Assess the View That Russia's Communist Leaders Did Less Than the Tsars to Improve the Lives of the Working Class 1855 - 1964

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Assess the view that Russia’s Communist leaders did less than the Tsars to improve the lives of the working class from 1855 to 1964. Then end of the Romanov dynasty after the October revolution in 1917 initially signalled a better quality of life for the working class due to the Bolshevik ideological basis of the proletariat, however in reality this illusion did not transcend into actuality, and the workers faced many of the same or worse hardships under the Communist governments. Of course when comparing the overall quality of life for anyone, life was better by 1964 than in 1855, however this change was mainly brought about by Khrushchev’s improvements at the end of the time period; when taking into account all of the Communist leaders, Stalin and Lenin’s rule arguably worsened the workers’ lives the most of all the rulers, Tsarist or Communist, and thus it cannot be said that Khrushchev’s reforms make up for the hardships the workers suffered under most of the Communist leaders. Thus after taking into consideration the different aspects of the working class’s lives in regards to their civil rights, living conditions and working conditions, I agree with the stated view. One aspect of the workers’ lives that needs to be considered in order to see whether the Communist leaders did less than the Tsars to improve them is their living standards. The quality of life generally declined for workers throughout the period, with the only period of significant change under Khrushchev, however even his reforms cannot out way the deterioration of standards earlier in the Communist period, whereby Lenin and Stalin seemed to show a complete disregard for the improvement of living standards; For instance, the amount of living space for a worker fell from 8.5m squared in 1905, to 5.8m squared by 1935. A significant motive for this seems to be due to ideology; Stalin in
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