Land, People and Tsardom

section 1: late imperial russia

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 16-05-11 13:02

russia's geography and peoples

- 1894 - russia covered 8 million square miles (two and a half times USA)

- size of russia gave an impression of great strength - misleading

- population contained a wide variety of peoples of different race, language, religion and culture

- controlling such a variety of peoples over a vast terrirory had long been a problem for russian governments

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the tsar

- people of russia governed by one person, the tsar

- since 1613m the tsars had been members of the romanov dynasty

- by law and tradition, the tsar was an ABSOLUTE RULER (no restrictions on his power. the people owed him total obedience)

- 'fundamental laws of the empire' - issued by nicholas I in 1932.

- the imperial council - a group of honorary advisers directly responsible for the tsar

-cabinet of ministers - ran government departments

- senate - supervised operation of the law (role merely to give advice)

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political backwardness

- by the beginning of the twentieth century, all the major western-europen countries had democratic governments

- russia had been involved in european diplomatic and political affairs, it was outside the mainstream of european political thought

- reforming tsars (peter I, Catherine II, Alexander II) tired to modernise country - rebuilding moscow and st petersburg, improving transport system, making army more efficient. they had not included the extension of political rights

- russia - 1881- still a political offence to oppose the tsar - no parliament - political parties had been formed but they had no right to exist - no free press - government censorship imposed on published books and journals

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- suporters of reform or change had to go underground

- in 19th century - wide variety of secret societies dedicated to political reform or revolution

- groups infultrated by members of the okhrana

- raids, arrests, imprisonments, general harrasment were regular occurences

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- denial of free speech drove political activists towards extremism

- 1881 - tsar alexander II blown up by a bomb thrown by 'the peoples will'

- in a society which strate oppression was met with revolutionary terrorism, no moderate middle ground on which a tradition of ordered political debate could develop.

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russian economy

- imperial russia slow at developing economically

- low number of urban workers - russia had not grown as much as usa,uk,germany

-russia found it hard to raise capital on a large scale. not yet mastered the art of successful borrowing and investment.


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