Pre-petrine national history in Russian historical memory and symbolic politics : a case of the time of troubles
Допетровская национальная история в русской исторической памяти и символической политике: на примере Смутного времени
Dopetrovskaya natsional'naya istoriya v russkoy istoricheskoy pamyati i simvolicheskoy politike: na primere Smutnogo vremeni
This study is dedicated to analysis of the role of the history of the ancient Rus’ nation in historical memory and the symbolic politics of modern Russia. In recent years, Russian elites have been attempting to create a stable and unified “model” view of national history, which should create a reliable ideological foundation for consolidation of the nation around the current political regime, ensure its historical legitimacy, and represent it as an integral part and logical continuation of a glorious historical past full of victories. The semantic center of Russia’s symbolic politics today is the cult of the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945). Interest in older historical eras is noticeably weaker, and tends to follow current political events. However, by contrast, the Time of Troubles (Smuta in Russian) at the beginning of the 17th century represents a clear exception, as it is the only historical event in prerevolutionary history that is regularly celebrated at the state level. The goal of this study is to analyze the dynamic of how the mythology of the Time of Troubles has developed, particularly about the events associated with driving the Polish-Lithuanian troops out of Moscow in 1612, and investigating how this mythology functions in the political and social conditions of modern Russia.