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Bakunin, Mikhail (1814–1876)

Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian radical whose ideas created the theoretical foundations for anarchism and terrorism.

Born in February 1814 to members of the Russian nobility, Bakunin spent an idyllic childhood on his father's country estate. At age 14, he was sent to Moscow to study at the Artillery School in preparation for a military career. A somewhat indifferent student, Bakunin's time in military school helped to inculcate in him the loathing for all forms of coercion and authority that would be codified in his anarchist philosophy.

After graduating from the academy, Bakunin was stationed at a remote post on the Polish frontier. There, he began to study history and philosophy; within six months had decided that the Army was not for him. He left his post and returned to Moscow, where he began mingling with radical students. During the early 1840s, Bakunin traveled ...

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