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In the West, the middle class was in the forefront of reform.
Thus, to remote Russia, many things "Western" have come late - manufacturing, higher education, science, etc.Compromise is native to America, but not to Russia.The oceans, moreover, have been bridges to America for cultures and ideas.When Moscow liberated itself from the Tartar yoke in 1480, the modern Russian state was born.Distant from Europe, the new state was cut off from Constantinople which in 1453 had fallen to the Muslim Ottoman Turks.The Russian people see Russian expansion as a consequence of victories over foreign invaders.
America's commercial experience and Russia's lack of a mercantile tradition have given the two countries different world outlooks.
It has only limited access to the sea, deterring development of a mercantile tradition.
Geography also has made Russia vulnerable to wars, due to her lengthy borders which had no natural defenses.
Living for centuries in a very harsh climate explains the Russians' strength, their ability to endure extreme hardship, and their bleak outlook on life. Climate has also contributed to a cautiousness they exhibit.
Russia is a great distance from other centers of civilizations; for example, 3,000 miles from Paris, a month's journey before railroads.
Both countries are multi-ethnic, continental, great powers, expansionist, tamed a wilderness, and settled by a variety of diverse groups.