• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the period 1855 to 1956, did the Russian peasantry receive better treatment under Tzarist or Communist government?

Extracts from this document...


In the period 1855 to 1956, did the Russian peasantry receive better treatment under Tzarist or Communist government? We would expect the Russian peasantry to receive better treatment under the Communists rather than the Tzars because the Communists philosophy is that all society should be equal with no different classes and that the workers get the reward. On the other hand the Communists want industrialisation which means bad conditions for the working class and workers who are involved in industrialisation; this of course includes the peasants who account for 90% of the population. Whereas the Tzars viewed the peasants as true Russians and tradionalists. With the Tzar family going back over 300 years made them feel strongly about tradition and therefore the treatment of the peasants. Firstly the peasants' freedom is an element of their treatment; therefore their freedom needs to be evaluated. Their freedom in terms of personal, political, religious all vary over the 101 years. In 1855 there were 50 million peasant serfs, Serfs were basically slaves and lacked all forms of freedom. However this improved with Alexander II's reforms and improved their freedoms with local government reforms. ...read more.


This forced peasants to work extra hard and in 1918 the government order grain to be seized. Many reacted by growing only enough crops to feed themselves also refusing to join state collect farms. In 1919-1920 grain was seized again from the peasants but this time not only surplus grain and crops but the food to feed the peasants. This was extremely harsh treatment of the peasants and the result was that up to 5 million peasants starved. Under Stalin the standard of the life of the peasants unsurprising fell drastically. In 1927 - 1928 the government had difficulty purchasing land so had to resort to seizing it from the peasants again. However this time it was seized from better off peasants Kulaks, the treatment of this group of peasants decreased. With the forced collectivisation with 93% of peasants in collect farms by 1937 the standard of life of the peasants was awful. T involved back-breaking work with no reward because particularly all the grain would be taken away. There was also mass famine while collectivisation was occurring , families died lying outside warehouse full of grain under armed guard, the death toll is thought to be 4-5 million. ...read more.


However religion was still very much practiced in secret, by 1937 57% of peasants were still believers despite Stalin's efforts to destroy there beliefs. Overall it is clear that the treatment of the Russian peasantry in terms of their religious freedom was a lot superior under the Tzars than the Communists. The Tzars strongly encouraged the Orthodox religion which was the national religion, but also tolerated other religions. Where as the Communist party did the best they could to eradicate all religions with methods including persecution, executions and destruction of religious buildings. In conclusion, I feel the Russian peasantry receive better treatment under the Tzarist government compared to the Communist government. The Tzarist government granted more freedom for the peasants with the abolition of serfdom, better standard of living compared to Stalin's collective farms and labour camps. Better opportunities with Stolypin's reforms for peasants to own their own land and finally more freedom of their religious beliefs. I do note that the Communists did provide the peasants with opportunities in education that the Tzars never really did however this isn't nearly enough to justify there atrocious treatment in practically every other aspect of life. The Communist government was far too repressive in general with the rapid industrialisation costing millions and millions of needless peasant lives. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick Williams ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work