Russian Revolution

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  • Russian Modernization
  • Once upon a time, Russia was an undeveloped agrarian society where serfdom was still the peasants' main social arrangement.
  • Your baby will work for me!
  • They had recently lost the Crimean War, which killed 450,000 of their men. The peasants weren't happy, and the government realized they needed to move towards modernization.
  • I can't believe we lost the war!
  • So Tsar Alexander II carried out many important reforms. One example was a system of local government called the zemstvo, which handled community issues but still answered to the bureaucracy.
  • Also, free those serfs!
  • Unfortunately, Alex II was assassinated by a member of a revolutionary group, and his son Alexander III had to take over the throne. As revenge for killing his father, Alex III reversed a lot of these reforms.
  • Whoever did this is going to pay for it!
  • This decree hereby authorizes the production of 35,000 miles in railroads, rids Russia of tariffs, and encourages foreign investment. Signed, Sergei Witte
  • Even though Alexander III ignored and repressed the people, Russia actually grew economically and industrially, thanks to the financial minister Sergei Witte.
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