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Nineteenth Century

The Revolutionary Masses

1801-25 Reign of Alexander I
1810 Implementation of M. Speransky’s plan of government reform is begun and soon abandoned
1812  Invasion of Russia by Napoleon
1814 Entry of Russian army into Paris
1816 Union of Salvation, first secret organisation of revolutionaries from the nobility, established
1825 Decembrists’ revolt
1825-55 Reign of Nicholas I
1826 Third Section of the Imperial Chancellery established to oversee work of the secret police
1840s ‘Great Debate’ between Westernizers, Slavophiles and Radicals
1853-56 Crimean War
1855-81 Reign of Alexander II
1857-67 A. Herzen publishes Russia’s first uncensored newspaper Kolokol (The Bell) in London
1861  Emancipation of peasants
1863  Universities are given self-administration
Polish revolt
Publication of N. Chernyshevsky’s book What Is to Be Done?
1864 Administrative reform introduces zemstvos, representative organs of district and provincial government
Judicial Statutes lay down basis for a liberal restructuring of the judiciary
1865 Rigid censorship regulations eased
1866 Earliest assassination attempt on the life of Alexander II by D. Karakozov
1874 Military reform introduces compulsory military service for all the male population
‘Going-to-the-people’ movement
1876 ‘Land and Liberty’, a secret organisation of revolutionary Narodniks, founded
1879 ‘Land and Liberty’ splits into the propagandist ‘Black Repartition’ and the terrorist ‘People’s Will’
1878-81 Wave of assassinations staged by terrorist-revolutionaries
1881 Assassination of Alexander II by members of the ‘People’s Will’
Loris-Melikov’s plan of constitutional reform withdrawn
1881-94 Reign of Alexander III
1883 ‘Emancipation of Labour’, first Russian Marxist group led by G. Plekhanov, set up in Switzerland
1887 Alexander Ulianov, V. Lenin’s elder brother, is executed for his part in attempt on the life of Alexander III
1891-92  Mass hunger
1892-1903 Sergei Witte minister of finance
1894-1917  Reign of Nicholas II
1895  Marxist groups of St Petersburg unite into ‘League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class’ under leadership of V. Lenin and J. Martov
1896 Khodynka tragedy mars Nicholas II’s coronation celebrations
1898 Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party holds its first congress in Minsk
                              
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Tsarist Russia

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