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Nikolai`s Russia

The Polish Revolt of 1830-1831

The unification of Poland with the Russian Empire was increased by the revolutionary's movement, which was directed by the Polish nobility. Its purpose was the restoration of the Polish statehood and the returning of Poland to the borders of 1772. Numerous infringements of the Polish Constitution of 1815, and arbitrariness of the Russian administration, police reprisals, and the influence of the European revolutions of 1830 created an explosive situation in Poland.

The 7th (20th) of November, the members of the secret society uniting officers, students, intelligentsia, attacked the residence of the grand duke Konstantin in Warsaw. The Polish army and the population joined the revolutionists. A provisional government was formed, and also began the creation of national guards. The 13th (25th) of January, the Diet proclaimed the dethronation of Nikolay I from the Polish throne and elected a new government lead by A.Chartoryisky.

Soon the 120-thousand Russian's army under I.I.Dibich's command violated the limits of the Polish Empire. Despite of the numerical superiority of the Russian forces (the Polish army was composed of 50-60 thousand persons), the war delayed. In a number of battles both armies had significant losses. Only the on the 27th of August (the 8th of September), the Russian army under I.F.Paskevich's command (he replaced Dibich who died of cholera) entered Warsaw. The constitution of 1815 was cancelled. The Organic status of 1832 declared Poland an integral part of Russia.

Finishing in the 20s of the XIX century, the unification of the Caucasus to Russia caused the revival of the separative movement of Mountaineers-Muslims. It went on under the banner of muridism (novitiate) and was headed by the local clergy. Murids called all Muslems to sacred war against infidels. In 1834 Shamil became the Imam (the head of movement). In the territory of mountain Dagestan and in the Chechen Republic, he created a powerful theocratic state, the Imamate, which had connections with Turkey and received military support from England. The popularity of Shamil was great; he managed to collect under his commandment up to 20 thousand soldiers. After the significant successes of 20s, Shamil under the pressure of the Russian army was compelled to surrender in 1859 in the aul of Gunib. In the Northwestern Caucasus, military operations, which were leaded by the tribes Adygs, Shapsugs, Ubykhs etc.), continued till 1864.

Foreign Policy of Russia in the 2nd half of XIX Century.

At the time of Nikolay I reign, the foreign policy kept its former reference points: the maintenance of the stable order in Europe and the expansion in the East. Unlike Alexander I, the new emperor did not try to keep the Sacred union, preferring to solve the problem by bilateral agreements.

In March 1826 in St. Petersburg the Russian-English report on cooperation in the reconciliation of Turkey with the revolutionist-Greeks was signed. In case of refusal by Turkey of their intermediary, Russia and England might put Turkey under their joint pressure. By the plan of the English diplomacy, this agreement was supposed to prevent independent actions of Russia in the East.

The Russian government sent to Turkey a note with the requirement to carry out obligations under former contracts: on the Russian-Turkish borders, and also concerning the internal rights of Serbia, Moldova and Walachia. The note was supported by England and Austria, they were afraid to give Nikolay I a pretext for the beginning of the war. The 25th of September (the 7th of October) 1826 was signed the Russian-Turkish convention, confirming the former obligations of Turkey. In July 1826 when in Akkerman negotiations were still going on, the Shah of Iran, supported by English diplomats, found the moment suitable for returning the territories lost in 1813, through the Gulistan's peace treaty. The Iranian army grasped the southern part of Transcaucasia and besieged the fortress Shusha. But in September Russian forces superseded the Iranian army from there.

In April 1827 the Caucasian forces under I.F.Paskevich's command crossed the Iran's border, in June occupied Nakhichevan, in October - Erivan and Tabriz, creating a direct menace to Teheran. In February 1828, in Turkmanch was signed a peace treaty on which to Russia were sent Erivan's and Nakhichevan khanates. The contract, favourable to Russia, was A.S.Griboedov's diplomatic success; he soon became the Russian envoy in Teheran.

To strengthen its positions on the Balkan Russia was regularly supporting and protecting the Greek population living under the menace of physical destruction. In December 1826, Greeks asked Russian government for military help. The 24th of June 1827 in London was signed a convention between Russia, England and France, about intermediary between Turkey and Greece.

Having concluded a peace treaty with Iran, Nikolay I in April 1828 declared war to Turkey. The 2nd of September 1829 in Adrianople was signed a Russian-Turkish peace treaty on which to Russia were sent islands of the estuary of Danube, the eastern coast of the Black sea, the fortresses of Akhaltsikh and Akhalkalaky. The openness of the Black Sea passages for Russian trading ships was confirmed. Turkey undertook to provide the autonomy of the Danube princedoms, Serbia and Greece.

The strengthening of Russia in the Near East and in straits demanded the establishment of good relations with Turkey. The Russian government offered its help in settlement of the conflict with the Egyptian Pasha Mohammed Ali, whose armies came nearer to Constantinople. In February 1833, the Russian squadron under the command of admiral Lazarev landed a 14-thousand landing near Constantinople. In May Mohammed Ali signed a peace agreement with the Turkish sultan. However, the Russian landing was evacuated only after the 26th of June 1833. Turkey concluded with Russia the Unkar-Iklesysk contract about a defensive union for a period of 8 years. In exchange for the Russian military help, Turkey on the basis of confidential articles of the contract, was supposed to close the straits for foreign warships in case of war. This contract became the top of the diplomatic successes of Russia in the Eastern question. At the same time, relations between Russia and its European allies deteriorated.

The July's revolution of 1830 in France, and then the Polish revolt promoted the rapprochement between Russia and Austria. The 3rd of October1833, Russia, Austria and Prussia signed the convention on a mutual guarantee of the Polish possessions and on the giving out of participants of revolutionary movement, having created a certain similarity of the Sacred union. The Russian-Austrian Munchen's convention about cooperation in the Near East questions was signed a month earlier.

Achieving the political isolation of France, Nikolay I tried to normalize relations with England. But the contradictions existing between the two countries constantly grew. England in every possible way aspired to weaken the positions of Russia in the Caucasus, in Turkey and in Central Asia. Russia supported the struggle of North Caucasian mountaineers, supplying them with weapons and ammunitions. The efforts of the English dealers and diplomats by the end of 30s considerably weakened the positions of Russia in Turkey. The interests of Russia and England were confrontating in the Central Asia. For Russia its export to this region was important, and also the import of the Central Asian's clap. With the beginning of war between England and Afghanistan, the activity of the English agents in Central Asia increased. Their purpose was the conclusion of favorable trading agreements with local khans.

Russia constantly advanced its cordons on the south, erected military fortifications at the Caspian sea and Southern Ural. Continuing the approach to Kazakhstan, Russia in 1846 naturalized Kazakhs of the Elder Juzz living earlier under the authority of Kokand's khan. Now almost all Kazakhstan was a part of Russia. The economic support of China by Russia during the opium war (1840-1842) aggravated contradictions between Russia and England in the Far East.

In 1848, the situation in Europe deteriorated: the revolutionary movement covered Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Danube princedoms. Nikolay I broke off diplomatic relations with France and concentrated great efforts on the Russian-Austrian border. Russia granted a great loan to Austria to struggle against the emancipating movement.

In June 1849, the 150-thousand Russian army under the command of I.F.Paskevich tried to help the Austrian empire, unsuccessfully trying to extinguish the Hungarian revolution. In two months, the revolt in Hungary was suppressed, and Austria rescued from disintegration. The European revolution was defeated, and the huge merit belonged to "the gendarme of Europe', that is the Russian autocracy. Nikolay I experienced the true triumph. Surrounded by immeasurable flattery, he sincerely believed in his powerfulness.

The State-Political Development of Russia in the 2nd half of the XIX century.

The state-political development of Russia in the second quarter the XIX century.

Nikolay's I government (1825-1855), which began with the severe suppression of the revolt of the Decembrists became "the apogee of autocracy", the period of the best consolidation of the military-bureaucratic form of the Russian absolutism.

Nikolay I was born in 1796 and, being the third son of Pavel I, was brought up for military career, not to govern the country.

Before coming to power Nikolay commanded a Guards brigade. Not deprived of mind and abilities, Nikolay Pavlovich among all sciences, preferred the military one, and during all his life, he was carried by the passion of shows and parades. When he became emperor, he transferred army methods of command to state affairs.

The prominent particularity of Nikolay's style of government was his aspiration to solve all problems through political centralization and rigid regulation of the public life. By 1850 from 53 provinces of Russia, only 12 had civil government.

In the conditions when the emperor aspired to concentrate in his hands all the strings of management of the country, the role of his imperial majesty's own office immeasurably increased. It turned to an authority organ, connecting the emperor with all government agencies on the most important questions of the internal policy. 6 branches created in that structure were representing independent supreme official bodies with its chiefs responsible only to the emperor. In January 1826 were created I and II departments. The 1st department carried out functions of office. The creation and the activity of the 2nd department were connected with systematization of laws.

Understanding the necessity of acceptance of measures for preventing a new revolutionary demonstration and strengthening the foundations of the autocracy, the government undertook attempts to improve the order of development of bills and the organization of an operative government of the country.

The Special Confidential Committee, created on the 6th of December 1826, became the most significant committee on the development of measures for "improvement" of the system of 'government' and "ordering" relations between landowners and peasants; it (the Committee) was directed by the chairman of the State council, Earl V.P.Kochubey, and the main organizer of the work was M.M.Speransky. Under the projects of the Committee of December, the serfdom would be kept, but the transfer of peasants into domestics and sale of serfs without the ground, were forbidden. It was an offer to create a new estate, "the voluntary liberated farmers" composed of peasants released by landowners (with a lot or without it).

Nikolay I approved the propositions of the committee, but they were not confirmed. After having been working till 1832, the Committee stopped existing. The unique real result of its work became the introduction in 1832 of a semi-privileged class group of "honorable citizens" (hereditary and personal).

The work on putting in order the already approved laws was successful.

In 1832 was created the "Code of Laws" in 15 volumes, where the laws in force were introduced, systematized under a certain circuit. "The Code of Laws" was recognized as the unique official manual in practice of bodies of justice and management.

A special role to maintain the firmness of the authority was allocated to the bodies of the political police. It made annual reports to the tsar about the political situation in the country, and the mood of various estates. A.K.Benkendorf, participant of the 1812's war, member of the Court-inquiry commission concerning Decembrists, clever and educated, was appointed at the head of the III department and the chief of gendarmes. His nearest assistant (1839-1856) was general L.V.Dubelt, combining the post of manager of the III department and staff's chief of the Separated gendarmes' corps.

In a short term, the political police in Russia became omnipresent, omniwinding the "internal inquisition", working on behalf of emperor and not connected to existing laws. Widely using denunciations, espionage and payoff, having stretched all over the country a network of secret agents, it penetrated into all layers of the society and severely suppressed any display of political movement.

The peasant's question in the second quarter of the XIX century continued to remain the cardinal question of the Russian's reality. Under Nikolay I it were created 8 special peasants' confidential committees, but any of them did not put a question on liberating the peasants and only some of them developed and took measures on elimination of discriminating measures of the serf system. A special attention is deserved with the activity of two committees on the peasant's affair, in1835 and 1839. The committee of 1835, supervised by M.M.Speransky and P.D.Kiselev, proposed the plan of a stage-by-stage cancellation of the serfdom and the preservation of all nobility's privileges; thus the task of reform of management of the state and serf villages was set. The committee considered necessary to change the economic and legal status of the state peasants and to pull together the position of landowner peasants with the position of the state one's, and define the sizes of their lots and duties.

To realize this plan, in 1836 was created the V department of his imperial majesty's own office, leaded by Kiselev. During the reform of the state peasants, the lots of small lands increased, the transfer of peasants to free lands was organized, agro-technical improvements took root, the labour-rent system was adjusted, schools, medical and veterinary infrastructures were under construction. In the created districts and rural societies, self-management was entered. The situation of state peasants as whole improved, though local officials quite often behaved as landowners.

The idea of fixation of peasant's lots and duties in avoidance of the landowning arbitrariness was realized in the western provinces. As a whole activity of confidential committees of peasants' affairs during the years 30-40 gave few direct results, but allowed to develop principles which laid as basis of the reform of 1861. After 1848, Nikolay I finally refused the idea of realization of transformations. The revolutionary movement in Europe, the fear of threat of similar explosion inside the country directed it to the way of opened reaction. The censorship and the police oppression froze Russia. The efforts of Nikolay I, working 18 hours per day, had sad result. The centralized military-bureaucratic device was breaking the development of the country; bribery and embezzlement of public funds prospered.

The systematization of the legislation did not remove abusing in courts. The rod discipline did not create a strong army. The spreading of the idea of "official national character" did not rescue Russia from agitation. The crash of everything that was created within 30 years, came with the beginning of the Crimean war. The 18th of February 1855, after a short illness Nikolay I died.

The Crimean war

At the beginning of 50s years, the situation in the Near East again aggravated. The main reason of the conflict was the collision of colonial interests of Russia, England, Russia and France, and also Russia and Austria in Near East and the Balkan. The position of Turkey was determined by its hopes for returning of Crimea and Caucasus, and also the restoration of its influence on the Balkans, which were actively supported by England and France.

Aspiring to finish with Turkey, the imperial government expected a friendly neutrality of Austria and Prussia, the international isolation of France, and hoped to agree with England. However Nikolay's I negociations with the English government had a boomerang effect: they promoted the Anglo-French rapprochement in the Eastern question.

The immediate cause of the war was the dispute between Catholic and orthodox churches for the right of possession of sacred places in Palestine. The dispute "about keys" developed into the Russian-French diplomatic conflict. In February 1853, prince A.S.Menshikov, the great-grandson and favorite of Peter, went to Turkish sultan as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and demanded not only the recognition of the priority of Orthodox church above relics of Christianity, but also the conclusion of the convention on protection of the Russian king all over the Orthodox citizens of Turkey. Russia used the fact that the Sultan refused from these conditions, to break diplomatic relations with Turkey, and in May 1853, and June 1853, occupied the principalities of Danube. The 4th (16th) of October 1853, the Turkish sultan began military actions in Danube and in Transcaucasia. The 20th of October (the 1st of November) 1853, the formal announcement by Russia of war against Turkey 1853 followed.

War naked the backwardness of Russia and the weakness of its industry. 96% of the Russian infantrymen were armed with old smooth-bore silicon guns while in the French army, 33% of the soldiers had cut long-range rifles, and in the English army, 50%. The same situation was in artillery. The steam fleet of allies was 10 times more than the Russian one. In Russia there were 115 ships, including 24 steamships, and the allies had 454 ships, including 258 steamships.

In the first period of war (Russian-Turkish campaign in the Danube front and in Caucasus from October 1853 till April 1854), Russia, despite of its significant numerical advantage on Turkish forces, was able to achieve significant successes.

After number of diplomatic and military demarches, England and France declared war to Russia (March 1854), and Prussia and Austria took upon Russia a position of hostile neutrality, having demanded to remove the siege of Silistry and to clear the Danube princedoms. Nikolay I was obliged to accept these concessions. Russia appeared in the international isolation.

During the second period of the Crimean war (from April 1854 till February 1856) Russia was faced the powerful Anglo-French-Turkish coalition (in January 1855 the Sardinian kingdom joined it). In the spring and summer of 1854, the fleet of allies undertook a number of demonstrative attacks in the Baltic, Black and White seas, and also in the Far East, having attacked Russian fortresses. Facing resistance, allies during the autumn concentrated their efforts to control Crimea. The mistakes of the Russian command allowed allies to land a 62-thousand landing near Evpatoria and to start approach to Sevastopol. The 35-thousand Russian Crimean army under the command of admiral and general-aide-de-camp, naval minister A.S.Menshikov, who had neither abilities of the naval commander, nor talent of the commander, tried to stop the opponent on the River Alma.

During the battle of the 8th September, Russia was defeated and receded in the direction of Sevastopol, and then, after leaving a fortress for the care of its garrison and sailors, left to Bakhchisarai. In October 1854, Menshikov lost two more battles (under Balaklava and in the Inker-Mansky heights) and already near his resignation in February 1855, he did not undertake any resolute actions. The heroic defense of Sevastopol began on the 13th of September 1854 and had lasted for 11 months. 35 thousand defense counsels of the fortress, basically sailors, put out of action almost 70 thousand soldiers and officers of the allies. Not daring to storm the city, opponents were subjected to its five massive bombardments during many days. Sevastopolers sustained huge losses. The 27th of August 1855, the Russian parts could occupy the southern part of Sevastopol, after that it became impossible to protect Russian positions. The rest of the garrison abandoned the fortress.

During the campaign of the summer of 1854, the Caucasian front was rather successful for the Russian army: in several battles it stopped the progress of the Turkish army and repulsed the approach of the mountaineers of Imam Shamil on Kahety. During the autumn of 1855, the new approach of the Turkish and Greek army was broken, and the powerful fortress of Kare was taken. The forces of the two sides exhausted.

The 18th (30th) of 1856 in Paris, France and England signed a peace treaty for the benefit of Russia. All won territories were subject to exchange (Russia returned Kars and received back Sevastopol and other Russian cities); The Black sea became a neutral zone. Russia lost the right to have on the Black sea a military fleet and coastal arsenals; Russia also lost the estuary of Danube and the southern Bessarabia; its protectorate above Moldova and Walachia was cancelled, and also the right of protection of Serbia and the protection of the interests of the Orthodox population in Turkey. Thus, Russia lost its positions in the Near East and in the Balkans.

Education, Culture and Science

During Nikolay's epoch, education and culture were under a great pressure. Censorship raged: the new censorship charter of 1826 nicknamed by the contemporaries "pig-iron", contained 230 prohibitive articles and was directed to the suppression of any manifestation of freethinking. In 1828 the new, softened censorship charter which, however, gave to censorship police functions, was accepted: censors should report to the police about all forbidden products and their authors.

First of all the education was put under governmental control. The charter of educational institutions of 1828 strengthened the principle of estatement in education: peasants were not admitted higher than to district schools. The continuity between the lowest, average and the higher school was suspende. At the same time the need in the development of literacy was constantly growing. Since 30s years various departments opened their elementary schools, and by 50s years, there were already about 30 thousand of them.

During the strengthening of the reaction, the minister of national education became the author of the theory of "official national character", S.S.Uvarov (1833-1849). He proposed to base the education of youth on the three "true Russian guarding" principles: orthodoxy, autocracy, national character". The theory of Uvarov pleased Nikolay I because it promised to relieve Russia from shocks due to the original order of things prevailing there.

In 1835, universities received a new charter, which deprived their autonomy by putting their dependence in the hands of educational districts. Curriculums were reduced, and the tuition fee essentially increased. After 1848, it was forbidden for secular professors to teach philosophy, and the number of students was strictly limited. At the same time, answering to the growing need of the society in experts, significant attention was given to the development of the technical education.

Alongside with the growth of the level of literacy of the population of the country, publishing developed. At the beginning of 50s were printed more than 1 thousand books, book trade extended, the quantity of periodicals reached 230 titles in 1850. The literacy magazines were very popular among the readers.

In the Russian literature various art directions coexisted: romanticism and realism.

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) ended the formation of a new direction: realism in the Russian literature. He possesses the merit of the creation of the modern literary language based on living colloquial figurative speech. The greatest creation of his genius was the novel in verses "Eugeny Onegin" (1823-1831).

Few days after A.S.Pushkin's death (the 29th of January 1837), the poem 'Death of the Poet' brought popularity to Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (1814-1841). By 1837 he was already the author of more than 300 rhymes, 20 poems, 6 dramas, but almost nothing had been published.

In 1831-1832 the Russian public got acquainted with "Evenings on Khutor near Dukanka" and immediately recognized their author, Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol (1809-1852), one of the greatest writers.

The centers of theatrical life during 20-50s were the Maly theatre in Moscow and the Alexandriysky theatre in St. Petersburg (since 1832). The theatrical repertoire gradually extended. On the scene appeared remarkable actors V.A.Karatygin, P.M.Sadovsky, E.Martynov.

M.I.Glinki's works (1804-1857) began the classical period in the Russian music: romances, symphonic works and operas.

K.P.Bryullov (1799-1852) and A.A.Ivanov (1806-1858) were the largest representatives of the academic school of painting. New ideas were brought by P.A.Fedotov into genre art (1815-1852).

In 1841 and 1850 on the Anichkov bridge in St. Petersburg, the sculptor I.A.Klodt established its well-known groups "Tamers of horses". He made also the monument of I.A Krylov in The Summer Garden (1855). In 1834 at the Palace square of St. Petersburg, the column under the project of A.Montferand was erected. V.A.Orlovsky, the author of the sculpture that topped the column, created also monuments at the honor of Kutuzov and Barklai De Tolli at the Kazan's cathedral.

In St. Petersburg the Russian empire style (the general Staff, the Alexandriysky theatre) continued to dominate; in Moscow, the Big Kremlin palace (K.A.Ton), the Tver Triumphal arch (O.I.Bove) were constructed.

The big role in the development of science was played by scientific universities and scientific organizations (the Society of Russian history and antiquities, the Archeographic commission, the Russian archeological society, the Russian geographical society, the Mathematical society etc.). In many cities agricultural societies were created.

In 1826, N.I.Lobachevsky stated the doctrine about the non-Euclidean geometry which value was appreciated already after his death.

The great mathematics were M.V.Ostrogradsky, P.L.Chebyshev. In 1839, in Pukov, near St. Petersburg, V.Y.Struve based the first Russian astronomical observatory.

The major discoveries were done by the employees of the Kazan University - Kittar (chemical technology), N.N.Zinin (synthesis of aniline).

In 1832, the engineer P.L.Shilling invented the electromagnetic telegraph, but his experiments did not receive any practical application. In 1834 professor B.S.Yakobi developed the design of the electric motor, and in 1837 he discovered the galvanoplastic.

N.I.Pirogov put new ideas in medicine forward. Within the Crimean war he began the military-field surgery.

The greatest event in the historical science and public life became the public lectures of the professor of Moscow University T. N.Granovsky (1843-1846, 1851), filled with the idea of generality of the historical way of development of Russia and the West. During the 40s the activity of the Historian S.M.Soloviov increased in popularity. Since 1851 started coming out his "History of Russia from most ancient times".

The Socio-Economical Development of Russia in the 2nd quarter of XIX century.

By the middle of the XIX century, Russia occupied the territory of 18 million sq.km. The population of the country in 1851 was estimated (according to the 9th audit) at 69 million people. The density of the urban population was steadily growing: from 5,8% in 1835 up to 7,8% in 1851; in total, the population was estimated at 3,5 million people. The number of cities in comparison with the previous period changed a little - 566. In Moscow, in St. Petersburg and in Odessa were living more than 100 000 people (17% of the urban population). The growth of the number of townspeople was due to the inflow of countrymen.

"The first estate" of the country was nobility, which Nikolay I named "fencing of throne". The manifest of 1831 in infringement of "Charter to Nobility" established a high property qualification for participation in nobility elections and assemblies. The control of the governor was put above the activity of nobility assemblies. Noblemen owning a small estates thus were discharged of influence on the corporate life of nobility.

In 1832 was created the new estate of hereditary and personal 'honorable citizens". Honorable citizenship was given to children of personal noblemen, clergymen, merchants, scientific, and artists. The access to the noble estate was thus limited. With the same purpose the decree of 1845 increased the class grade "Table of Ranks" giving the right for the reception of hereditary and personal nobility.

For the preservation of the large landowning by the law of 1845, entails-reserved eminences were established; they were not subject to division or sale. Preferential state credits were given to landowners. By 1856 the general debt of noblemen to the treasury was estimated at 427 million rubles. More than half of serfs was pledged.

The most numerous remained the agricultural population of Russia that was paying taxes. By the end of the reign of Nikolay I landowners' peasants were more than 20 million persons. Due to the growth of manor arable lands, the peasants' lots reduced, and peasants were transformed into domestics. In 1851, the number of domestics was more than 1 million persons.

There was a steady growth of merchants. From 1830 till 1858, the guild merchant class increased up to 133%.

In first half of the XIX century, separate economic regions with clearly expressed specialization in branches, were formed. Around Moscow developed Central industrial area, where were concentrated the industrial and shopping centers of the country. From the south, the Central Black Earth area adjoined it; it was the basic grain region of the country. The industry here advanced poorly; the corvee-land economy was dominating. The Northwestern Russian provinces specialized in commercial crops (flax, hemp etc.). The particularity of the North of Russia was woodcrafts and slash agriculture.

The Baltic region specialized in the intensive agriculture. In the western provinces the cattle breeding and the commodity agriculture, focused on the European market, developed. The production of grain, sugar beet, growing, animal industries and the industrial processing of the agricultural production were characteristic of the Right-bank and Left-bank of Ukraine. Mountain and iron-steel industry was the distinctive particularity of Ural and Ural region.

The agriculture of Russia during the 2nd quarter of XIX century was under a great crisis, which developed as the crisis of the corvee system.The technical equipment of the agriculture remained at the routine level. The crops were low. The commercialization of the agriculture grew; in the country manor, the surpluses of grains and sugar beet were being processed. The volume of distiller manufactures grew in the second quarter of the century up to 3 times, and the number of sugar plants up to 8 times.

The fine and country manufacture was still prevailing in the industry of Russia. The general number of industrial institutions (without mining factories) by 1854 increased up to 9994, or nearly twice in comparison with 1825. The number of the workers occupied in the industry grew also: in 1860, in 15 338 enterprises were working 565 thousand persons, including 462 thousand civilians and 103 thousand serfs.

The position of the possessed industries was critical: the government regulated the sizes and the character of manufacture, and also working conditions; owners of enterprises had no right to dismiss their workers, to bring improvements etc. In 1840 the government, at last, softened the possessive right, and gave to owners an opportunity to dismiss workers and even to close the enterprises. By 1860 the number of possessed workers decreased to 20 thousand and was estimated only at 12 thousand persons.

There were changes in the sectoral structure of the industry: in the second quarter of XIX century were being created new kinds of fine commodity manufacture.

In the second half of 30s in the Russian textile began an industrial revolution. The transition to mechanical production in 1830-1850 was experienced with cloth, clerical industry, sugar refining. Alongside with the augmentation of import of machines in the first half of the century, machine-building factories were created in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhni Novgorod. In 1851 in the country were totaled 19 machine-building enterprises.

In 1835 and 1845 the first laws regulating the relations between businessmen and workers appeared. The right of landowners to withdraw the serfs from the enterprises was limited.

The growth of production, increasing of the specialization of regions were stimulated by the development of trade. In the beginning of the 30s, 1705 fairs were operating in the country, and the largest of them turned to commodity exchanges. Trading exhibition circulation grew.

The circulation of the foreign trade of Russia increased. England was the main foreign trade partner of Russia.The trade in the second half of the XIX century lagged from the needs of the industry and trade. The most successful was the organization of steamship communications.

The active trading and the balance of payments of the state allowed the Minister of Finance E.F.Kankrin to carry out the currency reform based on the depreciation of bank notes in 1839-1843. In 1843, the bank notes began to be replaced by credit notes provided by silver. The reform could order the financial system. From the beginning of 1854, free exchange of bank notes on silver was limited, and their cost began to fall.

The Peasants Movement

The peasants movement at the time of Nikolay's I reign constantly accrued: if in the second quarter of century, each year were up to 43 manifestations, in the 50s it reached 100. The 'idea of liberty' was the main reason of the disobedience of peasants. The largest demonstration of that period became the so-called cholera revolts.

In autumn of 1830, the revolt of the Tambov peasants during epidemic became the beginning of the peasants' revolts, covering the whole provinces and continuing till August 1831. In the cities and villages, huge crowds, warmed up by hearings about deliberate infection, destroyed hospitals, killed doctors, policemen and officials. In the summer of 1831, during the epidemic of cholera in St. Petersburg, daily died up to 600 persons.

The distempers, which began in the city, were directed to the Novgorod military settlements which, in result, were liquidated the same year. The indignation of state peasants of Ural region in 1834-1835 was great; it was due to the intention of the government to transfer them into appanage peasants. In the summer of 1939, during drought and fires, peasants revolts were covering 12 central provinces of Russia. In the 40s started a mass of unauthorized immigrations of serfs of 14 provinces to the Caucasus and to other areas, which were hardly stopped by the government forces.

Distemper of serf workers during those years got a significant scope. From 108 working distempers in 1830-1850, approximately 60% happened among possessed workers. In 1849 more than semi-centennial struggle of Kazan clothiers ended by their transfer from possessed conditions into civilian.

The Social Movement in the 2nd half of XIX century.

During the first years of the reign of Nikolay Pavlovich, his aspiration to put things in order in official bodies, to eradicate abusing and to ratify the legality, gave to the population hope of changes in the good direction.

At the end of 1820s and the beginning of 1830s, the Moscow State University became the center of the public ferment. Among its students were being created circles, in which plans of conducting anti-governmental propaganda (a circle of brothers Kritskie) developed, and also armed revolt and the introduction of the constitutional system (N.P.Sungurov's circle). Gertsen and Ogarev unified a group of supporters of the republic and utopian socialism in the beginning of the 30s. All these student's secret societies existed not for long, because authorities crushed them; the punishment of their participants was severe: prisons, exile, giving in soldiers.

At the same time a student of the Moscow university, V.G.Belinsky (1811-1848), organized "Literary society of the 11th room" in which his anti-serfdom drama 'Dmitry Kalinin" was discussed, questions of philosophy and aesthetics. In result Belinsky in 1832 was sent down from the university. N.V.Stankevich's circle, also at the Moscow university existed a little bit longer. He was distinguished by his liberal political moderation. N.A.Melgunov, K.S.Aksakov, I.and P.Kireevskye and other participants were interested in the German philosophy, especially Hegel, and also in history and literature. After the departure of Stankevich in 1837, the circle gradually broke up. From the end of the 30s the liberal direction took the form of ideological currents of the West and the Slavophilism. They did not have their own publishing organs (till 1856), and discussions were taking place in literary rooms.

Slavophiles, basically thinkers and publicists (A.S.Homyakov, I. V. and P.V.Kireevskie, I. S. and K.S.Aksakovs, Y.F.Samarin) idealized Russia- before-Peter, insisted on its originality that existed in the peasants community, alien of social enmity, and in the Orthodoxy. Westerners, mainly historians and writers (I.S.Turgenev, T.N.Granovsky, S.M.Soloviev, K.D.Kavelin. N.Chicherin), were the supporters of the European way of development and supported the peace transition to parliamentary build.

However, the main position of Slavophiles and Westerners coincided: they supported the realization of political and social reforms from above, and were against revolutions.

The radical direction was generated around magazines "Sovremennik" and "Domestic notes" over which V.G.Belinsky supervised, with A.I.Gertsen and N.A.Nekrasov participation. The supporters of this direction also considered, that Russia would go on the European way of development, but unlike liberals, considered that the revolutionary shocks are inevitable. Up to the middle of the 50s the revolution was a necessary condition for the cancellation of the serfdom and for Gertsen. Having kept away from the Western way of life at the end of the 40s, he came to the idea of "Russian socialism" which was based on the free development of the Russian community and artels in connection with ideas of the European socialism.

The independent figure in the ideological opposition to Nikolay's reign became P.Y.Chaadaev (1794-1856). Denying the official theory of the "surprising" last and "magnificent" present of Russia, Chaadaev stated rather gloomy appreciation of the historical past of Russia and its role in the world history; he pessimistically estimated the possibilities of public progress in Russia. As for him, the main reason of the separation between Russia and the European historical tradition was the refusal of Catholicism for the benefit of the religion of serf slavery, that is Orthodoxy.

The circle of the socialist-utopist M.V.Butashevich-Petrashevsky, occupied a significant place in the history of social movement of the 40s. Since 1845, every Friday in his house, were meeting up friends for discussion of philosophical, literary and political questions. It was F.M.Dostoevsky, A.N.Maikov, I.N.Plesheev, M.E.Saltykov, A.G.Rubinstein, P.P.Semenov. Gradually around the Petrashevsky's circle in St. Petersburg was created an illegal group of his supporters. By the year 1849, a part of Petrashevists, assigning hopes for peasants revolution in Russia, started discussing about plans of the creation of a secret society which purpose would be overthrow of autocracy and the destruction of the serfdom.

In April 1849, the most active members of the circle were arrested, and their intentions were considered by a court of inquiry, as the most dangerous "plot of ideas", and the military court sentenced 21 Petrashevists (among them F.M.Dostoevsky) to death penalty. At the last moment, the sentence was changed to penal servitude and hard labor or exile. The period called by A.I.Gertsen "epoch of the agitation of intellectual interests" finished. In Russia stepped a reaction. A new revival began only in 1856.

Russian Empire
Birth of the Empire - Peter the Great
Epoch of Palace Revolution
Russia in the second half of XVIII century
Epoch of Alexander I Reign
Nikolai`s Russia
Epoch of Great Reforms
Alexander III Government
Russia in XIX-XX centuries. First World War

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