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Russification

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    Can Any one offer any help with my essay? I have 200 words, dont know what to put in. Question "How important was the policy of Russification in assisting the Tsarist state to maintain its authority in the years before 1905"
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    First, ensure that you define what Russification is. Then try comparing other ways that the Tsarist state maintained its authority e.g. secret police & appeasement. Make sure to find examples from different Tsars, such as Alexander III and Nicholas II.
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    This is far from my area of expertise, but given what happened to the Tsars, I'd say not very. I know that they weren't overthrown by minorities, but rather Communists, but I believe the Bolsheviks did try to capitalize on the feelings of Russia's minorities in order to further their goals. Communism always has been very attractive to poor, disenfranchised, oppressed people because the ideology was crafted specifically to further the socioeconomic status of that interest group, their ideology and rhetoric is simple and convincing, and the Communists were typically well organized and were able to make some real improvements in the standards of living of the average person.

    So in short, it may have worked in the short term as a way of squashing and preventing rebellions (IIRC the Cossacks were pretty ruthless in their persecution of minorities who were seen as a threat to the state, like Jews and Gypsies, many of whom fled), however it most definitely increased resentment among these people, which was a contributing factor in the Bolsheviks taking power.
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    It was horrendously unpopular and imposed alien languages, religions and cultures on national minorities. Whilst there may have been a bit more unity, on the whole there was no clear-cut benefit; only resentment .
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    (Original post by ellathecat)
    In Finland russification created a strong countermovement and resentment towards the Russian state, to the point that the Russian Governor-General of Finland, Nikolay Bobrikov, was shot in 1904 and the assassin was widely celebrated in Finland. In 1905 conscription was abolished since Finns were seen as potentially unloyal to the Russian Empire.
    But maybe it wasn't that russification failed, perhaps Finns could never really be loyal to the Russians since they were a distinctly different nation?
    But so were the Ukrainians, and the Baltics. They were all distinct peoples with strong nationalist movements. I'd argue that Russification was definitely a poorly thought out policy.
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    (Original post by brodie19)
    Can Any one offer any help with my essay? I have 200 words, dont know what to put in. Question "How important was the policy of Russification in assisting the Tsarist state to maintain its authority in the years before 1905"
    Here's a few points:

    Alexander III's russification policy was one of the main opressive policies in which he delivered along with establishing the Okhrana and having the government in charge of the Orthodox Church etc

    Alex III was incredibly different to Alex II as his policies were more agressive and less liberating

    Russification highlighed a sense of inequality within the Russian empire

    Caused uproar which eventually lead to the 1905 revolution
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    The main point i suppose was the attempt at removing the nationalist question, trying to socially combine it with the dominant russia. therefore maintaining subservient states

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Updated: March 16, 2012
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