Grievances and Demands of the Revolutionaries

The “Program of the Narodnaia Volia” in 1879 early on declared that the implementation of socialist principles is the purpose behind their disapproval of the government and subsequent assassination of Tsar Alexander II. They view their socialist principles as the most progressive way to maintain and establish ¬†welfare for the people. Their overall grievances revolve around the autocracy of the government where people do not have expression, and in fact are so enslaved and repressed that they don’t recognize that there is another option. Their demands to combat this are to redistribute land and to establish a new system with a representative body that is voted in by the people. In part A, they state that the current state of Russia is in “absolute slavery” of the people, where they are so deprived that they “cannot even think what is good and what is bad for them.” They recognize the power struggle in the capitalistic power and the excessive exploitation of people stuck and enslaved in the lower class. Part B is where they begin to express their demands: to freeing of people enslaved and the access to power by more in the nation. They want the power of the authoritarian government to be expanded for the people of Russia to have access to their own fate by creating an Organizing Assembly to make decisions (that are voted in by the people). Part C discusses the demands for personal freedoms of the people such as popular representation, self- controlled villages (economic and administrative autonomy), redistribution of land ownership to the people, and personal freedoms of speech. This document is written after Alexander II’s assassination and presented to Alexander III- it represents a warning for what could happen to him if he does not enact change and demonstrates the affect of the masses on Alexander III’s policies.

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