The Darkest hour of the Russian Empire 2
Chapter Two: 1930s
Part VIII: New Empire 1931-1932
Emperor Alexis II had a lot of things to do. He inherited a huge, powerful empire, and it was his duty to continue the growth of industry and prestige of his country. Prime minister Tereschenko was a good economist and together with Ryabushinsky they continued improvements of the economy. Russian IC-rate was growing every week, as well as resource stockpiles. It let the Russian Government properly supply Yugoslavia (the only country, that got into Russian sphere of influence after the Great war) and fill the interior markets.
Ryabushinsky, minister of economy and finances
Some changes also appeared in the Russian political system. Alexis II, being more liberal-thinking than Nicholas II, agreed to create Polish national party - PLP (Polsko-Litovskaya Partya, Polish-Lithuanian Party). It was the first national party in the Parliament since 1914. Polish and Lithuanian politicians proclaimed Polish autonomy (but not independence or separatism) as their main target. Popular politican Seweryn Czetwertynski was elected as leader of the party. So, in 1931 political parties changed a bit.
Ideology: Autonomist (politically Market Liberal)
Political views: Autonomisation of Poland and Lithuania, Polish and Lithuanian languages as the second in their provinces, special tax rate for Polish and Lithuanian people in their governorates
Supported by: Polish nationalists
Leader: Seweryn Światopełk-Czetwertyński
Targets: Get senator positions from Warsaw and Krakow, get one minister in the government, create a senator position of Wilno (Lithuania)
Official name of this party is "Party of Autonomy and Freedom of Polish Tsardom and Lithuanian grand duchy", but it's faster to call this faction PLP - Polish-Lithuanian Party. This party has nothing in common with original Polish nationalists, who want full independence - members of PLP like living in the Empire, but they want some certain rights for Poland and Polish people. They want to officially recognize Polish and Lithuanian language as the second one, create their own laws and bring back national parliament (the Sejm). This party is the youngest one, but they are going to get a great amount of votes on the next elections.
Meanwhile, the time was passing. On 27 of January Pierre Laval became the French prime minister, and in February republican parties in Spain won the elections. The world was stranger with every year...
Laval, the new prime minister
On 14 of April republicans, who won the elections, started their revolution. King Alfonso XIII, who ruled the country from 1886, had to flee from Spain. Of course, conservatives, clergy and army commanders couldn't like that. Spain was going to split apart...
Former king of Spain
The Spanish revolution
One more revolution deposed one more monarch. One of Alexis' ministers, worried about the Russian future, asked him about liberal policy (he was afraid that liberal laws and press would cause a revolution in Russia), but Alexis smiled and answered:
- Of course, it's dangerous. I can lose my throne. But if my country becomes autocratic once more, I will certainly lose it.
The Tsar's answer became a quote and soon appeared in all newspapers. It was a good answer indeed.
On 23 of April in Germany Ferdinand Porsche started his own company. It was producing different machines and mechanisms, mostly cars and other vehicles.
Symbol of new German industry (based on Saxon and Wurttemberg CoAs)
On 5 of May in Nanjing Kuomintang party accepted new Constitution of the Chinese republic, a new state was officially born. The Constitution wasn't perfect for all Chinese politicians, so a lot of opposition groups didn't accept it. It created a lot of future problems for China...
Symbol of Kuomintang
On 20 of May old leader of Russian nationalists, Vladimir Purishkevich, died. His Union of the Russian people got a more radical leader - Konstantin Rodzaevsky. Rodzaevsky was a senator, so it was easy for him to establish connections in the higher society. The worst thing was that a lot of popular army commanders like Semenov, Wrangel, Ungern von Sternberg became members of his party. Fascism started gaining popularity in the army...
Rodzaevsky and his fascists
Baron Wrangel, one of Rodzaevsky's men in the army
Russia continued growth and development. Foreign press, surprised with Alexis' liberal reign, called his early years "The new Empire" - they couldn't recognize old Russia of Nicholas II. And this new Empire needed strong military forces - on 3 of June new Russian battle squadron, Southern squadron of the Persian gulf, was officially founded in Persia. Russia got naval forces in the Indian Ocean finally.
A new fleet in a new port
In July Adolf Hitler united his NSDAP with German National party of Alfred Hugenberg to form a strong Nazi bloc. He managed to do that, because Hugenberg was quite passive and incompetent politician, who agreed to include his party into Hitler's one.
In September the Japanese army continued their undeclared war in Manchuria - Imperial Japanese army continued marching onto Mukden, facing weak resistance of Kuomintang militia. Manchurian campaign was going to finish soon - chaos in China was unpredictable and ruined all chances to secure homeland. Russia always declared Manchuria as her own sphere of influence, but after Russo-Japanese war it was lost. Some "hawk" politicians of the Empire started thinking about Manchuria once again...
Japanese soldiers in Manchuria
1932 started with the opening of new automotive factory in Nizhny Novgorod (author's note: in USSR it was called GAZ). Russia already had some cars' producing factories like Izhorsky and Russo-Balt, so new company was really welcome. NFA (Nizhegorodskaya Fabrika Avtomobiley, Nizhny Novgorod Automotive Factory ) specialized on heavy vehicles and transporters.
One of first NFA's cars
In July the Great Depression reached its highest peak. Economy of America was in ruins, and more or less all countries suffered from it. Russia lost some money too, but her rapid industrialization saved her from the crisis.
Crisis is never only economical...
On 20 of July Franz von Papen was appointed as the new Reich Chancellor. Previous coalition government only worsened the situation. Von Papen was known as Hitler's sympathizer, so Russia didn't like his appointment...
Franz von Papen and Kurt Schleicher, two new key figureheads
In November Esquire magazine was founded, and soon it became one of the most famous and popular magazines in the world.
On 8 of November Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidential elections. Americans considered FDR as the man who could save them from the Depression.
Roosevelt and Al Smith
Von Papen's government didn't last long. In December Hindenburg appointed Schleicher as new Chancellor and started negotiations with Hitler, who became the most popular politician by that moment. President Hindenburg waited only for the parliamentary elections...
Hindenburg made his choice - a poster of NSDAP party says "With him"
Chancellor von Schleicher
To be continued
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Next update: December, 30