", Stephen R. Burant, "The January Uprising of 1863 in Poland: Sources of Disaffection and the Arenas of Revolt. [47], Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) was a major blow to the Tsarist regime and further increased the potential for unrest. This marked the beginning of the Revolution of 1905. The late 1820s were successful military years. Many of the government and other major buildings were designed with Italianate influence. In numerous cases the peasants ended up with the smallest amount of land. The Orthodox hierarchy was suspicious of education – they saw no religious need whatever for literacy. In 1881 Alexander II was assassinated by the Narodnaya Volya, a Nihilist terrorist organization. [58], The Russian army built two major railway lines in Central Asia during the 1880s. That the Duma had any radical elements was mainly due to the peculiar franchise enjoyed by the seven largest towns — Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kyiv, Odessa, Riga and the Polish cities of Warsaw and Łódź. "The empire strikes out: Imperial Russia,‘national’ identity, and theories of empire." Statistical Anomalies and Long-Tailed Distributions". The rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia and the Ottoman Empire. in. Novaya Zemlya and the Kolguyev and Vaygach Islands also belonged to it, but the Kara Sea was referred to Siberia. Access to the Baltic Sea was blocked by Sweden, whose territory enclosed it on three sides. This was seen as a political risk in Russia, which similarly suppressed its Muslims in Central Asia and Caucasia. These allotments were given over to the rural commune, the mir, which was made responsible for the payment of taxes for the allotments. In order to repress further revolts, censorship was intensified, including the constant surveillance of schools and universities. [23] More extreme social doctrines were elaborated by such Russian radicals on the left as Alexander Herzen, Mikhail Bakunin, and Peter Kropotkin. But the cost of her campaigns added to the burden of the oppressive social system, which required serfs to spend almost all of their time laboring on their owners' land. [39], In 1894, Alexander III was succeeded by his son, Nicholas II, who was committed to retaining the autocracy that his father had left him. France, Britain and Austria tried to intervene in the crisis but were unable to do so. Thence it ran to the Curonian Lagoon in the southern Baltic Sea, and thence to the mouth of the Danube, taking a great circular sweep to the west to embrace Poland, and separating Russia from Prussia, Austrian Galicia and Romania. The forests were sold, and the only prosperous landlords were those who exacted rack-rents for the land without which the peasants could not live upon their allotments. Another radical group was the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, exponents of Marxism in Russia. The empire had its genesis when the Russian nobility sought a new bloodline for its monarchy. A major peasant uprising took place in 1773, after Catherine legalised the selling of serfs separate from land. State service was abolished, and Catherine delighted the nobles further by turning over to them most state functions in the provinces. Thus, while the tsar's personal powers were limited in scope after 28 April 1906, it still remained formidable. On the international stage Yaroslav plays the medieval game of matrimonial diplomacy as assiduously as any of his contemporaries. Meanwhile, France, looking for allies against Germany after 1871, formed a military alliance in 1894, with large-scale loans to Russia, sales of arms, and warships, as well as diplomatic support. While the emperor retained many of his old prerogatives, including an absolute veto over all legislation, he equally agreed to the establishment of an elected parliament, without whose consent no laws were to be enacted in Russia. The serfs were freed in 1861, but the landowning aristocratic class kept control. Kievan or Kyivan Rus' (Old East Slavic: Роусь, romanized: Rusĭ, or роусьскаѧ землѧ, romanized: rusĭskaę zemlę) was a loose federation of East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. Ten years after Moscow’s official founding, a wooden wall was built to protect it, forming the original Kremlin. ", Olson, Gust, and Aleksei I. Miller. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks. On the Baltic Sea, Peter I founded a new capital called Saint Petersburg. In these assemblies the wealthiest proprietors sat in person while the lesser proprietors were represented by delegates. Updates? "Language and power in the late Ottoman Empire" (Chapter 7). By the end of 1905, there was disunity among the reformers, and the tsar's position was strengthened for the time being. The ministers, also nominated, were ex officio members. Russian Empire, including Congress Poland—a little more than 4 percent of the entire population. In the governments of the Black Earth Area the state of matters was hardly better. In ancient times, Greek and Iranian settlements appeared in the southernmost portions of what is now Ukraine. [55] The distinctly liberal notion of "progress" was replaced by a conservative notion of modernization based on the incorporation of modern technology to serve the established system. Many reforms were promised, but few were actually carried out before 1820 when he turned his attention to foreign affairs and personal religion and ignored reform issues. See main article on Russo-Japanese War The war between Russia and the Japanese Empire broke out on February 8, 1904 with a Japanese attack upon the Russian Far East Fleet stationed at Port Arthur. To replace Muslim refugees who had fled across the new frontier into Ottoman territory the Russian authorities settled large numbers of Christians from an ethnically diverse range of communities in Kars Oblast, particularly the Georgians, Caucasus Greeks and Armenians, each of whom hoped to achieve protection and advance their own regional ambitions on the back of the Russian Empire. In the western provinces, where the land was valued cheaper and the allotments somewhat increased after the Polish insurrection, the general situation was better. [20], The liberal tsar was replaced by his younger brother, Nicholas I (1825–1855), who at the beginning of his reign was confronted with an uprising. The first modern state in Russia was founded in 862 by King Rurik of the Rus, who was made the ruler of Novgorod. Thus, between 1772 and 1917 the Jewish population of this territory grew over eight times—an enormous increase, far greater than that of the … In sharp contrast to Western Europe, the entire empire had a very small bureaucracy – about 17,000 public officials, most of whom lived in Moscow or St. Petersburg. There was an increase of wealth among the few, but along with this a general impoverishment of the mass of the people, and the peculiar institution of the mir—framed on the principle of the community of ownership and occupation of the land--, the effect was not conducive to the growth of individual effort. "Between Local and Inter-Imperial: Russian Imperial History in Search of Scope and Paradigm. There he founded the first Russian settlement, Rybinsky ostrog. Nicholas II proved ineffective as a ruler and in the end his dynasty was overthrown by revolution. [76], The accession in 1801 of Alexander I (1801–1825) was widely welcomed as an opening to fresh liberal ideas from the European Enlightenment. In this it differed from contemporary colonial-style empires. These gestures of compassion garnered Catherine much positive attention from Europe in the Enlightenment age. Prior to the issuance of the October Manifesto, the tsar ruled as an absolute monarch, subject to only two limitations on his authority (both of which were intended to protect the existing system): the Emperor and his consort must both belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, and he must obey the laws of succession (Pauline Laws) established by Paul I. The October's party was a conservative force, with a base in many landowners and also businessmen. Franklin A. Walker, "Enlightenment and religion in Russian education in the reign of Tsar Alexander I. In the North it met the Arctic Ocean. In practice, however, the degree of control he could exercise over the empire was effectively limited by the size of the country, the inadequacy of the administration, and a generally nonmodern conception of politics. Paper money was issued to pay for expensive wars, thus causing inflation. It was the supreme court of cassation; an audit office, a high court of justice for all political offences; one of its departments fulfilled the functions of a heralds' college. The promise of modernization in the service of autocracy frightened the socialist intellectual Alexander Herzen who warned of a Russia governed by "Genghis Khan with a telegraph."[56]. Nevertheless, Catherine realized that serfdom must be ended, going so far in her Nakaz ("Instruction") to say that serfs were "just as good as we are" – a comment the nobility received with disgust. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [57] The establishment of a judicial system on these principles constituted a major change in the conception of the Russian state, which, by placing the administration of justice outside the sphere of the executive power, ceased to be a despotism. [37] However, Britain became alarmed when Russia threatened Afghanistan, with the implicit threat to India, and decades of diplomatic maneuvering resulted, called The Great Game. All the property turned over to the peasants was owned collectively by the mir, the village community, which divided the land among the peasants and supervised the various holdings. Furthermore, the empire at times controlled concession territories, notably the Kwantung Leased Territory and the Chinese Eastern Railway, both conceded by Qing China, as well as a concession in Tianjin. Police spies were planted everywhere. That war broke out when the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with strong German support, tried to suppress Serbian nationalism, and Russia supported Serbia. In the 19th century, they were closely watched by the imperial secret police, and thousands were exiled to Siberia. This area (Bessarabia) was among the Russian Empire's last territorial increments in Europe. Everyone began to mobilize, and Berlin decided to act before the others were ready to fight, first invading Belgium and France in the west, and then Russia in the east. They thus tended to ally themselves with the forces of bourgeois liberalism. Disappointment at the results of the war stimulated revolutionary tensions, and helped Serbia, Romania and Montenegro to gain independence from and strengthen themselves against the Ottomans.[34]. During the post-World War II era, Russia was a central player in international affairs, locked in a Cold War struggle with the United States. Empress Catherine the Great (reigned 1762–1796) presided over a golden age; she expanded the state by conquest, colonization and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Great's (Peter I's) policy of modernization along Western European lines. After regaining control of the country, a convention of leading Russians elected Michael Romanov to be the new Tsar. Another significant result of the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War in Russia's favour was the acquisition from the Ottomans of the provinces of Batum, Ardahan and Kars in Transcaucasia, which were transformed into the militarily administered regions of Batum Oblast and Kars Oblast. Moscow was then a minor outpost near the border of that principality. Learn more about the history and significance of the Russian Empire in this article. More than 88 million of the Russians were peasants. The latter path was advocated by Slavophiles, who held the "decadent" West in contempt. For administration, Russia was divided (as of 1914) into 81 governorates (guberniyas), 20 oblasts, and 1 okrug. On the left the Socialist Revolutionaries and Social Democrats wanted to expropriate the landowners, without payment, but debated whether to divide the land up among the peasants, or to put it into collective local ownership. The Russian Empire began shortly after the end of the Time of Troubles. They were largely tied to the land in a feudal sense until the late nineteenth century. Every year more than half the adult males (in some districts three-quarters of the men and one-third of the women) quit their homes and wandered throughout Russia in search of labor. Russian Empire, historical empire founded on November 2, 1721, when the Russian Senate conferred the title of emperor of all the Russias upon Peter I. His many reforms brought considerable Western European cultural influences to the new Russian Empire. The tsar's most influential adviser was Konstantin Pobedonostsev, tutor to Alexander III and his son Nicholas, and procurator of the Holy Synod from 1880 to 1895. [66][67], The household servants or dependents attached to the personal service were merely set free, while the landed peasants received their houses and orchards, and allotments of arable land. See for these periods of extraterritorial control the empire of Japan–Russian Empire relations. Peter told the Senate that its mission was to collect taxes, and tax revenues tripled over the course of his reign. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. During his reign Russia declared the Franco-Russian Alliance to contain the growing power of Germany, completed the conquest of Central Asia and demanded important territorial and commercial concessions from the Qing. Conservatism was the reigning ideology for most of the Russian leadership, albeit with some reformist activities from time to time. During World War I, Russia briefly occupied a small part of East Prussia, then part of Germany; a significant portion of Austrian Galicia; and significant portions of Ottoman Armenia. "Historiography and national identity among the Eastern Slavs: towards a new framework. The right to vote was extended and no law was to become final without confirmation by the Duma. [46], In 1903, at the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in London, the party split into two wings: the gradualist Mensheviks and the more radical Bolsheviks. Previous versions of the black eagle on gold background were used as far back as Peter the Great's time. Both lines served the commercial and strategic needs of the empire, and facilitated migration.[59]. The formerly Swedish-controlled Baltic provinces (Courland, Livonia and Estonia) were incorporated into the Russian Empire after the defeat of Sweden in the Great Northern War. The Council of the Empire, or Imperial Council, as reconstituted for this purpose, consisted of 196 members, of whom 98 were nominated by the Emperor, while 98 were elective. The Russian Empire[b] was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. Next map, Russia … However, instead of receiving their lands as a gift, the freed peasants had to pay a special tax for what amounted to their lifetime to the government, which in turn paid the landlords a generous price for the land that they had lost. China was too weak to resist, and was pulled increasingly into the Russian sphere. 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