The Cherry Orchard Historical Context

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In 1904, the year The Cherry Orchard was first produced, Russia was in a state of upheaval. The Japanese declared war on Russia on February 10, 1904, following Russia's failure to withdraw from Manchuria and its continuing penetration of Korea. The Japanese defeated Russia at the Yalu River on May 1, 1904; by October of that year the Japanese had forced Russia to pull back its forces. This war was the beginning of tensions in Asia and the establishment of Japan as a military force.

On the home front, Russia's minister of the interior, Vyacheslav Plehve, exercised complete control over the public. He forbid any political assemblies, required written police permission for small social gatherings, and forbid students to walk together in the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia's capital. On Easter Sunday of 1904, 45 Jews were killed, 600 houses were destroyed in Kishenev in Bessarabia on orders from Plehve, and the police were instructed...

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This section contains 746 words
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Buy The Cherry Orchard Study Guide
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The Cherry Orchard from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.