Presentation on theme: "Russia in the late 19 th Century. In 1900, Russia was a huge empire covering 1/6 of the world’s land area. It had great climate variations – frozen tundra."— Presentation transcript:
Russia in the late 19 th Century. In 1900, Russia was a huge empire covering 1/6 of the world’s land area. It had great climate variations – frozen tundra in the north, forests and dry-grassy steppe-lands and hot deserts in the South.
Population – 130 million 200 nationalities Diverse mix of religions
Russia was….. Only 40% ethnic Russians 80% were peasants – subsistence farmers 60%+ = illiterate Life expectancy = 40 Low tech and low investment Land ownership rare OBSCHINA (Commune) Land owned by OBSCHINA (Commune) It also organised taxes and allotted strips of land to each household
Russia was an AUTOCRACY There was no elected Parliament (DUMA) to represent the people. The Tsar had absolute power- 1. He was Head of the Armed Forces. 2. He was head of the Russian Orthodox Church. 3. All government ministers and officials were appointed by him and were responsible to him.
Wealth and Poverty Russia was a country of great extremes of wealth and poverty. There was little education and great ignorance, with only a small educated middle class to bridge the gulf between rich and poor.
Tsar before 1905 A typical exam question will ask you about the Tsar’s control before 1905. e.g. How secure was the Tsar’s hold on power in the years before 1905? Or How significant was the role of the Okhran in maintaining the authority of the Tsar before 1905?
Agriculture Russian agriculture was backward and inefficient – farming methods had hardly changed since the Middle Ages. Most of the land was owned by a few rich landlords, from whom the mass of poor peasants rented small plots of land.
Until 1861, these peasants were SERFS (slaves) controlled by the landlords. In 1861, the serfs were given their freedom but their lives did not become any easier. Village laws and policy was worked out by the elders of the village who formed the MIR, or village council.
Peasants 80% of population Drought and crop failure common 1891 = famine + cholera and typhus = 400,000 dead Population grew = plots of land became smaller 1890 – 64 % of peasants called up for military service were declared unfit.
YET..Yet… Faith in Tsar remained strong BUT hunger for land would grow.
Industry Russia was a very backward country, with little transport or industry. There were few large industrial towns, except in the West. The capital was St. Petersburg
Industrial and urban Russia had grown industrially but living and working conditions were horrendous Average working day was 14 hours Trade unions banned but some strikes took place Potential for hotbed of political activism
The Church The Russian Orthodox Church was controlled by the government and it kept a tight grip on the peasants who were taught by the Priests that the Tsar was to be loved since he had been placed there by God.
The Army Extremely loyal to the Tsar Large in numbers Controlled by upper class Enforced loyalty to the Tsar
Civil Service Carried out the Tsar’s wishes Mainly middle class Controlled all aspects of life – enforced laws on censorship Very corrupt
There was little freedom in Russia with peoples’ lives strictly controlled by the law and enforced by the Tsar’s Secret Police – the dreaded OKHRANA.
Glossary Autocracy - type of government where all of the power is held by one ruler.] Duma – elected government Okhrana – Tsar’s Secret Police Serfs – slaves owned by landowner Mir – Village council
Russification Name given to a policy of Alexander III Concept first thought up by Count Sergei Uvarov An attempt to bind all people around one person – The Tsar
3 Areas of Russification Autocracy – Unlimited power of the Tsar must be accepted by all of his subjects. Orthodoxy – Russian Orthodoxy – the trues faith. Nationality – All subjects should see themselves as Russians.
Alexander III believed that all cultures and nationalities within the empire should be wiped out (though not physically). Russification had no time for small ethnic groups that were more concerned about their culture at the expense of Russia’s as a whole. To be loyal to Russia and therefore the tsar, you had to be a Russian first.
Aims Russian language to be used throughout the empire. Russian Orthodoxy should be the only faith. Education should be provided in the Russian language – create loyal subjects
Government officials should be Russian. Conscription into the army. Conscripts should pledge their loyalty to the Tsar and to Russia.
Why did it fail? Impossible to silence everyone opposed to the Tsar purely through Russification. Run the risk of alienating people. Crucial that the Tsar was widely respected throughout the empire. He wasn’t. How did it make him look?