What Problems Did Tsarist Russia Face at the Turn of the Century?

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What problems did Tsarist Russia face at the turn of the century? Russia was a vast country and industrially backward. They were at a serious disadvantage as they were 40 years behind the rest of the world industrially. This was because although they had a lot of resources such as coal and oil, they could not get to it. The ground was frozen and Russia did not have the machinery or the experts to get to their resources. Therefore they had to seek foreign aid and employed experts to handle the machinery from other countries. To pay for this Russia sold Alaska to America which became the 49th state. In 1861 was the Emancipation of the Serfs. The Serfs originally belonged to landowners but the Tsar bought land for the Serfs to live on. However, the landowners sold the Tsar bad land for the Serfs to live and work on. This made the Serfs extremely unhappy as they had to start work from the beginning on bad land which they were paying a lot for. The industry in Russia was particularly harsh as the cities, Moscow and St Petersburg, struggled to cope with the new arrival of millions of people due to the population increase which grew from 40 million to 120 million from 1861 to 1900. There was a population increase because the Serfs didn’t have the landowners to look after them so they realised they needed children to look after them when they got older. Due to a population increase lodging houses were set up for workers. The lodging houses did not have much living space so were very cramped and only separated by curtains so there was not much privacy. The workers who were mainly young men had to work long days for very little pay. The average work day was 8 to 10 hours, 6 days a week. The workers were very unhappy due to little pay, living conditions and safety at work. The Mir, who were village elders that were responsible for Redemption Payments, didn’t let villagers go to the city as it was unfair on those who stayed in the village to have to pay more than they...
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