Tsarist Russia: The Intelligentsia Background

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The Intelligentsia
They were skilled in the art of persuasion and ready to question and challenge autocratic
Nihilists wanted to sweep away the past so new society could be born giving more individual
They believed in reason and science
1862: Student published a manifesto `Young Russia' in which they argued revolution was the
only way forward
June 1862: A series of fires in St. Petersburg occurred destroying over 2000 shops
-People believed it was caused by radical students
1863: The Organisation, set up by students in Moscow University, wanted more reforms
The intelligentsia was relatively tiny due to so few illiterate and educated Russians at the
More lawyers because of judicial reforms
Universities made it so that more students and professors understood the state of the
Opposition was at its most acute intellectuals who were knowledgeable about western
development may have travelled abroad read, wrote in the press, went to the theatre and
were determined to change what they believed to be inhabiting Russian ways
Younger generations of the 1860s inspired by the Nihilist movement
Key Influences
Nihilists ­ were hostile to the Tsar and Russian Orthodox Church
Mikhail Bakunin - socialist intellectual thinker, described as an anarchist and believed in
peasant superiority.
Achievements by 1881
Although the Intelligentsia were great thinkers they didn't actually achieve anything be 1881


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