• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Alexander III bequeathed Russia a revolution. How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Alexander III bequeathed Russia a revolution. How far do you agree with this statement? Alexander III bequeathed Russia a revolution but there are a few factors that could suggest revolution was inevitable. It could be said that the rumbling of revolution in Russia had been gathering strength underneath the calm surface for some time; and Alexander III's reactionary repressions were all that was needed to push them over the edge. It was through Alexander III's desire to maintain dominant Autocratic rule that he crushed the shoots of liberalism that had just started to grow. Unlike Alexander III, his father was known as the 'Tsar Liberator' and had brought in many reforms which changed the overall balance of society in the Empire. However, through the assassination of his father, Alexander III abhorred the thought of losing complete control and supremacy. Any reforms to Russia would almost definitely lead to the decline in power of Russia's autocracy. Any reduction in the power of Russia's autocracy might also impact the power of Russia's monarchy. One of his main priorities was to make sure that Autocracy never weakened. He made it very clear he did not approve of his father's reforms and as soon as he became Tsar he went on a process of reversing and undoing the progress set in motion by his father. Alexander III made several changes to the government structure and his ministers; and this pushed Russia closer to revolution. ...read more.


This led to the creation of the Marxist party; set up by Trotsky (who was a Jew). This proves that Russification only increased revolutionary feeling in the heart of Russia. It could be said that Alexander III did not think this political policy through because in effect half of the population now had another reason to hate the Tsar. One of the key events in what would turn out to be the start of Russia?s autocratic ruin was: appointing Sergei Witte as financial Minister in 1892. Russia was a vast and underdeveloped country whose economy was mainly based on agriculture. It had not had an industrial revolution whereas many other European powers had. Sergei Witte believed Russia should be more powerful and his views on how to do so were centred around economic development. Witte's reforms, known as 'The Great Spurt', brought in many transformations and gave the peasants a sense of freedom and progress never experienced before. Unfortunately, for all its advantages, industrialisation had some adverse consequences. The working class was: exploited, poorly treated, and clustered together in large numbers and therefore susceptible to revolutionary ideas. Witte's policies included: the emphasis on production of capital goods such as iron, steel coal and machinery; the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway; the creation of a new educational system (to train personnel for industry); and the 'Witte system' for economic development. ...read more.


Also the introduction of a new judicial system meant that there was a trial by jury that ordinary Russians participated in instead of the Tsar's officials. He also introduced the first form of elective government known as the zemstva. These local units were limited but had control over elementary education and road building. Because Russians had started to feel what progress and development was like; they resented Alexander III?s reactionary rule. It was Alexander's determination to return to dominant Tsarist control that bequeathed Russia a revolution. By the end of Alexander III's reign there was no doubt that Autocratic power had been re-established. All of Alexander II's social and political progress had been eradicated and modernisation halted. 'Russia was now the most repressive state in all Europe'. Alexander III did not have the ability to foresee that the causes he cared for and the means by which he obtained them caused the eventual destruction of the way of life and government he wished to preserve. His repressions helped set into motion the events that would eventually take Russia to the brink of revolution. Unrest had built under Alexander III and what seemed to be the government's ability to keep control was actually just a temporary solution to a much wider problem. Those who wanted change knew that they would have to take it, as they could not expect major reform to come from the government of Russia. The desire for change began before Alexander III stepped onto the throne. He just completed the journey already set in motion by Alexander II's liberal reforms. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Stalins Russia, 1924-53 revision guide

    * The wages were paid whether the workers worked well or badly. These farms proved very expensive and few were set up. * Instead Kolkhozes, or Collective Farms, were introduced. Here workers kept plots of land for them selves and had to supply fixed amounts of food to the state at fixed prices.

  2. To What Extent Were the Reforms of Alexander II Intended to Preserve and Strengthen ...

    a new professional class was born, one that became a new intelligentsia and that could challenge the Tsar's power. However, this was just a by product, and if anything it points more to how much of liberator and reformer Alexander was, as he musts have known that this would be the case, that a new intelligentsia would challenge him.

  1. "Mussolini was an all powerful dictator" - How accurate is this statement?

    used his party and the Fascist grand council and cabinet merely as a sounding board for his policies. Even though the Fascist Grand Council appeared to be significantly weak it still managed to sack him as chairman of the party in 1943, thereby taking some power away from him.

  2. How far did the reforms during the period 1826-39 contribute to the eventual fall ...

    to survive and prosper'.xxvii Though a valid argument, attempting to achieve absorption into the world market without first addressing pressing domestic social concerns deemed the economic reforms counter-productive. Mansel agrees, as a result of the 1838 treaty, 'beggars became more common on the streets of the city [Constantinople]'.xxviii Glenny cites

  1. Compare and contrast the policies of Alexander II and Alexander III

    Russia, in comparison to the other great powers, was incredibly backward and underdeveloped ? in 1897 only 4 percent of the population of Russia belonged to the industrial working class. To aid the process of industrialisation both Tsars had to introduce some drastic financial and economic reforms in order to keep up with the rest of the world.

  2. How far did government policies change towards agriculture in Russia in the period 1856-1964? ...

    From Autocracy to Communism 1894-1941. Waller, S (2009). Tsarist Russia 1855-1917. Oxley, P (2001). Russia - From Tsars to Commissars 1885-1991. McCauley, M (1993). The Soviet Union 1917-1991. Lanegran, D. Magnitogorsk. American Experience. (2011). The Great Famine. Hove, A (1992). An Economic History of the USSR, 1917-1991 Issue Sources Comments Teacher?s comments if appropriate Teacher?s initials and date 1921-22 Famine Oxley, P (2001).

  1. Was Alexander II more successful than Alexander III in coping with the problems ...

    A final problem both leaders faced were the issues taking place on the international stage. While the Crimean war had resulted in a need for domestic change it to had required Alexander II make changes to the army after being humiliated.

  2. 'Alexander III was the most successful Tsar in the period 1855-1917'. How far do ...

    until 1903, and the start Peter Stolypin's agricultural reforms. Here, once again, there was mixed success. On the one hand, in 1911, 90 per cent of households were still strip farming, and the repartitioning of arable land failed to catch on in the central regions where land hunger and overpopulation were at their worst.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work