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Russian Empire
Россійская Имперія
(Rossiyskaya Imperiya)
Timeline: Cromwell the Great
OTL equivalent: Russian Empire (1721–1917)
Motto: 
S nami Bog! / Съ нами Богъ!
(Russian: God is with us!)
Royal anthem: 
Bozhe, Tsarya khrani! Божѣ, Царя храні! (God Save the Tsar!)
Capital
(and largest city)
Saint Petersburg
Other cities Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod
Official languages Russian
Regional languages German, Polish (recognized)
Other languages Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belorussian, Chechen, Circassian, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, Georgian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mongolian, Romanian, Swedish, Tajik, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian and Uzbek
Religion Orthodox Christianity (official)
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Lutheranism, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism
Demonym Russian
Government Absolute monarchy (1721–1825), Autocratic constitutional monarchy (1825 to date)
 -  Emperor Alexander II (Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov)
 -  Chairman of the Committee of Ministers Alexey Fyodorovich Orlov
Legislature Emperor along with the legislative assembly
 -  Upper house State Council
 -  Lower house State Duma
Establishment
 -  Empire proclaimed 1721 
Currency Russian ruble (1p = 100 kopeks)
Time zone UTC +2 to +4
Date formats dd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Drives on the right
Membership international or regional organizations Congress System (member)

Пространное государство предполагает самодержавную власть в той особе, которая оным правит. Надлежит, чтобы скорость в решении дел, из дальних стран присылаемых, награждала медление, отдаленностию мест причиняемое. Всякое другое правление не только было бы России вредно, но и вконец разорительно.[1]
(Nakaz of Catherine II the Great)

The Russian Empire (Russian: Российская Империя, tr. Rossiyskaya Imperiya)[2] is an empire that exists across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War.

History

The third largest empire in world history, stretching over three continents. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Swedish Empire, the Commonwealth of Three Nations, Persia and the Ottoman Empire. Under Catherine III the Great, Russia gained access to the Black Sea after gaining Crimea from the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in European Revolutionary Wars (1790-1810) in defeating French ambitions to control Europe and later Russia expanded to the west and south of Eurasia.

The Legacy of Peter the Great

Times of Changes

Former flag of the Russian Empire until 1803. Also the flag of republican parties and groups of the Empire and the Russian Federation.

Although, Russia came out triumphant after the Peace of Vienna (1810) in formalizing its Central and Eastern European interests, internal dissent to autocratic rule grew in size and uncontrolled in wide sectors of society.

The European Revolutionary Wars revealed the inefficiencies of its Army and government and its economic and social backwardness with the rest of Europe. Being Russia one of the last Enlightened absolutist monarchies reforms were enacted from above and applied by state bureaucracy and the Army. Isolation, autocracy and censorship became the chief policies along gradual economic and military modernization.

The New Ideas (Новые идеи trans. Novyye idei) movement emerged as the solution for the social, political and economical backwardness of Russia. This movement was highly influential in the intelligentsia, part of the mercantile class and aristocracy, miliary circles and parts of the Imperial bureaucracy. However it proved to be too revolutionary for the autocratic czar and conservative aristocracy, for advocating democracy, liberalism and constitutionalism. Its promoters were stamped out and exiled to Siberia.

The Slavophile movement (Славянофильское движение) opposed the liberal and Western influences of the New Ideas. Slavophiles instead believed in the unique Russian traditions and culture and the Orthodox religion, that they sought to protect from Western individualism. They praised rural life the protection of rural communities (mir) in opposition to industrialization and modern urban life.

The Age of Reforms under Constantine I

The death of Emperor Alexander I (1825) unleashed the already uneasy truce between reformers and reactionaries in the Imperial Court and State. Republican secret societies saw a change to state a military coup and proclaim a republic, that was ill fated as the coup was crushed before it it even began and its ringleaders executed. However nobody foresaw that dynastic struggle between Alexander I's brothers for the imperial crown leading to the Civil War of 1825.

The Civil War of 1825 between Constantine's Constitutionalists (Decembrist), Nicholas' Court Party (Reactionaries) gave the victory to the first. Under Constantine I a slow but a firm establishment of autocratic constitutional rule began. The centralized nature of rule as kept but guberniyas (governorates) were given some sort of autonomy. Local government under elected zemstvo (local councils) were established. an advisory body of the Emperor, the State Duma, was established with half of its deputies elected by electoral assemblies, the other half named by the Czar on lists of proposed candidates draw up by the State Council.

However, no law can be made without the Duma's assent, neither can the Duma pass laws without the approval of the noble-dominated upper chamber, the State Council (half of which is appointed directly by the Emperor), and the Emperor himself retaining an absolute veto. The constitution and laws stipulate that ministers can not be appointed by, and are not responsible, to the Duma.

The Supreme Privy Council remained the main body of advisors to the Emperors, tough an executive body was established, the Committee of Ministers. The Committee's chairperson the de facto chief of government, carrying out daily the administration of the state and order of the Emperor. The chairman and ministers are named by the Emperor.

However, the autocratic unlimited powers of the Emperors and Empresses are limited by two constraints: they and their spouses must profess the Russian Orthodox faith, and they must obey the laws of succession laid down by Emperor Paul I as modified by Constantine I.

Emperor Constantine I enacted several reforms: reorganization the judicial system, setting up elected local judges, abolishment of corporal punishment, promotion of local self-government through the zemstvo system, imposition of universal military service, ending some privileges of the nobility, and promotion of university education.

The Early Russian Industrial development began under the auspices of Constantine I by means of state railroad and public works concessions and promote industry in Western Russia and the Volga and the mining concessions in Siberia.

Constantine I's resolution to dismember the Commonwealth of the Triple Nations occupied most of his mind in foreign affairs after the Aegean Crisis (1827-1833).

The Great Eastern War and the defeat and dissolution of the Polish–Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth enable for Russia to gain several allied states such as Belarus, Ruthenia and Lithuania. Poland was limited in its influence.

Consolidation

In 1856, Alexander II abolished serfdom, and consolidated Constantine I's industrial development.

Emperor of All Russia

Portrait Name

(Birth–Death)

Reign Family Notes
Peter der-Grosse 1838.jpg Peter I Alexeyevich the Great

(June 1672- February 1725)

May 1682 – February 1725 Romanov Tsar of Russia 1682-1721, later Emperor
Catherine I of Russia by Nattier.jpg Catherine I Alexeyevna

(April 1684 - May 1727)

February 1725 – May 1727 Skavronsky Wife of Peter I
Peter II by unknown.jpg Peter II Alexeyevich

(October 1715 – January 1730)

May 1727 – January 1730 Romanov Grandson of Peter I via the murdered Tsesarevich Alexei. Last of the direct male Romanov line.
Catherine Ivanovna, Tsarevna of Russia and Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.jpg Catherine II Ivanovna

(October 1691 – June 1733)

January 1730 – June 1733 Romanov Daughter of Ivan V
Louis Caravaque, Portrait of Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730).jpg Anna Ivanovna

(February 1693 – October 1740)

June 1733 – October 1740 Romanov Daughter of Ivan V
Carle Vanloo, Portrait de l’impératrice Élisabeth Petrovna (1760).jpg Elizabeth Petrovna

(December 1709 - January 1762)

October 1740 – January 1762 Romanov Daughter of Peter I and Catherine I, usurped the throne
200px-Coronation portrait of Peter III of Russia -1761.jpg Peter III Fyodorovich

(February 1728 – July 1762)

January 1762 – July 1762 Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Grandson of Peter I. Nephew of Elizabeth. Murdered
Rokotov Portrait Catherine II.jpg Catherine III Alekseyevna the Great

(May 1729 – November 1796)

July 1762 – November 1796 Ascania Wife of Peter III
Paul i russia.jpg Paul I Petrovich

(October 1754- March 1801)

November 1796 - March 1801 Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Son of Peter III and Catherine III. Assassinated
Alexander I of Russia.png Alexander I Pavlovich

(December 1777 - December 1825)

March 1801 - December 1825 Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Son of Paul I
Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia.jpg Constantine I Pavlovich

(April 1796- July 1833)

December 1825 - March 1832 Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Brother of Alexander I. Abdicated in favor of his sister Maria.
Maria Pavlovna of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach by F.Durck.jpg Maria Pavlovna

(1786– 1859)

1832 - 1848 Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Sister of Alexander I. Abdicated in favor of her son Alexander I
Tsar alexander II.jpg Alexander II Nikolaevich

(1805-1864)

1848-1864 Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Son of Maria
Александр 3 1881 -1894.jpg Nicholas I Alexandrovich

(1832-...)

1864 to date Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Son of Alexander II

Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers

Portrait Name Term Party Notes
Виктор Кочубей 1820-1834.jpg Victor Kochubey 1827-1836 Liberal monarchist Died in office
Karl Nesselrode.png Karl von Nesselrode 1836-1838 Also Foreign Affairs Minister
Mikhail Speransky 1838-1839
Pavel Kiselyov 1839-1850

Administrative Divisions

The Russian Empire is divided in governorates (guberniya), ruled by a governor. Governorates are further subdivided into oblast, uezd and volost. The Governor-Generalship are territories that consisted of set of guberniyas and oblasts. These are the Governor-Generalship of the Steppes, Caucasus, Turkestan, Siberia, Irkutsk, Far East and Alaska. The Primorskaya Oblast as a special status within the Far East Governor-Generalship.

Protectorates of Russia are the Bukey Horde and the Khanate of Khiva.

  1. A vast state presupposes autocratic power in the person who rules it. It is necessary that the speed in solving cases sent from distant countries reward the slowness caused by the remoteness of places. Any other government would not only be harmful to Russia, but completely ruinous.
  2. or simply Russia (Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya)
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