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Imperial Russia 1801 - 1917. The Tsars. Alexander I 1801 – 25 Nikolai I 1825 – 55 Alexander II 1855 – 81 Alexander III 1881 – 94 Nikolai II 1894 - 1917. Alexander I: liberal rhetoric. Verified the Code of Nobility Abolished ( but soon reconstructed ) the secret police

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Imperial russia 1801 1917
Imperial Russia 1801 - 1917


The tsars
The Tsars

  • Alexander I 1801 – 25

  • Nikolai I 1825 – 55

  • Alexander II 1855 – 81

  • Alexander III 1881 – 94

  • Nikolai II 1894 - 1917


Alexander i liberal rhetoric
Alexander I: liberal rhetoric

  • Verified the CodeofNobility

  • Abolished (butsoonreconstructed) the secretpolice

  • Introduced the Permanent Council

  • Attemtto make administration moreefficientthrough the Ministries

  • Constitutional experiments in Finland and Poland

  • Reform ofeducation

  • Won international prestige after the defeatof Napoleon


Nikolai i orthodoxy autarchy and nationality
Nikolai I: Orthodoxy, Autarchy and nationality

  • Decembrist Revolt 1825

  • Personal chancellery

  • Showed no interest in liberal reforms

  • Independenceof the nobilityremoved

  • The ThirdSection and censorship

  • A Russian Intelligentsia emerges

  • Conflictwith the Ottomans and the otherEuropeanGreat Powers leadsto the CrimeanWar 1853 - 56


Alexander ii the reformer
Alexander II: the reformer

  • Defeat in the CrimeanWar a desaster for the tsarist personal regime

  • National debtwashigh and steadilyincreasing

  • Unrest in severalcitiesworried

  • Peasant support wasdeclining

  • A growing intelligentsia woulddemand reforms


Alexander s reforms
Alexander´s Reforms

  • The Emancipation Edict 1861; Serfdomended

  • Legal reforms 1864: Independent courtsintroduced; all equalbefore the law

  • The Zemstvo reform 1864

  • Army reform

  • Work on a constitutionstarted

  • Industrial developmentencouraged: focus on railways, oilfields, export ofwheat

  • RiseofRussian terrorism

  • Alexander assassinated by radicals in S:t Petersburg 1881


Alexander iii the reactionary
Alexander III: the Reactionary

  • Directresponseto the murderof Alexander II was a decisiveturn back to a more repressive and autocraticrule.

  • The group ”People´s Will” broken up in a largepolice offensive, numbersofprisoners in Siberiaincreased.

  • The powerof the ordinarycourtswasdiminished, administrative officialswere given morepower and militarycourtsintroduced.

  • A system ofinformersdeveloped, the secretpoliceexpanded.


Instruments of tsarist control
Instruments oftsaristcontrol

  • Police apparatus

  • Introductionof Land Captains

  • Censorshiptightened

  • Autonomyof the universitiesended, steps taken toexcludepoor boys from gymnasiums

  • Indepenceof the courtsreduced

  • Morepower given to the Orthodox Church, less tolerance for other religions.


Targets victims of tsarist repression
Targets/VictimsofTsarist repression

  • National minorities – Russificationused

  • Jews – increaseddiscrimination and pogroms under Alexander III; ca 2 million jewsleftRussia

  • Illegal trade unions in the growingindustrial centers

  • Parts of the Intelligentsia


Structural problems
Structural problems

  • Alexander II:s land reforms meantthatheavy taxation on the peasants, forcedthemtosell as much as possibleof the production. Desasterafterharvestfailure 1891.

  • Farmingmethodsremained primitive, peasantscouldhardlyafford new machines or weresuspiciousofthem.

  • The population growthputenormouspressure on the cultivable land.

  • Land area owned by nobilitydecreased, also the nobilitysuffered from highprotection tariffs, slowed the modernisation.


Population growth
Population Growth

  • 1860 74 100 000

  • 1870 84 500 000

  • 1890 110 800 000

  • 1900 133 000 000

  • 1910 160 000 000

  • 1914 175 000 000


Industrial development
Industrial Development

  • Alexander´s minister ofFinance, Sergei Witte, led Russiainto a rapid industrialisation.

  • Witte activelyspronsoredforeigninvestments and implementedprotection tariffs toencouragedomesticindustry.

  • Directstateinvestmentsencouraged, especiallyregardingrailways

  • TransibirianRailroadconstructed

  • Industrial output expanded at an annual rate of 8% in the 1890s.


Railway construction

1880 22,865km

1890 30,596km

1904 59,616km

1914 77,246km


Nikolai ii the weak tsar
Nikolai II: the weak tsar

  • Conservative, religious

  • Manipulated by the tsarina


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