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HIS351Y1 Lecture 1 Fall 2011.docx

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Jerzy Borzocki

Jerzy Borzocki SS 3111 Mon 2-3 [email protected] Auri Berg Pipes, a Concise History of the RMS Reisin 1900-17 Suny the Sov. Experiement 1900=1944  books not available yet Mid year test 25% Paper 20% - minimum 6 sources Proposal 5% -- Thesis for paper End of year ex 25% Book reviews 25% Syllabus posted on course website Lecture Russia 1900’s * A society that was rather strange, there were two major forces struggling for change and for the status quo  then there were the peasants o more or less, they were for the status quo o hard, however – to want change you need to have a concept for it , the peasants did not o One concrete change the peasants would agree upon is that they all wanted land  Background – up until 1861 ½ of all of the peasants had been serfs in serfdom o Define serf:  Not a slave no market for them  Rather they were purchased with the land.  in 1861 the tsar free’d all of the serfs. o They now were not tied to soil o However the serfs were not entirely free, o Traditionally, in serfdom, the serfs had their own portion of land for their own needs, and they we divide their time between their owners land and their own  The peasant after 1861 now had to be paid for his work  The land that the peasants tilled, now belongs to all of the peasants, known as village commons or peasant common o This land was managed by the village council, and so each family got a piece of the action  Head of household was always most senior father  Head of the household o Power had no bounds, you want to live in the house you have to obey the head – absolute power o Within the household, no private property – “mine doesn’t exist” o Members of the household then, had no concept or grasp of personal rights o New households could not be founded until the head of household would die, then the sons would divide up the property amongst themselves.  The Village council o Consisted only of heads of households o Males only o They ran the whole city o The village council had supreme authority in the village, you did what they said. o They were also mediators, or a court of justice Village Taxes  State charged the village a certain amount of money  Village council decided what house would pay what Abolishment of Serfdom  one would assume that man could move as he pleases  however, he is still stuck under the rule of the village council  man cannot even leave the village without permission o the village has to pay taxes o if people wanted to leave, that means the taxes owed would be greater on those who remained in the village o additionally if people left the village they would lose their claim to land o Village council was also responsible for things like community service – taking care of the poor and sick  Each household was entitled to it’s own piece of land  Every 12-15 years, the land (village commons) would be re-partitioned. o Needed to correct things like death o The larger the household the larger the land  Encouraged households to have as many children as possible.  Lead to an explosive population increase by 50% from 1861 to 1900. In 1900 you have a situation now where the peasants are hungry.  population has doubled however the land has not  to peasants land was viewed just like hour or water, something that was necessity of life and that could not be owned.  Lead to the unified idea that it was a travesty that the landlords were aloud to own such large portions of land – UNJUST o The peasants want a piece of the land owned by the nobility Nobility Land in relation to peasants  peasant could lease land, on his own from the nobility for a fee  Many young males tried to escape this cycle, and left the village commons to work in the factories in the cities  Cycling started to happen as a result of this, also due to Russia’s cold climate o 6 months working in factories in the city o 6 months working in the village  This lead to many families leaving the village , because they would lose this land during the six month absence  It also lead to seasonal work only In 1861 when the serfs were free, they received a mortgage they had to pay off for 49 years.  The peasants however do not have the money to pay the land lords  So the state pay the landlords for the peasants in bonds  now the village has to pay back the state. – over 49 years peasants believe that someday the tsar will take the land from the landlords  therefore tsar is good, the gentry is bad  in 1905-1906 the village council would tell the peasants to vote for a certain party  and the peasants would listen  this went for changing faith and joining sects and such as well Overall there is not a lot of freedom for peasants who live in the village to have a mind or status of their own. Further Status Quo Autocrat – Tsar  his word is law, he can change it at will  meaning he can do whatever he wants  up until 1862 – the tsar not only ruled the country but he also owned it  Gentry would serve the Tsar and the serfs would serve the Gentry  Tsar<<
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