500 years of Russian Empire

Up until the late 20th century, Russia expanded some 500 years almost continuously. Even the time of troubles at the early 17th century did not change the trend, nor the revolutions at the beginning of the 20th century.

The U.S.A. still lags behind some 250 years – if we count the time. A good perspective to remember?

So far no Western European power has had that long period as a great power as Russia has. Great Britain was rather close, though, and generally the rise of Western Europe surpasses that of Russia’s. Yet Western Europe’s success has been divided by many equally strong states and empires, as in Western Europe the power position has shifted from one to another every now and then.

As a state or an empire Russia survived extremely well. Of course, the success story has a tragic history; it has had its price. Much of what you can find and see in Russia testifies that the human costs of keeping the power status have been enormous. Individuals did not count in Russian history, even less so in the Soviet period. Standard of living was poor, administration arbitrary and legal system corrupted.

People lack many nice things which made life in the western world much easier, softer and admired.

Probably that was the thing that destroyed the Soviet Union and Communism. Political legacy of the governance was questioned.