Essay Title: 

Dual Polarization in Urban Russia, 1905-1917

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history

Dual Polarization in Urban Russia , 1905-1917


The first twenty years of the 20th century were a period of sweeping changes in Russia . At the beginning of the century the country remained a monarchy with obsolete economy based on serfdom and poor development of industry and technology . The liberal-democratic revolution 1905 made the first blow to tsarism : the monarch Nikolay II gave some of his state authority to the parliament (State Duma . In 1906 the minister Stolypin launched agrarian reforms that in vain attempted to modernize the inefficient economy . In 1914 [banner_entry_middle]

Russia entered World War I , which undermined already weak country . By 1917 , almost all layers of the society were discontent with the social , economic and political condition of the country . In October 1917 the Bolsheviks along with other political parties unleashed another revolution that completely overthrew the monarchy , ended Russia ‘s participation in WWI and finally reformed the economy , but eventually led to bloody Civil War in the country

What caused numerous uprisings , revolutions and civil war , when all objectives (regarding peace , land and power ) appeared to have been met This matter remains a hot issue for both Russian and Western researchers , which creates obvious singularity of this decade ‘ for Western experience . Soviet historians thought that October revolution of 1917 was the culmination of revolutionary movements of the decade . In contrast , Haimson argues that there was no political and economic stability , thus the revolutionary masses were largely stratified Despite the all-nation opposition to absolutism , this nation was very heterogeneous , consisting of gentry , educated people , big businessmen and industrialists , workers and peasants , Bolsheviks Mensheviks , SRs and intelligentsia . Some participants of the revolution strived for modernization of the obsolete system of authority , while proletariat was disd with the results of industrial modernization that led to impoverishment of the province and appearance of the industrial slums , as well as new capitalist relations

He introduces the concept of dual polarisation ‘ that characterized the urban society before 1914 . The first level of this polarization was represented by the sense of isolation , of psychological distance , that separated the Petersburg workers from educated , privileged society This huge gap caused the inefficiency of the multiple strikes of the period . A vivid example is the Petersburg strike in July 1914 , which failed , because although the workers were gripped with the spirit of buntarstvo (rebellion , they failed to catch the interest and involve other social strata to this strike

The second level of polarization , after Haimson , represented the distance between the vast bulk of the privileged society and the tsarist regime . In the long run , this distance was decisive to the final overthrow of tsarist rule . The educated intelligentsia , inspired by the French bourgeois revolution and aware of the Russia ‘s dire need for modernization of authority and economy , was ready to join the proletariat and establish a more progressive authority . However , in practice these social layers were too different not to disintegrate , as soon as the old regime was overthrown . Even the intelligentsia itself was very differently orientated… [banner_entry_footer]


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