Late Imperial Russia

How was Russia set up to be the nation it is today? Introduction: ‘Imperial Russia’ all started in the 17th century where a man named Tsar Ivan IV the terrible’ battled and defeated the Mongols which were the previous rulers of Russia. He appointed himself the emperor of Russia and his heirs would carry on his principles and his way of ruling throughout the century’s to build a strong nation.

The Tsars of the Romanov dynasty would carry on ruling till the last reign in 1890-1917 which was held by Tsar Nicholas II son of Tsar Alexander Ill, it was his and is father’s reign which changed Russia from having its own system (tsarism) to become a nation with a fair government Just like the European nations of their time. At first glance the Tsar’s were thought to be grateful to Russia e. g. ictory over the swedes which transformed Muscovy into a great power of Europe and Alexander II the liberator ended serfdom and restored the government of Russia after losing the Crimean war. However there were many situations, problems in governments and people that caused Russia to change from having Tsarism to having an official government such as parliament. Tsar & Tsarism: The system of Tsarism was governed through three organisations: Firstly there was the imperial council, which were a group of advisers to the Tsar.

Secondly there was the Cabinet of Ministers, which ran the government departments of the Tsar. Thirdly there was the Senate, which were the supervisors of the law. All three of these governmental bodies were ranked under the Tsar so every organisation they run, laws they make or suggestions, the final word or decision has to be from the current Tsar ruler, e. g. To quote Reaction and Revolution ‘They were appointed, not elected nd they did not govern’.

This is because their roles are basically to give advice because whatever they say has to go through the Tsar. The Tsar which caused most problems were as I mentioned above Nicholas II and Alexander Ill because of what they tried to do to the Russian empire as well as what they didn’t try to do, unlike their reforming heirs, they didn’t fight for Russia or change for Russia, they only did what they did to benefit them, not the rest of Russia.

By the time of Nicholas’s reign Russia stretched a distance of 5000 miles from west to east and 2000 miles from outh to north, this of course made ruling Russia even more difficult because one family couldn’t possibly enforce their system on their own unless they had an actual government like other European countries of their time. Even though the sheer size of Russia gave it a well-known powerful image that it’s a nation of strength, it didn’t prove that because parts of the landscape are either unreachable, uninhabitable or just not worth the time to build upon.

Considering these facts Tsar Nicholas II wasn’t indeed that powerful as well as the Tsarism system which soon lead to changing into communist government ruled by the Bolsheviks in 1917. Overall the system of Tsarism is the system the Tsar family ran to rule the nation of Russia, this involved only them having command and if any governmental bodies have any ideas to change/improve Russia they could only advise it as only the Tsars nad control.

How did the geography of Russia compare to other nations in Europe and effect the Tsar: As IVe mentioned above, Russia consists a land mass of 16,093,440 Kilometres Squared which makes it 2 and a half times bigger than the USA and a whole lot harder to rule, this is because Russia of this time is being ruled by one family which nly cause poverty, social segregation and a failed work force, if you compare it to the USA of its time its doing far better than Russia because the USA is a democracy unlike Russia which is a socialist nation.

The differences are that the USA vote and elect, they have different ‘Parties’ which have different Jobs to run the country when Russia is run by one family which tries to do everything and when they do make laws or enforce something, it only rewards them not the nation. The advantage the Tsars had is that the size of Russia made them seem untouchable which explains the lack f countries invading or taking over Russia, this is the only way that the geography of Russia affects it positively, IVe mentioned how it affects Russia negatively e. . bad landscape, too much to rule over, cannot handle to control such a large area. Ruling Russia back then was difficult even with the Trans-Siberian Railway, sure it provided a way to cross the 5000 miles from west to east but it still caused neglect to places like Vladivostok and Irkutsk because they aren’t at all near the capitals such as Moscow and St Petersburg.

How did the people of Russia effect the Tsar and what did they do to respond to the ays of the tsar: The people of Russia were so constricted because of Tsarism it caused many problems, one of the catalysts to the problems was that it was a criminal offence to go against the Tsar or Tsarism, therefore if anyone decided they wanted to reform the tsarism system they had to go through the Tsar themselves and of course if it goes against their wishes they’ll say no and arrest the person responsible.

There has been Reforming Tsars which improved transport, improved efficiency of the army, re-built cities so they could change Russia for the better, but ventually it was all done for nothing because whenever an heir gained the throne from a reformed Tsar they always went back to the strict ways. This did effect the nation greatly but not as much until the last Tsar ever: Nicholas II, he was meant to carry on the rulings his tatner made to help build Russia into a stronger nation e. g. mproving standard of living, education, employment etc. but he decided to go back to the old socialist ways that caused poverty, distrust of the nation and weakening the barrier between a fair command and compete domination of the people of Russia. People didn’t Just stand around been ruled or told off by the tsars, there have been a few moments where theyVe risen up, worked together to eradicate the current Tsar leader or went underground to discuss what differences they could make on their own without the permission of the Tsar.

For example since free speech’ was a common myth in the reigns of Tsar, various people most likely in political activist groups decided to go to extremism. They thought the only way they could get their word out or make a change is through threats or by force, for example in 1881 Tsar Alexander II was blown up by a bomb thrown from the ‘Peoples Will’ hich were a terrorist group, they went this far because they didn’t want to be plagued by the Tsar or Tsarism anymore.

However other people of the nation went down low and created societies or non-activist groups which wouldn’t allow the Tsar’s to see how theyre changing Russia in a non-obvious fashion, but eventually after they started to plan a revolution the Tsar caught on and decided to infiltrate them with their own secret police known as the Okhrama. They were issued to perform raids, arrests, imprisonments and infiltrations to stop the ‘secret’ societies so the Tsar could carry on running the government.

The only thing that was good that the Tsar provided to the people was an Orthodox Church in every city (ST. Petersburg & Moscow), the people encouraged this because the church was a part of Russian culture and because it didn’t rely on any foreign influence or governmental body. Of course the Church supported the tsarist system throughout the century’s right up to the 19th century where it became well opposed to political/governmental change which caused it to so low in growth, unlike the industrial part of Russia.

Consider the fact the only 0. 5% of Russia is the Tsar and their advisors, 12% is military and the last 3. 9% is the public, the public consist of merchants, factory workers and owners, land owners and mainly peasants. This causes issues because of course the Tsar allow the chance that people can buy/own/sell land, but it comes with a price, considering most workers soon save up to buy a farm land but then it comes with a mortgage thus causing them to be in debt and nearly as poor as the peasants.

This effected the economy massively because by these statistics 80% of the population were peasants, and they knew peasants were illiterate and have a lack of skills, this portion of the opulation was the catalyst to everything the people did in response to what the Tsar did to Russia. This made the Tsar lower the ranks of the army so they could be filled with ‘conscription’ (the forcing of large numbers of peasants to Join the armed services), these were often called the ‘Dark Masses’.

The problems caused by botn Tsarism and the People ot Russia : The issues that were caused by the Tsar effect Russia more frequently and at a higher scale after Alexander the seconds reign, this is because he was the first reforming Tsar for a while and what he did was for the better interest of the nation not himself; People tarted noticing his reforms in 1861 when he emancipated the Serfs, he restored Russia’s governing structure after the loss in the Crimean war and he set up a network of elected councils in the rural areas which were called ‘Zemstvos’, even though it seemed with these elected bodies that anyone could vote, that wasn’t the case because of strict voting regulations only the land owners not the peasants could take part in the voting. Alexander II has obviously made a difference to his nation because of this evidence, but it still did solve the problem that there might be a hance that the next Tsar could ignore his reformative ways and create discipline, poverty and all the other problems again like other Tsars before him. He also feared that since he’s doing all of this, he’s not committing to his Tsar duties, so near the end of his reign he goes back to the old ways which doesn’t affect much but leads to his assassination in 188111880.

His successor ‘Alexander Ill’ caused all sorts of problems, problems so bad that everyone in the nation felt oppressed during his whole reign, after he was replaced by Nicholas II things got even worse because he didn’t like the eforming that alexander II did, so he carried on the repressive policies of his predecessor, which made Alexander the seconds reformation worth nothing, this of course angered the intelligent, richer and educated class of Russia known as the intelligentsia. The army of Russia was weakened by Nicholas II because he decided to lower ranks in the military so that even peasants could Join, this made becoming a high ranking officer easier therefore more of a chance to affect the tsarism system that Nicholas II has moulded. This weakened the force or strength of the military reatly, so much that the people created their own group called the ‘Militia’ which basically had their own form of Justice against criminals.

If the military was going downhill so was the Tsar because Just about 50% of their expenditure was funding the army which was only able to produce a million and nalt me, which does sound powerful but most of which were peasants and land owners. People of Russia had less specific reasons of why the army, or their nation is so bad, they thought that the Tsar civil service was corrupt and the evidence to show it was that it’s the nation hose tried and tried again to reform itself but always goes back and corrupts itself again. Many citizens accused the Tsar of ‘sucking the blood of the people’ which refers to the fact that they control them, they corrupt them and they use them.

Overall many people of Russia either appreciated the reformation to be on par with other nations or hating the reformation, the people which wanted the reformation were known as the Westerners’ because they wanted Russia to adopt aspects of European nations so they won’t live in horrendous conditions e. g. destroyed towns/ cities because of wars. Or have economic problems e. g. iving in poverty. The people who wanted Russia to stay the same were known as ‘Slavophiles’ they wanted to preserve the best aspects of Russia, yes solve the problems but not via adopting features of other European nations. Conclusion: The system of Tsarism is the system the Tsar family ran to rule the nation of Russia, this involved only them having command and if any governmental bodies have any ideas to change/improve Russia they could only advise it as only the Tsars had control.

The geography of Russia effects its government greatly because it made them seem stronger when actually the tsar couldn’t possibly control the whole of Russia, also because of the vast landscape they couldn’t industrialise as fast as other nations could therefore putting them at a disadvantage as a nation. The people of Russia lived in poverty because of the strict rulings of the tsar, that the tsar couldn’t control all of them, they were in debt if they paid for land, even if theyre factory workers everyone couldn’t possibly benefit the whole nation. Because of the constant change of reforming tsars to cruel tsars the people of Russia didn’t know what to do and what they can do, which lead to assassinations, societies being created and being invaded by military or police.