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Why did the socialist revolution take place in Russia?

The answers lie in the many peculiarities of Russia. It had a weal bourgeoisie and the industrial development that had taken place in Russia from the 1880s was entirely at the initiative of the Tsar and financed by foreign capital.

While the French companies invested in the mining and metallurgy sectors, oil was in the hands of the British concerns and the chemical and electrical engineering industries in the hands of the Germans.

Within Russia, the capital for industrialization was raised largely by taxing the peasantry even as the agrarian sector continued to remain backward technologically, the best lands remaining with the nobility.

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Industrialization in Russia was limited to certain pockets in the country like St. Petersburg and Moscow districts, the Donetz and the Dnieper basins. They were, in the words of Maurice Dobb, no more than industrial islands in a vast agricultural sea. Yet, these industries gave rise to a powerful working class movement.

This was because the typical Russian factory was a huge industrial unit with a high level of concentration. All stages of production were housed under one roof. This meant that workers of all kinds – from the unskilled to the highly skilled – were thrown together and the task of mobilizing them was correspondingly easier.

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