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Tsarist Russia 1855-1918

  • 1855

    Alexander II becomes Tsar.
  • 1856

    Treaty of Paris ends Crimean War.
  • 1861

    Abolition of Serfdom
  • 1862

    Creation of Ministry of Finance and State Bank. Taxation collection reformed.
  • 1862-1874

    Reforms in Navy and Army
  • 1863

    Polish Revolt, Education extended throughout country and to women. Universities given greater freedom.
  • 1864

    Zemstva formed as part of local govt reforms. Judiciary reformed.
  • 1865

    Relaxation of censorship.
  • 1870

    Introduction of the Duma.
  • 1873

    Censorship laws tightened.
  • 1874

    Military Service reformed. Populists begin to 'Go to the People'.
  • 1877-1878

    Russo-Turkish War.
  • 1881

    Assassination of Alexander II.
  • 1883

    Creation of Peasant Land Bank.
  • 1883

    'Emancipation of Labour' founded by Plekhanov.
  • 1886

    Revival of People's Will by students of St Petersburg University.
  • 1886

    Abolition of Poll Tax.
  • 1887-1892

    Ivan Vyshnegradsky Minister of Finance.
  • 1889

    Land Captains introduced.
  • 1891-1902

    Widespread famine.
  • 1892-1903

    Sergei Witte, Minister of Finance, introduces rapid industrialisation programme.
  • 1894

    Death of Alexander III; assassination of Nicholas II.
  • 1897

    Russia adopts Gold Standard.
  • 1898

    Foundation of Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party.
  • 1901-1905

    Economic slump follows world-wide depression and failed harvests;agrarian and industrial unrest.
  • 1901

    Lenin publishes 'What is to be done?'
  • 1902

    Commisson on Agriculture set up.
  • 1903

    Main section of Trans-Siberian Railway completed.
  • 1903

    Witte dismissed in reaction to unrest caused by economic slump.
  • 1903

    Split of Social Democrats at their Brussels Congress into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
  • 1903

    Union of Liberation founded by Pyotr Struve.
  • 1904

    Struve initiates liberal campaign of political banquets. Minister of the Interior, Plehve, assassinated by Socialist Revolutionaries.
  • 1904

    War breaks out between Russia and Japan over Korea and Northern Manchuria.
  • 1905

    January - 'Bloody Sunday' massacre leads to revolutionary upheavals.
  • 1905

    August - Portsmouth (USA) Peace Treaty w/Japan.
  • 1905

    August - Tsar promises constitution.
  • 1905

    October - St Petersburg Soviet formed; Tsar authorises elections to State Duma.
  • 1906-1911

    Stolypin carries through programme of agrarian reform.
  • 1907

    Second Duma meets and is dissolved after 4 months. Stolypin alters electoral laws.
  • 1911

    November - Stolypin assassinated.
  • 1912

    Lena Gold Fields Massacre - renewed industrial unrest.
  • 1912

    Fourth Duma elected.
  • 1914

    Germany declares war on Russia.
  • 1914

    Russia defeated at the battle of Tannenberg.
  • 1915

    Tsar assumes command of armed forces and suspends Duma.
  • 1916

    June-October - Brusilov Offensive produces some advances.
  • 1916

    Murder of Rasputin.
  • 1917

    January-February - Strikes and civil unrest in Petrograd.
  • 1917

    Formation of Petrograd Soviet.
  • 1917

    International Women's Day March in Petrograd turns into workers' demonstration.
  • 1917

    Troops refuse to fire on demonstrators and join revolutionary movement.
  • 1917

    First Provisional Govt. is formed.
  • 1917

    Tsar abdicates.
  • 1917

    Lenin returns and formulates his April Theses.
  • 1917

    3-4 - Anti-govt demonstrations in Petrograd - 'July Days'.
  • 1917

    27-30 - Kornilov's coup fails and Red Guards are given arms.
  • 1917

    September - Trotsky becomes chairman of Petrograd Soviet; Bolshevik majorities in Petrograd and Moscow soviets.
  • 1917

    24-25 October - Bolsheviks take over key buildings in Petrograd.
  • 1917

    25-27 October - Provisional Govt. members arrested; Bolshevik Coup announced at second Congress of Soviets; Congress adopts decree on peace and decree on land and appoints first Soviet govt.
  • 1917

    December - Establishment of the Cheka.
  • 1918

    January - The Constituent Assembly is forcibly dissolved.