Relative question in the title, there are two opposing viewpoints: first adherents believe that the Russian workers were benefiting, supporters of the second proves that the Russian workers lived better than the Russian. Which of these versions is correct, to help you understand the material.

Where did the first version easy to guess — about his fate Russian working tirelessly repeated the whole Marxist historiography. However, even among many of the pre-revolutionary literature that supported this view. The most famous in this regard was labor EM Dementieva "Factory is that it gives the public and that it takes him." The Internet is walking its second edition, and it is often referred to as bloggers and commentators arguing with them.

However, few people pay attention to the fact that this is the second edition was published in March 1897, that is, first a few months prior to the Factories Act, establishing the 11.5-hour day, and secondly, a set of books give up a few months earlier, that is, before the currency reform Witte, in which the ruble was devalued by half and therefore all salaries listed in this book are in the old rubles. Third is, in the main, according to the author, "Izsl? Dovanie Bb were produced in 1884 — 85 godah" and, therefore, all data are applicable only to the mid-80s of the last century. However, this study has a lot to us, allowing to compare the well-being of the working time with the level of pre-revolutionary life of the proletariat, to assess which we used data from statistical yearbooks, vaults reports of factory inspectors, as well as the works of Stanisław Gustavovich Strumilin and Sergei N. Prokopovich . The first of them, famous as an economist and statistician before the revolution began in 1931, Soviet academician and died in 1974, did not live up to three years of its centennial. The second, who began as a populist and a Social Democrat, later became a prominent Mason, married Catherine Lump, and after the February Revolution, he was appointed Minister of the Provisional Government of food. Soviet authorities took Prokopovich in arms, and in 1921 was expelled from the Russian Federation. He died in Geneva in 1955.

However, neither the one nor the other did not like the tsarist regime, and therefore they can not be suspected of embellishment of contemporary Russian reality.

**1. Earnings
2. The working day
3. Food
4. Housing**

**Let's start with earnings.**

The first systematic data refer to the end of the 1870s. So, in 1879, a special committee, consisting of the Moscow governor-general, has collected information on 648 schools 11 teams industries which employed 53.4 thousand workers. According to information published by Bogdanov in the "Proceedings of the statistical department of the Moscow City", the annual earnings of workers in the First Throne in 1879 amounted to 189 rubles. In the month, therefore, the average yield on the 15.75 p.

In the following years due to the influx of former peasants into the city and, therefore, increase the supply of labor market earnings began to decline, and only in 1897, began their steady growth. In the Province of St. Petersburg in 1900, the average annual wage of a laborer is 252 rubles. (21 p. Per month), and in European Russia — 204 rubles. 74 kopecks. (17.061 rubles. Per month). On the average monthly salary for the Empire working in 1900 amounted to 16 rubles. 17 and a half cop. The upper limit of income rose to 606 rubles (50.5 rubles. Per month), and the bottom fell to 88 rubles. 54 kopecks. (7.38 rub. Per month).

However, after the revolution of 1905, and followed it with a stagnation in 1909 earnings were sharply. A weaver, for example, wages increased by 74%, and dyers — by 133%, but what lay behind these percentages? Salary weaver in 1880 in the last month was only 15 rubles. 91 kopecks., And in 1913 — 27 rubles. 70 kopecks. In dyers, it rose from 11 rubles. 95 kopecks. — Up to 27 rubles. 90 kopecks. Things were much better at working professionals and scarce metal. Machinists and electricians are earning per month for 97 rubles. 40 kopecks., Top craftsmen — 63 rubles. 50 kopecks., Blacksmiths — 61 rubles. 60 kopeks., Locksmiths — 56 rubles. 80 kopecks., Turners — 49 rubles. 40 kopecks.

If you want to compare to compare these data with current workers' wages, you can simply multiply these numbers by 1046 — is the ratio of pre-revolutionary ruble to the Russian ruble at the end of December 2010. Only since the mid-1915 because of the war began to occur inflation, but in November 1915 blocked the growth of earnings inflation, and only with the June 1917 salary is to keep up with inflation.

**Working hours.**

We now turn to hours. In July 1897 a decree was issued which limited the time of the industrial proletariat nationwide legislation to 11.5 hours per day. By 1900, the average workday in the manufacturing industry averaged 11.2 hours, and by 1904 already exceeds 63 hours per week (excluding overtime), or 10.5 hours a day. Thus, for seven years, beginning in 1897, the 11.5-hour rule decree in fact already turned in a 10.5-hour, and from 1900 to 1904, this rate fell annually by 1.5%.

And what was at the time in other countries? Yes, about the same thing. At the same time in 1900 in Australia, was 8 hours, UK — 9, the U.S. and Denmark — 9.75, Norway — 10, Sweden, France, Switzerland — 10.5, Germany — 10.75, Belgium, Italy and Austria — 11 hours.

In January 1917 the average working day in Petrograd province was 10.1 hours, and in March, he has already decreased to 8.4, ie, in just two months by as much as 17%.

However, the use of time does not only work time, but also the number of working days in a year. Before the Revolution was much more holidays — the number of holidays in a year was 91, and in 2011 the number of non-working holidays, including New Year's holiday, will be only 13 days. Does not compensate for this difference even having a 52 Saturday, which became inoperative since March 7, 1967.

**Food.**

The average Russian laborer eat in a day and a half pounds of bread, half a pound of white, and a half pounds of potatoes, a quarter pound of cereal, half a pound of beef, bacon and ounces ounces of sugar. Energy value of the ration was 3,580 calories. The average citizen of the Empire eating food on the day of 3370 calories. Such amount of calories Russian people since more is almost never given. This figure was exceeded only in 1982. A maximum occurred in 1987, when the daily amount of food consumed was 3397 calories. In Russia, a peak consumption of calories came in 2007, when consumption was 2564 calories.

In 1914, workers spend on food for himself and his family of 11 rubles 75 kopecks per month (12,290 in today's money). This amounted to 44% of earnings. However, in Europe at that time the percentage of salary spent on food was much higher — 60-70%. Moreover, during World War II in Russia, this figure has been further improved, and the cost of food in 1916, despite the rise in prices, accounted for 25% of earnings.

**Housing.**

Now let's see what was the case with housing.

As written was published once in Petrograd "Krasnaya Gazeta" in its issue of May 18, 1919, according to data for 1908 (taken, most likely from the same Prokopovich), workers spent at home to 20% of their earnings. If you compare the 20% to the current situation, the cost of rent an apartment in a modern Peter should not be used 54,000, and about 6,000 rubles, or current St. Petersburg worker must receive at 29,624 rubles, and 270 000.

* *

How was it then the money? The cost of apartments without heating and lighting, according to the same Prokopovich was earning per: in Petrograd — 3 p. 51 because, in Baku — 2 p. 24 k, and in the provincial town of Kostroma Sereda — 1 p. 80 K, so that the average for the whole of Russia, the value paid apartments valued at 2 rubles a month. Translated into modern Russian money it is 2092 rubles. Here I must say that this is certainly not manor apartments, eat in St. Petersburg which cost an average of 27.75 p., In Moscow — at 22.5 p., And in Russia on average in 18.9 p. These manorial homes lived mostly officials to rank collegiate assessor and officers. If the master's apartments, per occupant had 111 square yards, that is 56.44 square meters, the work of 16 square meters. yard — 8.093 sq.m. However, the cost of rent per square yard was the same as in the master's apartments — 20-25 cents per square yard per month.

* *

However, from the late nineteenth century, the general trend is the construction of public housing owned enterprises Suites. Thus, in the ceramic factory owners Borovichi acid-product engineers to Kolyankovskie built for its workers in the village Velgiya wooden one-storey houses with separate outputs and plots of land. Worker could buy this real estate loan. The initial amount of the contribution was only 10 rubles.

Thus, by 1913, only 30.4% of our workers live in rented apartments. The remaining 69.6% were free of the living room.

* *

Incidentally, when the post-revolutionary Petrograd vacant 400,000 master's apartments — who shot who escaped, and who died of hunger — the working people are not in a hurry to seize these apartments even for free. First, they are located far away from the plant, and secondly, protopit the apartment was worth more than the entire salary in 1918.

Source