The French Revolution plays an important role in the formation of the political views of a great majority of Russian intellectuals. The image of the French Revolution was employed by various politicians to support their views on the political problems of Russia and the world in general. Monarchists turned to the French Revolution, either to comfort them that it would not be repeated in Russia or to stigmatize the opposition. Liberals employed the French Revolution's images either to stigmatize czardom or to demonstrate the need to protect the public welfare in order to prevent revolution. For the majority of radicals, the French Revolution had only a limited relationship to Russian history, which was regarded as being basically different from that of the West. The study of the French Revolution in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century illustrates how an understanding of the past depends on the degree to which intellectuals are involved in the political process.