The growth of the industry gave birth to demand for educated people but the level of erudition changed a little bit. The census of 1897 registered 21 literate persons per 100 inhabitants of the Empire; in 1917 the same parameter made 30 persons per 100 inhabitants.
Gradually the number of elementary schools grew: 32 thousand in 1894, 92,5 thousand in 1906. Since 1896 due to means of commercial and industrial bourgeoisie appeared commercial schools (1913 - 250 schools). After the revolution of 1905-1907 there was a certain democratization of the higher school: elections of deans and rectors, and student organizations were permitted.
The periodical press had a great influence on the life of the Russian society. If at the close of XIX century there were published 105 daily newspapers, in 1912 already existed 1131 newspapers in 24 languages. The largest publishing houses are ones of I.D.Sytin, A.S.Suvorin, "Znaniye" played a great role in enlightenment of the nation, distribution of works of Russian and foreign authors.
In the Russian science there appeared a constellation of names, first of all in humanitarian disciplines such as philosophy, sociology, where the beginning of XX century was marked by occurrence of some philosophical works, which authors (S.N.Bulgakov, N.A.Berdyayev, E.N.Trubetskoy, V.I.Vernadsky, P.B.Struve, L.I.Shestov, etc.) aspired to comprehend the historical way and the future of Russia. Achievements in the historical science were connected with V.O.Klyuchevsky, P.N.Milyukov (in the beginning of XX century he left the historical science and engaged in the political activity), N.P.Pavlov-Silvansky, A.S.Lappo-Danilevsky, A.E.Presnyakov, A.A.Shakhmatov, S.F.Platonov, etc.
Development of the natural sciences went along with the world science as it was promoted by exchanges of scientists, training in foreign universities, publication of joint works, etc. Among the most known scientists is V.I.Vernadsky (1863-1945), the encyclopedist, one of the founders of geochemistry, the doctrine of biosphere, which subsequently became the basis of his idea of noosphere or the sphere of planetary intellect. In 1903 was published the work of the founder of the theory of rocket movement, the teacher of the Kaluga grammar school K.E.Tsiolkovsky (1875-1935) which was called "Research of world spaces by jet apparatus". Essential value had the works of N.E.Zhukovsky (1847-1921) and I.I.Sikorsky (1883-1972) in aircraft construction, I.P.Pavlov and I.M.Sechenov, etc.
Development of literature in many aspects was conditioned by the traditions of the Russian classical literature of XIX century, the living picture of which was L.N. Tolstoy. The Russian literature of the beginning of XX century is represented by A.Chekhov, M. Gorky, V.Korolenko, A.Kuprin, I.Bunin, etc.
The beginning of XX century was the period of flourish of the Russian poetry, the time of bright creative individualities with various ethical and aesthetic views, belonging to different directions (symbolism, futurism, etc.), - K.Balmont, A. Blok, S.Esenin, I.Severyanin, N.Gumilev, A.Akhmatova, M.Voloshin, A.Bely, etc.
In the fine art there were, on the one hand, currents connected with the traditions of XIX century (the realistic direction - I.Repin, S.Korovin, N.Kasatkin, etc., there was also existed the Association of mobile exhibitions - A.M. and V.M.Vasnetsovs, I.Brodsky, etc.), on the other hand, the avant-garde directions that cultivated new forms. One of the tendencies of Russian painting of that period was addressing to search of the national original beauty - works of M.Nesterov, N.Rerich, etc. Russian impressionism was represented by works of V.Serov, I.Grabar, K.Korovin, etc.
The art tendency "The World of Art " played an appreciable role in the development of the Russian art.
Russian patrons of art contributed to creativity of artists, singers and writers. The most known among them is the family of textile manufacturers Shukins, including S.Shukin. He had a collection of the French avant-garde painting (Picasso, Matiss, Gogen and others), which was exposed in the Gallery of new Western painting that he created himself in Moscow. Other patrons are S. Morozov, N.Rubichinsky, S.Mamontov who founded the Moscow private Russian opera.
A new style called modern proliferated in architecture, with its aspiration to emphasize the functional purpose of inhabited and public buildings. It proposed to use frescos, mosaic, stained-glass windows, ceramics, sculpture, new constructions and materials. Search of new ideas was characteristic of the neo-Russian style directed on the old Russian and folk art. The particularity of this style was the contrast of the external look of the building and its purpose (for example, the Kazan railway station, the architect A.V.Shusev).
The theatrical life was rich too. Leading positions were taken by the Bolchoi (in Moscow) and Mariinsky (St. Petersburg) theatres; opera houses were in number of large cities. In 1898 K.Stanislavsky and V.Nemirovich-Danchenko founded in Moscow the Art Theatre where were staged plays of Chekhov, Gorky, Ibsen, Gamsun, etc., that was a success among the audience. In 1904 V.Komissarzhevskaya founded the Drama theatre in St. Petersburg.
In the beginning of XX century attention of the musical public was directed to the creativity of such talented Russian composers as A.Skryabin, N. Rimsky-Korkasov, A.Glazunov, S.Rakhmaninov, I.Stravinsky.Cinematograph enjoyed especial popularity among various layers of urban population at the beginning of XIX century; the first Russian fiction picture "Stenka Razin" was produced in 1908. By 1914 in the country there were about 30 domestic firms, which produced over 300 pictures.