The Russian Empire, next to that. of Great Britain, is the most extensive dominion in the world, embracing, as it does, 8,660,395 square miles, with a population in round numbers of 136,000,000 of people. Great Britain rules over about 3,000,000 square miles of territory in excess of that of Russia, and her entire subject population is more than twice that of Russia. The population of China (402,680,000) is still larger, but China's dominion covers less than half the area dominated by the Russian Empire, which includes about one-half of Europe and all of the northern part of Asia The area of European Russia is about two thirds that on the United States, while Asiatic Russia includes Siberia, Turkestan, and Trans-Caucasia, or Georgia.
Russia in Europe is bounded on the east by Siberia and the Caspian Sea; on the south by Persia, the Black Sea, and Turkey ; on the west by Austria, Germany, the Baltic Sea, and Sweden ; and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The established religion is the Russo Greek. Protestants, 4,766,000; Roman Catholics, 8,910,000. Government - Absolute hereditary monarchy. Executive and legislative, the Czar. Administrative entrusted to four Councils, 13 the Council of the Empire, the Ruling Senate, the Holy Synod, and the Committee of Ministers. Finland has had until recently a partly independent government - Grand Duke, the Czar. Education - Including Finland, there are nine universities with 14,000 students, and 38,000 schools with 2,250,000pupils. In 1882 only 19 per cent. of the Russian recruits could read and write.
Recent statistics moreover, show that only 2 per cent. of the population attend school, and only one young man in every five enrolled in the army can read or write. It has been the policy of the Russian Government to discourage education among the masses. The state considers it dangerous that they should acquire an education.
Russia in Asia is bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean ; on the east by the Pacific Ocean ; on the south by the Chinese Empire, Bokhara, Afghanistan, Persia, and Turkey in Asia; and on the west by European Russia. It comprises 6,645,720 square miles, with a population in round numbers of about 17,000,000. Religion - Christianity and Mohammedism prevail in Caucasia, while in Central Asia and Siberia Christianity is professed by the Slavs, and Buddhism, Shamanism, and Mohammedanism by the native races.
Government - For administrative purposes the country is divided into five general governments - Caucasia, Turkestan, Stepnoye, Eastern Siberia, and Amur. At the head of each of these is either a viceroy or a governor-general, who represents the Czar, and has the supreme control of all affairs, whether civil or military.
In 1904 the Russian advance in the far east had reached a point to jeopardize the interests of Japan, who declared war. The Russian armies were defeated and navy annihilated. Port Arthur was taken, Russia driven from Manchuria and peace terms negotiated through the help of the U. S. Government late in 1905.
St. Petersburg, the capital, founded by Peter the Great, is the principal city, with a population of 1,267,000. Everything about the city is on a colossal scale, the streets wide, buildings large, area extensive.
Moscow, the Holy City of the Russians, with a population of nearly one million, is the second city in importance. It is irregularly built, and presents a most striking contrast of costly palaces, wretched hovels, and magnificent churches with gilded domes huddled together.
The present Czar of Russia, Nicholas II., was born in 1868, and succeeded his father on the throne in 1894.