20 photographs of the early XX century: Russian peasants at work and during leisure
20 photographs of the early XX century: Russian peasants at work and during leisure
Plowman in the field. 1907 year

About how the Russian peasants lived in pre-revolutionary Russia, a huge number of sources have reached - documentary information, statistical data, and personal impressions. Contemporaries did not express enthusiasm about the reality that surrounded them, finding the situation desperate and terrible. In our review there are 20 photos that were taken between 1900 - 1910. The pictures are, of course, staged, but they show the peasant life of that time.

Harvesting. Russia. 1910s

In an attempt to understand how Russian peasants lived at the beginning of the last century, let us turn to the classics. Let us cite the testimony of a person who is difficult to reproach for non-Russianness, inadequacy or dishonesty. This is how the classic of Russian literature Tolstoy described his trip to Russian villages in various counties at the very end of the 19th century:


Walking in the village on a holiday. The beginning of the twentieth century

“”, - continues Tolstoy.

Harvest. Vladimir province. Photo of the 1910s Walking on a holiday. Russian North. Photo of the early XX century

According to Tolstoy, the problems of the Russian peasants are quite understandable. Lev Nikolayevich believed that all the problems stemmed from a lack of land, because half of the land belonged to landowners and merchants who trade both land and bread; - from vodka, which constitutes the main income of the state and to which the people had been taught for centuries; - from the soldiers' him the best people at the best time and corrupting them; - from officials who oppress the people; - from taxes; - from ignorance, in which he is deliberately supported by government and church schools.

The woman rolls at the end of the harvest on the last strip, saying "Stubble, stubble, give my strength." Ryazan province., Kosimovsky district, Shemyakino village. 1914 g Children in the field Walking during Easter week. North of European Russia

Another classic of Russian literature V.G.Korolenko, who lived in the countryside for many years, organized the distribution of food loans and canteens for the hungry there, wrote:

Reaper. Photo by S.A. Lobovikov. 1914-1916 Wedding train. Photo. The beginning of the twentieth century Wedding, Tula province. 1902 g

Of course, we can assume that Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko and Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy are creative people, and therefore are overly emotional and sensitive. But foreigners who in those years lived in Russia give approximately the same description of peasant life: constant hunger, which periodically alternated with severe hunger plagues, was a terrible commonplace for Russia.

Harvesting cabbage for the winter, the end of the 19th century At the get-togethers. Totemsky district, Vologda province. 1910 g Peasants from the village of Mokhovoe after Sunday prayers. 1902 g

Professor of Medicine and Doctor Emil Dillon, who lived and worked in Russia from 1877 to 1914, traveled extensively across all regions of Russia. He was well aware of the situation at different social levels and it hardly made any sense to distort reality for him. "", Wrote Dillon.

Hay making in Russia. 1897 Gathered to talk. Nizhny Novgorod province. The beginning of the twentieth century The peasants are sowing the field. 1900s

Even fanatical and ardent supporters of the tsarist regime admitted that the life of the average peasant was very difficult. In 1909, Mikhail Osipovich Menshikov, one of the initiators of the creation of the monarchist organization "All-Russian National Union", wrote: "."

Round dance of girls. Ryazan province. Early 20th century Threshing in the field of the estate of Prince Yu. Koenig. 1910th The loaf was baked. The beginning of the twentieth century

Continuing the topic, the video sequence from photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky… The photos show a living portrait of Russia on the eve of World War I and the impending revolution. This includes images from medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia to railways and factories of a growing industrial power and the daily life and work of Russia's diverse population.

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