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HL History Notes

HL History Notes

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Published by IB Screwed
Contribution from anon.
Notes for Higher Level History.
Contribution from anon.
Notes for Higher Level History.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: IB Screwed on May 13, 2014
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History HL Notes
19
th
 Century Russia
The Russian people are descendants of the ‘Rus’ who are thought to be a mixture of Scandinavian and Slavic origin and settled in that region out of ± 800 ADByzantine Empire
A major legacy of the Byzantine Empire for the Russians was the eastern orthodox or Greek Orthodox Church
With the decline of Byzantium came a wave of conquest from the East, the Mongols until the 15
th
 century (Tatars)
To a large extent, the Mongols allowed Russians to maintain their way of life:
-
Slavic based languages including writing system (Cyrillic)
-
Orthodox religion
The Russians adopted much from Asian culture and this led western Europeans to think less of the Russians
Geographically Russia was isolated from the rest of Europe:
-
Entirely land locked (mostly)
-
Huge Plains of Eastern Europe prevented overland travel
During these early years there were a series of muscovite princes based in Moscow and called themselves Tsars
By the 17
th
 century the Romanov family became the ruling dynasty:
-
Alexander I (1801-1825)
-
Nicholas I (1825-1855)
-
Alexander II (1855-1881)
-
Alexander III (1881-1894)
-
Nicholas II (1894-1917)
Under the rule of Peter the Great (1689-1728) Russia grew greatly in size and entered the European World
The Russia of 1800 was one of the greatest autocracies in Europe where:
-
The Tsar’s rule was absolute
-
There was a small, but powerful landowning elite
-
The vast majority of the population existed in a state called serfdom
Serfdom: refers to the legal and economic status of peasants (serf).
In Russia Serfdom practically equaled slavery1
 
-
In 1646, landowners registered peasants living on their land. From then they are considered property of the estate.
-
Serfs could not leave the estates unless sold or relocated by owner
-
Serfs could not marry who they wishBackground to Anti Semitism
Hostility and prejudice against Jewish people
The Jewish people have a long history of discrimination in Europe
They were expelled from the Promised Land by the Romans, so, many Jews settled throughout medieval Europe.
-
Jerusalem destroyed at 70 AD
As the church in Rome grew in power, the persecution of the Jews also grew
This caused many Jews to move to Eastern Europe, where at that time, the Orthodox Church was more tolerant
During the reformation (1500s), the climate of religious intolerance grew
Protestants were also guilty of anti-Semitism, with Luther himself being very hateful towards Jews.
Every major European country experienced waves of anti-Semitism in which Jews had limited rights/ were driven out of countries/ slaughtered by the thousands
By the late 19
th
 Century Russians actually adopted this violence against Jews as official policy approved by government
These sanctioned campaigns are known as pilgrims
By the late 19
th
 century many Europeans believed the myths and propaganda that had grown to blame the Jews for almost every conceivable social/economic/political problemBackground of Alexander I
Alexander I (1801-1825) had taken Russia through a turbulent period in terms of foreign affairs, which included:
-
Napoleonic Wars and the congress of Vienna
-
The attempted revolutions of the early 1800s in Europe
During his reign Russia grew geographically with Alexander securing most of Poland, Finland and Bessarabia
Domestically Alexander I did very little to improve Russia’s social or political development
The death of Alexander I in December 1825 gave anti-autocracy conspirators their cue to plan a revolutionThe Decembrist Revolt2
 
As the revolt took place on the first day of Nicholas I’s reign, he was inheriting the legacy of Alexander I, his eldest brother
Although a miserable failure, this revolt marked the first political movement directed against established system of Russian Imperial Autocracy.
Prior to this point the position of the Tsar was never questioned by any inside Russia.
The leaders of this revolt were not united in their arms, however they all agreed that Russia needed some significant changes
-
Some were calling for a constitutional monarchy
-
Others wanted to get rid of the Tsar altogether and establish a republic
-
Some wanted the emancipation of the serfs, as well as judicial reform
-
The leaders of this revolt were a handful of army officers who had seen a more liberal world while in the west during the Napoleonic wars, they wanted these same kind of reforms for their own country
Nicholas I (1825-1855)
“Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationalism” 
Nicholas upbringing and training had prepared him for the military, not ruling Russia
Nicholas was opposed to any political reform or change in Russia and was convinced that military discipline was needed to control Russia
This was due to:
-
His personality which was very rigid and controlling
-
His suspicions about any dissent after the December Revolt
-
Political climate in the rest of EuropeRussia’s Domestic Scene
To stamp out any opposition to the autocracy, Nicholas established a secret police (Okhrana) which quickly became notorious for its brutality
He viewed education and universities as the nourishment of subversive ideas, so he closed down many schools
Nicholas did nothing to improve the economy, which became weaker than other European empiresRussian Foreign Affairs
Having the largest empire in Europe, both in terms of mass and population, Nicholas felt he had a special position and role in European politics
He saw himself as the guardian of the status quo, and as such thought it was his responsibility to use his great army to put down any liberal revolts in other autocratic empires3

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