"Russia in 1894 was a country with many problems" - Discuss this view of Russia

Essay by sykopowerHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2003

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"Russia in 1894 was a country with many problems" - Discuss this view of Russia

In 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...