How the Tsars of Russia held power not to mention obtained power over this gigantic and backwards empire until 1917 is amazing. If you look at Russia on a map you will see that in addition to the territory of modern Russia, prior to 1917 the Russian Empire included most of Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Armenia, the Central Asian states, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, as well as many more nations. By the time Russia was revolutionized the size of the empire was about 8,600,00 square miles or almost 1/6 of the Earth’s landmass. One man was in charge of all of that. He had his advisors and different agencies but above all else he was in charge and executed final rule. In 1917 the year when the empire collapsed the Russian population was more than 150 million with more than 100 varied ethnic groups lived within the Russian Empire. The fall of the Russian Empire in 1917 was the end of over 400 years of imperial rule. From its initial creation until its fall, the Russian Empire was controlled by an absolute monarch known as the tsar, under an autocracy. This kind of rule is impossible in today’s world because of growing expectations for industrialization and citizens’ rights, but it existed in Russia for over 400 years and the more I learn about Russia’s past the more amazed I am that the Empire stood for as long as it did.