A colonel in the Tsarist army by the name of A. Rittikh wrote in 1893 that service in the army turned ignorant peasants into civilized human beings. The peasant conscript's military career began "with a bath and a haircut," then proceded to "cleanliness and neatness in dress." Since the intended effect of all of the many military reforms introduced by Miliutin was to make the Tsarist army a more modern and more professionally competent institution, it is reasonable to ask how these reforms affected peasant conscripts. To complete the picture of the army as a peasant society, it remains only to consider the officer's role as outsider, a role that was built into the daily routine of military life. The case for socio-psychological modernization breaks down as soon as it becomes clear just how unmilitary life in the Tsarist army was. The similarity between the peasant and military economy extended to the seasonality of the military-economic cycle.
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- Social Sciences(all)