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RUSSIA


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RUSSIA


francs. In 1891 the French fleet, commanded by Admiral Gervais, visited Kronstadt, where the French sailors were received with an enthusiastic welcome. In June, 1893, a commercial treaty created more in- timate relations between the two powers.

F. The Reign of Nicholas II. — The successor of Alexander III is Nicholas II, b. 6 May, 1868, and married 14 Nov., 189-1, to the daughter of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the Empress Alexandra Feodor- ovna. The reign of Nicholas II has been unfortunate for Russia. He was crowned at jMoscow in May, 1896, in the presence of delegates of nearly all the civihzed nations and of a special mission of the Holy See, at the head of which was Cardinal Agliardi; and a few days after his coronation, on the occasion of a feast given in his honour, a thousand people were crushed to death by crowding. In 1898 a convention between China and Russia placed Port Arthur under the con- trol of the latter power for a space of twenty-five years, granted the right to connect that port with the Trans- Siberian Railway, and secured to the Russians a free way to the Pacific Ocean. By this convention Russia took a preponderant position in the Far East, and al- ready contemplated the conquest of Korea, to the detriment of Japan. In 1896 China had already granted to Russia the right of way for the prolonga- tion of the Trans-Siberian Railway as far as Mukden. The domestic policy, thanks especially to the inspira- tions of de Plehve and of Constantini Pobicdonostseff, was one of fierce repression and russianization. It was intended to crush the Polish element and to de- prive Finland of its autonomy. To carry out this policy. General Bobrikoff was appointed governor of Finland. He fell in 1898 a victim of the exasperated patriotism of a student. The Jews especially were made objects of legal as well as illegal persecutions, which led to the ma.ssacrcs of Gomel and KisliiiietT in 190.3. This policy of russianization brought about a renewal of the activities of the terrorists, who in 1901 and 1902 murden-d the ministers of i)ublic instruction, Bogoliepoff and Sipiugin, and in 1904 de Plehve.

In 1899 at the initiative of Nicholas II the confer- ence of the Hague was convoked, to consider the ques- tion of disarmament and the maintenance of universal peace. How commercial this initiative was, Russia her- self .soon showed, for in 1904 she broke off diplomatic negotiations with Japan. The Japanese demanded that Russia should evacuate Manchuria and give up her project of conquering Korea. The war was fought with equal valour by both combatants on land and sea; but the Russians lost Port Arthur, were driven from Korea, and saw their fleet annihilated at Tsushima. Russia could have continued her disastrous war, but the growth of the revolution at home compelled her to consent to the proposals of peace that were made by President Roo.sevclt of the United States. On 16 Aug., 1905, there was concluded at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U. S., a peace that was ratified on 1 Oct. of the same year. Meanwhile Ru.ssia was in the throes of the revolution. In Jan., 1905, the troops fired upon thousands of workmen who were making a demonstration and there were several hundred vic- tims. In February the Grand Duke Sergius was torn to fragments by a bomb. A man-of-war of the Black Sea fleet mutinied: a miUtary revolt broke out at Viborg. The tsar, to stop the revolutionary flood, in October granted a constitution by an imperial decree in which he proclaimed Uberty of conscience, of the Press, and of association, re-established the ancient privileges of Finland, and promised to alleviate the conditions of the non-Russian subjects of the em- pire.

On 27 April, 1906, the Duma, which consisted in great part of Liberal members, was opened. It lasted two months. The right of suffrage was limited; nevertheless, the second Duma, which lasted a hundred days, had a revolutionist and socialist majority. The


government reformed the electoral laws, and in that way was able to secure the election of a Duma that was more in accord with its wishes, containing among its members forty-two priests and two bishops of the Orthodo.x Church. Notwithstanding the proclama- tion of liberty of conscience and of the Press, there was a return to the old policy, recourse being had to the most severe methods of repression to put do^Ti revolutionary movements and the ferocious banditism of Poland and the Caucasus. Exceptional laws against the Poles and Finns were revived.

From 1907 to 1911 the Russian Government, though constitutional in appearance, has endeavoured to strengthen its autocratic regime and to render illusory all its promises of constitutional hberty. During this period, the reins of government were in the strong and energetic hands of Peter Arkadevitch Stoh^jin, b. at Srednikovo near Moscow, 1862, and governor of Saratoff in 1906. Appointed to the Ministry- of the Interior 26 April, 1906, and premier on 8 July, 1906, he applied him.self with unshaken purpose to re-estab- lish internal order in Russia. In the beginning he seemed to be animated by Liberal sentiments, but pressure from the court party and on the other hand the crimes of the Terrorists led him to ally himself with that faction of the Duma which opposed the constitu- tion as harmful to the solidarity of Russia. In inter- nal politics he .sought to limit the powers of the Duma, to maintain in all their vigour the laws against the Jews, to crush the obstinacy of the Finns by trans- forming the Government of Viborg into a Russian province and impeding in ever>' way the Diet of Hel- singfors, to sui)press the Polish national movement by limiting the number of Polish deputies in the Zemstva of western Russia, and by dividing administratively the Province of Chclm from the Kingdom of Poland. In foreign politics Russia has suffered from its defeat in the war with Japan. The annexat ion of Bosnia and Herzogovina came near precipitating a conflict be- tween Austria and Russia, almost involving all the Slavs of the Balkan states, but Austria's military su- periority, in addition to the support of the German Emperor, induced Russian diplomacy to moderate its demands. In the meantime, Russia has been pre- occupied in reorganizing its own military and naval forces, in efficaciously directing colonizations in Si- beria, in penetrating tentatively into Persia, and in agitating its own pohtical propaganda in the Austrian provinces of Galicia and Bukovina. The revolution seemed to have been suppressed when, in Sept., 1911, Stolypin, in the Imperial Theatre of Kieff, fell under the dagger of a Jewish lawyer called Bogroff. He ex- pired exclaiming that he was always ready to die for the tsar. The tsar selected as his successor Kokov- tzoff, an economist of European fame, who entertains the same political ideas as Stolypin and continues his methods of government.

Geography and Statistics: — Buhle, Versuch einer krilischen Lileratur iler russichen Geschichte (Moscow, 1810) ; Russkaja istori- tcheskaja bibliografija (Russian Historical Bibliography) (St. Petersburg, 1861-72). 77; Bestuzheff-Riumin, Quellen und LU- teratuT zur russichen Geschichte von der dttesten Zeit bis 1825 (Mi- tau, 1876) ; Ikonnikoff, Opyt russkoi istoriografii (Essay on Rus- sian Historiography), t. I (1-2) (Kieff, 1891); t. II (1-2) (Kieff, 1908), a monumental work, of iiicalculablo bil)liographical value.

Heym, Versuch einer vollsin, ■', , ;.■.;,/' , ,•;, -'..;„, .,..-, j^,; , .,/,., „

Encyklopddie des russischen A' _ :i 1 7 i \ i . i . i

SKIJ, Dictionnaire geographic I: , ,■

(2 vob., St. Petersburg, is:;:; : -' ii-,..ii /; • ■,-. ,,..,-

graphique el statislique de Vempirt- de Ruxftic (.5 vols., .St. Peters- burg, 1863-1873) ; Keuck and Stackelberg, Ortsverzeichniss von Russland (Leipzig, 1903); Strahlenberg, Description historique de I'empire russien (2 vols., .\msterdam, 1757); Busching, Neue Beschreibung des russischen Reichs (Hamburg, 1763); d'Anville, L'empire de Russie (Paris, 1772); Georgi, Beschreibung aller Na- tionen des russischen Reichs (3 vols., St. Petersburg, 1776-77); SoNNTAG, Das russische Reich (2 vols., Riga, 1791-1792); Co- meiras, Tableau general de la Russie moderne (2 vols., Paris, 1807) ; de Raymond, Tableau historique, geogrnphique, militaire et moral de l'empire de Russie (2 vols., Paris, 18i2); Schaffer, Beschrei- bung des russischen Reichs (Berlin, 1812); vox Bromsen, Russ- land und das russische Reich (2 vols., Berlin, 1819); Hassel, Voll- stdndige und neuesle Erdbeschreibung des riissischen Reichs in