Political Authority and State of Russia

  • Created by: Ella9809
  • Created on: 12-02-20 10:51


  • Mid-19th century Russia was economically underdeveloped
  • Ratio of village to town dwellers was 11:1
  • 85% of the population were illiterate peasants (serfs)
  • Serfs - privately or state owned
  • Belonged to communes, or Mir
  • Village elders regulated the *****-farming
  • Paid their masters for the land in rent or labour
  • Could be brought, sold and beaten
  • 1855- Russia ruled by autocracy
  • Tsar was head of the Orthodox Church
  • Believed to possess semi-divine powers,
  • Edicts were law and could choose his own advisors

Impact of the Crimean War

  • Alexander II became Tsar in March 1855
  • At the end of the War in Crimea
  • Fighting British, French and Turkish since 1853
  • Suffered several defeats: Battle of Balaclava and Inkerman (1854)
  • August 1855- lost Sebastopol (major naval base)
  • Defeated in 1856 
  • Defeat highlighted Russia's reliane on serf armies and the country's economic backwardness
  • Also its weapons were outdated
  • 45% of annual expenditure


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