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Russia in Eurasia, Part 2. Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor of All Russias (reign 1682-1725)

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Presentation on theme: "Russia in Eurasia, Part 2. Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor of All Russias (reign 1682-1725)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Russia in Eurasia, Part 2



4 Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor of All Russias (reign 1682-1725)

5 Under Peter I, Russia was officially constituted as a European-type empire Peter was keenly aware of Russia’s backwardness in comparison with Europe Modernization of the Russian system was seen by him as essential for Russia’s security and prosperity Regaining access to the Caspian, Black and baltic Seas was a strategic goal To gain it, Peter waged wars for almost 30 years – against Tatar Khanates in the South and the Swedish Empire in the Northwest

6 Using ruthless methods, Peter remade the Russian state into a centralized bureaucratic machine headed by the autocratic monarch Everyone in Russia was ordered to serve this state – for the sake of Russia’s greatness Essentially, it meant compulsory military service

7 The new capital: St. Petersburg, founded in 1703

8 Poseidon over St. Petersburg

9 The Battle of Poltava, 1709: Russia defeats Sweden

10 Russia’s naval victory over Sweden: Battle of Gangut, 1714

11 Empress Catherine II (reign

12 Emperor Alexander I (reign 1801-1825)

13 Napoleon at the Battle of Borodino: Sept. 7, 1812

14 Borodino

15 Moscow on Fire

16 Napoleon’s retreat from Russia, winter of 1812-13

17 The victory over Napoleon propelled Russia into a new rank – a European Great Power, a member of the Concert of Great Powers, and, together with France, Britain, Austria and Prussia, a guarantor of European balance of power It also gave a new impetus to policies of containment of Russia

18 “The Russian octopus” – a British 1850s cartoon

19 An Imperial Russian Army officer, 1812: patriotism and a thirst for freedom

20 St. Petersburg, December 18, 1825: Young officers rebel against autocracy

21 Tsar Nicholas I (reign 1825-1855): Nationalism, bureaucracy, stagnation

22 A Russian naval triumph: sinking a Turkish fleet at Sinop, Black Sea

23 British cavalry attacks Russian troops in the Crimean War, 1855

24 The siege of Sevastopol, 1855

25 Emperor Alexander II “The Liberator” (reign 1855-1881): liberal reforms

26 Emperor Alexander III (reign 1881-1894): conservatism, nationalism, modernization

27 The Russian Empire: fourth integration of Eurasia

28 Coat-of- arms of the Russian Empire, 1890s

29 Russia’s 19 th century The apex of expansion – and the lag behind the West  From the triumph of 1812 (victory over Napoleon) to the disaster of 1855 (defeat in the Crimean War) The pressures for change The reforms of Alexander II Development of capitalism vs. Political modernization Capitalism was creating new classes, new issues, new conflicts – and the state was expected to evolve to be able to deal with them. But the Russian state was not up to the task. It was not capable of adapting to – and managing – the processes of socioeconomic change

30 Grain production in Russia, late 19 th century*: 1/3 of the German level 1/7 of the British level ½ of the French and Austrian levels * Richard Pipes, Russia Under the old Regime. Penguin Books, 1974, p.8 The issue of the surplus. The costs of security and development

31 Deceptive appearances of Russia: The image of stability vs. The potential for revolution REFORM VS. REVOLUTION: IS THE SYSTEM REFORMABLE? RUSSIA’S REBELS  Cossack uprisings of 17 th and 18 th centuries  (Razin, Bolotnikov, Pugachev)  The Decembrists – 1825  The Revolutionary Democrats (Chernyshevsky, Herzen)  The Populists  The Anarchists (Kropotkin, Bakunin)  The Social Democrats (Plekhanov, Lenin)

32 Nicholas II, Russia’s last Tsar (reign 1894-1917)

33 By the end of the 19 th century, the flaws of the Russian system become manifest The gap between Europe and Russia widens fast, the Russian system is too inefficient, too rigid, resistant to reform The 1904-05 war with Japan and then World War I exhaust the Russian state and expose its flaws 1905-1917: 12 YEARS OF UPHEAVAL WHICH DESTROYED THE RUSSIAN AUTOCRACY AND EMPIRE

34 Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05: A Russian cartoon

35 Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05: A Japanese cartoon

36 Beginning of the end of the Romanov Empire: Defeat of the Russian navy in the battle of Tsushima, May 1905

37 Russo-Japanese war triggers a Russian revolution

38 The crisis of the Russian “battle order” The effects of wars on the Russian system: successful wars (1721, 1815, 1878, 1945) – reaffirmed the status-quo, strengthened the state, discouraged reforms unsuccessful wars (1856, 1905, 1917, 1989) – fostered reforms and revolutions

39 Symbol of state power - or weapon of revolution? Russian battleship “Potemkin”, taken over by revolutionary sailors in 1905

40 Symbol of state power - or weapon of revolution? Russian cruiser “Avrora”, key to the success of the October, 1917 Communist coup

41 EUROPE, 1914

42 The summer of 1914 marked a watershed in world history: For the first time ever, a world war began Since 1914, we’ve experienced 4 world wars They are historically connected with each other – like links of a chain They may be viewed as 4 stages of one continuous period of global conflict

43 What made world wars possible: 1. An integrated world – globalization 2. Struggle for power within countries acquires international dimensions 3. Availability of economic resources 4. Development of military technologies 5. The culture of war  New rationalizations of war  The idea of total war






49 Causes of Russia’s involvement in World War I: - own imperial goals (the Balkans and Transcaucasus): natural behaviour of an empire - influence of Britain and France - a war to avoid a revolution The clash of empires: The interstate conflict The internal factors: - interplay of nationalisms - class conflicts - struggles over democratic reforms

50 Russian soldiers pledge allegiance to the Tsar: World War I

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