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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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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uprisings were a possible threat to 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…

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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…

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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…


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