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27 septembre 2013 5 27 /09 /septembre /2013 04:47

Catherine successfully waged war against the decaying Ottoman Empire[86] and advanced Russia's southern boundary to the Black Sea.  Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

Then, by allying with the rulers of Austria and Prussia, she incorporated the territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, where after a century of Russian rule non-Catholic mainly Orthodox population prevailed[87] during the Partitions of Poland, pushing the Russian frontier westward into Central Europe. HP Pavilion G7-1081NR Laptop Keyboard

By the time of her death in 1796, Catherine's expansionist policy had made Russia into a major European power. This continued withAlexander I's wresting of Finland from the weakened kingdom of Sweden in 1809 and of Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812.

Napoleon made a major misstep when he declared war on Russia after a dispute with Tsar Alexander I and launched an invasion of Russia in 1812. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

The campaign was a catastrophe. Unable to decisively engage and defeat the standing Russian armies, Napoleon attempted to force the Tsar to terms by capturing Moscow at the onset of winter. The expectation proved futile. Unprepared for winter warfare in the cold Russian weather, thousands of French troops were ambushed and killed by peasant guerrilla fighters. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

As Napoleon's forces retreated, Russian troops pursued them into Central and Western Europe and to the gates of Paris. After Russia and its allies defeated Napoleon, Alexander became known as the 'savior of Europe,' and he presided over the redrawing of the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna (1815), which made Alexander the monarch ofCongress Poland. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

Although the Russian Empire would play a leading political role in the next century, secured by its defeat of Napoleonic France, its retention of serfdom precluded economic progress of any significant degree. As West European economic growth accelerated during the Industrial Revolution, sea trade and colonialism which had begun in the second half of the 18th century, FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

Russia began to lag ever farther behind, creating new problems for the empire as a great power.

Russia's great power status obscured the inefficiency of its government, the isolation of its people, and its economic backwardness.[88] Following the defeat of Napoleon, Alexander I was willing to discuss constitutional reforms, and though a few were introduced, no thoroughgoing changes were attempted.[89] GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

The tsar was succeeded by his younger brother, Nicholas I (1825–1855), who at the onset of his reign was confronted with an uprising. The background of this revolt lay in the Napoleonic Wars, when a number of well-educated Russian officers traveled in Europe in the course of the military campaigns, HP G42-362LA Laptop Keyboard

where their exposure to the liberalism of Western Europe encouraged them to seek change on their return to autocratic Russia. The result was the Decembrist Revolt (December 1825), the work of a small circle of liberal nobles and army officers who wanted to install Nicholas' brother as a constitutional monarch.  SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard

But the revolt was easily crushed, leading Nicholas to turn away from the Westernization program begun by Peter the Great and champion the doctrine "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality".[90]

In the early decades of the 19th century, Russia expanded into South Caucasus and the highlands of the North Caucasus.[91] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

In 1831 Nicholas crushed a major uprising in Congress Poland; it would be followed by another large-scale Polish and Lithuanian revolt in 1863.

In this setting Michael Bakunin would emerge as the father of anarchism. He left Russia in 1842 to Western Europe, where he became active in the socialist movement. SONY KFRMBA152B Laptop Keyboard

After participating in the May Uprising in Dresden of 1849, he was imprisoned and shipped to Siberia, but eventually escaped and made his way back to Europe. There he practically joined forces with Karl Marx, despite significant ideological and tactical differences. Alternative social doctrines were elaborated by such Russian radicals as Alexander Herzen andPeter Kropotkin. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The question of Russia's direction had been gaining steam ever since Peter the Great's program of Westernization]Some favored imitating Europe while others renounced the West and called for a return of the traditions of the past. The latter path was championed by Slavophiles, who heaped scorn on the "decadent" West. ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard

The Slavophiles were opponents of bureaucracy, preferred the collectivism of the medieval Russian mir, or village community, to the individualism of the West. However, over the years since the Patriotic War of 1812 against Napoleon, Russia had been forced into involvement in the affairs of Europe, as part of the "Holy Alliance."  HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

The Holy Alliance was formed to serve as the "policeman of Europe." However, to be the policeman of Europe and maintain the Holy alliance needed large armies. Prussia, Austria, England and France, (the other members of the "Holy Alliance") lacked the large armies required to do so. Thus, the Holy Alliance needed Russia to supply the required armies. SONY VAIO VGN-N31S/W Laptop Keyboard

Consequently, as a result of Russia supplying the armies needed by the Holy Alliance to suppress the revolutionary uprisings in Europe in 1848 and 1849, Russia became deeply involved in the affairs of Europe.[93] Luckily for Europe, their need for large armies fit the philosophy of Tsar Nicholas I. SONY VAIO VGN-CS14G/B Laptop Keyboard

Russia, however, expected that, in exchange for supplying the troops for the Holy Alliance to serve as the policeman of Europe, should be that Europe would leave Russia a free hand in dealing with the Ottoman Empire—the "sick man of Europe." Accordingly, some observers, including Karl Marx and Frederick Engelspredicted that there soon would be a Russo-Turkish War.[94] ASUS F3Sv laptop keyboard

However, Marx and Engels predicted that any such Russo-Turkish War would necessarily become a European War.

Tsar Nicholas died with his philosophy in dispute. One year earlier, Russia had become involved in the Crimean War, a conflict fought primarily in the Crimean peninsula.[96]

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Since playing a major role in the defeat of Napoleon, Russia had been regarded as militarily invincible, but, once pitted against a coalition of the great powers of Europe, the reverses it suffered on land and sea exposed the weakness of Tsar Nicholas' regime.

When Alexander II came to the throne in 1855, desire for reform was widespread.  HP Mini 210-1124TU laptop keyboard

The most pressing problem which confronted the Government was that of serfdom. In 1859, there were 23 million serfs (total population of Russia 67.1 Million).[97]Alexander II made up his own mind to abolish serfdom from above rather than wait for it to be abolished from below through revolution. SONY VAIO VGN-NW23GF laptop keyboard

The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 was the single most important event in 19th-century Russian history. It was the beginning of the end for the landed aristocracy's monopoly of power. Emancipation brought a supply of free labor to the cities, industry was stimulated, and the middle class grew in number and influence. SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

The freed peasants had to buy land, allotted to them, from the landowners with the state assistance. The Government issued special bonds to the landowners for the land that they had lost, and collected a special tax from the peasants, called redemption payments, at a rate of 5% of the total cost of allotted land yearly. SONY VAIO VPC-F12 laptop keyboard

All the land turned over to the peasants was owned collectively by the mir, the village community, which divided the land among the peasants and supervised the various holdings.

Alexander's other important reforms included introduction of local self-government (Zemstvo) for the rural districts and towns, reform of the judiciary, and of the military service. SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E/B laptop keyboard

In the late 1870s Russia and the Ottoman Empire again clashed in the Balkans. The Russo-Turkish War was popular among Russian people, who supported the independence of their fellow Orthodox Slavs, the Serbs and the Bulgarians. However, the war increased tension with Austria-Hungary, which also had ambitions in the region. HP G62-b21SL laptop keyboard

During this period Russia expanded its empire into Central Asia, which was rich in raw materials, conquering the khanates of Kokand, Bokhara andKhiva, as well as the Trans-Caspian region.

In the 1860s a movement known as Nihilism developed in Russia. A term originally coined by Ivan Turgenev in his 1862 novel Fathers and Sons COMPAQ Presario V6405CA laptop keyboard

Nihilists favoured the destruction of human institutions and laws, based on the assumption that such institutions and laws are artificial and corrupt. At its core, Russian nihilism was characterized by the belief that the world lacks comprehensible meaning, objective truth, or value. For some time many Russian liberals had been dissatisfied by what they regarded as the empty discussions of the intelligentsia. HP Pavilion G7-1077NR laptop keyboard

The Nihilists questioned all old values and shocked the Russian establishment.[100] They moved beyond being purely philosophical to becoming major political forces after becoming involved in the cause of reform. Their path was facilitated by the previous actions of the Decembrists, who revolted in 1825, and the financial and political hardship caused by the Crimean War, which caused large numbers of Russian people to lose faith in political institutions.  FUJITSU Lifebook S7111 laptop keyboard

The Nihilists first attempted to convert the aristocracy to the cause of reform. Failing there, they turned to the peasants. Their campaign, which targeted the people instead of the aristocracy or the landed gentry, became known as the Populist movement. It was based upon the belief that the common people possessed the wisdom and peaceful ability to lead the nation.[101] SONY VAIO VGN-CR410E laptop keyboard

While the Narodnik movement was gaining momentum, the government quickly moved to extirpate it. In response to the growing reaction of the government, a radical branch of the Narodniks advocated and practiced terrorism.[101] One after another, prominent officials were shot or killed by bombs. This represented the ascendancy of anarchism in Russia as a powerful revolutionary force. HP Mini 110-3538tu laptop keyboard

Finally, after several attempts, Alexander II was assassinated by anarchists in 1881, on the very day he had approved a proposal to call a representative assembly to consider new reforms in addition to the abolition of serfdom designed to ameliorate revolutionary demands.

Unlike his father, the new tsar Alexander III (1881–1894) was throughout his reign a staunch reactionary who revived the maxim of "Orthodoxy, ASUS X85S laptop keyboard

Autocracy, and National Character".[102] A committed Slavophile, Alexander III believed that Russia could be saved from chaos only by shutting itself off from the subversive influences of Western Europe. In his reign Russia concluded the union with republican France to contain the growing power of Germany, completed the conquest of Central Asia, and exacted important territorial and commercial concessions from China. DELL PK1303Q0100 Laptop Keyboard

The tsar's most influential adviser was Konstantin Pobedonostsev, tutor to Alexander III and his son Nicholas, and procurator of the Holy Synod from 1880 to 1895. He taught his royal pupils to fear freedom of speech and press and to hate democracy, constitutions, and the parliamentary system.[103]  ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

Under Pobedonostsev, revolutionaries were hunted down[104] and a policy ofRussification was carried out throughout the empire.

Alexander was succeeded by his son Nicholas II (1894–1917). The Industrial Revolution, which began to exert a significant influence in Russia, was meanwhile creating forces that would finally overthrow the tsar. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

Politically, these opposition forces organized into three competing parties: The liberal elements among the industrial capitalists and nobility, who believed in peaceful social reform and a constitutional monarchy, founded the Constitutional Democratic party or Kadets in 1905. SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E Laptop Keyboard

Followers of the Narodnik tradition established the Socialist-Revolutionary Party or Esers in 1901, advocating the distribution of land among those who actually worked it—the peasants. A third and more radicalgroup founded the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party or RSDLP in 1898; this party was the primary exponent of Marxism in Russia. DELL M711P Laptop Keyboard

Gathering their support from the radical intellectuals and the urban working class, they advocated complete social, economic and political revolution.

In 1903 the RSDLP split into two wings: the radical Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, and the relatively moderate Mensheviks, led by Lenin's former friend Yuli Martov.  HP AEAT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The Mensheviks believed that Russian socialism would grow gradually and peacefully and that the tsar’s regime should be succeeded by a democratic republic in which the socialists would cooperate with the liberal bourgeois parties. The Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Lenin, advocated the formation of a small elite of professional revolutionists, subject to strong party discipline, to act as the vanguard of the proletariat in order to seize power by force.[106]  HP 540 Laptop Keyboard

The disastrous performance of the Russian armed forces in the Russo-Japanese War was a major blow to the Russian State and increased the potential for unrest.[107] In January 1905, an incident known as "Bloody Sunday" occurred when Father Gapon led an enormous crowd to the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg to present a petition to the tsar. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

When the procession reached the palace, Cossacks opened fire on the crowd, killing hundreds.[107] The Russian masses were so aroused over the massacre that a general strike was declared demanding a democratic republic. This marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Soviets (councils of workers) appeared in most cities to direct revolutionary activity.  HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard

Bound by treaty, Tsar Nicholas II entered World War I to defend Serbia from Austria. At the opening of hostilities in August 1914, the Russians took the offensive against both Germany and Austria-Hungary.[109]

The very large but poorly equipped Russian army fought tenaciously and desperately despite its poor organization and very poor logistics.  DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

Casualties were enormous. By 1915, many soldiers were sent to the front unarmed, and told to pick up whatever weapons they could from the battlefield. Nevertheless the Russian army fought on, and tied down large numbers of Germans and Austrians. When civilians showed a surge of patriotism, the tsar and his entourage failed to exploit it for military benefit.  DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Instead, they relied on slow-moving bureaucracies. In areas where they did advance against the Austrians, they failed to rally the ethnic and religious minorities that were hostile to Austria, such as Poles. The tsafr refused to cooperate with the national legislature, the Duma, and listened less to experts then to his wife into her chief advisor, the ignorant hypnotic peasant Grigori Rasputin.[110] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

Repeated military failures and bureaucratic ineptitude soon turned large segments of the population against the government.[107] The German and Ottoman fleets prevented Russia from importing supplies and exporting goods through the Baltic and Black seas.[107]

By the middle of 1915 the impact of the war was demoralizing. GATEWAY NV-59 Laptop Keyboard

Food and fuel were in short supply, casualties kept occurring, and inflation was mounting. Strikes increased among low-paid factory workers, and the peasants, who wanted land reforms, were restless.[111] Meanwhile, elite distrust of the regime was deepened by reports that Rasputin was gaining influence; ACER Aspire 5930 Laptop Keyboard

his assassination in late 1916 ended the scandal but did not restore the autocracy's lost prestige.[107]

On 3 March 1917, a strike occurred in a factory in the capital Petrograd (the new name for Saint Petersburg). On 23 February (8 March) 1917, thousands of women textile workers walked out of their factories protesting the lack of food and calling on other workers to join them. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Within days, nearly all the workers in the city were idle, and street fighting broke out. The tsar ordered the Duma to disband, ordered strikers to return to work, and ordered troops to shoot at demonstrators in the streets. His orders triggered the February Revolution, especially when soldiers openly sided with the strikers. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The tsar and the aristocracy fell on 2 March, as Nicholas II abdicated.[112][113]

To fill the vacuum of authority, the Duma declared a Provisional Government, headed by Prince Lvov.[114] Meanwhile, the socialists in Petrograd organized elections among workers and soldiers to form a soviet (council) of workers' and soldiers' deputies, as an organ of popular power that could pressure the "bourgeois" Provisional Government.[114] TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

In July, following a series of crises that undermined their authority with the public, the head of the Provisional Government resigned and was succeeded byAlexander Kerensky, who was more progressive than his predecessor but not radical enough for the Bolsheviks or many Russians discontented with the deepening economic crisis and the continuation of the war.  Lenovo Thinkpad T420 Laptop Keyboard

While Kerensky's government marked time, the socialist-led soviet in Petrograd joined with soviets that formed throughout the country to create a national movement.[115]

Lenin returned to Russia from exile in Switzerland with the help of Germany, which hoped that widespread strife would cause Russia to withdraw from the war.  HP Mini 110-1032NR Laptop Keyboard

After many behind-the-scenes maneuvers,the soviets seized control of the government in November 1917, and drove Kerensky and his moderate provisional government into exile, in the events that would become known as the October Revolution.[116]

When the national Constituent Assembly, elected in December 1917 and meeting in January 1918, HP Pavilion zv6233ea Laptop Keyboard

refused to become a rubber-stamp of the Bolsheviks, it was dissolved by Lenin's troops. With the dissolution of the constituent assembly, all vestiges of democracy were removed. With the handicap of the moderate opposition removed, Lenin was able to free his regime from the war problem by the harsh Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) with Germany, in which Russia lost the territories of Finland, SONY VAIO VGN-FS940 laptop keyboard

Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, the parts of the territories of Latvia and Belarus (line Riga-Dvinsk-Druia-Drisvyaty-Mikhalishki-Dzevalishki-Dokudova-r.Neman-r.Yelvyanka-Pruzhany-Vidoml), and the territories captured from the Ottoman Empire during World War I.[117] On 13 November 1918 the Soviet government cancelled the Treaty of Brest. SONY VAIO VGN-FS730F laptop keyboard

The Bolshevik grip on power was by no means secure and a lengthy struggle broke out between the new regime and its opponents, who included the Socialist Revolutionaries, right-wing "Whites" and large numbers of peasants. At the same time the Allied powers sent several expeditionary armies to support the anti-Communist forces in an attempt to force Russia to rejoin the world war. HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard

The Bolsheviks fought against these forces and against national independence movements in the former Russian Empire. By 1921, they had defeated their internal enemies and brought most of the newly independent states under their control, with the exception of Finland, the Baltic States, the Moldavian Democratic Republic (which joined Romania), and Poland (with whom they had fought the Polish-Soviet War).[119SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

] Finland also annexed the region Pechenga of the Russian Kola peninsula; Soviet Russia and allied Soviet republics conceded the parts of its territory to Estonia (Petseri County and Estonian Ingria), Latvia (Pytalovo) and Turkey (Kars). Poland incorporated the contested territories of Western Belarus andWestern Ukraine, the former parts of the Russian Empire (except Galicia) east to Curzon Line. HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard

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