AS A NATION OR SOCIETY undergoes change, its institutions, too, have to be transformed to adjust to new conditions and needs. Failing this, there develop strains and stresses which, if allowed to go on, may result in the sudden and violent upheavals we call revolutions. As a society and polity, Russia was launched onto the path of rapid and extensive transformations by Peter the Great. Of course, there had been change before Peter, but such transformations had been very gradual and limited in scope. Since Peter's times the elite, at any rate, had endeavored to make Russia the equal of the Western European states and to have it participate actively in what we call modern Western civilization. Yet some of Russia's basic institutions failed to adjust adequately to the new orientation, to the urge for change. Hence the strains and stresses that eventually led to the collapse of Imperial Russia, a collapse that took place in two stages—in 1905 and 1917.