Cholera Riots

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Cholera Riots


urban, peasant, and soldiers’ antiserfdom disturbances that took place in Russia in 1830 and 1831 during a cholera epidemic. They were provoked by the tsarist government’s imposition of quarantines and armed cordons. Aroused by rumors that government physicians and officials were planning to poison the populace, excited mobs destroyed police departments and government hospitals and killed officials, officers, and landowners.

In November 1830 in Tambov the insurgent city dwellers attacked the governor; only regular troops at last succeeded in pacifying them. In June 1831 a revolt took place on Sennaia Square in St. Petersburg, where workers, artisans, and porters were dispersed by guards units reinforced by the artillery. Particularly critical were the disturbances in Sevastopol’ and in the military settlements of Novgorod Province, where the insurgents set up their own court, elected committees of soldiers and noncommissioned officers, and aroused the serfs. The cholera riots were harshly suppressed by the tsarist government.


Gessen, S. Ia. “Kholernyebunty” (1830–1832). Moscow, 1932.
Dubasov, I. I. “Tambovskaia kholernaia smuta v 1830–1831 gg.” Istoricheskii vestnik, 1887, no. 9.
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They fled in 1892 to escape the cholera riots. At that time the Tsarist authorities feared the nihilists, hated the Jews, and all "non-conformists" were suspect.