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Imperial Russia 1881-1917
Transcript of Imperial Russia 1881-1917
The Geography of Russia in 1888 to 1917
The Nature of the Russian Society
By the end of the 19th century, Russian Society was extremely hierarchical.
Their social structure was often depicted on their visual propaganda such as the infamous 'Russian wedding cake.'
The challenges raised for Tsarism
When Alexander III became Tsar, Russia was in crisis following the assassination of Alexander II. There were immense challenges facing Alexander III as he suddenly became Tsar of the world's largest country, covering a sixth of the world's surface.
THE AUTOCRATIC RULE OF:
The geography of Russia
The nature of the Russian Society
Challenges raised for Tsarism
The autocratic rule of:
THE AUTOCRATIC RULE OF:
THE AUTOCRATIC RULE OF:
The Russian Empire was eight million square meters long! The far north was mostly the tundra*, which was and still is inhabited by tribes related to the Inuit*.
Further down in the South, there is more forest and this was the area mainly used for growing crops.
During 1881, there was a mass increase in the Russian population as well as a wide ethnic mix including Ukrainians, Finns, Estonians and Poles.
Known as 'the Liberator,' was the Emperor from the 2nd March 1855 and was assassinated on the 13th March 1881.
Known as 'the Peacemaker,' was the Emperor from 13th March 1881 to the 1st November 1894.
Reigned from the 1st November 1894 till when he was executed on the 15th March 1917.
The poor peasantry and the industrial working class made up more than four-fifths of the population.
Alexander III faced the problem of keeping this large multi-ethnic empire together. At the same time, he needed to maintain his own supreme political power.
Alexander III faced pressures from of his advisers to reform his empire to make it more like Western and central Europe which would involve reforming the autocracy.
Throughout the late 1870s senior Tsarist officials were murdered. The ultimate act against the Tsarist system was to assassinate the Tsar himself. This was organised by the organisation 'People's Will' which was formed in 1879.
There was political change through Revolution in 1905 which resulted in October Manifests in which case a national parliament called 'the Duma.'
The 1917 Revolution resulted in the end of 300 years rule by the Romanov family. So, by the October revolution Russia was the world's first communist state.
"His character is the source of all our misfortunes. His outstanding weakness is a lack of willpower." - Sergei Witte, a highly influential policy-maker who worked with the last two emperors of Russia.
The agricultural industry was existent but occurred from time to time. Most of it was privately owned. Workers came from either villages, or migrated to cities for employment in factories.
Between 1889 and 1894; coal mining, great iron and steel plants that was developed in Ukraine, oil around Baku, textiles around Moscow and engineering in the capital St Petersburg.
The Urban labour force grew rapidly. Nearly 50% of workers worked in factories with 1000 employees.
Wages, working hours and housing conditions were extremely poor.
In the field of economic conditions, 1904 was a bad year for the workers. Due to rise in prices of goods and wages decreased by 20% which lead to the famous St.Petersburg strike where 110,000 workers protested - they demanded reduction in work hours and increase in wages.
During the revolution:
- strikes all over the country
- universities closed down
- various professionals/workers established the Unions of Unions.
Political parties were illegal until 1914.
The socialists believed peasants were like "natural socialists" in their policy of fair distribution of wealth.
Alexander II freed the serfs, but they had to buy their freedom and many could not afford 50 year repayments.
The village council - The Mir - divided the land up according to who needed it the most.
He drew up plans for a massive investment in railways. He hoped that this would lead to:
- greater agricultural input
- finance the railways
- begin Russia's industrialization
The problems that industrialization caused:
- poor housing
- overcrowding in cities
- low pay
- long hours
In 1864, Alexander II introduced the first form of elective government in Russian history, on a local level.
In 1870 - trail by jury was also introduced so, that the Russian pubic has permission to be apart of Justice which, Alexander thought was very important.
The Russian population was rapidly increasing - from 98 million in 1885 to 125 million in 1905!
1892, 1898 and 1901- harvest failures which, caused the peasants to react in violence.
Peasants also attacked government officials and government records on landholdings - unpaid rents.
The Minister of Finance from 1886 to 1891 introduced a policy of taxing the peasants harder - gold reserves.
- indirect taxation
- raised tariffs
- pressed the collection of unpaid debts on improving payments/poll tax
This resulted in the peasant population having little reserves for food and money.
Ivan Vyshnegradskii, Minister of Finance
When Russification was introduced, Alexander III took serious actions against the non-Russians.
- Warsaw University in Poland, was closed down
- Education and religion was changed in Ukraine and Poland.
- Russian residents were not allowed to emigrate outside of Russia and movement within Russia was restricted!
Political parties were banned - Press + public meetings, closely controlled.