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History 5 Lecture 21

History 5 Lecture 21 - History 5 Lecture 21 Introduction...

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History 5 Lecture 21 Introduction Communism in the most unlikely of places Russia in 1917: Russia withdrew from the war, saying it was a war between the bourgeoisie and not one of the people From a Marxist perspective, Russia was a backwards and unindustrialized state No bourgeoisie, had one of the smallest proletariat No liberal representative government, rather a czar Was never truly westernized and so open to other ideas that the west wasn’t A uniquely Russian revolution Russia in the nineteenth century An agricultural empire Only about 10 percent live in towns Major exports are grains and furs, rather than industrial products Population is socially more divided Tiny intelligent elite and enormous population of unfree serfs Political autocracy Nationalism was extremely prevalent But other political changes didn’t reach Russia The tsars were convinced of their mission to rule Russia alone Russia not as a state but as the tsar’s own feudal fiefdom The Crimean War Beginning in the 1850’s, the Russians would lose all their wars Wanted Crimean peninsula to continue trade with the Middle East Opened up self-critique within the tsarist government Why are we losing? What are we doing wrong?
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Emancipation of the serfs, 1861 This self-critique led to the emancipation of the serfs Looked at the war over slavery in America Proved to be an odd emancipation The serfs were not given land when they were free, instead they were told that they had to buy back from their former owners Serfs had no way of buying land and many went towards the cities Collapse of the agricultural base of the Russian empire By 1914, 75% of the population of St. Petersburg are peasants Industrialization The results of Russian industrialization was very impressive, railroads and factories Russia didn’t have time to adjust to the social dislocation resultant of industrialization While workers were a small part of the population, they were concentrated in certain towns Become highly radicalized due to really poor living conditions Political radicalization Emancipation of the serfs was supposed to prevent radicalization But rather showed cracks in the political autocracy Small but very violent wing of political radicals Tsar Alexander II survives five assassinations but is killed His successor cracks down hards During this violent political atmosphere comes the works of Karl Marx
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