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Pre-revolutionary Russian Society Underwent Significant Change

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The statement ‘Pre-revolutionary Russian society underwent significant change’ is accurate to a medium extent in terms of social, economic and political change in Russia. In social terms, the Russian Tsar did not allow political opinions and therefore did not allow the congregation of political enthusiasts, limiting the opportunity for a revolution. In economic terms, Russian peasants were stuck in a situation where they had to pay large taxes to landowners, leaving little money for themselves and their families. In political terms, the Tsar held a strong kingdom, which condemned the peasants to an inferior lifestyle, as the Tsar government believed the ‘dark masses’ could only be held in check by severe repression’ . However, from 1861 to 1914, the population quadrupled resulting in limited resources and the peasants protesting for a higher quality life. It was through this time that the three aspects encountered change, experienced by the peasants and the Tsar Kingdom.

Russian peasants lived within their families and from the land that they lived on, with no forms of communication available; there was no social aspect outside their immediate household. Without the ability to confide in groups as workers unions and political groups, there was no motivation for revolution in political or working fields. In his account of Russia, The Empire of the Czar: A Journey through Eternal Russia, 1839, Marquis De Custine, a French aristocrat, stated ‘[that] the length and difficulties of communication’ maintained the tranquillity among the peasants, if there were any means of communication, a significant revolution would have occurred before the 1900’s. 1905 was the year peasants experienced freedoms, with restrictions, but the freedoms...

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(Astolphe) Marquis de Custine, The Empire of the Czar: A Journey through Eternal Russia, 1839. Vol. 3 pp.283, 353. [Accessed 20 March 2014].
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