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Russia on the Move: Railroads and the Exodus from Compulsory Collectivism, 1861–1914

Sylvia Sztern ()
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Sylvia Sztern: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chapter Chapter 1 in Russia on the Move, 2022, pp 1-20 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract The advent of the railroad in Tsarist Russia in 1842 would precondition the institutions of the Russian autocracy in its final decades. In this monograph, I propose that the post-emancipation interaction between this insensitive-to-climate transport technology and the Tsarist-era rural commune made the latter redundant. I further argue that the railroads revolutionized the opportunity cost of time in travel while reducing the risk to life and property. The qualitative and quantitative discontinuity that railroadization created posed an irreversible challenge to peasant conventions that had been evolutionarily stable until then. The subversive force that embodied the challenge was pious-rural or nihilistic, rather than something structured on Marxian ideology.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-89285-2_1

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