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Entries / Zemlya i Volya (Land and Liberty) of 1870s

Zemlya i Volya (Land and Liberty) of 1870s

Categories / Social Life/Political Parties and Organizations

ZEMLYA I VOLYA (Land and Liberty) of 1870s, an illegal revolutionary organization that was founded in St. Petersburg in 1876 as the Northern Revolutionary Group of Narodniks (Populists) or the Society of Narodniks renamed in 1878. The society was founded by M.A. Natanson, O.A. Schleisner (Natanson), A.D. Mikhaylov, A.D. Oboleshev, G.V. Plekhanov, A.A. Kvyatkovsky, D.A. Lizogub, V.A. Osinsky, O.V. Aptekman, et al. and later joined by S.M. Kravchinsky, D.A. Klemenz, N.A. Morozov, S.L. Perovskaya, M.F. Frolenko, L.A. Tikhomirov, and others. Preparation of peasants' revolution being their major goal, members of Zemlya i Volya drew up a program requiring transferring all land to peasants’ communities and reorganizing social life as the federation of self-governing communities. Members of Zemlya i Volya popularized their ideas by building settlements of revolutionists under the disguise of teachers, doctor's assistants, clerks, etc., organizing circles at industrial plants and all higher educational institutions in St. Petersburg, and helping workers to stage walk-outs. Members of Zemlya i Volya took part in preparing and holding the first political demonstration in Russia (see under Kazanskie Demonstrations) in December 1876. In 1877-79, Zemlya i Volya had three illegal printing offices in St. Petersburg where they printed issues 1 to 5 of the newspaper Zemlya i Volya, issues 1 to 6 of the circular Listok Zemli i Voli, and a number of leaflets. As commissioned by Zemlya i Volya, N.V. Kletochnikov started his service in the 3d department of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery in the early 1879 to keep revolutionists informed of what the secret police were planning. An idea that spread gradually among members of Zemlya i Volya was to conduct political struggle against autocracy and gain political freedoms in order to succeed in socialist propaganda among people. Supporters of this trend were united at the editor's office of the circular Listok Zemli i Voli. Svoboda ili Smert (Liberty or Death) was another group founded in St. Petersburg in the early-to-mid 1879 to support individual terror tactics. It was Svoboda ili Smert that helped A.K. Solovyev to make an attempt on the life of Emperor Alexander II on April 2, 1879. The members of Zemlya i Volya who supported the political struggle tactics built an underground dynamite laboratory at 6 Baskov Lane in late May 1879. Disputes between the supporters of various trends brought to a split of Zemlya i Volya in June 1879. The organization finally split into Narodnaya Volya (People's Will) and Cherny Peredel (Black Repartition) at a congress held in Lesnoy in August 1879.

Reference: Ткаченко П. С. Революционная народническая организация "Земля и воля" (1876-1879). М., 1961; Революционеры 1870-х годов: Воспоминания участников народнич. движения в Петербурге. Л., 1986.

Z. P. Solovyeva.

Alexander II, Emperor
Aptekman Osip Vasilievich
Frolenko Mikhail Fedorovich
Klemenz Dmitry Alexandrovich
Kletochnikov Nikolay Vasilievich
Kravchinsky Sergey Mikhailovich
Kvyatkovsky Alexander Alexandrovich
Lizogub Dmitry Andreevich
Mikhaylov Alexander Dmitrievich
Morozov Nikolay Alexandrovich
Natanson Mark Andreevich
Oboleshev Alexey Dmitrievich
Osinsky Valerian Andreevich
Perovskaya Sofia Lvovna
Plekhanov Georgy Valentinovich
Schleisner Olga Alexandrovna
Solovyev Alexander Konstantinovich
Tikhomirov Lev Alexandrovich

Ткаченко П. С. Революционная народническая организация "Земля и воля" (1876-1879). М., 1961
Революционеры 1870-х годов: Воспоминания участников народнич. движения в Петербурге. Л., 1986

The subject Index
Kazansky Demonstrations
Third Division
Narodnaya Volya
Cherny Peredel, revolutionary organizations


Cherny Peredel, revolutionary organizations

CHERNY PEREDEL (Black Repartition), a revolutionary populist organization that came into existence in the summer of 1879 after the split of Zemlya i Volya. Its founders were G.V. Plekhanov, V.I. Zasulich, L.G. Deutsch, P.B. Axelrod, V.N. Ignatov, O

Figner V.N. (1852-1942), revolutionary

FIGNER Vera Nikolaevna (1852-1942), prominent figure of the revolutionary movement of the 1870-80s, author of memoirs. The sister of singer N.N. Figner. Studied at the Kazan Institute for Noble Girls, studied medicine in Switzerland

House of Preliminary Detention, prison

HOUSE OF PRELIMINARY DETENTION (25 Shpalernaya Street), the first remand prison in Russia. It was built in 1871-75 (architect K.Y. Maevsky) who took American system as an example: the doors of cells overlooked stepped iron passages; inside the house

Illegal Printing Offices

ILLEGAL PRINTING OFFICES opened in St. Petersburg by revolutionary organizations to print illegal press such as periodicals, brochures, and leaflets. A printing office would be organized in a rented apartment

Kazansky Demonstrations

KAZANSKY DEMONSTRATIONS, mass political gatherings on the square in front of Kazan Cathedral on 6 December 1876. The first political demonstration in Russia was held here, organized by the secret society Land and Liberty (Zemlya i Volya)

Kravchinsky S.M. (1851-1895), revolutionary, writer

KRAVCHINSKY Sergey Mikhailovich (pen name Stepnyak) (1851-1895) revolutionary, writer. In St. Petersburg from 1867. On graduating from the Mikhailovsky Artillery College (1870) he was sent as a lieutenant to the artillery but resigned shortly

Morozov N.A. (1854-1946), revolutionary, chemist, astronomer

MOROZOV Nikolay Alexandrovich (1854-1946), revolutionary-narodnik, writer, scientist, author of memoirs, honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1932)

Narodnaya Volya

NARODNAYA VOLYA (People's Will), the largest revolutionary public organization of the late 1870-80s. Originated in June 1879 as a result of the disunity among members of Zemlya i Volya

Perovskaya S.L., (1853-1881), revolutionary

PEROVSKAYA Sofia Lvovna (1853, St. Petersburg - 1881), Revolutionary Populist. From the aristocratic noble family; father, Lev Nikolaevich Perovsky (1816-1890), was Petersburg Civil Governor in 1865-66

Plekhanov G.V. (1856-1918), revolutionist

PLEKHANOV Georgy Valentinovich (1856-1918), political figure, publicist. Upon graduating from Voronezh Military School (1873), entered Konstantinovsky Military College

Trubetskoy Bastion

TRUBETSKOY BASTION, one of 6 bastions of Peter and Paul Fortress, situated in its south-western part. The bastion was built in 1703, of earth and wood under the supervision of prince Y.Y

Zhelyabov A. I. (1851-1881), revolutionary

ZHELYABOV Andrey Ivanovich (1851-1881, St. Petersburg), a revolutionary Narodnik (Populist). He was born in a family of serfs. When studying at Novorossiysky University, Odessa, in 1869-71, he was expelled after participating in student unrest