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Russian Empire

Russian Empire

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The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. For other uses, see Russia (disambiguation)
Pоссийская Империя
Russian Empire


Image:Sin bandera.svg
1721 — 1917 Image:Flag of Russian SFSR.svg
Image:Flag of Russia.svg Image:Russian Empire's Big Coat of Arms.jpg
Flag¹ Great Seal of State
Anthem: God Save the Tsar!
Russian Empire in 1913
Capital Saint Petersburg
Language(s) Russian
Government Monarchy
 - 1721-1725 Peter the Great
 - 1894-1917 Nicholas II
 - Established 22 October1721
 - February Revolution 2 March1917
 - 1897 22,400,000 km2
8,648,688 sq mi
 - 1897 est. 128,200,000 
     Density 5.7 /km² 
14.8 /sq mi
Currency Ruble
¹ Flag used 1721-1858 and 1883-1917.
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The Russian Empire (Russian: Российская империя, translit: Rossiyskaya Imperiya) was a state that existed from 1721 until it was declared a republic in August 1917.


[edit] History

Main article: History of Russia

The Russian Empire formed from the powerful medieval state of Muscovy, which was ruled by the successors of Ivan IV as Tsars. Though the empire was only officially proclaimed late in 1721 by Tsar Peter I, it was truly born when Peter became Tsar in early 1682. Peter was disgusted by what he saw as the backwardness of his kingdom, and so, prior to his gaining the throne, he travelled about Europe, working in various jobs and gaining the experience necessary to bring Muscovy into the then-present. Following a war in the Baltic in the early 1700s, Peter gained a foothold along the coastline, and founded the city that would be the capital of his empire for almost 200 years, Saint Petersburg. By the end of the 19th century the size of the empire was about 22,400,000 square kilometers (almost 1/6 of the Earth's landmass); its only rival in size at the time was the British Empire. However, at this time, the majority of the population lived in European Russia. More than 100 different ethnic groups lived in the Russian Empire, with the majority ethnic Russians comprising about 45% of the population.

In 1914 the Russian Empire consisted of 81 provinces (guberniyas) and 20 regions (oblasts). Vassals and protectorates of the Russian Empire included the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khiva and, after 1914, Tuva (Uriankhai).

Image:Russian imperiam.png
Russian Empire's Small State Seal

In addition to modern Russia, prior to 1917 the Russian Empire included most of present-day Ukraine, (Dnieper Ukraine and Crimea), Belarus, Moldova (Bessarabia), Finland (Grand Duchy of Finland), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (Russian Turkestan), most of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia (Baltic provinces), as well as a significant portions of Poland (Kingdom of Poland) and Ardahan, Artvin, Iğdır , and Kars from Turkey. Between 1742 and 1867 Russian Empire claimed Alaska as its colony.

The Russian Empire was an hereditary absolute monarchy headed by an autocratic Emperor (tsar) from the Romanov family. Russian Orthodox Christianity was the official faith of the Empire and was controlled by the tsar through the Holy Synod. Subjects of the Russian Empire were segregated into sosloviyes, or social estates (classes) such as "dvoryanstvo" (nobility), clergy, merchants, cossacks and peasants. Native people of Siberia and Central Asia were officially registered as a category called "inorodtsy" (non-Slavic, literally: "people of another origin").

Image:Romanov Flag.svg
Flag of the Russian Empire (1858-1883)

After the overthrow of monarchy during the February Revolution of 1917 Russia was declared to be a republic by the Provisional Government.

This period, together with overlaps with the preceding and subsequent periods, is covered in the following articles.

The capital of Imperial Russia was Saint Petersburg.

[edit] Ruler

Peter the Great changed his title from Tsar in 1721, when he was declared Emperor of all Russia. While subsequent rulers kept this title, the ruler of Russia was commonly known as Tsar or Tsarina until the fall of the Empire during the February Revolution of 1917.

[edit] Imperial external territories

Image:Imperio Ruso.PNG
Russian Empire (maximum extent.)

In addition to 'the Russias' proper, the empire comprised two constitutional monarchies in personal union:

The empire also controlled a major overseas territory in the Americas:

  • Russian America or Alaska (1744-1867)

Furthermore, the empire has at times controlled concession territories, notably the port of Kwantung & the Chinese Eastern Railway Zone, both conceded by imperial China, as well as a concession in Tientsin.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Library of Congress Country Studies: Russia
  • Hingley, Ronald. The Tsars, 1533-1917. Macmillan, 1968.
  • Warnes, David. Chronicle of the Russian Tsars: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Russia. Thames & Hudson, 1999.

[edit] External links

Russian/Soviet territorial dominions
Metropolitan power: Image:Romanov Flag.svg Russian Empire - Soviet Union Image:Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Monarchies in personal union with imperial Russia: Kingdom of Congress Poland (1815-1831) | Grand Duchy of Finland (1809-1917)

Concession territories: Russian: Kwantung Leased Territory & Chinese Eastern Railway Zone in China | Soviet: Hanko & later Porkkala (Baltic Sea peninsulas in Finland) |

Russian imperial protectorate: Manchuria

Soviet occupation zones in partitioned countries after World war II: Germany Soviet Zone & Berlin Soviet Zone | Austria Soviet Zone - Vienna Soviet Zone)

Image:Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgian Empire | Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British Empire | Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Danish Empire | Image:Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch Empire | Image:Flag of Japan - variant.svg Empire of Japan | Image:Flag of France.svg French colonial Empire | Image:Flag of the German Empire.svg German colonial Empire | Image:Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italian Empire | Image:PortugueseFlag1707.png Portuguese Empire | Image:Romanov Flag.svg Russian Empire | Image:Flag of New Spain.svg Spanish Empire |Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Swedish Empire | Image:US flag 48 stars.svg American Empire

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Russian Empire

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