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The Russian Empire

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The Russian Empire

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:18 pm

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The Russian Empire (Pre-reform Russian orthography: Россійская Имперія, Modern Russian: Российская Империя, translit: Rossiyskaya Imperiya) was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union. It was one of the largest empires in world history, surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongolian empires: at one point in 1866, it stretched from eastern Europe across Asia and into North America.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Russia was the largest country in the world, extending from the Arctic Ocean to the north to the Black Sea on the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east. With 176.4 million subjects, it had the third largest population of the world at the time, after Qing China and the British Empire. It represented a great disparity in economic, ethnic, and religious positions. Its government, ruled by the Emperor, was one of the last absolute monarchies left in Europe. Prior to the outbreak of World War I in August 1914 Russia was one of the five major Great Powers of Europe.

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