Question Plan - Communists Vs Tsar period

Question: Assess the view that the urban workers of Russia were treated worse than by the communist rulers than by the Tsars during the period 1855-1964

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General Stuff, and Reforms

Alexander II: Once the peasants were free, their health went into the hands of the employers as it could not be overlooked now they were free. Alexander III: Mass famine 1891 Nicholas II: Food prices quadrupled 1914-1916 wages couldnt keep up.  Pressure on industry during the war for rearmaments. Lenin: 1918 = The peoples Commissariat of Helath was set up with the aim of providing free health care for people but resources did not match intentions. Infant mortality dropped and spread of infectious diseases were checked Stalin: by 1935 food prices fell, bread rationaing finished. Famine 21  Increase in some medical specialities - Russia became the leading eye doctors of the world.  mid-1930s, 25% of the population was living in one room that was shared between two or more households.  The result was that luving space had fallen from 8.5m2 in 1905 to 5.8m2 by 1935. Khrushchev: Commercial products.  Between 1955-1961 the housing stcok doubled and the principles of communal living was abandoned.

Working Day Hours: Witte: 11hrs, Provisional Government: 8hrs, Stalin: 12hrs, Khrushchev: 7hrs,

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Alexander II: Education - Primary and Secondary education extended and class bias against poor students were reduced - students rose from 3600 to 10000.

Alexander III: Reduced education: Lower class dissallowed into secondary education.

Nicholas II: Education: Witte introduced technical education. Number of primary schools doubled between 1905 and 1915.

Lenin: Education: Tests seemed to be 'bourgeois' so got rid of (1920s)

Stalin:  Education: made stricter once more, 1935 - decree allowing teachers to use stricter methods. 1939 every child went to a compulsory 7 years of schooling.

Khrushchev: Abolised school and college fees.  Evening courses became available so that full-time workers could get their degree.  Recieve opposition from the privaliged.


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Alexander II: Third Section still around (created in 1826)

Alexander III: Okrhana established in 1881, Russification.

Nicholas II: Okrhana spied in factories, trade unions and infiltrated the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries.  Beatings and Fines under Witte for those who didnt work well or misbehaved.  Bloody Sunday.  1912 Neva Gold mines (strikers wer fired upon)

Lenin: War Communism - factories nationalised.  Cheka was a the instrument of rule by terror in the Civil War.  1922 - First Show Trial.  Kronstadt Rising 1921

Stalin: Purged: Gulags.  Failure seen as a betrayal of the soviet.  Slave Labour - Belomor Canal. 

Khrushchev: 1958 - Criminal code stating that the secret police cannot conduct trials.  Convictions needed evidence and witnesses.

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Extortion of the Urban Workers:

Alexander II:

Witte:  Put alot of pressure on the heavy industries. 1881 - inspector introduced in factories (optional).  WWII - couldn't keep up with rearmament.


Stalin: Under 5 year plans unskilled workers recieved poor pay & endured appalling conditions and worked very long hours.  Skilled workers suffered initially under the plans but later saw wage rised


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Alexander II: dumas created in towns (1970)

Alexander III: duma was ignored by AIII as well as the zemstva

Nicholas II: Duma

Provisional Government: Had power from the Petrograd Soviet.

Lenin: Apparently took power in the name of the proletariat. ban on factions.


Khrushchev: part of a committee.

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Political and Religious Freedoms:

Alexander II: Censorship - 1865 - press allowed to discuss gvmt policy.

Alexander III: Restricted censorship

Nicholas II: October Manifesto. 

Under the Tsars the Church was only vaguely attacked through propaganda but the Tsars used the church to bump their own popularity.


Stalin: 1929 - A Law was passed making it illegal to hold church services outside a church, and congrgations could only happen if they were licensed first.  Stalin allowed the church during the war to revive morality.

Knrushchev: Closed churches through ideological reasons.  In 1960 there were 20 000 churches. By 1964 there were less than 8 000.

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Comparisons between Tsars and Communists

Tsars: 1861 0.75% of the population worked in industry.  1964 50% of the population lived in towns


Both Communists and Tsars were adept at controlling the personal freedoms of indiciduals using the lagal system, the police, the army, propaganda, and censorship..  Generally the people were allowed to express their view as long as it did not contrast with the interests of autocracy or totalitarian rule. 

Political freedoms were not consistant and were only allowed briefly (1905-1917) and partly under Alexander II, Provisional Government.

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