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N. Sluchych EAP159 A February 25, 2010 Research Essay

Prosperous Russia before the Great Revolution In 1913 to a well-heeled, peasant Russian family was born a pretty girl whose name was Galina. Her parents already have three healthy, strong sons who helped their father in the field, and the family was happy to have a girl who someday will help her mother to prepare a dinner or to make a house clean. It was vigorous, typical, peasant family in early years of twenty century in Russia. Here is what Galina recalls, “My childhood was happy. I remember when I always waited for my father and my brothers to come back from field. I was happy to see them they always brought me something interesting from there. They would say, “We have met a fox she gave as this and asked us to give it to you.” We never needed in food, or clothe, becausewe had it plenty.” It was Russia in the early years of twentieth century, a wealthy, prosperous country. Russia, also known as the Russian Federation, is a big country in northern Eurasia. Now, Russia is a democratic republic, but just a couple decadesbefore it was communist country known as Soviet Union. Russian history is certainly appealing subject, and some historians call it “Suffering Russia.” An attention-grabbing event later called “The Great Revolution” happened in Russia in 1917, when current tsar who led the country was overthrown, and communists, under leadership of Lenin, took control. In all history textbooks, that time, which were used in Soviet Union schools was written that this revolution happened becausethe situation in country was terrible, people were starving, and peasants had nothing on their


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own. The work day on a factory was long while wagestoo low. Economy was down and Illiteracy for ordinary people was all over the country; however, the historical books written in other countries or written lately in former Soviet Union have quite different information. According to these books Russia at the end of 19th and at the beginning of 20th century was wealthy, prosperous country: the economy was in elevated, the literacy rate was 70 per cent and science was at the highest level. At first, the economy in Russia before the Great Revolution was elevated. According to documentary movie, Russia that We Have Lost, by S. Govoruhin, in 1914 Russia’s economic growth rate was one of the highest in the world. Here is some statistics: doctors’ and teachers’ average salary was 200 dollars per month, industrial workers 100 and higher, while 1 pound of bread cost 2 cents, meat 15 cents per pound, sugar cost 17 cents per pound, butter 45 cents per pound and vodka 13 dollars per two-gallon bucket. The country proceeded in many industries such as textile industries, metal-processing, chemical plants, machine building. Some regions specialized in beet-sugar and crop areas. Russia obtained coal, iron, ore, non-ferrous metals and minerals. Numbers of products were exported to Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and China. Also, Russia was biggest supplier of crops to Europe. Russia was called “Granary of Europe” (Riasanovsky 471). “Russia did not need in any imports, becauseit made anything from teapot to bicycle and from submarine to modern automobile,” says historian S. Govoruhin. Armont Terry, one of French analyst that time, said, “In the middle of 20th century, Russia will dominate above Europe in political same in economical position.” At second, literacy rate was 70 per cent in Russia in 1914. Here are words of Russian historian Michael T. Florinsky who says, “Schools in Russia in early 20 century were well-equipped, wellorganized, and strove to maintain high scholastic standards.” In 1908 a law that made school


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attendance mandatory for children age 8 to 11 was issued. In 1915 Russia had 122, 000 primary schools with 8.1 million students. There were also secondary schools gymnasiums and universities. (Frorinsky 355) Hera is reminiscence of G. Tschebotarioff a writer of book Russia My Native Land “ The social origins of the members in my class were varied.” Furthermore he

tells a story about two boys, one of them was Prince Poutiatin and one was a son of local cabby. They always fought becauseson of local cabby teased the prince saying to him, ti ne kniaz, a griaz, which means “You are not a prince, but mud.” (23) This shows us that schools were not

only for noble but also for ordinary children, too. According to S Govoruhin at the end of year 1925 there would not be any illiterate person in Russia. In addition to strong economy and good education system, science also was on the highest level in Russia in early 20 century. According to historian V. Riasonvsky, Russia made significant contribution in almost every area of knowledge. There were scientists who lived in the end of 19th and at the beginning of 20th centuries who was and still are famous all over the world. Here are some math scientists: Lobochevsky and P. Chebyshev also among of them was a woman Sofia Kovalevskaya. A. Staletov and P. Lebedev achieved heights in works of physicists-magnetism and electricity. Lablochkov worked before Edison in developing electric light. Together with other scientist worked A. Popov who invented the radio in 1895. Among of them, one should emphasize Dmitriy Mendeleev, who invented a periodic table of elements. There also were scientist who worked in developing zoology and embryology among them was A. Kovalevsky. Ivan Sechena who focused on medicine was first to introduce electrophysiology. (487) Along with these scientists there were many more who contributed their developing and inventory in Russia before The Great Revolution.


Sluchych / 4 To conclude, Russia was a prosperous, wealthy country at the end of 19th and at the beginning of 20th century, and economy was elevated, literacy rate was 70 per cent and science was on the highest level. It makes us wonder what Russia would look nowadays if revolution had not happened. Would it still be prosperous and wealthy? How many new things would be invented in Russia, and how far Russia would go in education? But what had happened is already a history and nobody can change it, and what would happened with Russia if there was no revolution, we can only wonder.

(Works Cited on separate document)


Russian Revolution