A2 Russian History 1855-1964 Russia and its Rulers Notes

This is synoptic content of the entire OCR History A Unit F966: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964. It is arranged into themes, and comparisons between the leaders are made. 

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Alexander II 1855-81
He was a keen reformer, made significant moves towards regaining Russia's position as an ally.
His reform programme gained him the name `Tsar Liberator' as it was so far reaching, more so than
any seen previously.
The Crimean War was the cause of his reforms.
The brutal…

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Alexander II stuck closely to autocratic principles especially after the attempt on his life in 1866.
He was a willing reformer, but his policies were still carried out with the need to preserve
autocracy in mind.
Administration - The Tsars used a Council of Ministers as a main link, the…

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Alexander III 1881-94
When Alexander came to the throne he was faced with the mounting opposition that was
encouraged to grow during his fathers reign. He was determined to ensure and retain autocracy by
reversing the liberal reforms his father had implemented that led to opposition growth. He had to…

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working class. This combination brought about the revolution. Populism were the extreme radical
intellectuals like the Narodniks and the Peoples Will whom believed terrorism and assassination
were the answers to gaining a collective Russia ­ where everything was shared.
Administration ­ his appointment of Sergei Witte to Finance Minister made…

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Nicholas II 1894-1917
Nicholas II's domestic policies never seemed to deal effectively with the economic, social and
political challenges Russia faced. Opposition to his rule proliferated and became more organised. To
distract people's attention from growing domestic issues Nicholas engaged in the Russo-Japanese
War (1904-1905) and committed Russia to taking…

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Economic ­ Yet again, there was enormous economic progress. In 1897 the rouble was placed on the
gold standard, which resulted in increased foreign investment. This gave impetus to the `Great
Spurt' where industrial production increased annually by 7.5%.
Great Spurt ­ coal production doubled, iron and steel increased sevenfold,…

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Working and living conditions ­ In 1910 there were over 100,000 deaths due to cholera, a disease
associated with urbanization, in St. Petersburg. The living standards of the population suffered a
rapid decline after the outbreak of fighting in 1914. Russia enjoyed good harvests in 1914, 1915
and 1916. Although…

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Provisional Government March 1917 ­ October 1917
The February Revolution of 1917 led to a dramatic change in government.
The Provisional Government was made up of politicians who had been elected to the Duma in 1912
and were associated with the `old' guard ­ the incumbent political elite that represented…

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Summary of reforms ­ There was little time for the Provisional Government to successfully work or
establish significant change, as they were an unelected body that significantly lacked authority.
They entered `power' in a time of economic, social and political crisis and the First World War was
having devastating impacts…

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Lenin ­ October 1917 ­ 1924
Lenin had a great influence on the revolutionary movement even though he was often in exile.
He played a major role in the Bolshevik seizure of power and the establishment of Communist rule
in Russia.
Revisionist historians have argued that Lenin laid a base…




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