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Lecture 5

History 1401E Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Tsarist Autocracy, Crimean War, Westernization

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Nicolas Virtue

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The Collapse of Tsarist Russia
Continuity Change - Problems in Russian history
- Autocracy:
- Russia at this time is an absolute Monarchy (tsarism)
- Nicholas II is emperor and autocrat of all russians
- Not limited by any form of constitution
- Based on an alliance between the tsar and the russian aristocracy as well with the
tsar and the orthodox church (tsar is the head of the orthodox church
- Multiethnic Empire:
- Russians are a minority of the population
- Result of territorial expansion largely through military conquest
- Muscovy develops and becomes the strongest of the successor states
- Militaristic group and expansion is based on conquest
- They arent big players until 18th century
- 43% of the population were actually Russian
- Outlawed certain languages such as ukrainian
- Backwardness and Westernization
- Had a desire to catch up to the west, which were ahead of Russia in terms of
literacy and military
- Peter the Great was the most famous tsar
- the one to expand borders to Sweden
- moved the capital from moscow to further the west (for easier
communication) St Petersburg
- Westernization was restricted to the nobility
- Wasn't political or social reforms but more military and bureaucracy
- Alexander II
- Followed closely to the more liberal policies
- Spurred to action after Russia defeat in the crimean war (against britain
and France)
- War does not go very well and it is blamed on backwardness
- He decides to do something radical and frees the serfs
- All russian peasants were legally unfree and tied to their land
- Slaves
- He plans to introduce a parliament with a constitution
- Wants it to be a constitutional monarchy
- Same day he plans to pass this he is assassinated by anarchists
- Radical socialist who adopted terrorist methods
- Didn't want successful reform but instead wanted tsarism
down completely
- Successors rule with a more iron fist
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