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Why Was It Difficult To Govern Russsia?

973 words - 4 pages

Russia was a dictatorship. The ruler Of Russia was the Emperor (Tsar) and in principle everything that happened in Russia was his responsibility which he joint with no one and was responsible only to God for his actions.From 1894 until 1917, Nicholas II was the Tsar and autocrat of all the Russias and he had succeeded his father Alexander III who had died while still relatively young (49 years old). Alexander's father, Alexander II, had tried to reform Russia by creating local councils and freeing the serfs (slaves) but his only thanks from some sections of the Russian population was growing resentment. This concluded in his brutal murder. Neither Alexander III nor Nicholas II were ...view middle of the document...

If you desperately wanted a decision you handed over cash to encourage a speedy conclusion to your business.The Russian army was technically the largest in Europe but chronic shortage of funds meant that the Russian government could only afford to call up a fraction of those eligible each year to serve in the army. The army was backward, short of modern equipment and officers were appointed on the grounds of family connections rather than ability. In a war in 1904-5 the Russian army was badly defeated by a Japanese army and this led to a near revolution in 1905 which was only averted by the granting of a Duma or Parliament. In any one year large sections of the army were employed keeping down the peasants who frequently revolted against their conditions.The Russian Orthodox Church was the other great supporter of the Tsar. He was divinely appointed and the Church had a specially protected position in Russian life but many ordinary Russians saw their local priests as greedy and corrupt individuals who did not live up to Biblical standards.The vast bulk of the Russian people were peasants and until the 1861 Emancipation they were serfs which meant that they could be bought, sold and even used as gambling payments. After this they gained their freedom but they had to pay for this in long term redemption payments to the government. They literally bought their freedom. These payments, high taxation, low prices for their grain and their very small landholdings which got smaller every year meant that there was little chance of the peasant becoming a western style farmer and supporter of the...

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