Russia's rulers key facts

Key facts of russian rulers

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Alexander II

Alexander II

Important points:

  • Emanicpated the serfs in 1861
  • Civic stragey (less repressive to minorities than russification)
  • Zemstva created
  • Judges paid more to stop bribes
  • Greater freedom of expression
  • Better education
  • Railway began to be built- 13,000 miles of siberian railway
  • Assasination attempt he became more repressive 
  • Assasinated


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Alexander III

Alexander III

Important points:

  • Russification- pogroms against the jews
  • Repressive- reaction to the assaination of his father
  • Sergei Witte's economic reforms started
  • Peasant land bank to give cheap loans to buy land
  • Banking reforms
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Nicholas II

Nicholas II

Important points:

  • Indecisive ruler
  • Introduced the first Duma although the powers of this were restricted again the next year with the fundamental law
  • Sergei Witte's economic improvements greatly helped the economy
  • 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war- lost badly
  • 1905 revolution- shot at peaceful protesters
  • WW1 took control of the army
  • 1917 revolution- forced the abdicate, lost support of army and Duma
  • Murdered with family by the Bolsheviks
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Provisional Government

Provisional Government

Important points:

  • Couldn't take control of Russia- were associated with the old regime
  • Promised freedom of speech and democratic elections
  • Didn't act to give the people what they wanted- land, better working and living conditions
  • Power share with Petrograd Soviet
  • Police work carried out my local militias
  • Political prisoners released
  • Lost support of the national minorities by refusing to give them autonomy
  • Nothing about deterioration of the economy
  • Didn't legitimise peasant land takeover- made them less willing to sell food to cities which increased food prices
  • Continued the war
  • Began suppression of left and right wing opponents
  • Reforms didn't make much impact or have support
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Lenin

Lenin

Important points:

  • Returned to Russia after revolution of 1917
  • Lead the Bolsheviks in displacement of the Provisional Government
  • 1917-1920 Strengthened Bolshevik rule and brutally defeated the opposition during the civil war
  • War Communism
  • Replaced war communism with the NEP in 1921
  • Used Cheka and red army to repress
  • Began to centralise industry and the economy


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Stalin

Stalin

Important points:

  • Power struggle with political opponents such as Trotsky- had him killed
  • Five year plans to modernise the Russian economy
  • Workers who didn't reach targets punished severely- e.g beig industrial complexes such as Magintogorsk
  • Collectivisation to improve Russian agriculture
  • Great terror, show trials and purges
  • NKVD used to imprison, exile and execute
  • Signed Nazi-Soviet pact
  • Defeated German invasion as had industrialised Russia to such a large extent
  • Start of the Cold war
  • Unprecedented level of repression, absolute control by the state
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Khrushchev

Khrushchev

Important points:

  • Eliminated political opposition- had Beria killed who was previously the head of Stalin's NKVD
  • Wanted to avoid mass unrest, liberally minded as son of a peasant
  • Virgin land's campaign
  • Launched destalinisation
  • Russian troops ordered to crush an uprising in Hungary
  • Moved towards decentralising the Russian economy
  • Cold war- space race- first Russian spacecraft Sputnik 1, cuban missile crisis, nuclear arms race
  • Promised social and economic reforms but couldn't go as far as he wanted due to financial problems from cold war
  • Suffered as a result to his liberal attitude
  • Gulags shut down
  • Removed from power- easy to dismiss as less repressive
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