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    Russian Geography and its affect on Society Essay

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    s Russia is the biggest ruled territory in the world. From Kiev, and Moscow, down to Novosibirsk, and across to Vladivostok, its lands stretch far and wide.

    As a result of having such a massive piece of land, made it hard to keep up with the speed of human development. This affected Russias political rule in many ways. As its neighbors of Europe advanced in society, Russia lacked behind. Because of the geographical location of Russian lands, Russian peasantry was hard to maintain, and their course of political history was much harder to progress as a whole before modern times. Russia lacked control of its entire population, made the people want to try their own way of thinking, and made expansion almost impossible because its land mass was just too big to maintain in post-modern times.

    If Russia would have been smaller, comparable to a country in Europe, it could have been much better off with much less problems. Russia lacked complete control of its population before the 1800s. Although such places as Kiev, Moscow, and other bigger cities were under great rule and power from the rulers of the time, other places that were much farther away in the central areas and to the Far East were not. Rulers could set up laws, but they would not be enforced, or possibly even heard of, until much later when the word would spread of such changes. And example of this can be taken from the changes or religion in Russia.

    When Vladimir came into power around the 1100s religion was brought into society again starting at Kiev. First he started with the Orthodox religion, and later he converted to Christianity because of his wanting to merry, making Russia Christian. This transformation did not happen automatically. The news of a new religion only came to people through common trade routs throughout Russia.

    All other places and villages that were much less traveled did not get religion right away. Because of these factors of travel, key aspects of certain beliefs were lost, even different parts of Russia were following different religious beliefs at periods of change. When people from Constantinople came to Russia as they were taking back parts of Ukraine, the people of modern day Turkey found that the Russians were studying corrupted texts of the traditions of Christianity. As a sign of God, people would point with two fingers to their side, instead of three for the Trinity.

    The Father, Son, and the Holly Spirit. The direct translation of what was supposed to be, and what they were teaching in the Churches of Russia were different. Russia lacked complete control of its population by not having all of the people know that their religion had changed from the old way of Orthodox to the new way of Christianity. These direct translations of Christianity were lost in the word of mouth from city to city, making people not have the true teachings of the religion of the time.

    This made Russia not have complete control of its population. If Russia were not so large in size, it would have been much easier to enforce all of the same religious beliefs, as well as have better control over problems like direct translations of religion lost by long-traveled word of mouth. Russias geographical location makes it hard for expansion. Part of Russias land mass is covered in permafrost making it almost impossible to build on. In these areas in the winter it freezes making it possible to build, but then in the summer things begin to thaw.

    Whatever was built on this area of permafrost in the winter then has the chance of sinking into the ground. Buildings, railroad track, and homes sank into the ground making them unusable. This made expansion in many areas of Russia undesirable for most people, causing a halt in expansion. Another aspect of making expansion nearly impossible in Russia took place during the Forbidden Years, and again in the year of 1649 when Aleksei Mikhailovich made a new law code.

    This law code, as was the case of the Forbidden Years, made it no longer legal for peasants to move from city to city, nor leave the country of Russia. With this enacted, peasants were severely restricted in movement. With the peasants being restricted to the city that they were stationed at made them not be able to expand, further restricting the means of growth of a major percentage of the population. Russias huge territories made the peasants feel like they had no end to their suffering, and that they had no escape. Therefore, they tried to revolt.

    Nobels and Rulers needed the peasants more than anything. They counted for most of the work and taxes of the day, for they made up over 75% of the population in Russian society. Many times throughout Russian history rulers have come to cities where there has been a revolts against them. They would come, take away, or possibly execute, the people apposing the law to keep city ordinances in tacked.

    From Ivan the terrible and his peasant revolts opposing him up into its height in 1572 with the destruction of the city Novgorod, to the revolts of 1772-74. Both dealt with peasants wanting more than they were getting in society. Russia had problems with peasants that needed to be controlled. Having a huge landmass to deal with made revolts happen across Russia more often because there was less people available and willing to enforce the law to the extent needed. If Russia were smaller in size it would have been easier to control such outbreaks that resulted in many deaths and punishment of peasants and other lawbreakers through political rule. Russia is the largest ruled territory in the world.

    Because Russias landmass was so big, it was hard to keep control of its population. This affected Russias political rule greatly. Because of the geographical location of Russian lands, Russian peasantry was hard to maintain, and their course of political history was harder to keep together as one nation. Because of the lack of people in power for the amount of land that Russia had. As well as the amount of people in charge in cities and small villages, made the people of Russia want to revolt and try their own way of thinking.

    Russias geography also made expansion almost impossible because of its climate in areas of permafrost, and its restriction of movement set forth by rules that governed its society. If Russia would have been a smaller country it could have been much more advanced leading into the 1800s, possibly one of the leaders of the world for that time. But because Russia was so big, it could not keep up with the growing nations around it, nor keep total political control of its entire population, thus terminating the chance of what could have been a greater nation before the 1800s.

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