzantium, especially the end in 1453. Having the same Eastern Orthodox religion, it was hardly unknown haven for refugees, although not as popular to the upper classes as Italy.
 
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greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,852
It stood up to the Mongols, Tatars and was the Third Rome. It was involved in every major European conflict since the 15th Century. Yet its conquests were hardly ruffling European feathers. To have such a huge empire on the north of your head is it not dangerous enough. I am surprised Russia never took the Scandinavian countries whom it could have made mincemeat of after the 16th Century.
 
Jan 2009
1,267
I am surprised Russia never took the Scandinavian countries whom it could have made mincemeat of after the 16th Century.
Oh, it tried. Sweden fought Russia repeatedly in 16th and 17th centuries. Only in the 18th century, Peter the Great and later, did Russia get the upper hand.

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_between_Russia_and_Sweden"]List of wars between Russia and Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


As for the OP:

Renaissance: There was no Russia during the heyday of Italian renaissance.

Reformation: Reformation was a protest against the corrupt excesses of the Catholic Church. Russia was Orthodox. Also, since many of Russia's enemies were non-Orthodox (Catholic Poland, Muslim Tatars and later Ottomans), that probably helped to solidify the support of the Orthodox Church as 'theirs'.

Industrial Revolution: It did happen in Russia, but later, just as it happened later in other countries as well. Russia is a huge country, and the serfdom lasting until late 1800s did it no favors. There was relatively undeveloped middle class and I don't think the banking system was all that great, either? So you are lacking both the people most likely to start industries as well as the capital with which to do it. This being said, industrialization did happen in Russian in late 1800s, and started gathering pace in early 1900s. This has been partially pointed out as one of the reasons why Germany went to war in 1914, as they were worried about the growing strength of Russia.
 
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Jun 2013
2,325
Siberia, deep in taiga
That state only started in 1283
What was so prominent in 1283?

Yes, when Renaissanse started Russia was on the edge of civilisation, far away from major global events like 100 years war, discovery of America, had no exit to Mediterrainian Sea, just far away from European affairs.

The entire Eastern Europe was less affected by Reneissanse than Western Europe.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,643
Spain
It stood up to the Mongols, Tatars and was the Third Rome. It was involved in every major European conflict since the 15th Century..

In Each mayor War? In the Italy Wars? Flanders Wars? Ottoman Wars? How many russians were in Lepanto, Goleta, Vienna, Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta? :eek: Thirty Year´s War? Spanish Succession War? First Coalition?