I seem to recall reading that arose partly because of the distances involved, partly because the Russian state was so poor. Corruption arose because many state officials were on such a poor salary, it was expected they would cook the books to be able to make a living.
Yes, Russia was ruled like an Empire, just like British Empire. Difference was that Russia did not have similar compact 'heartland' for the Empire like England or France. That 'heartland' was ruled in somewhat similar fashion to what say, British Crown ruled India, for example. Suited well for continuity, but not so much rapid development of technology or institutions.
The Irony is, that when America was expanding over the same period, they were increasingly bringing the newly formed states closer via the telegraph. Russia it seems to me never really saw the results of a similar process, except perhaps in Soviet times.
Exactly. The industrialisation and modernization happened with soviet autocracy and the accompanying sacrifices in lifes, because they forced it hard. Didn't Lenin say something like communism is soviet power plus electrificaton or soemthing like that? Most parts of russia were technoligically somewhere in the middle ages plus the giant size of the country and distances to connect with infrastructure. And the climate of course, that slows down many things.
that was an old joke
Lenin - communism is soviet power plus electrification of the whole country
but then.... soviet power is communism minus electrification
and electrification is soviet power minus communism