Lenin Leads the Russian Revolution (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The deprivations and turmoil caused by World War I made revolution almost inevitable in Russia, the only country in Europe without any form of representative government.
Summary of Event
Prior to 1900, Imperial Russia was largely a land of illiterate peasants controlled by the wealthy nobility. Life in the countryside was much like that of the feudal period of Central Europe in the sixteenth century. On the large estates and in the cities, the aristocracy lived rich, wasteful lives. The beginning of the twentieth century saw a slow, subtle change in the conditions of the Russian people.
Industrialization came to Russia near the beginning of the twentieth century, later than in the rest of Europe. In each country, industrialization had created changes in class structures; this had forced changes in governmental policies, usually in the form of creation of representative governments. In Russia, modernization in the industrial sense created an urban working class that was politically unrepresented and economically exploited.
This new working class was a forced, artificial creation of the czar and had not evolved slowly, as it had elsewhere. There had not been an artisan or guild community on which to draw, and one had to be created. Peasants were forced from the land into the cities to fill the positions created by new factories and service organizations. The Russian worker was an...
(The entire section is 2252 words.)
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