Monday, June 17, 2013

Russian Empire in the 19th Century up to WW1

The nation of Russia has always attracted great attention particularly in the role that it has played in different eras to shape the world. There are a number of important events in the expansion of the Russian Empire which took place in some years of the 18th century and through out the 19th century. This paper offers a timeline of Russian expansion as well as the relationship it had with different nations in the 19th century.  1721 Andy (2012) points pout that in this year the Russia conquered Sweden and subjugated the Estonia, Ingria and Livonia. Peter the Great, whose name at birth was Tsar Peter 1 was became Russian Empire’s first emperor.  1772 According to Freeze (2002, p. 556) the First Partition of Poland occurred in 1772 in which a third of the nation was divided between Russia, Austria and Prussia. By the year 1795 Poland had been wholly partitioned.  1799 The commercial organization referred to as Russian American Company was very significant in the expansion of the Russian Empire. After this empire was established in year 1799 establishments of habitants in areas of North America, particularly California and Alaska, was initiated (Andy, 2012).  1809- 1812 Boris (2009) asserts that it was in this year that Sweden gave up to the Russian Empire the nation of Finland. This was due to the Swedes being defeated by the Russians in the Finnish War. On the sixth month of 1812 France was led by Napoleon to engage Russia in a military confrontation. They, however, did not succeed and were defeated by Russia before the end of 1812. As indicated in the diagram below, an estimated half a million French soldiers were slaughtered in this war (Andy, 2012). (Andy, 2012)  1828-1831 The Russian Empire, on a venture to expand its territories further, engaged the Turkish nation in a war commonly referred to as the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829. The Turkish nation was defeated and it had to surrender to Russia the Eastern Coasts of the Black Sea as well as the region on River Danube’s mouth (Andy, 2012). Two years later, the Russia Empire was confronted with the Polish rebellion on November 1831; the Polish were however subjugated. During this period Russia is perceived to have had good relations with British, France and Greece. The Russian, British and French formed an alliance so as to conquer the Egyptian nation in the Battle of Navarino. Russia aided Greece and Serbia to attain independence. The relationships between Russia and Poland were hostile and Russia subjugated Poland. Nevertheless, the Russian Empire remained in good terms with Prussia and Austria and event signed a treaty in 1833.  1841 In this year Russia, Prussia, France, Britain and Austria came together during the Straits Convention to agree on the prohibition of all vessels of war on the Ottoman Strait; the Russian empire was thus restricted to the Black Sea.  1853-1856 The second half of the 19th century was not as triumphant for Russia as the first half had been. When Russia engaged the French and British in the Crimean War, the Russian Empire was defeated and it had to concede the Danube Region (Andy, 2012). This defeat instigated a number of internal reforms for instance the Alexander II’s liberation of the serfs in 1861.  1858-1860 The boundaries between Russia and China were established at River Amur and the agreement of Aigun signed in the year 1858. According to Andy (2012) by the year 1860 Russia had been allowed the control of Ussuri as a consequence of the Convention of Peking.  1864-1867 As indicated in Figure Two below, Andy (2012) reveals that 1864-1867 was the period in the 19th century when the Russian Empire attained its greatest expansion. The Russian Empire was comprised of an estimated 23.7 million square kilometers to become the third largest kingdom in the World’s history. (Andy, 2012) By the end of the year 1864 the Russian Empire had conquered most of central Asia. Tashkent city was conquered in 1865 and the city of Guberniya in Turkestan established in 1867. Nevertheless, in the same year Russia sold Alaska to the US at $7.2 million and reduced the size of the Russian Empire by an estimated 1.5 million kilometers squared (Andy, 2012).  1873-1878 In this year the Russian Empire subjugated Khiva and Burkhara and made them colonies of the Russian Empire. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 saw Russia conquer the Ottoman Empire and acquire regions in the Caucasus (Andy, 2012).  1891 Saunders (2000) claims that after the French were defeated in the Franco-Prussian War German became unified and formed the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary. Russia and France formed their own alliance.  1899-1914 The independence of the Finnish was completely eradicated by the Russification of Finland in 1899; Andy (2012) claims that in this process Russian publicly announced as the only official language in Finland. The constant rebellions Russian colonies were beginning to weaken the empire; in 1904-1905 Russia was conquered by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War and forced to give up Port Arthur in China and a segment of Sakhalin Islands (Boris, 2009, p. 36). As a consequence of the 1905 Revolution Nicholas II signed the October Manifesto. Below is a map of the Russian Empire in 1913. Waldron (1997, p. 189) claims that by the year 1917 the Russian Empire had collapsed. As in the present day, the relationships that were formed by nations in the 19th century were strategic ones which served to attain shared objectives. References Andy, (2012), Russian Empire Timeline, [Accessed on 8th April 2013] Boris N. M., (2009), The Myth of a Systemic Crisis in Russia after the Great Reforms of the 1860s-1870s, Russian Social Science Review, Vol.50, No. 4, pp 36-48 Freeze, G., (2002), Russia: A History (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 556 Saunders, D., (2000), Regional Diversity in the Later Russian Empire, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 10 (10), pp. 143–163 Waldron, P. (1997), The End of Imperial Russia, 1855–1917. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press Warnes, David, (1999), Chronicle of the Russian Tsars: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Russia, Thames & Hudson, 1999