Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Service mentality in Russia and Prussia

Both the Prussian kings and Peter the Great tried to create a service nobility and a service mentality. Why? How successful were they in achieving their goals?

First off, I think the attempt to create a service nobility is merely part of the main movement towards a service mentality in a country. A service mentality (as the name suggests) makes it easier for the government to rule. Any military, in order to be successful, must be an efficient decision-making machine, where any decision made above is followed immediately and without question by those below. This makes for very effective legislation and a general malleability of society. The Prussian kings and Peter the Great undoubtedly saw a service mentality among the populace as the easiest path to their view of world rule, and thus pursued it. As to how successful they were, both parties were able to make the military (and service) a key part of society. But, it is very difficult, without an enormous amount of influence and control, to create a completely tiered society, be it because people are too widely spread or resistant factions. The best the Prussian kings and Pete were able to do was the make military service the respectable thing to do.


The Captain said...

I have similar feelings on this subject only I would use a different way of putting it. First, the reasons for creating the service nobility in Prussia and Russia was definitly to create a service mentality in those countries... HOWEVER, it served a dual purpose. It united the country too. It gave the people a common ground of belif. And in a country as big and vast and diverse as Russia, this is a great thing.

Hanjae Lee said...

I agree with you Sam. It seems like service mentality was almost the only option for these countries. Both countries needed strong armies to keep up with the Western Europe and, to do so needed an efficient military system. The service mentality was, therefore, crucial.

Barbara said...

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