The aim of this book is to unravel the tangled story of the four revolts, to examine their nature, course, and outcome, and to analyze their ultimate historical significance. Who were the rebels? What were their motives, social origins, and modes of behavior? What did they want and what did they achieve? Such are the questions this work will try to answer. Comparisons between the revolts will be made throughout the text, and especially in the concluding section of each chapter, while a final chapter will evaluate the overall significance of the revolts and their impact on the subsequent history of Russia. In particular, an effort will be made to determine the extent to which they foreshadowed the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, which so profoundly affected the course of contemporary history.