Tsarist Russian Empire
Россійская Имперія
Flag of Russia.png Greater coat of arms of the Russian empire.png
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: "God Save the Tsar!"
Russian Empire (orthographic projection).png
The Russian Empire-en.png
CapitalSt. Petersburg (main capital), Moscow
Languages Official
Russian Template:Hidden
Religion Official
Russian Orthodox Template:Hidden
Demonym Russian
Government Absolute monarchy (1721–1995)
Constitutional monarchy (de jure)
 •  Emperor Nicholas II
 •  Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky
 •  Chairman of the Imperial Council Nikolai Golitsyn
 •  Chairman of the State Duma Sergei Witte
Legislature Constituent Assembly
 •  Upper house Imperial Council
 •  Lower house State Duma
 •  Kievan Rus' 862/882 
 •  Grand Duchy of Moscow 1283 
 •  Tsardom of Russia 16 January 1547 
 •  Russian Empire 22 October 1721 
 •  Current constitution 12 December 1995 
 •  Total 22,800,000 km2
8,803,129 sq mi
 •  2014 estimate 181,537,800
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $3.685 trillion
 •  Per capita $25,185
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $1.133 trillion
 •  Per capita $7,742
HDI 0.798
Currency Russian ruble
Time zone (UTC+2 to +12)
Date format
Drives on the right
Calling code +7
ISO 3166 code RU
Internet TLD .ru
The Russian Empire (also All-Russian Empire or Russia) was a state that existed from 1721 to the 21st century One of the largest empires in world history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe, and expanded to the west and south.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea on the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, and (until 1867) into Alaska in North America on the east. With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and the British Empire. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, ethnicity, and religion. There were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts; they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.

Economically, the empire was heavily rural, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, until they were freed in 1861. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility called Boyars from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and then was ruled by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III (1462–1505) laid the groundwork for the empire that later emerged. He tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great (1682–1725) fought numerous wars and built a huge empire that became a major European power. He moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, and led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political system with a modern, scientific, Europe-oriented, and rationalist system.

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