Russia 1855-1964 limitations on personal, political and religious freedoms

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  • Limitations on personal, political and religious freedoms
    • Limitation on personal and political freedoms
      • VOTING:
        • No representative assembly established so no move to universal franchise, but some times where some people could vote for bodies
        • 1864- Zemstva established to express views of rural people at a local level, members elected by property qualification and therefore included landowners, some urban dwellers and wealthier peasants only
        • Elections to the Duma after 1905, but limited franchise
        • Elections to various bodies did exist under communists but highly controlled by the elite in govt. Under Stalin Central Committee was a collective body elected at the annual party congress, authorised to meet twice a year to act as supreme governing body. 71 members in 1934, over 200 by end
        • Political parties allowed to exist under Tsars, although heavily controlled, from 1855-1917 groups emerged such as the People's Will, SRs, SDs, Liberals, Kadets and Octobrists. Under communists only one party existed
        • Before 1905, trade unions banned, 1905-1917 allowed to exist but limited powers. Under communists, trade unions valued but subordinate to the needs of the govt not the needs of the workers
        • 1905 onwards soviets (worker's councils) appeared and tolerated. The Provisional Government formed a dual authority with the Petrograd Soviet. Soviets integral to Bolshevik takeover and integrated into communist political system
        • Both used censorship to control the freedom of expression
        • Successive govts retained the right to withdraw publications thought to include 'dangerous orientation' (criticism).
        • Government departments under the Tsars used their own newspapers (Ruskii) to publish official news
        • Relaxation of control under NII, some newspapers aimed at the proletariat appeared- Kopek.
        • Communists made great use of censorship. Stalin guided writers to produce work that showed 'socialist realism'
        • Khrushchev eased censorship, but most popular newspapers still govt- Pravda or Izvestiya
    • Religious freedoms
      • UNDER TSARS:
        • Orhtodox religion emanated from Russian Orthodox church
        • Non- Orthodox such as Old Believers, Sectarians, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims tolerated, some leaders encouraged them to convert
        • After revolution the Bolsheviks placed severe restrictions on the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church
        • 'The Decree on the Seperation of the Church from the State and the School from the Church'
        • Withdrawal of state subsidies and prevented religious groups from possessing property
        • Set a pattern of repression of religion in Russi until the end of the period


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