Petersburg could boast that it commanded the largest army in Europe in numberspoor roads, antiquated weapons, and low morale prohibited the effective use of that awesome potential power. The defeat proved to the autocracy in charge that Russia had fallen dangerously behind its Western neighbors, making it vulnerable to future attack and invasion. Why had Russia lost?
The 19th century was a tumultuous one for the empire, full of demands for change, attempts at reform and uncertain outcomes. The first significant threat to tsarist autocracy came in Decemberwhen army officers led an uprising against the new emperor, Nicholas I.
The Decembrist revolt, as it became known, was more attempted palace coup than a legitimate democratic revolution — nevertheless, the Decembrist rebels were liberal in their political views.
The Decembrist uprising of 3, men was eventually crushed by the tsar but it prompted him to examine the empire and its tensions. Russia was also unsettled by the Crimean War of Triggered by imperial tensions and disputes over control of the Holy Lands, Russia was confronted by three powerful empires: France, Britain and the Ottomans modern-day Turkey.
Much of the fighting took place on the Russian territory, on a peninsula in the northern Black Sea in what is now Ukraine. The Crimean War was a disaster for the homeland. Russia put almost three-quarters of a million men into the field and more thanof them were lost.
The disastrous outcomes of the Crimean War prompted the tsar, Alexander II, to consider reforms, particularly the abolition of serfdom. By bringing an end to this medieval concept, in effect a form of bonded slavery, Alexander hoped that agricultural production could be modernised and made more efficient.
This would assist the transformation of Russia from a backward agricultural economy into a modern industrial and capitalist economy. The idea of bringing an end to serfdom was hardly new. It had been suggested several times before but was always resisted by the conservative land-owning nobility, who benefited from the profits and status generated by serfdom.
A process of land redistribution was commenced but the detail was left in the hands of corrupt bureaucrats, and in some cases the land-owners themselves.
As a consequence, the reallocation of Russian land was hardly fair. Former serfs were now free peasants but they were given a stark choice: In effect, they had traded one form of bondage for another. Among these were the creation of representative bodies called zemstva, in effect a form of local government in villages and provinces, given authority to dispense education, charitable relief and other services.
For Soviet historians, the reform era is a watershed marking the transition from feudalism to capitalism. For many non-Soviet historians, the reform era ushered in the transition from traditional to modern society.
The amount of anti-tsarist dissent and unrest actually increased after the reforms of the s. Populist activists called Narodniks ventured into rural areas to circulate revolutionary ideas and to impel the peasants to take action.
Almost blown in half by a bomb, the dying tsar was carried into the Winter Palace, to be given the last rites in front of his horrified family. The liberal-minded tsar breathed his last — and so did 19th century Russian reformism.
The murder of the tsar was met with horror, both within Russia and around the world. Its perpetrators hoped that it would frighten the ruling dynasty into more extensive reforms — but it had the reverse effect.
The dead tsar was succeeded by his son, Alexander III, a giant of a man with a fearful temper and intimidating manner. Thousands of Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns and others were forced to learn or use the Russian language. He reduced the authority of the zemstva, placing villages and communes under the control of government officials.
Alexander III also reformed then expanded the Okhrana secret police and stepped up persecution of potential revolutionaries and assassins. Witte, adept at luring foreign investment in Russia, helping to stimulate the mining and petroleum industries, while funding the construction of factories and infrastructure.
Ironically, the largest sources of foreign capital in Russia were investors from France and Britain, its foes in the Crimea. As the Russian economy grew and industrialised, it drew thousands of landless or disenchanted peasants into the cities to work in factories and plants.
When Alexander III died in and the throne passed to his eldest son Nicholas II, the cities of European Russia were undergoing significant growth and change, stimulated by economic modernisation.
But there had been no corresponding political modernisation: In Alexander II was murdered. The new tsar, Alexander III, ordered a wave of reaction and repression.I am working (for reasons of my own) towards a comprehensive list of plausible technothriller plots from where the MacGuffin is named Satoshi Nakamoto.
Before you go off prematurely: a MacGuffin in fiction is "a plot device that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative. During & , Gorbachev struggled to deal with the problems unleashed by his reforms; by , conservative leaders of traditional Soviet institutions (army, government, KGB, & military industries) were worried; possible breakup of Soviet Union would mean an end to their privileges.
Was the first President of the Russian Federation from to The Yeltsin era was a traumatic period in Russian history—a period marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems. In June Yeltsin came to power on a wave of high expectations.
After being taken down twice by Blogger within a single week, we got the message: It’s Time To Go. Gates of Vienna has moved to a new address. Dec 31, · A treaty between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia (modern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
The newly established Communist Party, led by Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, took control of the government. Regardless of Alexander II's true feelings, he set out to reform Russian society along moderately liberal (for Russia) lines.
Still the most conservative country in Europe, Europe at the end of Alexander's reign was slightly different than before, if we only point to the emancipation of the serfs.