19th Century Russia

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Nineteenth Century Russia The nineteenth century in Russia was a period of great change. Russia had begun to feel pressure to modernize as its western European neighbors had already done so. Autocrats, or czars with absolute power, made many sweeping changes throughout the empire, and western influence spread new ideals throughout. Such influence created a rise in industry and a growth in the arts. During the 1800s autocrats made many sweeping changes, such as the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. Russia also participated in wars such as the Crimean War and the Napoleonic Wars. Western influence spread new ideals throughout nineteenth century Russia and exploded in the Russian Revolution of the twentieth century. While autocrats altered politics and engaged in various wars, Russia enjoyed a golden age in literature and art. Russia also prospered from a long awaited growth in industry. CZARS/ AUTOCRACIES During the 19th century, Russia was ruled by autocrats, or czars, who ruled with absolute power. Their individual philosophies affected the history and culture of the vast empire. Alexander I was the first czar of the 19th century. He came into power during the Napoleonic Wars, and is most remembered for his involvement in these wars and his sudden change from an active liberal ruler to a more moderate czar. Originally Alexander I relaxed political repression, but later in his reign he joined Metternich in the Holy Alliance in a movement to subdue national and liberal movements. Alexander died in 1825, and Decembrist revolts followed as people argued over his successor. After his brother's death in 1825, Czar Nicholas I came to power. Nicholas is remembered for his much harsher treatment of the people and constant strife for more power. Nicholas was a strong conservative in his beliefs about serfdom, and did not tolerate the 500 peasant revolts
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