Social Divisions In Russia Essay

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In general, social divisions have played a big role in the short history of mankind. Some of them were so severe that they even caused civil wars and, eventually, revolutions. One of the ingredients for the famous Communist Revolution in Russia was the difference between the social classes of the then Russian Empire1. This paper aims to examine the role of culture in the conception of social divisions and their evolution in Russia. Due to the lack of word limit this report will try to synoptically evaluate the development of social classes in the Russian Empire, the USSR and the Russian Federation (The assessed time span is the period from the 11th century to the 2000s).
To begin with, it is important to note that the social divisions in Russia can be traced to the 11th century. The then king of Kievan Rus’ Yaroslav I established the trend of the exploitation of the so-called
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Mary Matossian in her work the Peasant Way of Life (1968) illustrates in great detail how the peasants lived, dressed, ate, etc. The society she describes is the one in the 19th century, before the emancipation of the serfs. This source provides details about the culture of the serfs and to what point it evolved before the emancipation. According to Matossian, this social class lived in Izbas (huts), worked on land and were tied to it. At the same time, the serfs had economic hardships: they had to produce minimum food for their consumption, next year’s crop, livestock’s feed. With the surplus production they had to cover the cost of ceremonies (i.e. weddings, Easter, Christmas, etc.), obligations to the landlord (who were nobles) and taxes. The crops they produced were usually not enough for the families to survive and they resorted to some supplementary activities such as animal husbandry and beekeeping. In
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