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  1 Independent Project Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree BA (Hons) Modern History, in the Department of History, Politics and Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University (2018) Soviet Women and the Reality of Their Emancipation Under the Early Bolshevik Rule By Mia Reilly I certify that, apart from the guidance provided by my supervisor and the references cited in the text and bibliography, this dissertation is the sole work of Mia Reilly and has not been previously submitted as part of the assessment requirements for any academic award.  2 Contents Abstract Introduction Chapter One: Chapter Two: Conclusion Bibliography  3 How far were Soviet women liberated under the emancipating reforms implemented under Lenin after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917?   Abstract Under a communist society, one would assume that the society would be an equal one. However, this dissertation aims to investigate how the ideology was conflicted by the reality of communism in Russia from 1917 until Lenin’s death in 1924, especially in the context of women. When Lenin came to power he aimed to emancipate women who had previously been severely oppressed under the Tsarist regime. Many reforms that were passed during the short  period of Lenin’s rule included legislation that would affect women and their rights, which would consequently, and ideally, lead to their emancipation. Due to the reforms being passed and the huge amounts of propaganda which circulated Soviet Russia at the time showing the new empowerment of women, many would accept the views that women were free. However, I will focus my research on the experiences of a range of women and thus arguing that women were not emancipated but in fact burdened during the early period of the Bolshevik revolution.  4 INTRODUCTION Aims This dissertation aims to discuss the reality of the reforms implemented by the Bolshevik Party  between 1917 and 1924 that had aimed to emancipate women. It aims to a reach a judgement on whether women really experienced liberation. It will aim to look at a range of women and discuss how their experiences may have differed and why not all women benefited from the reforms. It will begin with discussing the context prior to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, as this can help as a way of measuring how far Lenin and his party had helped to achieve liberation for Soviet women. This will include information from the Romanov dynasty and the short rule of the Provisional Government. The first chapter aims to discuss those women who did experience liberation from the Bolshevik reforms. The second chapter aims to discuss and reflect on the limitations of the reforms and how not all women experienced liberation. This will then lead on to an in-depth conclusion on whether my aims were achieved and answer whether women in Soviet Russia were really liberated under Lenin. Objectives The objective of this dissertation is to critically analyse primary evidence to answer if Soviet women were liberated or not. The primary evidence will mainly be segments of speeches made  by key figures such as Lenin and Kollontai. These will mainly be discussed within the first chapter as they help to demonstrate how people perceived women and their experience of liberation. The second chapter will focus more on personal anecdotes to discuss how and why some women did not feel liberated due to the reforms. The objectives will be achieved with the aid of scholarly secondary writers, either refuting their argument or as a means to make the conclusion stronger; these will be further discussed in the literature review.  5 There are several important, key terms that will be used throughout the research that need to  be defined. Liberation and emancipation are terms that will help construct the argument. Although similar, they are not interchangeable, thus it is important to note their definition in order to achieve the aims and objectives given above. To clarify, emancipation is the ‘ fact or  process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions ’ . 1  L iberation is to ‘s et (someone) free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression, free (someone) from social conventions, especially those concerned with accepted sexual roles and release (someone) from a situation which limits freedom of thought or behaviour  ’ . 2  The former is more the administrative part of the women’s freedom whereas the latter is the actual  physical freedom the women experienced. Other key terms to be defined in order to prevent confusion are the names given to Russia during different periods of time.  Soviet Russia is used as an informal term for the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which emerged from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution up until 1922. In 1922 Soviet Russia  became the Soviet Union , which is the informal term for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and is often abbreviated U.S.S.R.. This was the union of Belorussia, Ukraine, the Transcaucasian Federation, and Russia, with Russia being the largest and most powerful within the union. The Soviet Union then grew to become a Union of 15 Republics after the Second World War. The Soviet Union existed until its dissolution in 1991. Due to time frame in discussion, both names will be used when discussing the appropriate  period. Methodology This dissertation will be taking a qualitative approach to answer whether women had been liberated under the reforms by Lenin. This means that it will mainly be looking at anecdotes 1  Oxford Dictionary Online <en.oxforddictionaries.com>  2  Oxford Dictionary Online <en.oxforddictionaries.com> 
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