Mikhail Gorbachev in Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11,three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko 's death at age
The Russian Revolution Late tsarist Russia Sometime in the middle of the 19th century, Russia entered a phase of internal crisis that in would culminate in revolution. Its causes were not so much economic or social as political and cultural.
For the sake of stability, tsarism insisted on rigid autocracy that effectively shut out the population from participation in government.
At the same time, to maintain its status as a great power, it promoted industrial development and higher educationwhich were inherently dynamic. The result was perpetual tension between government and society, especially its educated element, known as the intelligentsia.
Potentially destabilizing also was the refusal of the mass of Russian peasantryliving in communes, to acknowledge the principle of private property in land.
In the late 19th century the political conflict pitted three protagonists: The tsar was absolute and unlimited in his authority, which was subject to neither constitutional restraints nor parliamentary institutions. He ruled with the help of a bureaucratic caste, subject to no external controls and above the law, and the army, one of whose main tasks was maintaining internal order.
Imperial Russia developed to a greater extent than any contemporary country a powerful and ubiquitous security police. It was a crime to question the existing system or to organize for any purpose whatsoever without government permission. The system, which contained seeds of future totalitarianismwas nevertheless not rigidly enforced and was limited by the institution of private property.
The vast majority of Russian peasants lived in communes obshchinywhich held land in common and periodically redistributed it to member households to allow for changes in family size. The communal organization, composed of heads of households, exercised great control over members.
Communal peasants did not own their land but merely cultivated it for a period of time determined by local custom.
Under these conditions they had little opportunity to develop respect for private property or any of the other qualities necessary for citizenship. Politically they tended toward primitive anarchism. To some extent this also held true for industrial workers, some two million strong at the turn of the century, most of whom came from the village.
The intelligentsia was partly liberal, partly radical, but in either case unalterably opposed to the status quo. Having met with no response, they adopted methods of terror, which culminated in in the assassination of Emperor Alexander II.
The government reacted with repressive measures that kept the revolutionaries at bay for the next two decades.
In the meantime the field was left to liberal intellectuals, who in January formed the Union of Liberationa semilegal political body committed to the struggle for democracy. The oppositional groups received their chance in —05 when Russia became involved in a war with Japan.
The Union of Liberation, moving into the open, presented a program of fundamental political reforms. On October 17 October 30, New Stylefaced with a general strikeEmperor Nicholas II issued a manifesto that promised the country a legislative parliament.
The October Manifesto in effect ended the autocratic system. The following year Russia was given a constitution. Elections took place to a representative body, the State Dumawhich was empowered to initiate and veto legislative proposals.
The population received guarantees of fundamental civil liberties. Between and Russia was administered by the greatest statesman of the late imperial era, Pyotr Stolypin.
Stolypin both ruthlessly suppressed disorders and carried out extensive reforms. The most important of these were laws allowing peasants to withdraw from the commune and establish independent farmsteads.
Stolypin hoped to create a self-reliant yeomanry to act as a stabilizing force in the countryside. He also had other social and political reforms in mind. These were frustrated by the hostility of the court as well as of the opposition parties.
He was murdered by a revolutionary in The constitution of was frequently violated by both the government and the opposition. The former misused its emergency clauses to adjourn the Duma and rule by decree.
The latter, especially the radical parties, sabotaged the legislative process. Even so, in its last decade Russia enjoyed greater freedom than ever before. It also enjoyed relative prosperity: Conditions in the countryside gradually improved, and in peasants owned or rented 90 percent of the arable land.
The humiliating defeats that the Russian army suffered at the hands of the Germans, who expelled it from Poland, lowered the prestige of the monarchy further. There were also unsubstantiated rumours that Empress Alexandra, a German by origin, betrayed military secrets to the enemy.Start studying Rise and Fall of Soviet Union DSST.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. During the period of its existence, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was by area the world’s largest country.
The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire [Brian Crozier] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. For more than 80 years, the Soviet Empire cast an ever-lengthening shadow across the face of the world. Lenin's ruthless legacy consumed Eastern Europe and toppled governments on virtually every continent.
Yet at the moment when the Empire appeared to have reached its zenith. The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist federation in Eurasia that existed from to Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly ashio-midori.com country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet.
Soviet Union - The U.S.S.R. from to Stalin died a slow, angry, and painful death on March 5, He had suffered a stroke after retiring on the night of March 1–2, but this was not perceived until the morning because of his concern for personal security.
The top leadership gathered around his bedside, but he could only move his little finger. Feb 25, · Gorbachev elected president of the Soviet Union. The Congress of People’s Deputies elects General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev as the new president of the Soviet Union.