V.I. Vernadsky and the American System in Russia

As the dust settled on the American Civil war in 1865, Russia took pride in the fact that this Eurasian nation turned the tide in favor of Lincoln’s cause of preserving the union and abolishing the institution of slavery. Czar Alexander II was also known as “The Great Liberator” for liberating the serfs in 1861 and launching Russia on its greatest modernization drive in history. Before his assassination in 1880, the Czar, working alongside republican thinkers of both Russian and American origins initiated a nation building program centered on rail development, protectionism and technological progress.

This is the world that one of the greatest scientific geniuses in Russia’s history- Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky grew up in. In this class, Rising Tide director Matthew Ehret follows the early years of Vernadsky who’s mentor Dimitri Mendeleyev (discoverer of the periodic table of elements) led Russia’s scientific and resource management plans while simultaneously heading the Committee for Protectionism combating the British Empire’s Free Trade dogmas.

We follow Vernadsky’s patriotic growth as a leader of the Constitutional Democrats of Russia and enemy of dialectic materialism during the rise of the Bolsheviks which caused him to flee Russia in 1918. Vernadsky’s fight to establish a Ukrainian Academy of Science and his role as leader of the Russian Academy of Science are explored as are his revolutionary discoveries in anti-Darwinian theory of evolution along with his insights into the atom, physical space time and the nature of mind as a causal force for universal change.

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