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Friday, 14 November 2014
Sixth Form students at Bolton School enjoyed an enlightening afternoon with Simon Dixon, the Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at University College London.
Historians from the Boys’ and Girls’ Division enjoyed a fascinating lecture on Russia and its Rulers from 1855-1964 and an analysis of the extent to which the country underwent modernisation during this period from Professor Dixon, an Old Boy of the School.
The presentation revealed how Russia, whilst moving from a Tsarist state to a Communist one, has always been a country run by absolutism. The legal, legislative and economic policy was, and continues to be, imposed from above.
Professor Dixon investigated the Theory of Modernisation and how it is largely an Anglo-American liberal-capitalist ideology which explains the transition to an urbanised, industrial economy with higher standards of living. The students learnt how Modernisation has economic, social, cultural and political characteristics and that a largely agrarian Russia experienced only partial modernisation. Professor Dixon explained how the Marxist-Leninist autocracies and the rule of Stalin restricted personal liberty, with the culture of denunciation presiding in the workplace, at home and in school.
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