"Russia In 1894 Was A Country With Many Problems" Discuss This View Of Russia

1048 words - 4 pages

"Russia in 1894 was a country with many problems" - Discuss this view of RussiaIn 1894, Russia was a large country, perceived as very powerful, due to its large size and army. However, in many ways, it was a divided country, which was much less modern than its neighbours in Western Europe. In this essay I will look at the strengths and weaknesses of Russia at this time, and also what was done to try to reunite it.At this time, Russia was under a Tsarist government. This meant that there was one absolute ruler, who inherited his position as a member of the Romanov family. He chose all of his advisors and had the power to choose not to take their advice. From 1881, people were not allowed to express their political views or oppose the Tsar. Autocracy had several strengths, such as things could get done very quickly, and there was an awareness of roles and position in society. However, it was also the cause of many problems. The Tsar was often very out of touch with his people and their problems, this meant that many of his laws were to please his own self-interest. As the Tsar's position was inherited, it meant that he was not necessarily well qualified or naturally suited to his role. The Tsar could do as he pleased, and the people had to live with the consequences. Autocracy worked very well when there was a good Tsar. However, when there was a bad Tsar, this system caused many problems.Russia was a very large country, which was very segregated, with 211 ethnic groups and strong class divisions. This made it hard to control. Therefore, 40% of all spending was spent on a large army to try control the country, it was not used much outside Russia. The army was known to be very tough and conscription was used as a form of punishment for lawbreakers and rebellious peasants, which made it a less effective army. Commissions within the army were bought and sold, which meant that the commanders were unskilled both to lead and train the soldiers. The poor transport and communications system meant that the army could not travel around the country easily and so was less effective at controlling the country. Due to poor management of the army, there were often revolts in Russia, which the army struggled to control.The Russian Orthodox Church played an important role in maintaining Autocracy in Russia and limiting progress. The Russian people were indoctrinated, they were taught that God commanded them to obey all authority, particularly that of the Tsar, and that total obedience was their duty. They were detached from foreign influences and became an expression of Russian culture, opposing political change and supporting the Tsar. The Church was immensely powerful, and had a great effect on the peasants, and only a very few priests did not support the Tsar, this made it hard for any form of change.The main source of income in Russia in 1894 was agriculture this was the occupation of 4/5ths of the country. However, much of the country was not suited to...

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