5 May 2023

What is tsarism? – How the tsarist government worked

By Donald

For much of Russia’s history, the system of government remained under the Romanov imperial family. This was known for a strong rigidity and authoritarianism, in which the main figure was the Tsar. It was managed to be maintained throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In this article of What is it, you will learn what Czarism consists of.

What does the word tsarism mean?

This political system began in Russia from 1547 until the revolution that occurred in 1917, which led to the creation of the USSR. is the form of government that was led by the Tsar, whose word comes from the Russian ‘tsar’, and originates from the Latin name ‘caesar’, referring to Julius Caesar, an ancient Roman soldier and politician. It was called in this way whoever was the emperor of Russia, and whoever served as sovereign of Serbia and Bulgaria.

This title was granted to the monarch in whom the absolute power over the empire and its inhabitants, used in the Duchy of Moscow, which would later become the Russian Tsarate and later the Russian Empire. The Tsar had more power than the constitutional monarchs, they were backed by the law and the legislative authorities.

Its boom was so great that it spread to Bulgaria from 913 to 1396, and later it was present from 1908 to 1946. As well as to Serbia from 1346 to 1371.

In this type of government, the last word was held by the Tsar, that is, power was based on absolutismTherefore, he did not owe accounts to society or the legislature. His power was unlimited, in terms of opinion and decision-making, on issues, both political and economic.

The tsar had no restrictions of any kind, and was considered the defender of the Russian Orthodox Church. For this reason, he also had the absolute backing of the Religious power.

What is tsarism for life?

It was a practice that arose during Imperial Russia in the 19th century, in this current of tsarism, the Tsar, had the power to name his successor, unlike what happened in the traditional dynasty, where, directly, the title of Tsar passed to his eldest son. In this, the tsar could even name a person who did not belong to the family nucleus.

This practice was implemented by Czar Paul I in 1797, who named Alexander, his son, as heir to the empire. The decision was not well received in Russiasince it snatched from the people, the right to choose their monarch.

This mode of tsarism, they perceived as an authoritarian measure, which gave much more power to the monarchThat is why those who used this method became figures not well received by the Russian people.

They were the object of criticism from those who aspired to the Russian reform for the modernization and the search for democracy, so the practice of tsarism for life was considered a political and economic backwardness. Ultimately, it became an outdated tradition of Imperial Russia.

What are the characteristics of tsarism?

  • The Tsar, who was the sovereign, had a absolutist power and it was the center of the government system.
  • All state rights were owned by the Tsar.
  • The female equivalent of ‘Zar’ was ‘Zarina’.
  • Regarding economy, religion and politics, any decision was under the word of the Tsar.
  • was everything opposed to democracy. The people did not have free choice of government posts.
  • The system of government is autocracy.
  • The Tsar was the highest representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • Those people who opposed the empire were persecuted by the police, and as a consequence they would be deported to Siberia or executed.
  • The Tsar delegated his functions to persons and institutions that he himself established, which would act under his name.
  • The working population was the most abundant, and the nobility was scarce, but with great privileges.
  • The main economic activity was agriculture.

How did they live during tsarism?

The impact on Russian history is undeniable, this lasted more than 3 centuriesleaving a deep mark on the country both in society and in its culture.

It was characterized by a feudal structure, in which originally favored nobleswhile the working class, like the peasants, worked on the land of the lords in conditions of servitude, that is, they could not abandon their occupation or their place of residence.

During tsarism, the nobility lived in constant luxury, while the middle class lived in poverty. Thus, education was accessible only to the upper class, and the rest of the population had no access to quality instruction.

That is why the majority of the population did not know how to read or write, leaving them in position of vulnerability before the nobles and government officials.

It had a negative impact on the lives of women, since even in the nobility, they were expected to marry young, to dedicate themselves to being housewives and raising their children. In peasant society women considered themselves property of their husbandsIn addition, they had to work in the fields and take care of the children, this, without receiving any remuneration.

The social contrast that existed shows that the nobility composed of aristocrats, landowners and high government officials, they lived in great wealth. Which was full of palaces, mansions, had servants and servants who met their needs.

On the other hand, the life of the peasants, for the most part, was rural and they worked in the fields under condition of servitude. They did not own property and had to work for the upper class in exchange for the minimum that would allow them to survive. Their houses were made of wood, they did not have heating or drinking water service, for this reason they were prone to being carriers of diseases.

On the other hand, in the middle class, there were also complications of life, which was made up mostly of merchants, artisans and some professionals. And also they looked affected by political and economic conditions that tsarism imposed.

During the tsarist period, everyday life in Russia was the inequality definition, which influenced the living conditions of the people. Belonging to a social class, or gender, were important factors that would define their opportunities and limitations.

How was the fall of the tsarist government?

It is one of the most relevant events in Russian history, and it took place in a context of economic, social and political crisis. As a consequence of the First World War and the Revolution of 1905, the legitimacy of the tsarist government had been weakened, creating an atmosphere of rejection by the population, especially the peasants and workers.

In 1917 the beginning of the fall of the government occurred, due to a series of protests that took place in the city of Petrograd, today known as Saint Petersburg, as a consequence of the lack of food and poor living conditions.

Are protests were led by workers, soldiers and women, which were demanding Russia’s exit from World War I. The government tried to stop these protests through repression, but they did not have popular support and many soldiers deserted.

After these, the fall of the tsarist system of governmentthus naming a provisional cabinet, which also failed. That is why the Bolshevik Revolution originates, led by Vladimir Lenin together with the Bolsheviks, the latter were a revolutionary group that was founded in 1903.

Its name comes from the word ‘bolshinstvo’, which means ‘majority’. Its function was the fight against capitalism and imperialism, these faced each other to achieve the abolition of private property and the creation of a planned economy, which would be directed by the state. They were successful in seizing power and building the first socialist state, called the Soviet Union.

In Google Books there is a variety of historical documents such as newspapers, letters and even newspapers that can help to better understand the reality of the Russian population while they lived under the Tsarist government.