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How Effectively Did the Russian Revolution Deal With the Problems Faced by the Working Poor in Imperial Russia?

7 pages
1789 words
University of Richmond
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At the start of the twentieth century, Russia was a monarchy, governed by the Czar for several centuries; it had a vast number of land-owning nobility, capitalists together with the church officials altogether shared the governance of the country. Towards the end of 1917, all of these people were scattered some either of the countries, in the jail or packing their bags the leave. The workers, laboring classes, and the peasants took power, governing the country, the factories, and the army and then taking over the land; in 1971, marked the year of Russian Revolution (ANDRLE,1994). The following essay seeks to discuss the effectiveness of the Russian revolution when it came to dealing with the problems that encountered the working poor in imperial Russia. It will involve giving the background of the working welfare, social background, the revolution in the labor community as well as the effectiveness of the Russian revolution.

Discontent among workers

In the early 1900s, the population of the Protestants and the strikes was on the rise, and it became quite widespread and server in 1905. There was an increased urbanization courtesy of the industrialization under the control of the Tsarist advisers, hence the population of the Vyshnegradsky and white increasing, while the population in Russia's cities and towns increased into four besides Moscow. There was a terrible working condition at the same time the trade unions were proscribed; there was little to safeguard the safety or the pay of the workers. The laws that protected workers introduced under the regime of Alexander III and Nicholas II did not show any positive effect on the situation as the working hours remained to be 11.5 hours.

More than three-quarters if the Russians were irritable with their position in the Russian Empire; while peasants together with the workers had similar sufferings, therefore, posing a threat to Tsarist regime. Nearly eight percent of the Russians were peasants who lived in communities, they were forced from their lands, and millions of them either came into the town or worked in the rural mines and factories. Their population increased from 7 to 20 million people during the half-century of the old regime

Their working and living conditions for many of the peasants were awful, starvation and famine were often experienced. The people were subjected to long working hours for a low wage, while the rent was quite high. In the factory towns, people were living in the overcrowding slums without required sanitary faculties. There was limited labor legislation that was applied: (1) In 1885 restricting night-time employment among the women and children, and (2) in 1987, prohibiting the working day to eleven hours and a half hours. Shopfloors were overcrowded with dangerous machinery, there were several episodes of accidents, while at the same time, and the workers were deprived of their fundamental rights to insurance. In case of loss of limb or eye, there was nothing more than a few couples of compensation. Worker's strikes were considered to be illegal, and no legitimate trade union until 1905, many of the factory workers were ill-treated by their employees. Most of them had no option other than living in the communal house that equals to the army quarters that had shared toilets, kitchen as well as washrooms. The rest were required to sleep in the factories where they were working, with little beddings. The proper sanitation alongside running water was limited in the cities, at the same time the mortality rate was high. In the early 1900s, the Russian population endured an economic depression that led to the lack of regular incomes and job. It became catastrophic for those who migrated to the cities to seek employment. Poor working condition together with the living conditions existed in all manners, at the same time leading to the seizure of Bolshevik from the power. Peasants desired for change, though they did not experience it. They became annoyed and more problems got worse for them (Rosenberg, 1978, April).

Description of the Russian revolution

The Russian revolution of 1917 is characterized by the sequence of political events that occurred in Russia, entailing the overthrowing the system of autocracy, followed by the overthrowing of the liberal Provisional Government ( Duma), which led to the institution of the Soviet power under the mechanism of the Bolshevik party. Eventually, it steered towards the formation of the Soviet Union that persisted until its dissolution in 1991 (Bushkovitch, 2011).

Like any other country, the labor movement in Russia began with the development of capitalism. The initial strike that started in Russia was between 1870 and 1880. Until the 1905 revolution period, there was no existence of any labor union in Russia. Instead, there were societies of mutual aid, though not many, and the police law restricted there. The society had no interest in the labor conditions or on the toilers' life. Rather than the unions, there was the economic struggle.

The Russian revolution was conjoint with the many of the revolutions that took place in 1917; the revolution led to the division of the Tsarist autocracy consequently marking the establishment of the Soviet Union. The 1917 Russian revolution was not efficiently planned as there was the coup over the Tsar Nicholas II by Lenin and Bolsheviks succeeded him. The revolution experience intense political wrangles that promoted civil wars that formed the basis for communism (Rosenberg, 1978, April).

The Russian revolution occurred in two phases:

The January 22: Many of the workers from Petrograd, the largest industrial plant, there was unrest and demonstration among the workers. A series of meetings and gatherings were organized in the subsequent day which was converted from international womens day to the political and economic rally. Demonstrations took place with several demands with support from the industrial workers and stakeholders joining the protest (Cohen, 1980).

The October revolution- the revolutionaries Bolshevik, together with the party leaders of Vladimir Lenin and the leaders of an armed insurrection by soldiers and workers, they led a bloodless coup against the Dumas provisional government. Alternatively, Lenin suggested for a Soviet government, which will be directly governed by the councils of, workers, soldiers, and peasants (Cohen, 1980).

The bicentennial of the Russian Revolution is the suitable time for the Marxists and other radicals to replicate on the still perceived as the historical peak of the revolutionary worker's struggles. The revolutions were the complicated process. It was stimulated with both the workers' resistance their deteriorating economy subjugation under Tsarism, alongside mutinous movement of sailors and soldiers against the World War I; establishment of the national liberation struggles comprising of more of the Russian populace; the ambitions of all classes for the absolute democracy rights as citizens; and the equal nascent struggle for the rights of women. But among these several forces, the working class assumed the major role. The Revolutionary modeled the feasibility of reforming society, free from classes, by the use of the vessel of the national network of the unswervingly elected Soviets of Workers, Peasant Deputies, and Workers (Lenin, 1974).

The radical democracy charisma of the Soviets was grounded on the foundation of the workers self-organization at heart of the system. As cited by Where the chains of capitalism are forged, there they must be broken, furthermore, the Russian workers orchestrated several tools to break the chains of their oppression. Primarily, among the organization's workers formed were the trade unions together with the factory committees. The establishment of these bodies was after the general trajectory of the Russian society in 1917, from mainspring of hopes, through the hot-summer conflict until the tough polarization of the fall.

Advocating for the eight-hour per day working hours

In various locations after the fall of the tstar, the committee declared the eight-hour day and immediately implemented it as a law. S. A. Smith one of the historians of the factory committee, inscribes that the demand stated more than the economic needs of the class: The workers argued that the eight-hour day was necessary not merely to diminish their exploitation, but also to create time for trade union organization, education and involvement in public affairs (Smith, Red Petrograd, 910). Women were predominantly obstinate over the effectiveness of the eight-hour day. Considering the double burden of the house chores together with the paid work, women workers were not only pursuing for the eight-hour day but also they were demanding the abolition of the overtime working hours, even for the time-and-a-half pay. Adjustment in the working hours per day was followed by the improvement of the working condition of the workers.

Global Healthcare

After some time, he also introduced a free global healthcare status for all people of the federation, and this significantly led to positive effects on the life quality of the entire Soviet community.

Workers power and Parties

Different from the Soviets, which after 1905 were the matter under constant attention and theorization, the factory committee was neither the matter of any critical analysis by any party before 1917. Due to this, members of the many parties trailed the general line of their traditions, bringing up the clashes that would grow into the theoretical position and more clearly differing strategies.

The over-riding fear concerning Mensheviks was of splitting the alliance with the liberal members that belonged to the Provisional Government. They consulted their member to gain conciliation instead of conflict. The Menshevik-dominated subjugated the daily-newspaper of the Soviet, Izvestia, contended for instance, "The wartime situation and the revolution force both sides to exercise extreme caution in utilizing the sharper weapons of class struggle such as strikes and lockouts. These circumstances make it necessary to settle all disputes using negotiation and agreement, rather than by open conflict (Perrie et al., 2006).

The formation of Union

In Russia, there were only a few unions before February 1917. Following a short period of development during the 1905 revolution, they were driven underground and nearly eliminated. The persecution and the police surveillance maintained their formal presence at bay (Freeze, 2002). In 1912, the unions started to resurface under the imperative influence of Bolshevik: out of the eighteen unions in the Petrograd, fourteen of them were controlled by the Bolsheviks, and Mensheviks controlled the remaining three, only one was jointly controlled. With the February outburst of the revolution, the unions intensely expanded. In the wake of the tstars abdication, the Bolsheviks lost their robust majority in the unions, and it would collect them until the coming of the late summer to recover their dominant position (Perrie et al., 2006).

The wage struggle

During the war, Russia was gripped with gargantuan inflation which drove the continuing fights over the rates of wages. By one estimate, there was 14.3 times rise of cost of living that times its prewar level in the Petrograd by October 1917. They often endured annual economic growth that fell again from 8% to below 1.4% and was characterized by low wages where there were poor working conditions as a result of trade unions being banned throughout the country of Russia (Gregory & Stuart, 1994). What the often mean...

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