THE HISTORY OF RUSSIA

Charles E. Ziegler

 

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations
Frank W. Thackeray and John E. Findling, Series Editors
Greenwood Press / Westport, Connecticut London / 1999

    

 

 

 

 

Glossary of Selected Terms

 

 

 

Bolsheviks: "Majority" faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, led by Vladimir Lenin.

Later became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

 

boyars: nobility of early Russia

 

Duma: Russian parliament 1905-1917 and 1993-present

 

Eurasianism: worldview which stresses Russian distinctiveness from Europe

 

glasnost: "publicity" or "openness"-- Gorbachev era liberalization of publishing and speech to provide more in-
formation to policy makers

 

Golden Horde: powerful Mongol khanate, or principality, of thirteenth-fifteenth century, located between the Black
Sea and the Ural Mountains, to which Russia paid tribute

 

Gosplan: Soviet State Planning Committee; organized the Soviet national economy

 

icons: religious paintings of Orthodox saints and the Holy Family, usually done in tempera on wood

 

Izvestiia: official newspaper of the Soviet government

 

KGB: Committee for State Security--Soviet secret police

 

khanate: Central Asian territory, ruled by a Mongol or Turkish khan

 

kolkhoz: Soviet collective farm, in which peasants received a portion of the farm's annual income

 

Komsomol: Communist Youth League, to socialize youth ages 15-28 into communist values

 

kremlin: walled stone fortress in the center of a city. Moscow's Kremlin houses government offices, churches, and
museums

 

mafia: Russian term for hundreds of criminal gangs that sprang up after the Soviet collapse that have close
links to business and government

 

Mensheviks: "minority" faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, led by Pavel Martov

 

muzhik: Russian peasant; also used as "a real man"

 

Narodniki: nineteenth-century Russian populists who "went to the people"

 

Nomenklatura: list of names held by Soviet Communist Party of individuals politically acceptable for appointment to
high positions

 

perestroika: Mikhail Gorbachev's program of economic and political restructuring

 

Politburo: political bureau of the Soviet Communist Party; high est decision-making body of the Soviet era

 

Pravda: official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

 

Presidium: the Politburo was called the Presidium IN 1952-65

 

Slavophiles: nineteenth-century intellectuals who held up Russian culture as morally superior to West European culture

 

sovkhoz: Soviet state farm, in which peasants were paid a salary

sovnarkozy: regional economic councils, an attempt ( 1957-1965) by Khrushchev to decentralize economic management

 

soviet: "council"--revolutionary era radical assembly of intellectuals, workers, and soldiers. Became the basis for
Soviet era government organizations

 

Sudebnik: law codes of 1497 and 1550

 

ulozhenie: a law code of 1649

 

veche: town meeting of ancient Kievan Russia

 

Westernizers: nineteenth-century intellectual movement that urged Russians to adopt Western political and cultural

traditions

 

zemstvos: local government organizations, 1864-1917

 

zhdanovshchina: purge of all foreign influences in late Stalin period ( 1946-1948) led by Leningrad Party Secretary Andrei

Zhdanov. Anti-Western and anti-Semitic

 


CHARLES E. ZIEGLER is Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisville. He is the author of Foreign Policy and East Asia ( 1993), Environmental Policy in the USSR ( 1987), and dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters.