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Why Russia Was Considered a Backward Country in the Early of the 19-Th Century?

Autor:   •  April 15, 2019  •  Essay  •  1,022 Words (5 Pages)  •  291 Views

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Why Russia was considered a backward country in the early of the 19-th century?

Could the Tsarist Russia have modernized without reforming autocratic system?

The 19th century has a special place in the history of Russia. By the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of Russia stretched for thousands of miles, there have been significant changes in various spheres of Russian society. Together with England and France, Russia was one of the largest European empires, but nevertheless lagged far behind Europe in terms of economic development. So, what were the reasons of Russia’s lag?

By the middle of the 19th century the General crisis of feudal-serfdom system reached the greatest sharpness. He has exhausted the possibilities of its development. The preservation of feudal serfdom seriously hampered the development of industry. Because in industry, particularly mining and metallurgy, widely used serf labour, i.e. the peasants, who practiced serfdom at the plants. Their work was so inefficient that the owners of the plants themselves sought to get rid of them, and appealed to the government with appropriate requests. However, it was difficult to find freelance workers, since the bulk of the population was enslaved, the industry did not have the necessary free labor market. The narrowness of the sales markets also hindered the development of industry, as the poor peasantry, which makes up the majority of the country's population, did not have the means to buy industrial goods. All this gave rise to the worsening economic and political crisis in the country. The crisis situation manifested itself in the increase of the number of peasant revolts and the development of the revolutionary movement, the peak of which fell on 1859-1861.

The event that accelerated the liquidation of the feudal system was the Crimean war of 1853-1856, which ended in the defeat of the tsarist government. The war showed the backwardness and powerlessness of the serfdom, the inefficiency of the social and economic systems of Russia. Recruitment, increased taxes and duties, disruption of trade and industry have exacerbated the need and distress of the oppressed masses above normal levels. Military defeats led to the ranks of the opposition significant layers of the bourgeoisie and nobility. In this context, the government considered it necessary to start preparing a reform to abolish serfdom. Soon after the conclusion of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Crimean war, the new Tsar Alexander II (who succeeded Nicholas I, who died on the throne in February 1855), speaking in Moscow to the leaders of noble societies, said, referring to the abolition of serfdom, that it is better that it happened from above than from below.

The country faced a socio-political problem, the solution of which depended


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