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Russia Notes

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Russ ia


Russia Contents

Past questions Quotes o General o The Alexandrine reforms o 1905 Maps o The expansion of the Russian Empire Chronology o Events o Imperialism Russia o Nature o Constitution o Foreign policy Politics o Aleksandr II o The great reforms o Reaction o Discontent o Public opinion o Aleksandr III o The Jews The serfs o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction The economy o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction Local government o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction Justice o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction Education o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction Censorship and law and order o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction



The military o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction Poland o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction Finland o Reform o Reaction Belarus, the Ukraine, and other regions o Diagnosis o Reform o Reaction The wider empire o Formal empire o Informal empire o Reasons for expansion o Rule o Domestic response The 1905 Revolution o Historiography o Popular discontent o The gentry o A national opposition o Nationalism o The Russo-Japanese War o 1904 Revolution o 1905 Revolution o Provisional government o Counter-revolution Russia after 1905 o Politics o The economy o Nationalism

Quotes General

The Tsar is "an autocratic and unlimited monarch".



o The first article of the Fundamental Laws of the Empire. "The Russian State is one and indivisible." o The Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire, 1906 "Every new conquest… requires a considerable increase in military resources and… weakens Russia". o The Russian Foreign Ministry. To "improve the lives of those unfortunate offspring of the human race". o NA Kryzhankovsky. "A glorious affair". o Tsar Aleksandr II on the unauthorised moves of Colonel Cherniaev into Tashkent. Russia's "still terrible thirst for greatness". o One newspaper's greeting of the year 1914. "Russia does not need colonialism." o Sergei Witte.

The Alexandrine reforms

I am sorry for failing to leave "an orderly, calm, and happy Russia". o Tsar Nikolai I to his son on his death bed. Russia


The peasant "must not suffer ruin" as a result of the impositions of his landlord. o Pre-reform serf law. 'Russia was not backward because serf relations dominated her economy; it was her backwardness that made serf relations persist.' o Olga Crisp. 'It is better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait for the time when it will begin to abolish itself from below". o Tsar Aleksandr II. "Is Russia not perishing? Am I called upon to save her in her final moments?" o Pyotr Valuev, Minister of the Interior "When the elements of insurrection exist, who knows whether or not the age of Pugachev can recur?" o Boris Chicherin. "[O]ut of every hundred petty bureaucrats one cannot find even two that are honest". o A contemporary observer. 'Discontent seemed to be general.' o David Saunders. The emancipation legislation was 'arguably the greatest piece of socioeconomic legislation attempted anywhere in the world hitherto'. o John Keep and Lionel Kochan. To "introduce into Russia legal proceedings that are swift, just, merciful and equal for all". o Aleksandr II. To "take matters out of the hands of the inept government". o The radical pamphlet Velikoruss calling on the middle classes. "Political rights for one class without political rights for all others are something unthinkable". o Konstantin Kavelin. "For out centuries-old service to the state we received a wretched allotment of land with high redemption dues". o Petition from the village of Tashino, 1905.


5 1905

They are "senseless dreams". o Nikolas II on the calls for a national gentry assembly. "Stores are empty. Factories have curtailed production." o A newspaper in Warsaw, 1904 That "there exist two Russias… and what pleases one is quite sure to displease the other". o Liberal leader PN Milukov, 1905. "The voice of the zemstvo is the voice of life". o The Chernigov zemstvo. "There was a feeling of burning shame and undeserved injury." o Liberal activist NI Astrov. That "the Port Arthur debacle promises to shatter the foundations of the régime of Nikolas II". o Georgi Plekhanov. "We are living at a time of extreme animation of national and nationalist feelings among all peoples inhabiting the Russia Empire". o An intellectual, 1910. The gentry were "even incapable of simply residing in the countryside". o A 1905 report to the St Petersburg noble assembly. "Formerly we kept no accounts and drank champagne; now we keep accounts and content ourselves with kvass". o A barin after the 1905 Revolution. "All classes of Russian society are… in a state of ferment". o Maurice Bombard, French ambassador to St Petersburg, 1904. That "the sovereign considers the autocracy a dogma of faith". o Sergei Witte. "The yearning for democracy is alien to the Russian people". o NA Shipov. The press print "rapid attacks against the bureaucracy, the war, and the government". o Samuel Harper, late 1904. "You run away from the Japanese, but you shoot at your own people". o Protestors, 22nd January 1905. "For out centuries-old service to the state we received a wretched allotment of land with high redemption dues". o Petition from the village of Tashino, 1905. To "exterminate the gangs of insurgents". o The orders received by one colonel. That "now he wants to hang and shoot everybody". o Tsar Nikolas II on Sergei Witte, January 1906. "The Russian State is one and indivisible." o The Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire, 1906 And "the palmy days of autocracy have been revived". o A British journalist, July 1906. The failure to "reconcile the two eternally hostile forces, the state and society". o Octobrist leader, Aleksandr Guchkov, 1914.



Maps The expansion of the Russian Empire


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