Russia by wulinqing



         Early 19th Century
Tsar Alexander I
• Born in St. Petersburg
• Succeeded his Father Paul I
• Ruled during the Napoleonic
• Originally established liberal
reforms, however later
contradicted himself.
•Died mysteriously in 1852
• Raised by his grandmother Catherine the Great
• Influenced by of Rousseau‟s principles on the gospel of
humanity. Which essentially says that man is born good and
corrupted by society.
• He was raised in a much more free-think environment. In
response to this he sympathized for French revolutionaries.
Alexander was educated by liberal teacher named Laharpe.
• Catherine wanted to do anything to keep Alexander from
being influenced by the tyrannical and insane personality of
Paul I.
• In 1793, at the age of 16 he married.
• Catherine died and Paul I took power of Russia.
• Government became more orderly due to the establishment
of the either ministries of government.
• Conditions for serfs were increased. However these
changes were minor.
• Thought Alexander wished to reform the government
previously established by his father, his inability to have
confidence in his people. For this reason he is considered to
be tyrannical.
• Alexander denounced autocracy however at the same time,
did not want to bring upon too much social reform which
would diminish his write to be an autocrat.
• At first Alexander admired Napoleon however after certain foreign
affair events that admiration faded.
• Alexander‟s first military battle against France was at Austerlitz on
December 2nd 1805. They were defeated.
• Though Alexander was defeated he did not give up in his
campaign against Napoleon.
• The next notable confrontation was a battle in Poland 1807, where
both the Russians and France, which was a bloody Massacre for
both sides.
• Following the battle the Treaty of Tilsit was signed, making
France and Russia allies.
• The Alliance was broken when Napoleons La Grande Armee
invaded Russia and took Moscow. Napoleon was finally defeated.
The Invasion of Russia, 1812
The War of 1812, not to be confused with the conflict between
England and United states, was a stepping stone toward the defeat
of Napoleon. Napoleon gathered his La Grande Armee which
consisted of 691,501: 450,000 French Troops, 34,000 Austrians,
95,000 Poles, 90,000 Germans, 30,000 Italians, 25,000
Napoleonites, 12,000 Swiss, 4,800 Spanish, 3,500 Croats, and
2,000 Portuguese. All these men fought against, 488,000
Russians, with the majority of them as trained soldiers. Napoleon
lost 90 percent of his men when he invaded Moscow. By using
scorched earth tactics, the Russians succeeded and diminishing
the supplies of Napoleons army. An additional factor was Russia‟s
bitter cold climate. Added together, all these factors brought the
defeat of Napoleon during the battle of 1812.
Decembrists Movement
• Alexander I dies on December 1st, 1825
• After his death, his brother, Constantine being the oldest of his
two brothers, intended to take power
•However, Nicholas I instead stepped in and took power.
• On December 14th, 1825 3,000 commanding officers
assembled in Senate Square to rebel against Nicholas‟ coming to
• Due to failure in command and organization, the rebels were
easily beaten by Nicholas round up of military troops.
• The revolt continued until around January 3rd 1826.
• Though the rebellion was a failure, Nicholas‟ fear of liberal
idealists was becoming real.
Culturally, Russia during this time was split into 3 parts.
The Upper Class (Which was represented much in War and
The difficulty with this was that cultural expansion, as far as
music, art, and literature was restricted by the over looking power
of the Tsar in power. It is not until later in the 19th century, when
the liberal ideals which were lead out by the Decembrists, begin
to influence Russia into a free thinking environment leading to art
music and literature.
  Condition of Russia in late 19th
• For a century and a half, army morale had been high
  and Russia had more or less been able to keep up
  with technology
• Crimean war(1853-1856) which arose from dispute
  with France over who should protect certain
  Christian shrines in Ottoman Empire changed this
• Because it was fought on Crimean peninsula on
  Black sea, Russia‟s transportation network of rivers
  and wagons failed to supply distant Russian armies-
   France, Great Britain, Sardinia, and the Ottoman
  Empire cause humiliating defeat
• Aristocrats realize something must be done
• 1860: government encouraged and subsidized private railway
  companies and construction boomed
• 1860: 1,250 miles of railroad, by 1880 15,500 miles
• Enabled wheat exports in what became industrial suburbs: St.
  Petersburg and Moscow
• Railroads gave rise to territorial expansion in south and east
• Military force strengthened; nationalism grew with imperial
  expansion in Central Asia
• Also contributed to spread of Marxian philosophy
• Under direction of minister of finance, began to build
  government built state owned railroads such as Trans-Siberian
  Railroad (from Moscow to Vladivostok)
• Wanted to place “backwards Russia” on the gold standard of
  the “civilized world”
• ½ of world‟s oil
    Alexander II and Serfdom
• Was Russian Tsar(1855-1881)-> in nature was a
  conservative ruler, however he saw that serfdom was
  the major problem in Russia‟s inability to
  Westernize. told serf owners that reform would be
  better if it came from above peacefully rather than
  below in revolts
• 1861: freed serfs
• In theory, emancipation of serfs should have
  provided serfs with full citizenship, instead they
  received an average of about half the land
• Peasants had to pay large sums for land because it
  was own collectively making each peasant jointly
  responsible for the payments of all the families in the
  village (socialism anyone?). The government hoped
  that collectivized responsibility would strengthen the
  village as a social unit and prevent the formation of a
  landless peasantry. This however prevented
  individual peasants from improving their status
         Government Reform
• 1864: creation of local government called
• Local assembly elected by three class system
  of towns, peasant villages, and land owners
• Dealt with local issues and remained
  subordinate to the traditional bureaucracy
  and local nobility
• Russian liberals hoped that zemstvo would
  lead to an elected national parliament
• Most successful was reform of legal system
  which established independent courts and
  equality before the law
• 1864: legislation passed requiring primary and
  secondary schools to observe moral and religious
  principles and accept entrants of any social estate
• Formation of “intelligentsia”-individuals of at least
  secondary, western education trained for service in
  imperial system, felt independent from patrimonial
  and hierarchical society and troubled cultural and
  economic distance between elites and masses
• Universities governed themselves; students couldn‟t
  form own associations
• Women were allowed to take courses but could not
  earn degrees
•   Term „Glasnost‟ meaning openness was introduced, eased censorship
    of daily newspapers, books, and periodicals, yet Ministry of Interior
    maintained right to withdraw from circulation any publication that had
    “dangerous orientation”
•   Many tested censorship by “articulating views that were mildly
•   “one kopek” newspapers and the Russkoe slavo(the Russian World)-
    highlighted social problems such as crime, alcoholism, prostitution,
    and disease as well as suffering of peasantry, workers, and
•   Student demonstrations in the 1860‟s arose from inadequate financial
    support from the stat, malnutrition, and bad living conditions.
•    the populist movement of the 1870s-1890‟s rejected violence and
    believed that their task was to educate the peasants about their role in
    Russian society; „serve the masses‟
•   The group „People‟s Will‟ believed that political assassination was the
    only way to bring change
           The Church/Religion

• “To be Orthodox is to be Russian”
• Russian icons are typically paintings on wood, often small, though some in
  churches and monasteries may be as large as a table top. (shown above is
  Rublev's Trinity)
• body of Christians who are united under the Patriarch of Moscow
• During this time the church served as an employment agency and social
  security office for the impoverished
• Reflected uncertainty of the Russian people about their status in the empire.
• The church was poverty stricken, overshadowed by the secular state yet
  spiritual revival took place. The 19th century saw the rise of starchestvo
  under Paisiy Velichkovsky and his disciples at the Optina Monastery.
  Offered comfort and counseling to ordinary people.
•   Because the imperial state and the Orthodox church failed to define Russia
    musicians, along with writers and artists aimed to define this national idenitity
•   Music had two traditions folksongs and liturgical chants
•   19th century composers moved away from ancient traditions and adopted
    western style music. Orchestras and choirs formed, many staffed with serf
    musicians. Performers and composers were brought to Russia to aid in the
•   The tremendous musical achievement of the 19th century is associated with a
    group of composers known as “The Five”: Rimsky Korsakov, Borodin,
    Mussorgsky, Cuii, and Balakirev
•   Mikhail Glinka first to successfully adopt western style: wrote Life for the
    Tsar-first Russian opera; set stage for Russian technique of developing melody
    through repetition
•   Mussorgsky said that Russian music should depict Russian life famous for his
    “Boris Godnov”
•   Many composers focused on the difference Russian and Western culture; the
    clash between the Old Believers and Westernizes
•   Tchaikovsky was also famous for his The 1812 Overture and Swan Lake

                                                   Four squares 1915
Morning in the Village after Snowstorm, Malevich

                          Taking in the harvest       Larionov

• Most popular medium for opposition
• Ivan Turgenev‟s 1963 “Fathers and Sons” set the foundation
  for nihilism which is an atheist philosophy based on the belief
  of science to solve mankind‟s problems; the father represents
  authoritarian values of “old Russia” and sons represent future
  generation‟s frustration with obsession over “status quo”
• Famous nihilist idea “nothing is knowable beyond all reason”
• Chernyshevsky‟s “What is to be Done?” served as a guide to
  subsequent generations of revolutionaries such as Levin who
  published a pamphlet with the same title; thought that there was
  a new generation of men and women, who would both have a
  high profile in the revolutions in the last third of the 19th
• Leo Tolstoy rejected modern science and the return to old
  Russian aspects of life, promoted the simple life of the peasant

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