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Imperial Russia

What was it like? Did the peasants have indoor plumbing? Could people read? Were the Jews segretated? Does Imperial Russia only refer to the European side of the country -not the Asian side? When I google images, I just get royal family stuff.

by Anonymousreply 5311/14/2012

They drank lots of this.

by Anonymousreply 104/08/2011

I am fascinated by the fin de siecle Russian aristocracy. OP.

My cousin was recently in Nice, France, and reported that the Russian nobles who once vacationed there for months on end built themselves a rather nice onion-domed Russian Orthodox Church.

by Anonymousreply 204/08/2011

link has a curent look at the Russian church in Nice.

by Anonymousreply 304/08/2011

Thanks for the link, R3.

by Anonymousreply 404/08/2011

Answers, in the order of OP's questions:

- for the aristocrats, nice enough. for the peasants, nasty.

- no (duh)

- upper classes, yes, peasants, usually not

- segretated? there were ghettos, but some Jews were integrated

- all of what was then Russia, including Siberia, was imperial

You're welcome.

by Anonymousreply 504/09/2011

Read a new book 'The Women of Tsarist Russia'-- I think. I just finished it and it's terrific. All about the Imperial life before and after the revolution. I got it at our local library.

by Anonymousreply 604/09/2011

OP, read a book about it.

by Anonymousreply 704/09/2011

R6: I Googled 'The Women of Tsarist Russia' and didn't find this title.

Are you sure this is the title of the book you read?

Pls. advise.


by Anonymousreply 804/09/2011

See for yourself. %0D %0D Very early color photography of Imperial Russia:

by Anonymousreply 904/09/2011

Here's one of my favorite photos from the Prokudin-Gorski collection, taken around 1906 or so. This church was destroyed during WWII:

by Anonymousreply 1004/09/2011

The Marquis de Custine's travelogue of 19th century Russia - it's sold under various titles - is considered the best books about Tsarist Russia and is often compared to Toqueville's "Democracy in America."

by Anonymousreply 1104/09/2011

Here's the correct title:%0D 'From Splendor to Revolution. The Romanov Women' Julia Gelardi.%0D I wasn't even close to the right name. Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 1204/10/2011

Thank you so much for the correct book title, R12.

This looks like it will be an excellent book.

Much obliged.

by Anonymousreply 1304/10/2011

very like the united states of today- a tiny, aristocratic class lived lives of luxury, unconcerned with life's day to day problems, while the vast underclass toiled for pennies under autocratic rule, living oppressed lives of worry and uncertainty, without access to a decent education or healthcare for their children.

by Anonymousreply 1404/10/2011

dissertation defended and passed (with minor revisions). Thank you to all my supporters and up your ass to all the naysayers and just generally negative people whose first and default setting is to belittle and discourage others from finishing something they themselves would never have the courage to begin.

PhD in hand next month. JEALOUS BITCHES

by Anonymousreply 1504/10/2011


You must be laboring the assumption that DL gives shit whether you get your PhD.

Most here don't care two shits about you at all.

Please run along and bother some other website.

by Anonymousreply 1604/10/2011

MHB is just like a child sitting in her own feces smearing her shit all over the place.


by Anonymousreply 1704/10/2011

Watch 'The Great Famine' on The American Experience this coming Monday at 9 on PBS.

by Anonymousreply 1804/10/2011

Mhb I didn't know you were working on a PHD and I really don't care.

by Anonymousreply 1904/10/2011

Well, I say Congrats to MHB. That's not easy to achieve unless it's one of those silly PhDs - divinity, education, sports marketing. LOL!

by Anonymousreply 2004/10/2011

I lived in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow for a few years, finally leaving in 2007.

There were still houses in rural Russia that did not have indoor plumbing. Some also did not have sufficient heat in their homes due to the high cost of fuel.

Every winter, there would be news stories about them, complete with footage of entire familes sitting at a table or lying in bed wearing layers of fur coats and knee high fur boots, hats and gloves.

by Anonymousreply 2104/10/2011

I don't care about Anna Stazia! MHB just got her phd.

by Anonymousreply 2204/10/2011

My Jewish family story from pre-WW I Lithuania, which was then part of Imperial Russia. The Jews were not exactly segregated, but that varied over time and locality. For example, at various times Jews were banned from living in Moscow.

Near the end of the nineteenth century the Czarist regime came increasingly under siege. The minority, Christ-killing Jews were easy scapegoats. This was when the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" was apparently written by a Czarist propaganda agency (still a best-seller today with anti-Semites everywhere), and physical attacks (pogroms)on Jewish communities escalated.

My maternal grandparents lived in Vilna (now Vilnius), then the major Lithuanian Jewish community, although I'm not sure if it was a ghetto as such. I don't know if Jews were restricted to living only in Vilna, but I do know that their Christian neighbors weren't especially happy to see em'. I know that because my grandmother's parents were killed in a pogrom sometime before the first world war.

Imperial Russian law required the eldest son of a Jewish family to join the Russian army for 25 (that's twenty five) years. This did not please my grandfather, although I have a photo of him looking very handsome in Russian army uniform. In 1906 he went AOWL and came to America with his wife, 2 children and his younger sister. One child died on the voyage over.

by Anonymousreply 2304/10/2011

Ghettos were really a Western European phenomenon. The Russian Empire didn't have ghettos, but it had the so-called "Pale of Settlement," a region in western Russia which was the only area Jews were allowed to live. They were excluded from major cities like Moscow and Petersburg without a special permit.

(One of my paternal grandparents was also a Lithuanian Jew, and my maternal grandparents were both from what's now Belarus.)

by Anonymousreply 2404/10/2011

Make that "AWOL."

by Anonymousreply 2504/10/2011

Sorry R24, I missed-typed. "AWOL" belongs to me, R23. I'm being too neurotically Jewish about this? Oy!

by Anonymousreply 2604/10/2011

I once spoke to this lady whose grandfather fled Russia when the revolution occurred. He was once in the royal Russian military. She said her grandfather told her that people were literally naked because they couldn't afford a stitch of clothing. Also, the royal family had so much money that they didn't know what to do with it. The Russian royal palace had precious gems dangling off the edge of the fireplace mantels in each room. They had a solid gold tabletop train that carried the condiments from one end of the enormous dinning room table to the other end. The royal family were totally oblivion of reality, and lived in a bubble far obscure from the issues and the realities that boiled over into a mess in Russia.%0D %0D %0D I spoke with another lady who was from Russia. I asked her was life better during the Czar or did it get better during Communism? She said, the nation got worse when Russia became Communist. Her grandfather owned a small farm. One day there were solders that came to her grandfather's farm, and they aggressively told him to leave the farm immediately because the farm belonged to the government and the people. She said he worked so hard of that land and he was just a farmer. He lost everything he owned. He wasn%E2%80%99t allowed to take anything. She said, during the years of the Czar it was really bad for sure, but the difference was under the rule of the Czar, you had a bit more flexibility of freedom. She said there were real wealthy people when it became Communist, but the wealthy were those people who worked for the government. If you didn't work for the government then you were working class and you weren%E2%80%99t allowed to grow out of your economical. %0D %0D She said the Communist has very rich and very poor and it is bull when they claimed everything was for the people. She said they had a class system and the new government just put a brand new label on an old system, and they gave the illusion that this amazing new life for the masses occurred. Also, the government became much more brutal and vicious. %0D

by Anonymousreply 2704/10/2011

The Russian peasants don't have indoor plumbing now. What makes you think they had it a century ago?

by Anonymousreply 2804/10/2011

They acquired most of their money when they invented margarine. It originated as a sex lube but then someone discovered that it tasted just like butter. That was the start of Imperial Margarine.

by Anonymousreply 2904/10/2011


by Anonymousreply 3004/11/2011

I don't doubt R27's friend's grandfather told the friend this:

"" She said her grandfather told her that people were literally naked because they couldn't afford a stitch of clothing. Also, the royal family had so much money that they didn't know what to do with it. The Russian royal palace had precious gems dangling off the edge of the fireplace mantels in each room. They had a solid gold tabletop train that carried the condiments from one end of the enormous dinning room table to the other end. The royal family were totally oblivion of reality, ""

I also don't doubt the Tsar an his family lived in an isolated bubble, separated from "real" Russians who were not connected to the Imperial Court in some way.

But I do doubt the veracity of this hearsay from an old man telling his family about events over a hundred years ago.

The gold condiment train sounds like garden variety Bolshevik propaganda used to rally the people to the Soviets at the time of the revolution.

The Bolsheviks would have damn sure made sure this damning factoid was included in what the world knew about the Tsar's excesses and why their revolution was just.

This is the first I have heard of this as well as jewels hanging from mantles.


by Anonymousreply 3104/11/2011

The miniature solid gold train was not for condiments at the dinning room table but rather a gift from the Railway Commission to the young Tsarevitch Alexi for his playroom. You can look it up online as it was in the Forbes collection of Faberge for years before it was purchased back by the Russian oil magnate.

by Anonymousreply 3204/11/2011

This, R32

by Anonymousreply 3304/11/2011

Do a Google Search on DIRT PO, or THE DARK AGES. That will give you an idea of what Russia was like outside of the ruling class.

The people were serfs, or what we call slaves, until just before the revolution started. This is one of the reasons why modern Russia is so messed up. They went from slavery to communism and then to a free market. No wonder why they now have feudal crime bosses.

You might read Bolshevik writings as they would give you a glimpse into the average Russian around 1900.

by Anonymousreply 3404/11/2011

Thank you (R33) the miniature train was part of an Imperial Faberge Easter Egg given by Nicholas Ii to his wife Alexandra in 1900. Their son was given a Faberge Steamboat in 1913 by the Volga Shipbuilders Association. Link below:

by Anonymousreply 3504/11/2011

[quote] She said her grandfather told her that people were literally naked because they couldn't afford a stitch of clothing.%0D %0D %0D In Ireland, at least up until the 1970s, there were kids who went to school only on certain days of the week because there was only one or two sets of clothing for six kids in a family.%0D %0D In the mid-1980s, some young Irish came to visit a friend of mine here in the US. We went to a club with them and they told the youngest kid (about 17, with fake proof), that he couldn't come in because he was wearing these beat up old sandals. They were the only shoes the kid owned. The kid was so skinny that one of the family members he was visiting -- a nurse -- paid for him to get a chest Xray at the local public health clinic because she was afraid he had TB. He didn't. They just didn't have much food over there. Eight kids, two parents and a grandmother in a two up, two down.%0D %0D Revolutionary Russia had nothing on near-modern Ireland.

by Anonymousreply 3604/11/2011

I just finished Miranda Carter's book George, Nicholas and Wilhelm and there were a lot of tidbits about what life was like under final years of Tsarist Russia.

The majority of people were beyond poor and uneducated and there was no middle class. The Asian part of the country was extremely isolated from the rest and the government was corrupt, unresponsive and brutal.

The Tsar lived very separated from his people and life was very regimented. Rulers of other (much more powerful) countries even considered Russian royal protocol to be over the top. The country was very unsafe on his rare trips around the country his train would be guarded with soldiers the entire way because it was that treacherous.

The country was so poor that when they entered WWI the soldiers would have limitations on how many bullets they could shoot a day. There's a point in the book where Nicholas goes and inspects the troops and many of the soldiers have to pool together their cloths and weapons to make it appear that everything is fine.

Whoever compared Tsarist Russia to the US today is stretching it A LOT.

by Anonymousreply 3704/11/2011

Hard to believe Russia was originally a Scandinavian country. But it was named for the Rus, the Scandinavian warriors who settled near Novgorod. They were joined by Slavs and they squabbled among themselves until the Mongols came along. That's when Russia really became nasty. They picked up Mongol habits, like segregating the women from the men in a household (the Russian 'terem' came from the word 'harem.' Imperial females and wives of boyars had to live in a separate part of the house and the daughters of tsars were not allowed to marry). %0D %0D The Mongols murdered entire cities of people in really horrible ways, like roasting people alive in giant roasting pans, boiling them in oil --- stuff that even the Spanish Inquisition wouldn't do. The first Czar of Russia, Ivan the Terrible, aped the Mongols and burned and tortured fellow Russians just as the Mongols had.

by Anonymousreply 3804/11/2011

Russia has always been (and still is for the most part) a horribly backward country.

by Anonymousreply 3904/11/2011

Have you visited there, R39? If so where did you go, how long were you there?

by Anonymousreply 4004/11/2011

Let's pretend we are IMPERIAL RUSSIAN RICH LADY!

"Ekaterina, I find fingerprint on Faberge egg! No milk for your children tonight!"

by Anonymousreply 4104/11/2011

Alexei fetch another surf for the fire.

by Anonymousreply 4204/11/2011

ArtBoy, are you drunk tonight?

by Anonymousreply 4304/11/2011

I was in Communist Russia for almost a month in the 1980s. It was like Bizarro Universe.

by Anonymousreply 4404/11/2011

My bf and I were at a family party with a bunch of his relatives this past weekend and got his mom and her brother talking about their family history. Both are in their 80s, and were born in the US. Their parents were Russian immigrants who fled when the Cossacks invaded their village. They stole all of their horses and raped all of the women. Their mother saw her family decapitated. Somehow she got away. In later years, she was a very cold woman who never, ever discussed the past, which is why they have such sketchy background.

by Anonymousreply 4504/13/2011

Tsar Nicholas' nephew is gay and lives on Nob Hill in SF with his partner. He has a portrait of "Uncle Nicky" on the wall in his living room.

by Anonymousreply 4604/13/2011

I've been told that before the Bolshevik Revolution most Russians were basically slaves, though not officially so. They had no education, no running water, and no opportunity for change. The Russian Orthodox Church ran things with a fierceness that the Nazis could envy. Musical instruments were forbidden, which is why Russia developed such good choral music. %0D %0D The Russian aristocracy spoke French, and considered Russian to be a vulgar peasant language.%0D %0D You can easily see why there was a revolution.

by Anonymousreply 4704/13/2011

[quote]Musical instruments were forbidden, which is why Russia developed such good choral music. %0D %0D %0D Fascinating information. I've attended Russian choral concerts but didn't know this bit of history.

by Anonymousreply 4804/13/2011

My Jewish great-grandmother's entire family except for 1 of her brothers and 1 of her sisters, was killed in a vicious attack by the Cossacks. My aunt told me this story since she heard it as a child. My great-grandmother was living Ukraine but I don't know which city and 1 day the Cossacks came and killed everyone in sight. A few years later she and her siblings decided to move to the US after scrapping up enough money to go by boat.

by Anonymousreply 4911/13/2012

Could you imagine how many affairs the royal men must have had?

by Anonymousreply 5011/14/2012

The winter palace was gorgeous. I guess people can compare the ideology of royalty back then to the super rich stars of today...they have no sense of reality.

by Anonymousreply 5111/14/2012

They had village communes, internal passports, strict regulation of prices and salaries, bureaucrats were the highest status profession, and the infrastructure was as bad as the American South. At the time the serfs were freed there were more than 20 million of them. And they also had slaves, who were freed too.

People think the Communists imposed a bizarre and foreign ideology on Russia, but it isn't true. They adapted local traditions.

by Anonymousreply 5211/14/2012

Read Irina Skariatina's books on Russia. She was a Countess who was rescued from Russia in the early 1920s and who was the first titled person allowed to go back to Russia in the early 1930s.

A World Can End

First To Go Back

Little Era in Old Russia

World Begins

Some of her personal papers are at Princeton University.

by Anonymousreply 5311/14/2012
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