HISTORY OF RUSSIA The history of Russia can be broken down into four categories. • Early Russia • Czarist Russia • Communist Russia • Russia after 1991
Early Russia • Descended from early Slavs • Built a civilization called Kievan Rus (now the city of Kiev, Ukraine) • By AD1000 early Russians had accepted Eastern Orthodox Christianity • They prospered from trade with Mediterranean region and with Western Europe. • During the 1200’s Mongols swept in from Central Asia and greatly reduced the wealth and power of region. • Muscovy (now Moscow) became the center of the Slavic territory.
Czarist Russia • In 1480, Czar Ivan III, known as “Ivan the Great”, drove out the Mongols and made the region independent. • Muscovy slowly developed into what we now know as Russia. • Russian rulers slowly expanded their power and land size, and built up their armies. • Russian rulers became known as Czars, sometimes written Tsars, who had complete and total control over the government and people. • Some of the more well known Czars: • Czar Ivan III, “Ivan the Great” • Czar Ivan IV, “Ivan the Terrible” • Czar Peter the Great • Czarina Catherine the Great • Czar Alexander • Czar Nicholas and Czarina Alexandra
IVAN III“The Great”1462-1505 • Drove the Mongols out of Russia
Czar Ivan IV, “Ivan the Terrible”1533-1584 • Used a secret police force to control the people of Muscovy. • He also established sweeping reforms that helped bring his nation out of the Dark Ages. Ivan IV "The Terrible" Ivan killed his son Ivan
Peter “The Great” Romanov1689-1725 • Went on a tour around Western Europe. • Built St. Petersburg to look like other European cities in 1703. • Was 7 feet tall.
Catherine “The Great”Romanov1762-1796 • Pushed the Empire’s borders southward and eastward.
The End of the Monarchy in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Alexander I Alexander II Nicholas II Nicholas II and Family Nicholas and Alexandra (seated), Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia (daughters) & Alexis (son).
Czar Alexander II, “Czar-Liberator” • Freed the Serfs from being tied to the land in 1861. • When a noble sold his land the serfs went with the land.
Czar Nicholas II • The last of the Romanov rulers. • The whole family was executed by the Bolsheviks. • Legend has it that Anastasia, the youngest daughter, did not die, but this has never been proven. • Alexandra was the granddaughter of Great Britain's Queen Victoria.
Soviet Era • In 1917, political leaders, soldiers, and factory workers forced Czar Nicholas II to give up the throne. • Vladimir Lenin led a second revolution and seized control, set up a communist government, which had strict control of the government and society. • In 1922 Russian Communist leaders formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics = U.S.S.R.
Early Soviet Leaders Vladimir Lenin 1917 Joseph Stalin 1924-1953 Introduced Political Design Introduced Economic Plan
Soviet Era • Joseph Stalin took power after Lenin died, the government took tighter control of the country and many people suffered. • After WWII, Stalin set up communist governments in many neighboring Eastern European countries. • From late 1940’s to late 1980’s the US and USSR waged a Cold War, in which both nations competed for world influence without actually fighting each other. • Cuban Missile Crisis = hottest point • The Soviet Union included Russians and people from many other ethnic groups, who resented Soviet rule.
A New Russia • In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev took power and relaxed Soviet control of the economy & government. • Perestroika-a policy introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev loosened governmental control and permitted the Soviet economy to move toward democracy. • Glasnost-a policy introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev meaning “openness”. People were allowed to speak out about the government. • In late 1991, each of the 15 republics making up the Soviet Union declared independence and the Soviet Union dissolved. • Tore down the Berlin Wall which had separated the city of Berlin, Germany into two parts since the end of WWII. • Fall of communism turned Russia’s economy upside down. • Russian government turned to a free market economy allowing the people to decide what businesses to start and run.
From Soviet to Russian Leadership Boris Yeltsin Gorbachev Alexander Putin
GEOGRPAHYOFRUSSIA PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
The Land • World’s largest country • Located on two continents: Europe and Asia • Gigantic size and harsh climates make transportation difficult. • Ural Mountains form border between Europe and Asia. • High, rugged Caucasus Mountains are south of European Russia. • In the Caucasus Mountains there is a fertile region of valleys where many non-Russian people live.
Topography of Russia Ural Mountains St. Petersburg Volga River Moscow Lake Baikal Caucasus Mountains
Siberia • Siberia takes up a large part of the land that crosses northern and central Russia into Asia. • Siberia is largely undeveloped because of its harsh, cold climate. • It can take eight or more days to travel across all of Russia. • People have to travel from village to village by helicopter because it is so large and is covered by ice.
The Water • Russia touches many inland bodies of water such as Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Lake Baikal. • Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest freshwater lake, it holds almost 20% of the world’s supply of unfrozen freshwater. • Some of the plant and fish species in Lake Baikal can be traced to prehistoric times. • Volga River, the longest river in Europe, carries almost ½ of Russia’s river traffic and provides water for irrigation and hydroelectric power.
The Climate • European Russia is warmer than Asian Russia and has a mild climate. • Siberia has a harsh climate due to its location near the Arctic Circle. • Most of the seaports along the Pacific Coast and the Baltic Sea are closed throughout the year due ice. • The world’s largest forest, the taiga, is located just south of the tundra, below the Arctic Circle.
Russian Government • Russia is a democracy freely elected by the people. • It is also a federal republic with the power divided between national and state governments. • A president leads the nation. • Has more power than an American president. • Issues orders that become laws even if they are not passed by the legislature.
The Economy • Southwestern area produces high yields of grains. • Fishing industry is one of the largest in the world. • Siberia has the largest supply of minerals in Russia, as well as timber and huge deposits of oil and natural gas. • Moscow is the political, economic, and transportation center of Russia. • Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg are important northwestern seaports. • Murmansk in the north and Vladivostok in the east are other important port cites. • The Ural Mountains contain copper, gold, lead, nickel, and bauxite, plus energy sources of coal, oil and natural gas. • Mining of Russia’s natural resources is difficult because of the harsh climate.
The Economy • Russia’s economy is not strong due to years of communist control of farms and factories which denied people the experience of creating jobs, starting businesses, and making money.
The People • 75% of population live in European Russia. • One of the most populous countries in the world, with nearly 145 million people and 150 different ethnic groups leads to a lot of ethnic conflict. • Many people have left the rural areas for the city. • Russia’s urban or city areas are large and modern with stone or concrete buildings and wide streets. • ¾ of Russian people live in cities, mostly in large apartment blocks • City dwellers remain poor and lack the money to buy consumer goods that are now more available.
The People • 80% of people are Slavs—the majority culture. • Each ethnic group has its own distinctive language and culture this also leads to ethnic conflict. • Some of the groups have a Christian heritage, while others are Islamic, Buddhist or Jewish. • Russian workers are celebrated on May Day. • New Years Day is the most festive non-religious holiday.
Culture • St. Petersburg has many beautiful museums and is home to the Marinsky Theatre, one of Russia’s top ballet companies. • St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great whose goal was to make the city a “Window of the West”. • Moscow and St. Petersburg have many museums exhibiting Russian treasures.
Culture • Russians enjoy all kinds of literature, including folktales called skazki. • Russian Orthodox Church is incredibly popular and thriving even though communism tried to eliminate it. • Russian Orthodoxy was responsible for a Slavic alphabet called Cyrillic.
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