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Title: The development of the revolutionary movement in the south of the Russian empire, 1873-1883
Author: Hay, Douglas Wilson
ISNI:       0000 0001 3547 6680
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1983
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The thesis is concerned with the central question of the revolutionary movement: why the methods used by the revolutionaries developed as they did? Specifically, it considers why the method of revoluti,~nary action used by the Southern revolutionaries changed frou; one characterised by a weak interest in propagandising the peasantry to a full-blooded commitment to political terrorism, and why this change took place so early in the 1870' s. The common explanation is that the revolutionaries chose their methods because of extrinsic factors: influence exerted by St.Petersburg and Moscow revolutionaries; the backwardness of the provinces; the lack of response from the peasants; persecution by the government, sparking off a violent response from the hot blooded Southerners. alternatives. The thesis criticises some of these reasons and suggests Underpinning this 'common explanation' for its development is a particular understanding of the wture of the revolutionary movement itself. This understanding is examined in Chapter I since it implicitly denies the possibility of some of the other reasons for the development of the revolutionary movelEent which are advanced 113 ter. Chapter II considers if the Southern revolutionary movement was 'backward' , susceptible to influence from the North, and how this influence coul d ha ve opera ted. ChaptL'r TIl and IV are mainly concerned to examine the composition of the kruzhoks involved in, respectively, propagandist activity amongst the peasants and political tprrorism. Chapter TIl tries to as sess and explain the limited nature of Southern involvement in the 'v narod' movement and to establish the characteristics of those kruzhoks which did or did not participate in it, 1873 - 1876/7. In Chapter IV those revoluti(maries who chose political terrorism are studied. It emerges that a different type of revolutionary was attracted to this method of activity; the supporters of political terrorism were generally likely to be more 'provincial', less well educated etc., than their predecessors. However this does not establish any cau3lil relationship between 'type' of revolutionary and method of acti vi ty, because acti vi ty amongst the peasants and political terrorism dominated the revolutionary movement at different times during the decade under consideration, and so it may have been that the type of revolutionary that was prorr;inent at the end of the seventies and the start of the eighties was unable for some reason to participa,te in rural propagandist activity at the beginning of the seventies. Cons equently, particular attention is pa id in Chapter IV to those revolutionaries who composed the first kruzhoks which turned to political terrorism, and to what they had been doing in the early seventies. Such analysis is of little value for the later kruzhoks since their members had usually been too young in the early seventies to have had the opportunity to go amongst the peasants. Wherever possible, the reasons which these revolutionaries gave for practising political terrorism, rather than propaganda activity amongst the peasantrj, are also examined. Chapter V, VI, and VII look at three areas in which the Southerners were heavily involved: propaganda amongst urban workers, liberal 'society' and Ukrainophilism, and suggest that the revolutionaries were influenced in their choice of revolutionary tactic by the se groups. The thesis is based on an extensive use of memoir material (although little reference has been made to two Southern memoir sources which have been grossly over-exploited), on published documents and on contemporary writings by the revolutionaries in their papers and elsewhere. The originality of the thesi s 1 ies however not so much in the rna terial which sustains it as uiJon its subject and the treatment of that subject. The reasons for the revolutionary movement developing in the South in the way in which it did, over this eleven year period, has not previously been subjected to serious examination. Consequently, a number of those causes which are identified here - the relationship with Ukrainophiles, liberal society, kruzhoks' finances etc., - have also not been scrutinised in detail before. Soviet historians have exardned the leadership of the Chaykovtsy, 'Zemlya i Volya' and the }<;xecutive Committee of 'iJarodnaya Volya', but a systematic longitudinal study - within the severe limits imposed by the sources - of the membership of the kruzhoks which composed the revolutionary movement, is a new approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics