Russia and the Western Republic

Sarah Gregory

Historical Events

In the 9th century Vikings came to take advantage of the river trade between the two seas. Vikings adopted the customs of the Slavic population.

Expansion was paused in the 13th century with the arrival of invaders from Mongolia, called Tatars. The Mongols defeated the Tatars and then controlled the region until the 1500s, when Ivan the Great, the powerful prince of Moscow, put an end to their rule.

Russian science and technology lagged behind that of its European rivals. Peter the Great, who was emperor of Russia from 1682-1725, tried to change this. For example, he moved Russia’s capital from Moscow to a city on the Baltic Sea.

Government: Past and Present

in 1917, the Russian Communist Party, led by V.I Lenin, took control of the government. The leaders took control over all important economic decisions. By 1922, the Communist Party had organized the different peoples absorbed during the centuries of Russia's imperial expansion. This new nation was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), or the Soviet Union for short. In WWII Joseph Stalin had led the Soviet Union to fight against the Nazi Army. The members of today's Russian federal republic government are the Prime Minister of Russia, the deputy prime ministers, and the federal ministers.

Building a Command Economy

To move their society towards communism, Soviet leaders adopted a command economy, one in which the central governments took control of the major sources of the state's wealth, including land, mines, factories, and transportation systems. Government planners decided what factories would manufacture, what crops would grow, and even what prices merchants could charge for their products.

A Rich Culture

The region has a rich variety of ethnic groups because of the many peoples absorbed during the centuries of Russian expansion. Russia has the greatest ethnic diversity of the region's republics. Russia and the Western Republics are home to a great number of religions. Many Russians follow Orthodox Christianity, a religion Russia adopted in the 10th century. Religion and art are closely related in Russia and the Western Republics. The art and architecture of Orthodox Christian churches. Great composers such as Peter Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky also earned worldwide attention, as did the Russian ballet.