Tsarist Russia 1855-1917

Gus Bambridge-Sutton
Flashcards by Gus Bambridge-Sutton, updated more than 1 year ago
Gus Bambridge-Sutton
Created by Gus Bambridge-Sutton about 6 years ago


Flashcards on Tsarist Russia 1855-1917, created by Gus Bambridge-Sutton on 04/06/2015.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Reasons Alexander II made further reforms after the emancipation - The pressure of figures such as Nicholas and Dimitrii Milyutin - Dissatisfaction caused by the unfair terms of the emancipation. -Student protests and riots in St. Petersberg, Moscow and Kazan. - The emancipation left issues that needed resolution, for example conscription and control of local government and justice.
Terms of the Emancipation Ukase 1861 - Peasants free to marry at will, own land, set up businesses and enjoy legal rights. - Had to work for two years orbruk, then 49 years redemption payments before they could leave the mir. The mir still had control over them and supervised the land. - Volosts, run by peasants, had the same powers that the landowners used to have. However, they were supervised by the nobility and government. - Landlords were given government bonds as compensation. - Landlords retained meadows and pasture, while the communal open fields, controlled by the mir, were open form everyone to use.
Educational reform and reaction - Universities allowed to govern themselves. - Censorship relaxed (even allowing revolutionary texts such as "What is to be done?") - Alternative modern education established. - Primary education went from 40 thousand in 1864 to a million in 1880 - Wider range of university subjects (radical thinking emerged) - Government (Dimitrii Tolstoy in particular) took back these reforms. - University access restricted to nobility. - Primary school authority returned to the Church and the actions of the Zemstva were restricted. - Range of subjects reduced (subjects that inspired free thinking such as science, literature and history dissolved) - Censorship tightened. - Students from vocational schools could only go to higher technical institutions, not university (1871) - Student organisations were banned. - University appointments could be vetoed by the government. - Religious control was reasserted, the curriculum was restricted and female education declined. However, many escaped restrictions by studying abroad.
Judicial reform and reaction 1864 - Reforms established local courts under magistrates for minor offences; district courts with barristers, judge and jury for weightier criminal cases and the Senate for grave crimes and appeals. (also Volost courts for peasant issues) - Laws were initially just as backward as before the emancipation. - Principle of equaltity before the law introduced. - Volosts established (peasant councils with member of government sitting in) - New legal system in 1964 - Judges given better payment and training - Opportunities emerged for criticism of the regime, and one of the these cases, involving Vera Zasulich, caused political cases to be tried under "special procedures". - New system did not spread to Poland, Caucasus, provinces, and military and ecclesiastical courts not effected. - Later, the work of the Third Section was increased. - Political offenders could face "show trials" until 1878, when political crimes were tried in secret in military courts. - In 1879, governor-generals were given emergency powers to use military courts and impose exile.
Military reform and reaction 1874 - Army still weak compared to British. - Army became smaller, better-trained and more literate. - More advanced weaponry. - Conscription compulsory - Length of service reduced from 25 to 15 - Military Colleges were established to train officers, and promotion was by merit rather than social class. - Fifteen reigonal commands and a new code of conduct were established. Military colonies were abolished, and welfare improvements, including the abolition of corporal punishment were made. - Army service was not longer given as a punishment. - Despite compulsory conscription, nobles could still pay substitutes. - Large costs contributed to massive debt. - Army still mostly peasant-based. - Military success not apparent - Turkish war not won as quickly as it should have been, and Russo-Japanese war and First World War not won at all.
Cultural reform and reaction 1858-1870 - After an Ecclesiastical Commission in 1862, the Church organisation underwent a minor reform. In 1869, the system of promotion was changed to favour the capable. - Non-Russian ethnic groups were given more freedom, for example Poles were allowed to use their own language and practise Catholicism, while laws restricting Jewish activities were relaxed (although these concessions were rescinded after the Polish revolt of 1863). The Finns were allowed their own representative assembly. - The Orthodox Church had less control of censorship, and it was moved to the government who could prevent publication and fine publishers, but the latter could appeal though courts. - In 1865 restrictions on newspapers and books were reduced, allowing comment on government policy in editorials and the publication of foreign works. - While there was a tenfold increase in the number of books published between 1859 and 1894, censorship continued, and more criticism of the government appeared. - However, in 1863 the poles lost their liberties after revolt. - Censorship tightened.
Economic Reform and Reaction 1860-1878 - As Russia did not possess a middle class, the finance minister Mikhail von Reutern (in post 1862-1878) believed the government must direct economic change. - Tax farming was abolished, as companies could no longer buy the right to collect taxes. - The treasury was reformed and budgeting auditing systems were established. - Credit facilities were made available through the establishment of banks. - Subsidies were offered to private railway companies and other industrial initives. - Government-guaranteed annual dividends were provided for foreign investors. - Tariffs on grade were lowered and trade treaties were negotiated. - As a result of these rather dull reforms, the cotton industry expanded and there was some improvement in agriculture. However, transport and labour mobility remained limited, growth was slow, the tax system was not changed and kept the peasants poor, and the Russian currency was unstable and much income went towards paying off debts.
Local councils reforma and reaction - After emancipation society was left with a hole, as serf labour had fuelled the production of roads and such. - Alexander created local rural councils, both district (vezd) and provincial (zemstva). Dumas were set up in towns (not national dumas though) - Zemstva elected by electoral colleges (however the vote was weighted in favour of the nobility). - Zemstva usually comprised of professional men and women, although control limited (could not control state taxes, appointment of officials or mantinence in law and order) and often preserved their own interests. Peasants had little influence. - However, were effective in improving education, welfare and other areas of provision. - Attracted liberal minded Intelligentsia. - Provided a forum for debate and criticism of government policies.
Reasons for reactionary period - Death of Alexander's son and heir in 1865 - The Polish revolt in 1863 - Alexander's new mistress, Caterina Dolgoruki, distanced him from liberal relatives. - An assassination attempt in 1866 - Reactionary ministers, such as Dmitri Tolstoy, Pytor Shuvalov, Alexander Timashev and Konstantin Pahlen, who argued that westernising changes were weakening Russia.
Opposition during the reign of Alexander II - Between 1869 and 1872, Sergei Nachaev's "Caikovsky Circle" smuggled books in Russia encouraging Populist ideas of land distribution and fairer taxes. - In 1874, the Narodnikis (populists) tried to dress and talk like peasants, in order to get peasants on their side for their aim to educate the peasantry and cause a peasant revolution. However, many were arrested as the peasants merely reported them to the authorities. A second movement was tried in 1876, but this also failed. - in 1887, the remaining Narodnikis formed into Land and Liberty, an organisation with similar aims but a focus on assassinations, assassinating George Mezemstev, head of the secret police, in 1878, and Prince Krapotkin, Governor-Genral of Kharkoff, in 1879. - The Land and Liberty split into he People's Will and the Black Partition in 1879.
Loris-Melikov proposals After the Russo-Turkish war (1877-1878) and famine (1879-1880) , under count Loris-Melikov, appointed minister of the Interior in 1880, the tsar made these reforms: - Release of political prisoners. - Relaxation of censorship - Lifting of Restrictions on the activities of the zemstva. -Removal of the salt tax - Abolition of the third section (replaced by Okhrana) - Tried to propose a national duma, but Alexander was assassinated before this could happen.
The Black Partition and the People's Will Black Partition - Organised by George Plekhanov (future Social Democrat) - Aimed to "partition the black soil" provinces among the peasants. - Spread radical materials among students and workers - Worked peacefully among peasants - Were weakened by arrests in 1880 and 1881 (broke up) - Plekhanov created the Emancipation of labour in Geneva 1883. The People's Will - Led by Timofei Milkhailov - Aimed to establish representative government and land distribution - Larger than People's Will - Advocated violent methods and assassination, particularly of the Tsar who they successfully assassinated in March 1881.
Reasons for spread of opposition - Government failures such as show trails and assassinations suggested that the tsarist regime lacked authority. - Demand for "reform from below" had grown and spread socially and economically. - The zemstva engaged in talks with Land and Liberty, even though they disapproved of assassinations. Conservative bureaucracy, nobles and landowners who had opposed Alexaner's reforms forced him to adopt a more reactionary stance by linking reform to growing opposition.
Conservative Counter-Reforms and Reaction of Alexander III Pt. 1 - Rejected Western-style parliamentary system, and rejected any non-Russian things (Russification) - Installed Land Captains (1889): officials that could overrule the zemstvas, administer physical punishments for anyone who could not pay their taxes, administer physical punishments or fines for small crimes, and administer members of the violists (which had previously been done by peasants) . - Used education (church power reinstated) and army conscription to ensure the policy of Russification. The Polish revolts of 1830 and 1863, as well as the emergence of national liberal movements in the 1960s, may have caused Alexander to do this out of fear. - In 1881, after becoming tsar, he released the manifesto of unshakeable autocracy. - Censorship was tightened in the 1882 "temporary regulations", which increased government control over newspapers and journals. The police (and okhrana) control also became tighter, arresting over 10,000 opponents to the regime. - "Closed Court" -People could be judged in secret with no jury or press reporting.
Vyshnegradsky Reforms - Aimed at settlement of the budget deficit - Stronger government interference in setting freight rates for private railways - Nationalisation of the least profitable railways - Support of domestic industry - Preperation for a monetary reform. - Increased state taxes - Converted state loans and reduced interest payments on them - Manage to accumulate gold reserves, strengthen the rouble, prepare introduction of gold circulation. - Released a new tariff, the most protectionist in Europe, in 1891, signifying the transition from a safeguard tariff to a consistent protective one. - Became known for grain exports causing famine.
Conservative Counter-Reforms and Reaction of Alexander III Pt. 2 - Appointed Pobedenostev as Procurator General of the Holy Synod and put him in charge of Russification. d - Made it easier for nobles to avoid conscription. - Elections systems for zemstva changed in 1890 and again in 1892 to make it harder for peasants to vote. - The power of the Russian Orthodox Church in education was reinforced.
Sergei Witte's Great Spurt (Successes) 1892-1903 - 4th Largest economy, fastest growing economy (at 8% yearly). - Coal production trebled - Oil production increased from 4 million tonnes in 1890 to 10 million in 1900. - From 19510 miles of railway in 1891 to 33270 in 1900. - Trans-Siberain Railway "unlocked" resources of Siberia. - Massive increase in foreign investment from 215 million roubles in 1890 to 911 million roubles in 1900.
Sergei Witte's Great Spurt (Limitations) (13) - Emphasis on heavy industry neglected other parts of economy (light engineering). - Railway network still too small for such a large country. - Large parts of Trans-Siberian railway incomplete. - Russia was too dependent on foreign loans; country still burdened with debt. - Witte neglected Russian agriculture (which counted for 85% of livelihoods in Russia). - High indirect taxation (peasants forced to sell grain to government) contributed to famine. - Farming inefficient compared to other countries - Urban population increased (1.3 million factory workers in 1887, 2.6 million in 1908) - No effective trade unions, rights weren't represented. - Dangerous working conditions, long hours and overcrowding in major cities. - Wages did not increase with inflation. - Increase in strike activity (average of 33 per year in 1886-1894, average of 176 in 1895-1904) - These factors created more anti-tsarist opposition.
Witte's Reforms (that are not mentioned elsewhere) - Put Rouble on the gold standard. - Raised taxes (especially import duties) - Raised foreign loans to finance expansion. - Brought in foreign experts to help industrial planning.
Rural problems During the Great Spurt - Famine: even after Vyshnegradsky, whose policy of grain exportation left almost nothing for the peasantry, had stepped down from his post as finance minister, Witte's indirect taxation still caused a large amount of famine as peasants had stop sell grain to afford what they needed. Made worse because of outbreak of typhus and cholera. - The government was slow to act, not putting a ban on grain export until August 1891 (when the situation was acute) and was not until November the government appealed to the public, with the heir to the throne, Nicholas, being put in charge of the Special Committee on famine relief. As a result, many blamed the government for the famine. - On the other hand, the response by the Intelligentsia was much faster. The zemstav led the way, with Prince Lvov organising famine relief in his own province of tula. D - Despite combined efforts, however, hundreds of thousands, even close to a million, died of starvation and disease, although it did demonstrate people can work together in a crisis.
Anti-tsarist opposition in late 19th and early 20th centuries. (pt. 1) Populists/Narodniki - Led by upper and middle class university students, supported by a small amount of peasants, this group aimed to educate the uniformed peasantry and carry out a peasantry revolution, by using terrorist tactics agains the ruling classes. Social Revolutionaries - Led by Victor Chernov and Alexander Kerensky, they were supported by peasants, although had a growing base among the urban working class. Their aims were to create a socialist society based on the common ownership of land. Their tactics were of terrorism and assassination (including that of Plehve in 1904). These tactics caused a split into Left and Right elements. Social Democratcs - Led by Plekhanov, as well as Leon Trotsky and Vladamir Lenin, they were supported by the urban working class and had Marxist and proletarian views, aiming to create a socialist state based on equality. They did not use as much terrorism as other groups, preferring to plot in secret for revolution (division in tactics caused split into Mensheviks and Bolsheviks in 1903)
Anti-tsarist opposition in late 19th and early 20th centuries. (pt. 2) Octobrists - Led by Alexander Guchkov and Mikhail Rodzianko, they were supported by the middle classes (especially larger, commercial, industrial and landowning interests) and aimed to continue the tsarist system but establish a duma to discuss issues and assist in governing (were granted their wish in 1905). Their main tactics were to stay loyal to the tsar, but critics any incompetence. Kadets - Led by Paul Milyukov and university academics, they were supported by the middle classes, intelligentsia, professionals, progressive landlords and smaller industrialists. They wanted a constitutional monarchy, with the powers of the tsar restricted by a democratically elected duma. Their tactics were to strongly criticise and question the tsarist system, using the duma to pass legislation and solve political, social and economic problems.
Events of 1905 Revolution January 1905 - More than 400,000 workers go on strike, number rapidly increased as unrest grew. - Students went on strike turning campuses into centres of political agitation. - Rent strikes as peasants tred to force landowners to raise wages. Riots and manners destroyed - Professional unions attempt to organise into a union of unions. Aimed to include peasants and factory workers. June - Mutiny of the Potemkin (people responsible shot afterwards) July/August - Mass idosrder and panic October - General Strike (Started with Moscow printers, many other professions followed) - Formation of the Petersburg soviet (13th Oct). Acted as a workers government, organising strikes, establishing a militia, saw distribution of food and even published it's own newspaper. - 17th October - October Manifesto
Terms of October and Peasant Manifestos October Manifesto - freedom of conscience, speech assembly and association granted to population. - Participation in the duma granted to those that could not vote (lower classes). - Laws cannot be passed without express permission from the Duma (most important term as Nicholas gave up his autocracy). Peasant Manifesto - Reduce by half Redemption payments from 1st January 1906, and cut them off altogether after January 1907. - Make it easier for peasant "land bank" by increasing resources, and offering better terms for loans, to help peasantry buy more land.
Reforms of Pytor Stolypin (10) - Reformed agriculture in order to de-revolutionize the peasantry. - Created a class of rich peasants (kulaks) loyal to the tsar. - Repression against revolutionary remnants, hangman's noose became known as "Stolypin's necktie". - Created land bank for peasantry. - Removed restrictions on peasant movement. - Land Law meant peasants could apply to own their land. - Extended primary education - Increased political participation in the zemstva - Introduced religious toleration - Introduced greater discipline into the bureaucracy.
Dumas - First Duma established in 1906, soon dissolved. - Elections boycotted by Social Revolutionaries, standing as Labourists. - Dominated by Kadets and radicals, with large peasant representation. - After dissolution it was reassembled in Finaland. - Second duma established in 1907, also dissolved. - Stolypin engineered elections to increase number of Octoberists. - Was another duma of dangerous ideas, opposing Tsarist proposals such as agrarian reform. - Measures were taken under Article 87 when the duma was not in session, and leading radicals were exiled after dissolution. - Third ( "Duma of Lords and Lackeys") and fourth dumas last full terms, from 1907-12, and from 1912-17. This is probably because of the lack of liberal groups within these, and thus an indication the tsar was happier with these less liberal groups. - Fourth voted for war credits in 1914, but was suspended a year later after asking for more power.
Russia in 1914: Economic Positives - Economic growth averaged 8.5% per annum from 1908 to 1914. - Russia was the world's fifth largest industrial power. - Growth was more firmly based on internal rather than foreign investment. - Stolypin introduced major agrarian reforms. - There was a record harvest in 1913. Negatives - Russia was growing ore slowly than other developed nations. - Industrial development brought social disquiet. - There was still considerable reliance on overseas investment and expertise e.g France. - Only around 10% of Russian land was consolidated. - Good harvests disguised the backward farming methods.
Russian Economy 1906-1914 - Despite international trade recession hitting Russian industry badly in 1900, the domestic unrest of 1902-1906 and the status of the Russo-Japanese War, economic growth continued. - State revenue doubled from 2 to 4 billion roubles (1908-1914) - By 1914, Russia had second largest amount of railway in the world (62,000 km of track) - Still depended heavily on foreign loans. - Russia fourth largest producer of pig iron, coal and steel, fourth largest in gold-mining, and second largest producer of oil and in amount of railway. -Light and newer industries also expanded, with growth in factories manufacturing chemicals, rubber and electrical equipment. - Banks more than doubled 1908-1914. - Big companies became well established: coalfields of the south formed "Association of Southern Coal and Steel producers", a cartel that controlled the market by establishing output quotas and fixing prices.
Russia in 1914: Social Positives - There was an 85% increase in primary school provision from 1905 to 1914, and 40% literacy rate. - There were welfare reforms, for example Sickness and Accident insurance 1912. - There was expansion of professions - doctors, lawyers, teachers. - The trade unions were legalised. - Agrarian reforms created a wealthy kulak class. - Massive public support of Romanov Tercentenary of 1913, and First World War 1914. - Patriotic fever was more for Russia than Tsarist Autocracy. Negative - Over 55% of children were in full-time education, there was a 60% illiteracy rate. - There were still appalling living and working conditions in towns. - Too few doctors and teachers in rural areas. - Strikes escalated 1912-1914 (Lena's Goldfields strike in 1912) - General Strike in St. Petersburg in 1914 gave Bolsheviks a platform from which to spread views. - Unions did not help the majority in rural areas. - Advances were slow, for every peasant that grew richer, another became poorer. - Widespread disapproval of the influence of Rasputin over Nicholas and Alexandra.
Social Improvements 1906-1914 - Trade unions legal from 1905. - Sickness and accident insurance scheme in 1912 - Around 55% of children were in full time education, by 1914 there were 50,000 schools (85% increase since 1905), literacy rates increased to 40% by 1914, as opposed to 30% in 1900. - Zemstva expanded welfare services in localities.
Key Dates for the First World War 19th July 1914 - Nicholas, against the advice of everyone including Rasputin, enters the war. August 1914 - Some victories on Austrian front August 1914 - Battle of Tannenburg in East Prussia, ends with retreat and leaves 300,000 Russian soldiers wounded or dead. September 1914 - Battle of Masurian Lakes August 1915 - "Progressive Bloc" formed. 23rd August 1915 - Nicholas names himself Commander in Chief 1916 - War effort slightly rallied due to better trained soldiers and improved supplies (rifle and heavy artillery production quadrupled) June - August 1916 - Busilov offensive failed (because of underdeveloped railway and lack of trained officers) December 1916 - Prince Yusupov assassinates Rasputin. 1914 - Costs of war 1500 million roubles - 1918 - Costs of war 14,500 million roubles.
February 1917 Revolution - 23rd February – International Women’s Day swelled by striking workers and militant students; around 200,000 demonstrators calling for bread and reforms appeared on the streets, while police tried to restore order. - 24-25th February – The demonstrations grew and cries for bread changed to cries for the removal of the tsar. Factories, shops and resturaunts were closed while the Cossacks fought the police to protect protesters. - 26th February – The tsar told the Duma to close and it refused, and the tsar ignored Rodzianko’s telegram asking for a new government. - 27th February – The Petrograd garrison mutinied and joined the workers, releasing political prisoners and attacking police, while the Duma formed a provisional committee and the Petrograd Soviet was formed. - 28th February – Nicholas left his military headquarters to return to Petrograd, but his train was diverted to Pskov and his ministers were arrested by the Provisional Committee. The Petrograd Soviet issued “Soviet Order No. 1”, declaring Soviet authority over the army.
Abdication of the Tsar - 1st March – Duma and Soviet agreed for a Provisional Government to be formed. - 2nd March – While the Soviet expanded and the Provisional Government was formed with Prince Lvov as prime minister, the Tsar abdicated in favour of his brother Mikhail, as he believed his son was too weak to inherit the throne. - 3rd March – Mikhail rejected the throne, leaving the Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet in charge. The Tsar and his family were placed under house arrest, together with most of the council of ministers.
October Revoltuion Timeline 7th October - Lenin returns to Petrograd. Kerensky orders radical units away from Petrograd. 9th October - Petrograd soviet set up MRC under Trotsky and Dzerzhinsk. 10th October - Lenin won central committee vote to replace Provisional Government with Petrograd Soviet (opposed by Zinoviev and Kamenev 10-2) 10th-23rd October - MRC gained controlled of Red Guards, Petrograd and Peter and Paul Fortress garrisons, and Kronstadt sailors. 24th October - Kerensky tried to arrest MRC leaders and close Bolshevik printers. Around 8000 Bolshevik Red Guards and Kronstadt sailors seized key positions in Petrograd (such as post office, railway stations ect.) Kerensky fled. 25th October - Seziure of power announced in Petrograd Soviet, and Red Guards surround Winter Palace. 26th October - Provisional Government arrested. 25th Oct-3rd Nov - Soviet power spread throughout Russia. Ten days fighting in Moscow but elsewhere peaceful. 26th October - Decree on Peace ended war, Decree on Land declared all land property of people. 29th Oct - Kerensky tried to return to Petrograd. Beaten.
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