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Pre Revolutionary Russian Society Underwent Significant Change

1159 words - 5 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

This was an extensive change for the ‘dark masses’, within the aspect of social rights, the concept of The Duma was also mentioned in the October Manifesto. The Duma, a government of elected members, was to advance Russia’s socio-political ‘backwardness’, however, this change failed to develop; The Duma was dissolved by The Tsar and re-elected three times over five years due to a difference of opinions and in 1912 The Duma was completely removed.
With the realisation that The Tsar was continuing to maintain the public’s rights through The October Manifesto, money through land taxes and opinions, for example; ostracising political groups and opening fire on demonstrations in public areas; Bloody Sunday, there was barely any significant change.

From an economic point of view, Russia was in fluctuation, from expansion to depression; each peasant experienced this, especially The Tsar as his kingdom crumbled from the weak economic foundations Russia relied on. Russia had an agriculture heavy lifestyle, as it struggled behind a majority of Europe in the field of industrialisation. However, in the 1890’s onwards, Russia transformed into a fast paced industrialised country, creating more jobs in the city and ‘the overall growth rate was about 6 per cent per year’ . The idea of industrialising Russia had been promoted by two of the Tsar’s most able politicians; Witte and Stolypin ,thus developing the area of politics as well. Factory jobs thrived the idea of a workers union; workdays were long, conditions harsh and the pay minimal, this evolved as work conditions and averaged wages were set in place by the act of work unions and political groups. A large economic downfall within Tsarist Russia was the reliance on foreign loans, other countries funded Russia’s industrial boom, and this lead to ‘peasants [paying] heavy taxes on grain … alcohol and salt’ .

Politics revolutionised to a medium extent, as there were many limitations to the developments. Emperor Nicholas ΙΙ introduced the concept of The Duma receiving more power in the October Manifesto of 1906, allowing The Duma to have a vote on laws before they are passed, ‘no law shall take effect without confirmation by the State Duma’ . The October Manifesto stated that ‘elected representatives of the people [will] be guaranteed the opportunity to participate in the supervision’ of the Tsar regime, this was a foreign concept to Russia as Nicholas ΙΙ’s tutor believed that democracy was ‘the greatest falsehood of our time’ . The Duma was dissolved many times by the Tsar due to a conflict of opinions and within The October...

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