Reforms of national education became an integral part of the social reorganization of the 60s. "The regulations about primary national schools" of the 14th of June 1864 in addition to state and church schools introduced Sunday and local schools.Their curricula and teaching staff favorably differed from those of state and church schools.
The new charter of grammar schools (the 19th of November 1864) divided secondary educational institutions and grammar schools into classical and real ones with seven-year term of study. There were created schools with curricula of four classes of the grammar school. In the grammar school children of all layers of the society and creeds were admitted, but the fee was high. In the classical grammar school the humanities prevailed, and children were prepared to entry universities. Real grammar schools trained experts for the industry and trade, there were taught exact and natural sciences. Their graduates could enter only higher technical educational institutions. In 1865 there were 96 grammar schools in the country.
In 1871 a new and stricter charter of grammar schools was taken. In the classical grammar school the term of training increased up to 8 years, natural sciences were abolished. Real grammar schools were transformed into real schools with the six-year term of study. The governmental supervision over the local school and teachers became stronger.
By the beginning of the 60s in 14 universities of the country studied about 3 thousand students. The new university charter was authorized on the 18th of June 1863. The university self-management was restored.
In 1858 woman's grammar schools were founded. It was forbidden for women to enter universities. They were admitted there just as listeners at the beginning of the 70-80s.
In 1857 the government decided to revise the censorial charter. After permission in 1858 to discuss in press the public problems and activity of the government the number of periodicals (1860 - 230) and books (1860 - 2058) seriously increased.
Press, especially the periodical one, played a great public, political and educational role. From the end of the 50s the first place were occupied by social and political, scientific and literary editions, and first of all "thick" magazines "Sovremennik", "Otechestvennye Zapiski', "Russian word", etc).
The number of readers increased too (in the St. Petersburg Public library the circulation of books rised from the years of 1854 to 1874 11 times as much). The rise of the Russian culture in the 60-80s was reflected first of all in literature. The leading direction in fiction became critical realism. Collision of ideas, moral problems, new phenomena in the public life, ways of development of Russia excited heroes of I.S.Turgenev, F.M.Dostoyevsky, L.N Tostoy, I.A.Goncharov, A.N.Ostrovsky. The theme of the people permeates N.A.Nekrasov's creativity. A.A.Fet and F.I.Tyutchev created subtle lyrics.
The art experienced the process of establishment of realism too. In the theatre formation of the realistic direction is inextricably related with the plays of A.N.Ostrovsky. The leading role in the development of the dramatic art belonged to the Moscow Small theatre. The other center of the theatrical culture was the Petersburg Alexandriysky theatre.
In the 60-80s the Russian musical culture achieved great success. Established by M.I.Glinka, the Russian national musical style was continued by his pupil A.S. Dargomyzhsky and compositors of "Mighty heap" (M.A.Balakirev, M.P.Musorgsky, A.P.Borodin, N.А. Rimansky - Korsakov, T.A.Kui).
A special place in the Russian music is occupied by Peter Ilich Chaikovsky (1840-1893).
In 1862 in St. Petersburg under the initiative of the outstanding composer and musician A.G.Rubinstein was opened the first Russian conservatory.
Painting during the reforms was also marked by new talents who brought world glory to the Russian art. The most outstanding ideologist and organizer of the young generation of artists was I.N.Kramskoy, its theorist was V.V.Stasov. In this period worked I.N.Kramskoy, V.M And A.M. Vasnitsovs, I.I.Levitan, V.D.Polenov, V.G.Perov, I.E.Repin, V.I.Surikov, I.I.Shishkin, N.A.Yaroshenko, etc.
The big role in development of the Russian art was played by the creation of the first national gallery. Since 1856 the Moscow merchant P.M.Tretyakov (1832-1898) took a great interest in collecting of the most outstanding works of the Russian fine art. His private collection became the nucleus of one of the world's richest national museums.
During the reforms in the cities there was active construction of public buildings, factories, plants and apartment houses.In architecture the "national" style in the spirit of the traditional Russian architecture was formed.
The second half of XIX century is rich of new outstanding discoveries of the Russian science. I.M.Sechenov's works (1829-1905) "Reflexes of brain" (1863), "Physiology of nervous system" (1866) were the basis for the Russian physiology.
In the 60-80s the biologist I.I.Mechnikov (1845-1916) made a number of brilliant discoveries concerning the phenomenon of phagocytosis (protective factors of the organism).
The scientist-darwinian К.А. Timiryazev (1843-1920) through his research of the process of photosynthesis founded the Russian school of physiology of plants. D.I. Mendeleyev's discovery (1834-1907) of the the periodic system of elements (1869), was one of the fundamental laws of natural sciences.
The founder of the new school of organic chemistry was A.M.Butlerov (1828-1886).
In the field of mathematics and mechanics a great value had the creation by the Petersburg scientist P.L.Chebyshev (1821-1894) of his scientific school, which received world recognition by the development of the theory of numbers, the theory of probability and the mathematical analysis.
Among scientists - physicians A.G.Stoletov (1839-1896), the author of classical research of the theory of magnetism and electricity is especially known. The largest contribution to the world science was made by the Russian geographer and traveler (P.P.Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (1827-1914)).