Living and working conditions 1855-1964

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  • Created on: 20-04-22 17:43
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  • Living and working conditions 1855 - 1964
    • Changes to living conditions
      • Living conditions for the average rural peasant remained the same  - Although Stolypin's 'wager on the strong' created some variation between different 'classes'
      • Khrushchev ordered the construction of self-contained 'agro-towns' although these were quickly and cheaply built
      • End of 19th century, 15% of Russian lived in towns and cities compared with 80% of Britain
      • By 1914 there were over 1,000 towns and 2 million buildings in total, Only 74 towns haad access to electricity and 35 to gas.
      • Disease associated with urbanisation spread rapidly. 1910 = 100,000 deaths from Cholera in St Petersburg alone.
      • 1917 Bolshevik decree on land focused on what the party intended to do with land dwellings. Which were to be handed over to the Proletariat under Soviet guidance.
      • Improvements made by Lenin were reversed by Stalin.
        • WW2 resulted in 25 million homeless Russians.
        • Overcrowding became the norm - Moscow 1930s families had to share single units of acomodation
    • Changes to working conditions
      • Emancipation Edict - 1861 freed serfs but also restricted them through accountability of the Mir and redemption payments
      • Stolypin's 'Wager on the Strong' led to a new class of independent, surplus-producing peasants (Kulaks)
      • NEP changed the attitude towards Kulaks - they were seen as the more 'cultured and educated' peasants - although still persecuted an extent as they paid higher taxes than ordinary peasants.
      • Virgin Lands scheme under Khrushchev put peasants under pressure to increase their productivity.
      • No factory inspectorate until 1882
      • 1917 and 1932 - Communist leaders revamped and imposed the internal passport system more strictly
      • 1896 = 11-hour working-day fixed by law
        • 1914 = statutory holidays had been introduced by this time and most employers were operating to a 9/10 hour working day
          • In one of his 5YPs, Stalin imposed an 8-hour working day - in this, bonus schemes and the Stakhanovite movement was popularised,
    • Famines
      • 1891 - 350,000 deaths - result of bad weather and need to sell grain surpluses to combat tax increases on consumer goods.
      • 1914-18 - Caused by WW1 trade disruption, and signing of Brest-Litovsk
      • 1921 - 5 million deaths - caused by terrible winters, severe droughts and damaged infrastructure as an effect of the civil war.
      • 1932-34 - Similar to 1921 mortality levels but suffering was made worse due to the repression Stalin placed on people.
      • Under Khrushchev there were food shortages as a result of poor agricultural policies and a harvest failure in 1963.


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