Tsarist Russia overview 1825-1917

Descriptions of each tsar in power, briefly explaining about them and what they did whilst in power.


Nicholas I 1825-1855

  • Repressive following the attempted Decembrist revolution in attept to prevent him coming to power
  • Autocratic, wanted to control everything
  • held great personal control over domestic and foreign affairs
  • repressive period to maintan autocracy but led to unrest of intelligentsia.
  • "not in as good order as i would have wished" What he told Alexander II when passing over the government.
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Alexander II 1855-1881

  • Tsar liberator
  • Failed to provide long term solutions
  • Emancpation of the serfs 1861 - peasants were allowed to but land from redemption payments to the state for 49years
  • Established the zemstva; elected council, 40% voted by peasants
  • Extended primary and secondary education
  • Unversities became autonomous and reduced class bias
  • Increased criticism of Tsarism - peasants became indebted and led to rise of populist revolutionary mvements such as the Pople's Will
  • Zemztva led to a desire for democracy
  • Increased number of educated people
  • Provided the potential for an organised party - not established til 20th century
  • Assassinatd 1881 by People's Will
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Alexander III 1881-1894

  • Period of successful repression
  • Crushed revolutionaries in the short term
  • Economic change from Witte and the great spurt
  • Utilised emergency powers
  • Created the Okhrana
  • Increased censorship
  • Created land captains
  • Increased government nterference in laws
  • Restricted the zemstva and education
  • Period of Russification
  • Supported industrialisation - 8%increase per anum
  • Exploited agrculture as a form of income from exports
  • Created stability for autocracy
  • He precipitated 1905 revolution from the growth of urban and rural unrest
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Nicholas II 1894-1905

  • Did not want to be Tsar
  • Unprepared
  • Autocratic
  • Believed in the Divine Right from tutor Pobedonstev
  • Saw reform as a "senseless dream"
  • Continued repression - extended Russification.
  • Could not maintain the regime
  • Zemstva grew in power and strikes increased
  • Peasant discontent grew from tax burden
  • Land hunger resulted from an increase in population
  • Loss of Russo-Japanese war
  • Disorganised 1905 revolution which was ended by the weakness of opposition and government concessions
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Nicholas II 1905-1917

  • Reforming concessions under the influence of Witte
  • End of peasant debt
  • October manifesto - creation of Duma (parliament) which pulled the Liberal movements suit
  • Fundamental laws 1906 - limited legislative power of the Duma
  • Stolypin's restrctions made the Duma supportive of the Tsar
  • The first agrarian reforms created by Stolypin - the Stolypin system
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