The Drunk Assembly

Lindsey Hughes in “Russia in the Era of Peter the Great” spends a good bit of time discussing Peter’s “All Drunk Assembly” and “Mock Court”. Through discussing this we can see that Hughes lists a number of opinions of historians as well as her own for the reason that Peter created and continued these two bodies. These explanations begin on page 256 of “Russia in the Era of Peter the Great”. After reviewing these, why do you believe Peter created and continued to utilize these institutions? Was it as simple as trying to blow off steam or was there a deeper symbolic meaning behind these?

The Secret Speech Aftermath

To me it seems as though Khrushchev was abundantly clear in what he meant through the Secret Speech. He sought to bring to light the wrongdoings of Stalin as a leader and revert to the neo Leninist model. After the speech there was widespread confusion to how the general populous should respond. There were some that wanted nothing to do with the de-Stalinization movement while many others upon hearing the speech followed a philosophy of iconoclasm, or rejecting the Stalin’s various iconography. This included destroying or refusing to show portraits, statues and monuments of Stalin. To me, this effectively lines up with the intention of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech. However, the desecration of these artifacts led to a crackdown on the criminality of it. There was no real violence to these acts, they only appeared to be acts of vandalism. Making these sort of acts criminal seems to go against what Khrushchev wanted. I understand there was a widespread fear of anarchy from these actions but the question I pose is this: do you feel as though the fear of anarchy was enough to make these actions criminal? In addition to this, do you feel as though the destruction of Stalin iconography was what Khrushchev had in mind?