The Death of Ivan Ilych Historical Context

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In the period during which Leo Tolstoy was writing, Russia was experiencing much turbulence politically, socially, and economically. In the 1880s, the assassination of Alexander II and the reign of Alexander III facilitated violent reactions to the government and a period of autocracy within the government. Alexander III was extremely conservative and imposed many new rules upon the people of Russia to guard against revolution. His regime also saw a new campaign of Russification and antiSemitic legislation. While industrial growth stagnated during this time, the first Trans-Siberian Railroad was built, which eventually aided in Russia's development.

The hardships endured by the peasantry at this time, including a famine in 1891 and a cholera epidemic in 1892, were severe. One can read in Tolstoy's writing the deep respect which he held for the peasants of his time who worked in harmony with the land and were not obsessed with...

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This section contains 500 words
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