Tsar /zɑːr/ or /tsɑːr/, spelled tzar, csar, or czar, is a title used to designate certain Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, the word could be used to designate other secular supreme rulers. Simeon II, the last Tsar of Bulgaria, is the last person to have borne the title Tsar, the title Tsar is derived from the Latin title for the Roman emperors, Caesar. In the history of the Greek language, basileus had originally meant something like potentate and it gradually approached the meaning of king in the Hellenistic Period, and it came to designate emperor after the inception in the Roman Empire. Thus, tsar was not only used as an equivalent of Latin imperator but was used to refer to Biblical rulers. From this ambiguity, the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages, the Bulgarian language and Russian language no longer use tsar as an equivalent of the term emperor/imperator as it exists in the West European tradition.
Currently, the term refers to native sovereigns and Biblical rulers, as well as monarchs in fairy tales. The title of king is sometimes perceived as alien and is by some Russian-speakers reserved for European royalty, foreign monarchs of imperial status, both inside and outside of Europe, ancient as well as modern, are generally called imperator, rather than tsar. Biblical rulers in Serbian are called цар and in Croatian kralj, in the Polish language however tsar is always used as imperator, never as king. The term tsar is very used to refer to the Russian rulers after Peter the Great. In 705 Emperor Justinian II named Tervel of Bulgaria Caesar, the first foreigner to receive this title, the sainted Boris I is sometimes retrospectively referred to as tsar, because at his time Bulgaria was converted to Christianity. However, the tsar was actually adopted and used for the first time by his son Simeon I. Since in Byzantine political theory there was place for two emperors and Western, the Bulgarian ruler was crowned basileus as a spiritual son of the Byzantian basileus.
In Latin sources the Emperor of Bulgaria is sometimes designated Emperor of Zagora, various additional epithets and descriptions apart, the official style read Emperor and autocrat of all Bulgarians and Greeks. During the five-century period of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria, the sultan was referred to as tsar. This may be related to the fact that he had claimed the legacy of the Byzantine Empire or to the fact that the sultan was called Basileus in medieval Greek, after Bulgarias liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its new monarchs were at first autonomous prince. With the declaration of independence, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria adopted the traditional title tsar in 1908. However, these titles were not generally perceived as equivalents of emperor any longer, in the Bulgarian as in the Greek vernacular, the meaning of the title had shifted
History of Russia
The History of Russia begins with that of the Eastern Slavs. The traditional beginning of Russian history is 862 A. D. Kievan Rus, the state adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning with the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus ultimately disintegrated as a state because of the Mongol invasion of Rus in 1237–1240, after the 13th century, Moscow became a cultural center. By the 18th century, the Tsardom of Russia had become the huge Russian Empire, expansion in the western direction sharpened Russias awareness of its separation from much of the rest of Europe and shattered the isolation in which the initial stages of expansion had occurred. Successive regimes of the 19th century responded to such pressures with a combination of halfhearted reform, peasant revolts were common, and all were fiercely suppressed. Russian serfdom was abolished in 1861, but the peasant fared poorly, from its first years, government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communists, as the Bolsheviks called themselves, beginning in March 1918.
The Russian Federation began in January 1992 as the successor to the USSR. Russia retained its nuclear arsenal but lost its superpower status, Russias treatment of Ukraine led to severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. In 2006,1. 5-million-year-old Oldowan flint tools were discovered in the Dagestan Akusha region of the north Caucasus, arctic Russia was reached by 40,000 years ago. During the prehistoric eras the vast steppes of Southern Russia were home to tribes of nomadic pastoralists, in classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia. Remnants of these long gone steppe cultures were discovered in the course of the 20th century in places as Ipatovo, Arkaim. In the latter part of the 8th century BCE, Greek merchants brought classical civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais, gelonus was described by Herodotos as a huge earth- and wood-fortified grad inhabited around 500 BCE by Heloni and Budini. At about the 2nd century CE Goths migrated to the Black Sea, and in the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, a Turkic people, the Khazars, ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas through to the 8th century.
Noted for their laws and cosmopolitanism, the Khazars were the commercial link between the Baltic and the Muslim Abbasid empire centered in Baghdad. They were important allies of the Byzantine Empire, and waged a series of wars against the Arab Caliphates. In the 8th century, the Khazars embraced Judaism, some of the ancestors of the modern Russians were the Slavic tribes, whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pripet Marshes. The Early East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves, one moving from Kiev towards present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk towards Novgorod, scandinavian Norsemen, known as Vikings in Western Europe and Varangians in the East, combined piracy and trade throughout Northern Europe. In the mid-9th century, they began to venture along the waterways from the eastern Baltic to the Black, the first East Slavic state, emerged in the 9th century along the Dnieper River valley
State Duma (Russian Empire)
The State Duma or Imperial Duma was the Lower House, part of the legislative assembly in the late Russian Empire, which held its meetings in the Taurida Palace in St. Petersburg. It convened four times between 27 April 1906 and the collapse of the Empire in February 1917, the First and the Second Dumas were more democratic and represented a greater number of national types than their successors. The Third Duma was dominated by gentry and businessmen, the Fourth Duma held five sessions, it existed until 2 March 1917, and was formally dissolved on 6 October 1917. The State Duma was to be the house of a parliament. However, Nicholas II was determined to retain his autocratic power, on April 23,1906, the Tsar issued the Fundamental Laws, which gave him the title of supreme autocrat. Although no law could be made without the Dumas assent, neither could the Duma pass laws without the approval of the noble-dominated State Council, and the Tsar himself retained a veto. The laws stipulated that ministers could not be appointed by, and were not responsible to, the Tsar had the power to dismiss the Duma and announce new elections whenever he wished, article 87 allowed him to pass temporary laws by decrees.
All these powers and prerogatives assured that, in practice, the Government of Russia continued to be an absolute monarchy. It was in context that the first Duma opened four days later. Second came an alliance of more radical leftists, the Trudoviks with around 100 deputies. To the right of both were a number of parties, including the Octobrists. Together, they had around 45 deputies, other deputies, mainly from peasant groups, were unaffiliated. The Kadets were among the political parties capable of consistently drawing voters due to their relatively moderate political stance. The Kadets drew from an urban population, often failing to draw the attention of rural communities who were instead committed to other parties. The Duma ran for 73 days until 8 July 1906, with little success, sergei Muromtsev, Professor of Law at Moscow University, was elected Chairman. Lev Urusov held a famous speech, scared by this liberalism, the Tsar dissolved the Duma, reportedly saying curse the Duma. The same day, Pyotr Stolypin was named as the new Prime Minister, in frustration, Paul Miliukov and approximately 200 deputies, mostly from the liberal Kadets party decamped to Vyborg, part of Russian Finland, to discuss the way forward.
From there, they issued the Vyborg Appeal, which called for civil disobedience, largely ignored, it ended in their arrest and the closure of Kadet Party offices
The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the eventual rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, in the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a communist state. The February Revolution was a revolution focused around Petrograd, capital of Russia, in the chaos, members of the Imperial parliament assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution, the February Revolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War, which left much of the Russian Army in a state of mutiny. During this chaotic period there were frequent mutinies and many strikes, when the Provisional Government chose to continue fighting the war with Germany, the Bolsheviks and other socialist factions campaigned for stopping the conflict.
The Bolsheviks turned workers militias under their control into the Red Guards over which they exerted substantial control, the Bolsheviks appointed themselves as leaders of various government ministries and seized control of the countryside, establishing the Cheka to quash dissent. To end Russia’s participation in the First World War, the Bolshevik leaders signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918, soon after, civil war erupted among the Reds, the Whites, the independence movements and the non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922, the Russian Revolution of 1905 was said to be a major factor to the February Revolutions of 1917. The events of Bloody Sunday triggered a line of protests, a council of workers called the St. Petersburg Soviet was created in all this chaos, and the beginning of a communist political protest had begun.
World War I prompted a Russian outcry directed at Tsar Nicholas II and it was another major factor contributing to the retaliation of the Russian Communists against their royal opponents. However, the problems were merely administrative, and not industrial as Germany was producing great amounts of munitions whilst constantly fighting on two major battlefronts, the war developed a weariness in the city, owing to a lack of food in response to the disruption of agriculture. Food scarcity had become a problem in Russia, but the cause of this did not lie in any failure of the harvests. As a result, they tended to hoard their grain and to revert to subsistence farming, thus the cities were constantly short of food. At the same time rising prices led to demands for wages in the factories. The outcome of all this, was a criticism of the government rather than any war-weariness. The original fever of excitement, which had caused the name of St. Heavy losses during the war strengthened thoughts that Tsar Nicholas II was unfit to rule, the Liberals were now better placed to voice their complaints, since they were participating more fully through a variety of voluntary organizations
Witte was neither a liberal or a conservative. He attracted foreign capital to boost Russias industrialization, Witte served under the last two emperors of Russia, Alexander III and Nicholas II. During the Russo-Turkish War he had risen to a position in which he controlled all the passing to the front along the lines of the Odessa Railways. As Minister of Finance Witte presided over extensive industrialization and the management of various railroad lines and he framed the October Manifesto of 1905, and the accompanying government communication, but was not convinced it would solve Russias problem with the Tsarist autocracy. On 20 October 1905 he became the first Chairman of the Russian Council of Ministers, assisted by his Council he designed Russias first constitution. Within a few months he fell in disgrace within court circles as a reformer and he resigned before the First Duma assembled. He has been described as the great reforming finance minister of the 1890s, one of Nicholass most enlightened ministers, Wittes father Christoph Hendrik Georg Witte descended from a Lutheran Baltic family of Dutch origin and converted to Russian Orthodoxy upon marriage with Yekaterina Fadeyeva.
He became a member of the knighthood in Pskov, but moved to Saratov, Sergei was raised on the estate of his mothers parents. His grandfather was Andrei Mikhailovich Fadeyev, a Governor of Saratov and Privy Councillor of the Caucasus, Sergei had two brothers and two sisters, and the mystic Helena Blavatsky was their first cousin. He entered a Tiflis gymnasium, but he took more interest in music, Sergei finished Gymnasium I in Kishinev and commenced studying Physico-Mathematical Sciences at the Novorossiysk University in Odessa in 1866 graduating top of his class in 1870. Witte had initially planned to pursue a career in academia with the aim of becoming a professor in Theoretical Mathematics and his relatives took a dim view of this career path as it was considered unsuitable for a noble at the time. He was instead persuaded by Count Vladimir Alekseyevich Bobrinsk, Minister of Ways and Communication, at the end of this period he was appointed chief of the traffic office. After a wreck on the Odessa Railways in late 1875 cost many lives, in 1879, Witte accepted a post in St.
Petersburg, where he met his future wife. He moved to Kiev the following year, in 1883, he published a paper on Principles of railway tariffs for cargo transportation, in which he spoke out on social issues and the role of the monarchy. In 1886, he was appointed manager of the privately held Southwestern Railways, based in Kiev and his warnings were proven in the October 1888 Borki train disaster, which resulted in the appointment of Witte to the position of Director of State Railways. Witte worked in management for twenty years, starting out as a ticket clerk. He served as Russian Director of Railway Affairs within the Finance Ministry from 1889 to 1891, until less than one-fourth of the small railway systems was under direct state control, but Witte set about making the railway service a monopoly of the State. Witte obtained the right to assign employees based on their performance and this resulted in a new customs law for Russia in 1891, which spurred an increase in industrialization in Russia towards the turn of the century
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Today, the restored palace forms part of a complex of housing the Hermitage Museum. The storming of the palace in 1917 as depicted in Soviet paintings, the palace was constructed on a monumental scale that was intended to reflect the might and power of Imperial Russia. From the palace, the Tsar ruled over 22,400,000 square kilometers and it was designed by many architects, most notably Bartolomeo Rastrelli, in what came to be known as the Elizabethan Baroque style. The green-and-white palace has the shape of a rectangle. The Winter Palace has been calculated to contain 1,786 doors,1,945 windows,1,500 rooms and 117 staircases. Following the February Revolution of 1917, the palace was for a time the seat of the Russian Provisional Government. Later that same year, the palace was stormed by a detachment of Red Army soldiers, on a less glorious note, the month-long looting of the palaces wine cellars during this troubled period led to what has been described as the greatest hangover in history.
This policy was manifested in bricks and mortar by the creation of a new city, Saint Petersburg, in 1703. The Tsar intended that his new city would be designed in a Flemish renaissance style, known as Petrine Baroque, and this was the style he selected for his new palace in the city. The first Royal residence on the site had been a log cabin known as the Domik Petra I, built in 1704. In 1711 it was transported to the Petrovskaya Embankment, where it still stands, with the site cleared, the Tsar embarked on the building of a larger house between 1711 and 1712. This house, today referred to as the first Winter Palace, was designed by Domenico Trezzini, the 18th century was a period of great development in European royal architecture, as the need for a fortified residence gradually lessened. This process, which had begun in the late 16th century, one of the earliest and most notable examples was Louis XIVs Versailles. Largely completed by 1710, Versailles—with its size and splendour—heightened rivalry amongst the sovereigns of Europe, Peter the Great of Russia, keen to promote all western concepts, wished to have a modern palace like his fellow sovereigns.
However, unlike some of his successors, Peter I never aspired to rival Versailles, the first Winter Palace was a modest building of two main floors under a slate roof. It seems that Peter soon tired of the first palace, for in 1721 and it was here that Peter the Great died in 1725. The Winter Palace was not the palace in the unfinished city, or even the most splendid, as Peter had ordered his nobles to construct residences
Proportional representation characterizes electoral systems by which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the support an particular political party, roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result, not just a plurality, or a bare majority, Proportional representation requires the use of multiple-member voting districts, it is not possible using single-member districts alone. In fact, the most proportional representation is achieved when just one super-district is used, the two most widely used families of PR voting systems are party list PR and single transferable vote. Mixed member proportional representation, known as the Additional Member System, is a hybrid Mixed Electoral System that uses party list PR as its proportional component, with party list PR, political parties define candidate lists and voters vote for a list. The relative vote for each list determines how many candidates from each list are actually elected, lists can be closed or open, open lists allow voters to indicate individual candidate preferences and vote for independent candidates.
Voting districts can be small or as large as a province or an entire nation, the single transferable vote uses small districts, with voters ranking individual candidates in order of preference. During the count, as candidates are elected or eliminated, surplus or discarded votes that would otherwise be wasted are transferred to other candidates according to the preferences, STV enables voters to vote across party lines and to elect independent candidates. Voters have two votes, one for their district and one for the party list, the party list vote determining the balance of the parties in the elected body. Biproportional apportionment, first used in Zurich in 2006, is a method for adjusting an elections result to achieve overall proportionality. Some form of representation is used for national lower house elections in 94 countries, party list PR. As with all systems, there are overlapping and contentious claims in terms of its advantages and disadvantages. But does it follow that the minority should have no representatives at all, is it necessary that the minority should not even be heard.
Nothing but habit and old association can reconcile any reasonable being to the needless injustice, in a really equal democracy, every or any section would be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of the representatives, man for man, they would be as fully represented as the majority. Unless they are, there is not equal government, many academic political theorists agree with Mill, that in a representative democracy the representatives should represent all segments of society. The established parties in UK elections can win formal control of the parliament with as little as 35% of votes, in Canada, majority governments are regularly formed by parties with the support of under 40% of votes cast. Coupled with turnout levels in the electorate of less than 60%, in the 2005 general election, for example, the Labour Party under Tony Blair won a comfortable parliamentary majority with the votes of only 21. 6% of the total electorate
Civil liberties or personal freedoms are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation, without due process. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive liberty/positive rights and negative liberty/negative rights. Many contemporary states have a constitution, a bill of rights, or similar constitutional documents that enumerate, the existence of some claimed civil liberties is a matter of dispute, as are the extent of most civil rights. Controversial examples include property rights, reproductive rights, and civil marriage, whether the existence of victimless crimes infringes upon civil liberties is a matter of dispute. Another matter of debate is the suspension or alteration of certain civil liberties in times of war or state of emergency, including whether and to what extent this should occur.
The formal concept of civil liberties is often dated back to Magna Carta, the Constitution of Peoples Republic of China, especially its Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens, claims to protect many civil liberties. Taiwan, which is separated from China, has its own Constitution, the Fundamental Rights—embodied in Part III of the constitution—guarantee liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace as citizens of India. The six fundamental rights are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion and educational rights and right to constitutional remedies. These include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, incorporated in the law of the land and are enforceable in a court of law. Violations of these result in punishments as prescribed in the Indian Penal Code. These rights are neither absolute nor immune from constitutional amendments and they have been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices.
Specifically, they resulted in abolishment of un-touchability and prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste and they forbid human trafficking and unfree labour. They protect cultural and educational rights of ethnic and religious minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages, all people, irrespective of race, caste or sex, have the right to approach the High Courts or the Supreme Court for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. It is not necessary that the party has to be the one to do so. In public interest, anyone can initiate litigation in the court on their behalf and this is known as Public interest litigation. High Court and Supreme Court judges can act on their own on the basis of media reports, the Fundamental Rights emphasize equality by guaranteeing to all citizens the access and use of public institutions and protections, irrespective of their background. The rights to life and personal liberty apply for persons of any nationality, while others, such as the freedom of speech, the right to equality in matters of public employment cannot be conferred to overseas citizens of India.
Fundamental Rights primarily protect individuals from any arbitrary State actions, for instance, the constitution abolishes untouchability and prohibits begar
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic, Soviet historiography portrayed Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader, whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects. The Anglo-Russian Entente, designed to counter German attempts to influence in the Middle East. Nicholas approved the Russian mobilisation on 30 July 1914, which led to Germany declaring war on Russia on 1 August 1914 and it is estimated that around 3,300,000 Russians were killed in World War I. Following the February Revolution of 1917, Nicholas abdicated on behalf of himself and his son, the recovered remains of the Imperial Family were finally re-interred in St. Petersburg, eighty years to the day on 17 July 1998. In 1981, his wife and their children were canonized as martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, located in New York City.
On 15 August 2000 Nicholas and his family were canonized as passion bearers, Nicholas was born in the Alexander Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, the eldest son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia. He had five siblings, George, Michael. Nicholas often referred to his father nostalgically in letters after Alexanders death in 1894 and he was very close to his mother, as revealed in their published letters to each other. His paternal grandparents were Emperor Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia and his maternal grandparents were King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark. Nicholas was of primarily German and Danish descent, his last ethnically Russian ancestor being Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna, Nicholas was related to several monarchs in Europe. His mothers siblings included Kings Frederik VIII of Denmark and George I of Greece, his wife Alexandra, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany were all first cousins of King George V of the United Kingdom.
Nicholas was a first cousin of both King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway, as well as King Constantine I of Greece, Tsar Nicholas II was the first cousin-once-removed of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich. To distinguish between them the Grand Duke was often known within the Imperial family as Nikolasha and Nicholas the Tall, while the Tsar was Nicholas the Short. In his childhood, his parents and siblings made annual visits to the Danish royal palaces of Fredensborg and Bernstorff to visit his grandparents, the king and queen. The visits served as family reunions, as his mothers siblings would come from the United Kingdom, Germany. It was there in 1883, that he had a flirtation with one of his English first cousins, in 1873, Nicholas accompanied his parents and younger brother, two-year-old George, on a two-month, semi-official visit to England. In London and his family stayed at Marlborough House, as guests of his Uncle Bertie and Aunt Alix, the Prince and Princess of Wales, where he was spoiled by his uncle
Russian Constitution of 1906
It was enacted on 6 May 1906, on the eve of the opening of the first State Duma. This first-ever Russian Constitution was a revision of the earlier Fundamental Laws and it was granted during the Russian Revolution of 1905, in a last-ditch effort by the imperial government to preserve its own existence and keep the nation from sliding into all-out anarchy. The new constitution provided for a bicameral Russian parliament, without whose approval no laws were to be enacted in Russia and this legislature was composed of an upper house, known as the State Council, and a lower house, known as the State Duma. Members of the house were half appointed by the Tsar. While the Duma held the power of legislation and the right to question the Tsars ministers, it did not have control over their appointment or dismissal, nor could it alter the constitution, save upon the emperors initiative. The Tsar retained a veto over legislation, as well as the right to dismiss the Duma at any time. The emperor had the right to issue decrees during the Dumas absence—though these lost their validity if not approved by the new parliament within two months.
This charter had been granted under duress, and Nicholas abhorred its restrictions upon his power and he dismissed the First and Second Dumas when they proved unsatisfactory to him, and unilaterally altered the election statutes to ensure that more landed persons would be elected to future Dumas. The precise regulations by which the Tsar exercised his imperial prerogatives were first codified in 1832, with the issuance of the Set of Laws of the Russian Empire and these laws could be altered or repealed by the emperor. Beyond that, the power of the Russian emperor was virtually limitless, although a Boyar Duma had existed in Russia from Muscovite times until the rule of Peter I, it was an advisory institution, without legislative prerogatives. Peter abolished this organ in 1721, replacing it with the Governing Senate and this body consisted of nine members, and was intended to oversee administration of the empire, under the direction of an Ober-Procurator, appointed by the sovereign. The emperor might submit draft decree proposals to this committee for their deliberation and recommendations and its decisions as to interpretation of the legal code, unless countermanded by the Tsar, were seen as absolutely authoritative.
However, the Senate still remained at all times under the direct control, he named and dismissed its members, could alter its prerogatives. As such, the Ruling Senate was never considered to be a parliament in the modern sense, Alexander did establish a State Council, with 35—later 60—members, whose major duty was the investigation and abrogation of laws. Its four departments were, Legislative and Ecclesiastical Administration, State Economy, each department had its own presiding officer and met separately to discuss matters assigned to it. There were plenary sessions of the whole Council, called to peruse laws proposed by the Tsars ministers, while most sessions concerned the budget and state expenditures, the Council would examine anything submitted to it. It had no authority to propose changes to existing laws, nor to investigate anything not initiated by the Tsar, decision-making authority rested with the emperor, who appointed and dismissed members of the Council. Alexanders nephew Alexander II entertained reformist ideas, culminating in a project initiated by Count Mikhail Loris-Melikov, One of these proposals would have established two Imperial commissions, to be populated by indirectly elected members, who would advise the Emperor on further reforms
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, with 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns, the class of kholops, close to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
Tsardom of Russia
From 1551 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 per year. After a military victory over Sweden and Poland, he implemented substantial reforms and proclaimed the Russian Empire in 1721. While the oldest endonyms of the Grand Duchy of Moscow used in its documents were Rus and the Russian land, in the 1480s Russian state scribes Ivan Cherny and Mikhail Medovartsev mention Russia under the name Росиа, Medovartsev mentions the sceptre of Russian lordship. In England of the 16th century, it was both as Russia and Muscovy. In Northern Europe and at the court of the Holy Roman Empire, muscovites refute this, saying that their country was originally called Russia. When they are asked what nation they are, they respond Russac, which means Russians, and when they are asked what place they are from, by the 16th century, the Russian ruler had emerged as a powerful, autocratic figure, a Tsar. By assuming that title, the sovereign of Moscow tried to emphasize that he was a ruler or emperor on par with the Byzantine emperor or the Mongol khan.
At first, the Byzantine term autokrator expressed only the meaning of an independent ruler. Ivan IV was crowned Tsar and thus was recognized, at least by the Russian Orthodox Church and that concept was to resonate in the self-image of Russians in future centuries. The development of the Tsars autocratic powers reached a peak during the reign of Ivan IV, Ivan strengthened the position of the Tsar to an exceptional degree, demonstrating the risks of unrestrained power in the hands of a mentally unstable individual. Although apparently intelligent and energetic, Ivan suffered from breakdowns of paranoia and depression, Ivan IV became Grand Prince of Moscow in 1533 at the age of three. The Shuysky and Belsky factions of the boyars competed for control of the regency until Ivan assumed the throne in 1547, reflecting Moscows new imperial claims, Ivans coronation as Tsar was a ritual modeled after those of the Byzantine emperors. With the continuing assistance of a group of boyars, Ivan began his reign with a series of useful reforms, in the 1550s, he declared a new law code, revamped the military, and reorganized local government.
These reforms undoubtedly were intended to strengthen the state in the face of continuous warfare, the key documents prepared by the so-called Select Council of advisors and promulgated during this period are as follows. Muscovy remained a fairly unknown society in Western Europe until Baron Sigismund von Herberstein published his Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii in 1549 and this provided a broad view of what had been a rarely visited and poorly reported state. In the 1630s, the Russian Tsardom was visited by Adam Olearius, whose lively, further information about Russia was circulated by English and Dutch merchants. One of them, Richard Chancellor, sailed to the White Sea in 1553, upon his return to England, the Muscovy Company was formed by himself, Sebastian Cabot, Sir Hugh Willoughby, and several London merchants. Ivan the Terrible used these merchants to exchange letters with Elizabeth I, despite the domestic turmoil of the 1530s and 1540s, Russia continued to wage wars and to expand