The Conditions for Workers and Peasants Under the Bolsheviks and Under the Tsar's Rule

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The Conditions for Workers and Peasants Under the Bolsheviks and Under the Tsar's Rule

Conditions for workers and peasants were deplorable under the rule of the Tsars, but not to the extent they were under the Bolsheviks. Despite the Bolsheviks claiming their policies were entirely in favour of the proletariat, peasants were forced to face horrific famine and a vast decline in living standards under rule by Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

When Alexander II came to power in 1855 he realised that in order to modernise Russia and improve the weakening economy he needed to make dramatic reforms. In 1861 Alexander issued his Emancipation Manifesto, proposing 17 legislative acts that would free the serfs in
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Under the rule of Tsars peasants and workers had fewer reasons to live in fear than under the Bolsheviks. The proletariat had more liberty and opportunity to express their views, and protest against iniquitous decisions made by the Tsar, as was outlined in the October Manifesto in 1905 which granted the peasants and workers freedom of conscience, speech, meeting and association. The Tsar’s Okhrana (state police) did successfully stop considerable worker/peasant protests such as Bloody Sunday and the October Revolution, but their terror is unparalleled to the fear the callous Bolshevik secret police force, the Cheka, brought to Russian peasants and workers, especially during the period of ‘Red Terror’. The Cheka were known to not only capture rebels, but often their families and friends as well. It is reported that entire villages were executed by the Cheka for being even vaguely associated with counter-revolution. Due to the reforms of the Tsars, peasants’ landholdings increased at a slow pace but without violent disturbances, which ensured a steady growth of production and prosperity. This cannot be said about peasant life under the Bolsheviks. Under Bolshevik rule
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