a circle of revolutionaries headed by A. V. Dolgushin that operated in St. Petersburg and later in Moscow and Moscow suburbs in 1872 and 1873. Some factory workers were members of the circle.
In 1873 the Dolgushintsy set up an underground printing press in the village of Sareevo, Moscow Province, and published the pamphlet appeals How One Should Live According to the Laws of Nature and Truth, written by V. V. BerviFlerovskii, and Address to the Russian People and Address to Educated People, both written by Dolgushin. The Dolgushintsy distributed the appeals to peasants and to the workers at the Reutovo factory near Moscow, and they tried to conduct oral propaganda among the people.
Advocates of spontaneous revolution, the Dolgushintsy believed in starting “directly with the riot,” and they were convinced that the people (the peasantry) were ready for an uprising. Their publications sharply criticized the existing social system and preached economic equality. The Dolgushintsy demanded a general division of the land— “peasants’, landlords’, and imperial lands”—and its redistribution to all “according to justice.” They called for the abolition of peasants’ payments on land (the obrok, payments in money or in kind), the standing army, and the passport system and for the establishment of “good schools.” Their main demand, however, was the abolition of rule by the nobility and bureaucracy and the establishment of a government elected by the people. The Dolgushintsy believed that this program of radical bourgeois democratic reforms reflecting the interests of the peasantry would guarantee an end to all oppression and poverty.
Arrested by the police in the autumn of 1873, the Dolgushintsy were tried in 1874. The chief defendants— Dolgushin, L. A. Dmokhovskii, N. A. Plotnikov, I. I. Papin, and D. I. Gamov—were sentenced to hard labor, and all of them except Papin died while serving their terms. The activity of the Dolgushintsy was a forerunner of the great movement of “going to the people” of 1874.