This paper endeavors to show the importance of history for any study in the social and political sciences. Following theorist and Nobel laureate Douglass C. North, it attempts to show how the past and the present are connected through the continuity of a society’s institutions even when those formal institutions undergo a radical change, that is, revolution. To that end I will be comparing two agricultural societies — Russia and China — beginning with their Imperial periods — to show how their attitudes towards their peasantry have endured through the upheaval of both revolutions and the potential impact on development. The impact of the Russian revolution on China will also be examined.

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