Ffi russian empire 1801 1855 i acquisìtions through

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ffi Russian empire, 1801-1855 I Acquisìtions through 1855 I Acquisitions through '1 914 - Boundary of Russian empire, 1914 c! Þ MAP 3I.2 The Russian empire, 1801-1914. Note the sheer size of Russian territory in this period, and that the state included part of Europe, central Asia, and east Asia. How would straddling so nuch space and so many cultures have affected the process of industrial- ization and nationalism in Russia?
.i. '' .euixn...,,.- '.{to U.S., 1867f-; ' THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE UNDER PRESSURE Like the Ottoman empir.e, the Russian empite experienced battlefield reverses that laid bare the econontic and technolog- ical disparity between Russia and western Eumpean powers. Determined to preserve Russia's status as a great land power, the tsârist government embarked on a progr.am of reform. The keystone of those efforts was the emancipation of the serfs. Social reform paved the way for government-sponsored industrialization, which began to transform Russian society during the last decades of the nineteenth century. political liberalization did not accompany social ancl economic reform, because the tsars refused to yield their autocratic powers. The oppressive political environment sparked opposition lnove- ments that turned increasingly radical in the late nineteenth century. In the early twentieth century, domestic discontent teached crisis proportions and exploded in revolution. Mílitary Defeat and Social Reform Chapter 31 I Societies at Crossroads 713 the central administration. The tsars enjoyed the support of the Russian Orthodox church and a powerful class of nobles who owned most of the land and were exempt from taxes and rnilitary duty. Peasants made up the vast majority of the population, and most of them were serfs bound to tl-re lands that they cultivated. Serfdom was almost as cruel and exploit- ative as slavery, but most landowners, including the state, considered it a guarantee of social stability. T'he Crimeôrì War A respected and fearecl rnilitary power, Rnssia rnaintained its tradition of conquest and ex- pansion. During the nineteenth century the Russian ernpire expanded in three directions: east into Manchuria, south into the Caucasus and central Asia, and southwest toward tlìe Mecliterranean. This last thrust led to interference in the Bal- kan provinces of the Ottoman ernpire. After defeating Turk- ish forces in a war from 1828 to 1829, Russia tried to establish a protectorate over the weakening Ottonìan empire. This ex- pansive effort threatened to upset the balance of power in Europe, which led to rnilitary conflict between Russia and a coalition including Britain, France, the kingdorn of Sardinia, and the Ottoman empire. The Crimean $Øar (7853-L856) clearly revealed the weakness of the Russian eûÌpire, which could hold its own against Ottornan and eing forces, but not against the industrial powers of western Europe.

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