Imperial Russian Middle Class
Imperial Russian Middle Class
Before the late 1900’s Russia was primarily an agrarian country with a government in the hands of the Tsarist regime however with the advent of the Industrial revolution in Russia changes happened within Russian society resulting in the creation of an Urban middle class. The result of the industrial revolution was that Russia underwent a rapid industrialization and urbanization wherein peasants moved migrated towards the the numerous cities most notably Petrograd (present day St. Petersburg) due to the opportunity for higher wages that was present there.
This sudden rapid industrialization can be attributed to the growth of the capital controlling middle class which encouraged the creation of numerous factories and complexes to feed the growing hunger of the Russian economy for industrially made goods. The end result of this was that the traditional agrarian economy of Russia ands its previous class system was replaced by a growing and popular capitalist system. Impact of the Russian Middle Class on Society.
Political Impact During the mid 1800’s the growing Russian middle class received a boost from the political reforms enacted at the time resulting in new forums for civic duty and activity for its members. The result was in 1864 an independent judiciary and numerous local assemblies were created as well as numerous city administrations and city councils during the 1870’s which resulted in greater control of the middle class over numerous aspects of city governance and operations. Societal Impact
The rapid expansion of Russia’s industrial sector due to its middle class resulted in a societal shift from its previous agrarian culture to an industrial one. The result of course was a migration of peasants to the numerous newly industrialized cities which provided them with a more ample wage than what they were used to as farmed. One unique aspect of this though was that a lot of these workers still continued to keep ties with their families back home in the farming communities that they had come from and at times returned back to their communities for a while only to go back to the cities a few days later.
Such actions can be compared to today’s overseas workers who work in other countries, keep touch with their family and friends back home and go back and forth between the countries where they worked and countries they came from. It can be said that the industrial revolution in Russia was the reason for the creation of a new culture of distance workers something unheard of at time since most peasants preferred to stay near their homes.
Architectural, Economic and Health Impact It was through the new lifestyles for the peasantry created by the Russian Middle class that a new city centered culture was created wherein to house all these new workers numerous new buildings were created near the factories where the workers could stay in order to be near the place they worked. Unfortunately due to the high prices of dwellings at the time most occupants stay in rooms which they had to share with 4 to 5 other people and the resulting overpopulation in some areas caused the disease to spread rapidly over what was a new class in society, the urban working poor.
It wasn’t all bad though it was due to the work in the factories that workers were able to buy products within the city that they normally wouldn’t have been able to obtain back in their farming communities resulting in a brisk local economy. Conclusion Although the power of the Russian middle class was curtailed by the state in the form of unreasonable qualifications when it came to holding political positions, it was through the Middle class that status of a lot of Russia’s peasantry was able to improve and Russia was able to enter a new age of industry.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 24 September 2016
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