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At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in 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 India.

That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, Britain, and Serbia, against the German, Austrian and Ottoman empires.

The Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy until the Revolution of 1905 and then became a de jure constitutional monarchy.

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 expanded an already huge empire into a major European power.

The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War.

Though the Empire was only officially proclaimed by Tsar Peter I, following the Treaty of Nystad (1721), some historians would argue that it was truly born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod or when Ivan the Terrible conquered Khanate of Kazan.

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.He instituted the sweeping reforms and oversaw the transformation of Russia into a major European power.Peter I the Great (1672–1725) introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system.Economically, the empire had a predominately agricultural base, 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.

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Catherine the Great (reigned 1762–1796) presided over a golden age.