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Decline of the Czars

Decline of the Czars

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Decline of the Czars

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  1. Decline of the Czars World History I

  2. Russia in the 1800s • Russia stretched from Europe to the Pacific Ocean. • Many different nationalities and languages. • The agricultural economy was ineffective. • Peasants (serfs) bound to the land. • Russia was behind the rest of Europe in industrialization. • Russia was an autocracy, a government in which one person ruled with unlimited authority.

  3. The Last 5 Czars

  4. Russia under Alexander I (1801-1825) • Russian officers who fought in the Napoleonic wars became aware of reforms in western Europe. • Joined secret societies with goals of reform, freeing the serfs, and a constitutional government. • 1825 – officers took part in the Decembrist revolt, which was quickly crushed by the government. • Effects of the Decembrist Revolt: • Inspired later generations of revolutionaries. • Hardened the determination of Nicholas I to strengthen the autocracy and crush all opposition.

  5. Nicholas I (1825-1855) • Nicholas I was determined to strengthen autocracy. • Secret police were hired and given the power to arrest and imprison people without trial. • The press was censored. • Russian defeat in the Crimean War showed the empire was in trouble. • Throughout the 1830s and 1840s demands for reform persisted. • Nicholas I died in 1855 and his son Alexander II took over as Czar.

  6. Alexander II (1855-1881) and reform • The need for industrialization led Russia to emancipate, or free, the serfs. • They would provide steady cheap labor. • Many peasants gave up farming and moved to cities. • A new system of government was created. • Locally elected governments called zemstvos took control of schools and health care. • Voting was weighted, so noblemen and wealthy taxpayers dominated politics. • Alexander carried out other political, judicial, and military reforms. • These didn’t satisfy Russians and revolutionary ideas continued to spread.

  7. Radical Movements in Russia • Intellectuals and students were among the most vocal critics of the Czar. • Some reformers called for anarchy, of the absence of government. • Nihilists rejected all traditions and believed Russia would need to completely rebuild society. • In the 1870s, people began to believe in populism. • Populism is a belief that the peasants would overthrow the czar and establish a socialist government. • Many radicals plotted the assassinations of government officials. • Alexander II was killed by a bomb in 1881.

  8. Alexander III • Alexander III vowed to retain the old order. • He wanted to crush revolutionaries. • Alexander III’s reforms included: • Reduced the power of zemstvos • Restored censorship of the press • Extended powers of the secret police • To protect the autocracy, Alexander issued a policy of Russification. • Russification imposed Russian language and customs on all people living in Russia. • All people who spoke different languages and followed religion other than Eastern Orthodoxy risked persecution.

  9. Alexander III, cont. • Russification singled out the Jews. • They were not allowed to own land and were forced to live in a certain area called the Pale. • The government also encouraged pogroms, organized massacres of a minority group, in Jewish communities. • After Alexander’s death in 1894, many Russians were disappointed when Nicholas II stated he would also rule as an autocrat.

  10. The Revolution of 1905 • During Nicholas II’s rule, revolutionary ideas swept over Russia. • Peasants were dissatisfied, minorities wanted an end of persecution, and the middle class wanted a constitutional monarchy. • Poor working conditions led to workers joining the unsatisfied.

  11. Alexander III • Alexander III vowed to retain the old order. • He wanted to crush revolutionaries. • Alexander III’s reforms included: • Reduced the power of zemstvos • Restored censorship of the press • Extended powers of the secret police • To protect the autocracy, Alexander issued a policy of Russification. • Russification imposed Russian language and customs on all people living in Russia. • All people who spoke different languages and followed religion other than Eastern Orthodoxy risked persecution.