Death Sentence For Fyodor Dostoevsky – 11/16/1849

History |

Today, our country has been struggling with a variety of issues that affect us as a whole while others focus on the few or the individual. One such topic is the death penalty as it exists in some states while others decline from using this option. Putting someone to death for committing certain crimes has been implemented for centuries as well as being enforced in other nations. 

Russia has had its own internal issues with this as far as should it be used and what crimes justify an execution. Going back to the nineteenth century, a Russian court ordered the sentence of death to be carried out on Fyodor Dostoevsky on November 16th, 1849 for being connected with a radical intellectual group that committed allegedly antigovernment policies. When the death sentence was ready to be carried out, at the last moment his execution was stopped.

Fyodor grew up where his father accrued enough wealth to purchase serfs and lands from working at Moscow’s Hospital for the Poor as a doctor. Unfortunately, Dostoevsky was inflicted with epilepsy and after the death of his father, became a civil servant after studying military engineering while writing novels in private. Fyodor had his first two novels published in 1846 in which his first novel, “Poor People” was a success while his second novel, “The Double” was the opposite. Later, he would join the intellectual discussion radical group known as the Petrashevsky Circle. Dostoevsky would be arrested and sentenced to be executed in 1849 due to the subversive activities the group was suspected of committing.

Fyodor was positioned in front of a firing squad on December 22nd, 1849 only to be reprieved at the last moment. Instead, his sentence was to be moved to a labor camp in Siberia and to work there for four years. He would end up working on the Mongolian Frontier as a soldier after being released from the camp in 1854. Dostoevsky returned to Russia in 1859 after meeting a widow and deciding to marry her. He created a magazine a year later and for the first time traveled to Europe in 1862.

Tragically, Fyodor’s life drastically changed for the worst in 1864 and 1865 as his brother and wife passed away, his magazine would end up failing and ended up being in debt which only grew worse due to his gambling. Hoping to turn his life around, his most successful work “Crime and Punishment” was published in 1866. He would later marry a stenographer in 1867 and the two decided to flee in order to escape his creditors to Europe. The couple would go back to St. Petersburg as his novel “The Possessed” was a success in 1872. During his final years, Fyodor would see his published novel “The Brothers Karamazov” become an immediate success in 1880 but sadly passed away a year later.

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