History Ib Review Notes

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Higher Level History Notes
19th Century Russia
The Russian people are descendants of the ‘Rus’ who are thought to be a mixture of
Scandinavian and Slavic origin and settled in that region out of ± 800 AD

Byzantine Empire
A major legacy of the Byzantine Empire for the Russians was the eastern orthodox or Greek
Orthodox Church
With the decline of Byzantium came a wave of conquest from the East, the Mongols until the
15th century (Tatars). To a large extent, the Mongols allowed Russians to maintain their way of life: -

Slavic based languages including writing system (Cyrillic)

-

Orthodox religion

The Russians adopted much from Asian culture and this led western Europeans to think less of the Russians
Geographically Russia was isolated from the rest of Europe:
-

Entirely land locked (mostly)

-

Huge Plains of Eastern Europe prevented overland travel

During these early years there were a series of muscovite princes based in Moscow and called themselves Tsars. By the 17th century the Romanov family became the ruling dynasty:
-

Alexander I (1801-1825)

-

Nicholas I (1825-1855)

-

Alexander II (1855-1881)

-

Alexander III (1881-1894)

-

Nicholas II (1894-1917)

Under the rule of Peter the Great (1689-1728) Russia grew greatly in size and entered the
European World

www.ibscrewed.org

The Russia of 1800 was one of the greatest autocracies in Europe where:
-

The Tsar’s rule was absolute

-

There was a small, but powerful landowning elite

-

The vast majority of the population existed in a state called serfdom

Serfdom: refers to the legal and economic status of peasants (serf).
In Russia Serfdom practically equaled slavery
-

In 1646, landowners registered peasants living on their land. From then they are considered property of the estate.

-

Serfs could not leave the estates…...

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