Sample Essay on Russian History

The Seclusion of Elite Muscovite Women by Nancy Shields Kollman.

“The Seclusion of Elite Muscovite Women” is a primary source document that covers Russian History, and more specifically the lives of the Muscovite women in Russian History. This is because it offers first-hand testimony as well as direct evidence about the topic of Elite Muscovite Women, which is under investigation. The document equally offers the experience of different individuals and their views concerning the subject. The main theme of this document is the culture of Russian society with regard to women. The elite women in the Muscovite society had very unique lives as compared to the women of the low-class level.

This document offers a unique insight into the lives of women in Russian history, mainly the elite Muscovite women. The focus of this document is the 14th -16th century when their lives were completely different from the peasant women in the Russian Society. It is evident that there were many rules that governed the behavior of women in the society. For instance, the Muscovite elite women were expected to be pious, chaste, and extremely caring of their servants as well as children. All the Muscovite elite women stayed in seclusion and had very limited social exposure and time. From the document, it is stated that “Elite women were studiously excluded from family life. Women in Muscovy had no access to male political entourages” (189). These women were not allowed to go to public places such as churches and they stayed in houses that had separate quarters that accommodated their husbands in separate places. During this period, Russian clans were politically powerful. Women had the ability to help alliances, which gave them societal power. Unfortunately, this power was not recognized in their households. In her document, Nancy states that “…women were subordinated to men and their sexuality was distrusted” (190).

It is evident that this is an important document in the context of the Russian history. First, this document offers the reader an insight into the political lives of the Muscovite society. It brings out the fact that the seclusion of women was not only aimed at strengthening the family unit but was equally politically oriented. From this document, a student of the Russian history benefits from the rich information offered about the daily life of a muscovite Russian woman. Her social limits, roles, rules of her conduct as well as her personal life are clearly outlined in the document.

In conclusion, reading through this document is an eye opener in relation to the Russian political world. The author, Nancy, offers clear insight into the lives of women in the Muscovite society and their influence in the political world. One is able to realize that as much as women in this society had the power of political influence, their power was not recognized in their households. They were severely secluded to limit their interaction with other men and women who may influence them positively or negatively.

From this document, I have learned that women have a strong influence in the political world. If left to interact socially with other people, women posses the power of changing things in society. They are even made stronger by the fact that they are able to balance such influence with their roles in families as mothers, wives, and caregivers. I have also learnt that secluding women in the society is harmful and may limit the potential growth of a society.