Russia At The Time Of Rasputin

1415 words - 6 pages

During the life of Rasputin, Russia seemed to be in a constant upheaval. As a nation, it was struggling to modernize and make itself a formidable power of the western and eastern world. In terms of rulers, Tsar Alexander III had passed on, his reign of an iron fist on the people of Russia was given to his son Nicholas, who was not as restrictive as his father before him (Purishkevich 1985: 16). As Russia moved into the future, Rasputin would be accepted into the courts of the Tsar and Tsarina, fomenting those surrounding the court towards action against the man who slowly, but effectively, held the Tsar and Tsarina, therefore all of Russia, in his hands. I argue that Rasputin’s murder was an unnecessary action due to over exaggeration in the mind of his killers, the nobility surrounding the thrown, and even by the Russian people.
Russia at the time of Rasputin was in a state of distress. As a nation, Russia has always had its issues due to its vastness and its backwardness economically and politically. In many areas of Russia, a famine had occurred in 1891, which pushed great numbers of farmers towards cities in hopes of finding a job in the newly growing industrial sector (Purishkevich 1985: 11). Although Russia was growing industrially, it was largely due to foreign investment and since it was largely owned by the state, the people were not benefitting very much by this boom. Russia was suffering economically in other ways as well. Russia had been suffering an economic slump since 1897, which continued to be exacerbated by poor harvests and Russia’s loss of the Russo-Japanese War (Purishkevich 1985: 20). Due to these economic stresses and the burgeoning industry in cities, a lot of people were in a small area under economic duress. Unhappy people lend themselves to revolution and in 1905, the autocracy of the Tsar was reduced, only slightly, by the October Manifesto, which established the legislative body of the Duma (Purishkevich 1985: 23). Although the Duma offered people a certain voice, it was still largely controlled by the Tsar or nobles loyal to him. To summarize: the Russian people were unhappy with their standing in their country, politically and economically. It is during these struggles that Rasputin grows up and eventually becomes involved with the Tsar and his family.
Grigory Efimovitch Rasputin was born around 1871 in a little village in Western Siberia called Pokrovskoe. His father has been called everything from a drunken horse thief (Youssoupoff 1953: 205), to a not quite rich horse and cattle farmer (Fuhrmann 1990: 4) and much of Rasputin’s early life is plagued by vastly different accounts. However, one can draw conclusions about his life based on a broad understanding of Siberia. Siberian peasants were never subjugated by a noble, therefore never intimidated by one of higher standing. This comes into play later in his life when he finally meets the Tsar and Tsarina. What can be agreed upon is that once he reached...

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