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Presentation on theme: "T HE R USSIAN E MPIRE U NDER P RESSURE Unit 6 Day 2."— Presentation transcript:


2 From Peter the Great to the Crimean War  Due to the efforts of Peter the Great and forward thinking successors like Catherine the Great, Russia is an important power in the late 18 th century  Pivotal role played by Russia in the Napoleonic wars carve out a place in European Politics  Efforts to modernize continue into the early 19 th century  Westernization officially comes to an end in 1825 after tsar Nicholas I crushes the Decembrist Revolt – attempt to create a liberal government in Russia  Results in reactionary conservatism

3 From Peter the Great to Crimea  In early 19 th Russia expands southward into the Caucasus region – including the modern Republic of Georgia

4 Crimean War (1853-1856)  Russia enters war with France, England, and Ottoman Turks  War itself is fought over obscure issues – ostensibly concerns confusion over who has custody over Christian sites in the Holy Land (Russia or France)  Most of the fighting on land takes place on small peninsula of Crimea  Russia suffers embarrassing defeat

5 Crimean War (1853-1856)  Significance:  Crimean War is the first conflict fought with modern weapons and techniques Railroad, Telegraph, Trenches, Artillery, Rifled Barrel Guns  Defeat convinces new tsar, Alexander II that Russia has fallen too far behind Europe  Russian serf-army decimated Alexander believes serfdom is outdated  Alexander begins modernization program

6 Modernization in Russia  Question: What steps did Alexander I take to modernize Russia socially and economically?  Emancipation of the serfs (1861) 80% of the people freed from bondage of serfdom Ends aristocratic domination and legal class discrimination Frees up workforce for industrialization Imperfectly Implemented – rural serfs forced to pay high prices for land; land owned communally by villages  Industrialization Sponsors development of factories in Moscow, St. Petersburg Builds network of railroads

7 Modernization of Russia  Sergei Witte (1849-1915)  Finance Minister under Alexander III  Following assassination of Alexander II by “the People’s Will” Russian political modernization ends but economic modernization continues  Furthers development of Railroad networks  Encourages foreign investment by putting Russian currency on the internationally recognized gold standard  Sponsors steel, oil, and transportation industries

8 Trans-Siberian Railway Construction began on the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1891 under the direction of Sergei Witte, then Railway Minister. When completed in 1916 the railway connected the city of Moscow in the West and the port city of Vladivostok in the East. It symbolized among other things Russia’s eastward imperial ambitions.

9 Russo-Japanese War (1904)  Russian successes attaining influence over Manchuria and interest in Korea threatened Japanese imperial interests  Feb1904 – Japanese launch a surprise attack on the Russian fleet in the Yellow Sea

10 Russo-Japanese War (1904)  Series of Japanese victories marks a humiliating defeat for Russia in world opinion and at home.  Militarily Russian fleet in Pacific destroyed along with hopes for warm water port in the East  Politically, results in global embarrassment Des Moines Register (April 2, 1905)

11 Bloody Sunday (1905)  Blow to morality over defeat by Japan combined with faltering economy increases popular feelings of discontent  Sunday January 22, 1905 Russian troops open fire on workers’ demonstration at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.  “Bloody Sunday” launches wave of civil unrest, protest, strikes.  Result is the October Manifesto of 1905 in which Tsar Nicholas II promises liberal government under popularly elected parliament (Duma)

12 October Manifesto 1905  We, Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc. etc., declare to all our loyal subjects:  The disturbances and unrest in St Petersburg, Moscow and in many other parts of our Empire have filled Our heart with great and profound sorrow. The welfare of the Russian Sovereign is inseparable from the welfare of His people, and national sorrow is His sorrow. The present disturbances could give rise to profound disaffection among the masses, presenting a threat to the unity and integrity of Our State. The oath which We took as Tsar compels Us to use all Our strength, intelligence and authority to put a speedy end to this unrest which is so dangerous for the State. The relevant authorities have been ordered to take measures to deal with direct outbreaks of disorder and violence and to protect people who only want to go about their daily business in peace. However, in view of the need for successful implementation of earlier measures aimed at pacifying the country, we have decided that the work of the higher agencies of government must be coordinated. We have therefore ordered the government to take the following steps in fulfilment of our unbending will:  Fundamental civil freedoms will be granted to the population, including real personal inviolability, freedom of conscience, speech, assembly and association.  Without halting the elections that have already been scheduled, participation in the Duma will be granted to those classes of the population which are at present deprived of voting powers (insofar as is possible in the short period before its convocation). Further development of a universal franchise will be left to the newly established legislature (i.e., according to the law of August 6, 1905, to the Duma and the Council of State).

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