W O R L D
Historical Background of Chekhov's works
By Terra Bredeson
Although the general cultural state of Russa was down in the late 19th century, Chekhov wrote in a time that flourished with rich literary culture, especilaly in prose and fiction.
On one point Chekhov remained consistent throughout: his reluctance to be drawn into radical politics as cultivated at Russian institutes of higher learning. At Moscow he still kept in the background politically, as he had at Taganrog. Meanwhile political assassinations and trials had "dominated the late 1870s; but though this duel between a few revolutionaries and a few policemen became the talk of Russia, it made little direct impact on the population at large" (Chekhov 31). Then the assassination of the ruling autocrat Alexander II, in St. Petersburg on March 1, 1881, "provoked a further intensification of repressive measures under the more rigorous regime of Alexander III" (Chekhov 31). And yet, as we have noted, even this bloody event might never have occurred so far as Chekhov's biography is concerned: except, that is, for troubles stemming from the severer literary censorship of the new reign.
During a fairly mild period of history, directly before the Russian revolution, which began in 1905, Chekhov wrote about everyday people who would struggle through this monarch ruled country. Smirnoff Vodka was being mass produced between the years of 1818 and 1896, it is believed that this beverage had great influenced his writings.