Russian Rulers: Tsar Aleksandr III 1881 -1894

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Influences

'The New Conservatism'

Konstantine Pobedonostsev

  • 'Autocracy, Orthodoxy & Nationality.'
  • Chief Procurator of the Holy Synogue.
  • Alek's very right wing tutor from youth. 

Aleksander II had a complex (and public) personal life > his son didn't want to emulate him. 

Believed his father was killed for being too liberal (assassinated having recently accepted Loris Melakhov's proposal for a national Zemstvo).

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Safeguard System August 1881

2 types

Reinforced Safeguard

  • Okhrana could arrest (without charge) for 3 months.
  • Local newspapers at risk of fine/closure in 10 provinces across Russia.

Extraordinary Safeguard

  • Allowed dismissal of Dumy & Zemstva.
  • Could dismiss officials in the civil service at will under first three ranks.

Alongside Okhrana, made Russia a police state.

Increased power for Police Chiefs & Government Generals > they were 'safeguarding autocracy.'

Lasted until 1917 revolution.

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Safeguard System August 1881

2 types

Reinforced Safeguard

  • Okhrana could arrest (without charge) for 3 months.
  • Local newspapers at risk of fine/closure in 10 provinces across Russia.

Extraordinary Safeguard

  • Allowed dismissal of Dumy & Zemstva.
  • Could dismiss officials in the civil service at will under first three ranks.

Alongside Okhrana, made Russia a police state.

Increased power for Police Chiefs & Government Generals > they were 'safeguarding autocracy.'

Lasted until 1917 revolution.

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Land Captains

1889 Govt. Generals could appoint a Land Captain.

Worked alongside the Zemstva.

Land Captains had the power to reverse decisions made by Zemstva, who needed approval from Land Captains in the first place.

This limited the powers of the Zemstva, BUT didn't replace them.

These are an example of how Aleksandr III 'capped' or limited the reforms of his father but didn't reverse them. He has been called a 'counter reformer' but doesn't really, instead he amended them without replacing them. > He couldn't 'unemancipate' the Serfs. But because he didn't carry on with reform, Russia remained backward and poor. 

SOME reform: Poll tax 1886, limited working hours for women and children 1882, introduced a Land Bank for peasants 1882.

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Nationality

Russification

  • Pan-slavism/Slavophilia, only 44% ethnic Russians, 100 different languages - trying to bring everyone together in Russian culture only.
  • Pobedonostsev admired Prussia > forcing culture onto small countries to create unity.
  • Cuacasus & Turkey: Primary education in Russian BUT that meant an introduction of primary education. Names were russianised, led to first stirrings of Georgian & Armenian Nationalism.
  • Baltics forced to teach in Russian.
  • Poland 1885 all teaching in Russian, an example of Poles having Russian imposed upon them, led to Polish Marxism & Nationalism.

Anti-Semitism

  • 1880s much presecution, all confined to Pale of Settlement, Pogroms.
  • Quotas for higher education introduced.
  • Entrance to legal, medical & military professions limited. 
  • Led to lots of socialist/marxist Jews.
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Nationality

Russification

  • Pan-slavism/Slavophilia, only 44% ethnic Russians, 100 different languages - trying to bring everyone together in Russian culture only.
  • Pobedonostsev admired Prussia > forcing culture onto small countries to create unity.
  • Cuacasus & Turkey: Primary education in Russian BUT that meant an introduction of primary education. Names were russianised, led to first stirrings of Georgian & Armenian Nationalism.
  • Baltics forced to teach in Russian.
  • Poland 1885 all teaching in Russian, an example of Poles having Russian imposed upon them, led to Polish Marxism & Nationalism.

Anti-Semitism

  • 1880s much presecution, all confined to Pale of Settlement, Pogroms.
  • Quotas for higher education introduced.
  • Entrance to legal, medical & military professions limited. 
  • Led to lots of socialist/marxist Jews.
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Agriculture & Industry (minor detail)

Agriculture

Key Issue: the relationship between peasants in country and workers in city was very complex.

Ministry of Finance: Inudstry. Ministry of Interior: Agriculture. CLASHED. 

Durnovo - Minister for Interior > 1893 all peasants to pay taxes through the Mir; strengthened Mir but limited peasant freedom > couldn't travel. A step backwards.

Population explosion: 1861 74 million peasants, 1913 164 million peasants.

Industry

Disproportionately large army spending - not on industry.

Agricultural slump 1879.

Large growth in cities. Kiev x2, Moscow x3.

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Industry (detailed)

Bunge 1881-87

  • control expenditure to attract foreign investment.

Vyshnegradsky 1887-92

  • Create budget surplus. 
  • Attracted loans from France - foreign investment.
  • Exported grain - even during 1891-2 famine (1.5-2 million died)
  • Govt. did little > Zemstva did, had more influence - calls for reform.

Sergei Witte 1892-

  • Wanted to 'leapfrog' Briatin & France via 'rapid and forceful industrialisation.' > forced modernisation > economic growth doubled.
  • 1893 French loan to railways & capital goods > Trans-Siberian Railway - a HUGE global achievement.
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