Government & Society: * Autocracy (a system of government with one person with total power) was a system that was on going in 19th century Russia. It was led by the Tsar. * Beneath the Tsar were The Court, who were leading landowners and members of the government. * Below them were a small group of businessmen and traders. * The majority of the population were Serfs who were servants attached to land owned by a lord. They were required to perform labour in return for certain legal or customary rights.
* Russia spanned 1/6th of the world. It stretched from Poland and the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. * Russia was an expanding regional giant in Central Asia, bordering the Ottoman, Persian, British Indian, and Chinese empires. * From 1789, Tsarist Russia even included Alaska in North America. This was until 1867, when it was sold to the US. * The empire could be divided, from north to south, into different vegetations. In the far north was the tundra, south of the tundra was the taiga, the southern part was a vast plain known as the steppe and in the west were forests.
* West European economic growth accelerated during the Industrial Revolution, which had begun in the second half of the 18th century, Russia began to lag ever farther behind * Agriculture was the main part of Russia’s economy * Grain was Russia’s most valuable export. * It had huge amounts of natural commodity such as iron ore and coal, but it had low industrial development.
Rulers of Russia:
Alexander I: (1801-1825) * He was the first tsar of the 19th century * Came into power during the Napoleonic wars
Nicholas I: (1825-1855) * Came to power in 1825 (after Alexander I’s death) * He is remembered for being much harsher than Alexander I * Was a strong conservative in his beliefs about serfdom * He tried to conserve his power by