B. Knickerbocker

Student at Virginia Tech

The Battle for the Third World

The intense ideological rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War was going to be won or lost in the ‘Third World’.  Both of the superpowers took initiative in supporting developing nations to achieve political and economic stability–depending on their political agenda.  In order to gain global influence, the Soviet […]

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Sputnik!

The successful launch of the satellite named Sputnik on October 4, 1957 ignited a surge in Soviet pride and nationalism.  The Soviet space program proved itself to be the leader in the “Space Race” against other nations–mainly the rival United States.  This occasion was so widely celebrated by the Soviet Union because this event had […]

The Great Patriotic Victory in Stalingrad

Both Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler were leaders that were burdened with the task of bringing their people back to prominence after experiencing crippling socioeconomic turmoil, and both relied heavily on nationalist bravado and theatricality to motivate the common man.  World War II, as intense and dreadful as it was, provided the prime opportunity for […]

The Stalin Constitution

  Joseph Stalin’s overarching influence and power in the young Soviet state starting expanding even more during the 1930′s.  As General Secretary, Stalin used his office to implement widespread reforms (as mentioned in the post on collectivization last week) so that Russia could fulfill its goal of becoming a sound, unified socialist state.  By the […]

Collectivization: The Attempt to Rebuild a Shattered Economy

  After the Bolsheviks came to power in the Revolution, the party had to create a solution to the widespread famine and stagnating markets–especially in the farming regions.  Agricultural production was Both peasants and the working class became disillusioned with the existing structure. Joseph Stalin, who was General Secretary at the time, asserted that the […]

The Sword and Shield

In the early weeks of the October Revolution, there were still-unanswered questions as to how the Bolsheviks would unite the vast Russian empire under the first  ever socialist state and society. There was no blueprint for creating an entirely new Russian state order for millions of disgruntled peasants and workers. Some “mortal dangers” (Freeze 295) […]

The Kornilov Affair

After the April Crisis of 1917, the Russian Provisional Government’s image was suffering. In order to gain the support of the conservatives in society, Alexander Kerensky (Prime Minister of the Provisional Government) appointed General Lavr Kornilov as commander-in-chief of the Russian Army. Kornilov brought back the death penalty (under approval from Kerensky) and he aimed […]

Lenin and the Working Class

  What is to be said about Vladimir Lenin? More importantly, how did he influence Russia’s political economy during the late 19th-early 20th centuries? From the 1870′s up until the Revolution of 1905, Russia had been suffering with both domestic and foreign disasters. Abroad, Russia was embarrassed in the Russo-Japanese War by Japan, a newcomer […]

Religion in the Soviet Era

The Nilova Monastery was one of the many breathtaking achievements of Russian architecture.  Completed in 1594, this monastery brought in early 40,000 pilgrims a year and continued to transition from wooden structures to stone during the 17th century. Being as aesthetically pleasing as it was to travelers everywhere, it became a tragic example of the […]