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The Tchaikovsky Circle
Transcript of The Tchaikovsky Circle
Named after its most prominent member, Nikolai Tchaikovsky.
It was set up in 1868-9 in St Petersburg.They were opposed to the reckless violence of Sergey Nechayev, a violent revolutionary anarchist who wanted to end the reign of the Tsar through a violent and bloody revolution.
Nikolai Tchaikovsky (7 January 1851 – 30 April 1926) was a Russian revolutionary who joined a radical student group while studying chemistry at St Petersburg during the student uprisings in 1968-1869.
It was primarily a literary society that organised the printing, publishing and distribution of scientific and revolutionary literature, including the works of Charles Darwin and the first volume of Karl Marx's Das Kapital. This was to promote self education and to share books and knowledge that had been banned in the Russian Empire.
The circle was never very large, probably no more than 100 people spread between St Petersburg and other major cities, but it sought social (not political) change.The Tchaikovsky set higher moral standards for their members than Nechayev.
In 1872, the Tchaikosky Circle began organising workers with the purpose of sending them to work with the peasants in the countryside and spread propaganda. These activities were most successful in Petersburg and Odessa, where the circles had around 400 workers.
Some of these workers — including Viktor Obnorsky and Feodor Kravchenko — later founded the first worker's unions. The final stage of activities of the Tchaikovtsy included the Call to the People campaign. This involved populist middle class Russians (Narodniks) in the 1860s and 1870s going to peasants and teaching them why they should revolt