The Nature of Autocratic Rule - Tsarist principles of autocracy, nationality and orthodoxy

  • Created by: Tori
  • Created on: 12-02-20 15:11
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  • The Nature of Autocratic Rule
    • Autocracy
      • Nicholas had total power within the Russian Empire.
      • The Tsar was assisted by the Cabinet, the Senate and the State Council.
        • However, these bodies were only advisory, thus had no power independant of the Tsar.
    • Nicholas II
      • Became the Tsar in 1894.
      • Ruled as an autocrat; the sole and absolute ruler.
      • His rule was particularily reactionary and oppressive.
    • The Tsar and the Law
      • The Tsar's power was not constrained by any constitutional checks.
        • The Tsar was not limted by the law.
        • Russian people had no right to free speech or a fair trial as these would limit the Tsar's power.
    • Consequences of Autocracy
      • Corruption was widespread as government officials claimed to be representatives of the Tsar, thus acted as if they had absolute power
      • The Tsar isolated himself from Russia's problems.
        • His advisors were unwilling to contradict him.
          • Thus, Nicholas had little understanding of poverty in Russia, or the government's corruption.
      • The Tsar's policies limited the growth of civil society.
        • His givernment outlawed some groups like Trade Unions and persecuted religious groups, who would have helped the growth of it.
    • Russification
      • The agressive promotion of Russian culture and the forceful supression of other national cultures.
        • The Tscar used this between 1894-1905 to control the Empire.
      • It was a responce to the developement of nationalist feeling in various parts of the Empire, which Nicholas thought would ruin it's unity.
        • In the late 19th century there had been a large growth in nationalism in Ukraine, Finland, Poland and Georgia.
      • Involved:
        • The imposition of Russia as the official language of government and the justice system in the politics of the Baltic States.
        • The promotion of Russian culture through primary schools.
        • Supression of non-Russian cultures.
        • Establishing Russian-language universities (eg. Iur'ev University in Estonia.
    • Consequence of Russification
      • Very detremental.
        • Led to backlash among groups who had been loyal to the Empire.
          • Eg. cultureal prosection turned the Finns, the Armenians and the people of the Baltic against the Tsar.
          • Nationalism in Poland/the Baltic states became a powerful anti-government force (would later feed into the 1905 revolution).
          • In Russia, nationalism led to anti-Polish, anti-Finnish and anti-Semitic feeling.
            • Sometimes led to violece against minority communities living in Russia.
    • Russification in Finland
      • Had a major impact in Finland
        • In 1899 the govener general in Finland abolished the Finnish legal system and replaced it with the Russian one.
          • Also abolished the Finnish Parliament and army.
        • In 1903 'temporary' regulations (which had been introduced in Russia in 1881) were extended to Finland.
          • Gave the Okhrana wide-ranging powers.
            • Resulted in widespread unrest. Bobrikov was assasinated in 1904 and the Finns played an active part in the 1905 revolution.
  • The Principles of Autocracy, Nationality and Orthodoxy


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