Major Grieviances of the Russian People in the Early Twentieth Century

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The early twentieth century in Russia saw people from many different levels of society experience grievances due to the poor leadership and decision making of Nicholas II. Nicholas failed to see the problems his people were dealing with and was too caught up in keeping Russia under autocratic rule. The grievances the Russian people experienced ranged from political, social and economic. Each social class had different criticisms and issues with the Russian government but the dissatisfaction with the government was a shared feeling all over Russia. The social classes that experienced major grievances included the peasants, industrial workers and the nobility. The peasants were probably the worst off in Russia in the early twentieth century. Although the peasants had been emancipated by Alexander II back in 1861, they still had little freedom while Nicholas was leading. Peasants had to pay redemption payments for land the government had given or lent them but they found it difficult to keep up and often got into debt. The village communities owned and paid for the land together, not as a single person. Peasants had to pay much higher taxes than the landlords and the officials would flog the peasants who didn’t pay their taxes. There were so many pressures in day to day life that many peasants could not support themselves and had to move to cities for work. Peasants had to be granted permission by their fellow commune members to leave the farm. Even once they had left, they were still expected to assist with the redemption payments (Proctor, 1995). The living standards the peasants and their families had to endure were terrible. Russian peasants were still forced into using traditional farming techniques which involved manual labour instead of machine labour. Entire families occupied one room huts and sometimes the living quarters were shared with their livestock. This meant epidemic diseases were prevalent. Peasant’s diets were insufficient and unvaried, mostly...
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