Flashcards in Late Imperial Russia Deck (59):
In 1897 how many Russians were there compared to Ukrainians?
55m to 22m
What three bodies was the Tsars absolute rule exercised through?
1) The Imperial Council - a group of honorary advisors directly responsible to the Tsar
2) The Cabinet of Ministers - ran the various government departments
3) The Senate - supervised the operation of the law
= only really able to give advice
What did the Tsars method of power show?
How little Russia had advanced politically compared with other European nations
= by 20th century all major-European states had some sort of democratic or representative gov
How did political parties/groups live in Tsarist Russia?
What did denial of free speech tend to cause?
Political activists to turn to extremism
What was the Okhrana?
The Tsarist secret police
- hunted down subversives who challenged the tsarist regime
How did the Orthodox church support the tsarist system?
Became a deeply conservative body, opposed to political change and determined to preserve the tsarist system
In 1897 what percentage of Russia was upper class, working class and peasants?
- U/C = 12%
- W/C = 4%
- Peasants = 82%
How was Russian not entirely without industry?
- Urals provided iron
- Moscow and St P. had textile factories
- Most villages had smelting works
Why had Russians financial system prevented industrial growth?
It had not yet mastered the art of borrowing and investment = discouraged entrepreneurialism
Why was the amount of peasants a problem?
There was not enough fertile land to go round
How did the governing elite view peasants?
With a mixture of fear and contempt = 'the dark masses'
Why did the Tsars not want to raise the education level?
Were worried that this may prove to be extremely dangerous, socially and politically
How much was spent on military?
45% of the governments annual expenditure
How much was spent on education?
4% of the governments annual expenditure
How was there a corrupt bureaucracy?
Due to nepotism and incompetence = main reasons for Russia's backwardness
What did Alexander Herzen write about the tsarist system?
That is was run by a bureaucratic class that, for all its incompetence, still possessed the power to control the lives of the Russian masses
What was a major barrier for reform?
Disagreement within the government elite over Russia's trie character as a nation - differences between 'Westerners' and 'Slavophiles'
What were the significant periods of reform in Russia often due to?
National crisis or humiliation
What did the Zemstvos provide?
A form of representative government, although very limited, which offered some hope to those who longed for an extension to political rights
How did Alexander II relax censorship?
Relaxed controls over the press and universities
= encouraged the development of an intelligentsia
What was Alexander II's intention for reform?
To introduce it from above to prevent revolution from below
What caused the intelligentsia to turn to revolution?
The reaction of AIII and NII = felt betrayed + despaired tsardom as a force for change
What was The Statue of State Security 1881?
- Special gov. controlled courts outside the existing legal system set up
- Judges etc who were sympathetic to liberal ideas were removed
- Power of Okhrana extended
- Censorship tightened
What did The University Statue 1887 do?
Brought the universities under strict government control
What was The Zemstva Act 1890?
Decreased the independence of local councils and empowered government officials to interfere in their decision making
Why was Nicholas opposed to change?
Reform had a bad name and is education had made him suspicious of it
Who was Pobedonostsev?
Chief minister in the government from 1881-1905 and was the Procurator of the Synod
- deep distaste for all forms of democracy
What was Russification?
A severely enforced policy of restricting the influence of the non-Russian national minorities within the empire by emphasising the superiority of all things Russian
What nationalities suffered the most?
Baltic Germans, Finns, Poles, Ukrainians and Armenians
= state interference in their education, religion and culture became widespread and systematic
How were the Jews repressed?
Measures introduced, imposing heavy social, political and economic restrictions on them
- most lived in 'ghettos' + were scapegoated for Russia's problems
How did the tight controls Nicholas introduce not lessen opposition?
Opposition actually became more organised
- policies of reaction caused political and national groups to become frustrated by coercion and incompetence
Why was Russification ill-judged?
- At a critical stage of development cohesion and unity were needed
- Russia chose to treat half its population as inferiors or potential enemies
What was a major reason for the 'great spurt'?
- Increase in the output of coal in Ukraine and oil in the Caucasus
- Sudden acceleration was the result of private enterprise = sustained by government policy
Why was economic expansion attractive to the Tsar?
It was a means of improving the strength of the Russian armed forces
How did Witte raise capital?
Negotiated large loans and investments from abroad, while imposing heavy taxes and high interest rates at home
Why did Witte set up protective tariffs?
As a means of safe guarding Russia's domestic industries such as steel production
Why was currency put on the gold standard?
Hope was that this would crete finical stability and so encouraged international investment in Russia
How many miles of railway were there in 1881 compared to 1913?
1881 = 13,000
1913 = 44,000
When was the Trans-Siberian Railway created?
What are the figures of coal output in 1890 compared to 1916?
1890 = 6m tons
1916 = 34m tons
What are 3 drawbacks of Witte's reforms?
- Russia became too dependent on foreign loans
- Neglected vital light engineering areas such as machine tool production
- Paid no attention to agriculture
Why did peasants who had left the country side to work in the city initially accept their grim conditions?
Due to the higher wages they received but when the boom turned to recession there was widespread unemployment
What was the overall increase in industrial output from 1908-1914?
Why did few workers gain from the industrial and financial expansion?
Weak TUs and minimal legal protection left the workforce very much at the mercy of the employers
- Little of the money in circulation reached their pockets
How did inflation and wages rise?
Inflation rose 40% between 1908-1914 but the average wage rose from 245 to 264 roubles a month
By 1914 how much of the population were peasants?
What are the two main groups opposed to Nicholas?
Revolutionaries and reformers (liberals)
What were the 3 major forces within the revolutionaries?
The Populists, SRs and SDs
What was the view of the Populists?
Regarded the future of Russia as being in the hands of the peasants
Who made up the Populists?
M/c, u/c and students = no real success, not supported by peasants
What did the Populists turn to?
Terrorism as a means of achieving their aims = People's Will
Where did the SRs come from?
The Populist movement
What assassinations were the SRs responsible for?
1901-1905 over 2000 assassinations, including Grand Dule Sergei
What were the Left SRs and Right SRs?
Left = terrorists
Right = willing to work with other parties
Who did the SRs receive growing support from after 1906?
The professional classes, TUS and the All-Russian Union of Peasants
When were political parties allowed?
Who were the Octoberists?
Moderates who were basically loyal to the tsar
- believed in the maintenance of the Russian empire
- regard the manifesto and the duma as major constitutional advances