Russia in Revolution

Some introductory notes for the Russia in Revolution cource by OCR, including Pobedonostev, opposition groups and 1905 revoloution, hope it helps you lovely people! appologies for spelling misteaks, it was kinda rushed

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  • Created on: 14-10-12 14:37
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Russia in Revolution -1881-1924: From Autocracy to Dictatorship
Tsar: Russian King/Emperor
Autocracy: Single person in power, mostly gain their power through inheritance.
Reforms: Changes made for the better
Reaction: (Opposite of reforms) - usually the tightening of rules or removing of freedoms.
1813- Defeat Napoleon
1854 to 1856- Crimean War (disaster)
1856- Vladivostok added to Russian empire
1861- Emancipation of the Serfs
1864- Caucasus mountains added to Russian empire
1870's- Turkistan added to Russian empire
1871- Unification of Germany
1881- Assassination of Alexander II
Class Structure
77% of Russians were Peasants
1% of Russians were the top of the hierarchy

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Structure of the Tsarist State
Three Principles that were underpinning the Tsarist System
1) Autocracy- Complete political power is held by a single person, they are not subject to
legal restrains, and their position is often gained through inheritance.
2) Nationality- There was a strong belief that Russians had a distinctive way of life, values,
beliefs and customs that were superior to the people around them. This "Russianness"
was supported by the Orthodox Church.…read more

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Westerners VS Slovophiles
Since the 1840's there had been a debate on the way forward for Russia.
`Westerners' believed that they could take certain values and political and economical institutions
from the west to build a stronger Russian state.
`Slavophiles' believed that Russia had its own rich culture transmitted by the Orthodox Church. They
believed that Russian should maintain its own traditions. They rejected western parliamentarianism
and did not want the Tsar bound by a constitution.…read more

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Alexander II
Set up the Zemstva. (A local/ district elected council).
Set up the Mir (peasant leaders), who collected taxes and manages court cases and passports. They
were unpopular. They had power over peasantry only, and they were only in villages and small
The Mir was:
Co-op basis
Mutual support
Allocated land according to family size
Did not allow peasants to move around
Had the power to punish- flogging and conscription. (conscripted trouble makers into army)
Regional variations.
Made agriculture production increase.…read more

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Alexander III
6ft 4" tall, broad shouldered and extremely strong.
When he came to the thrown he made it clear he was going to affirm the principles of
In the Manifesto of Unshakable Autocracy (29th April 1881) he announced the Tsar would
"rule with faith in the strength truth of the autocratic power that we have called upon to
affirm and safeguard the popular good from infringement".
He gave the impression of immense power- essential for an autocrat.…read more

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Romanov- Second name of Tsar's
The Peoples Will (Socialists) Killed alexander II
Alexander III
Became Tsar in 1881
Died of kidney problems
Had six children with is Danish wife
He was an anti-Semite, probably got this from his tutor, Pobedonostev.
Imperial Family
Autocratic Rule
Ordained by god
Head of Russian Orthodox Church
Embodiment of god on earth
Advised by the imperial council- select members of nobility
Chose the members of the committee of ministers that were in charge of departments.…read more

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As well as being the tutor to Tsars and adviser to Tsars, Pobedonostev has been called "the
pace-setter of reaction". He had strong influence on the Tsars repression and influenced
Russification: the idea that all those in the Russian empire should become Russian, this
included, learning Russian, have Russian customs and Russian culture.
Nicholas II 1894-1917
Believed democracy would ruin Russia.…read more

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Tsarism. Kulaks were wealthy peasants, they were hated
buy the other peasants. A bad harvest in 1891 lead to 400,00 peasants dying.
Fundamental resources for industrialisation:
Russia had to industrialise to keep up with other western countries, and to raise the standard
of living.
Sergei Wittle
Wittle was the Finance minister between 1892-1903. Wittle new that Russia had oil, iron,
coal and timber, but the problem was how to exploit them.…read more

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Opposition to Tsarism
Upper class that still wanted Tsar.
Liberal intelligencia believed in civil right and freedom or the individual , rule of the law, free
elections, parliamentary democracy and limitation of the Tsars power.
They preferred reform than violent action, political channels through Zemstva, articles in
newspapers, meetings and reform banquets. They were not too popular and have next to no
support from main cities.
Believed in going to the people and spreading their socialist ideas through peaceful
propaganda.…read more

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Believed that there party should be broadly based and take in all those that wished to join. They
should also ne be more democratic and have their members have a say in policy making. It also
encouraged trade unions so the working class would have better conditions.
Mensheviks took the Marxist line, that there would be a long period of bourgeois (middle class)
democratic government.…read more


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