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

How effectively did Alexander II cope with the problems he faced on his succession?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐As Alexander ascended the throne in 1855, he inherited a country whose problems were being starkly exposed, through the impending defeat in the Crimean war .Thus Russians illusion of themselves as a superior nation were being shattered, as the realisation of the countries backwardness in, comparison to the West, was being made painfully clear. The problems that induced this backwardness can be placed into four broad divisions, economic stagnation, outmoded military and an inefficient judicial system all of which were underpinned by the rigid repression of education, with harsh censorship methods. When judging how effectively Alexander coped with these problems, the changes that occurred throughout his rein in solving the problems will be assessed. Due to the nature of the period after the war, many of Alexanders coping methods were in fact, and had to be, reforms. This need for reform is demonstrated by Alexander admitting the need to ?reform from above? rather than wait for the reform to be forced ?from below?. Overall, however, it can be concluded that Alexander coped ineffectively with the problems as although he is named the ?reforming tsar? many of his reforms were not successful, due to his duality approach with his wish to retain autocratic rule whilst still attempting to modernise the nation. ...read more.


The rules were, also, loosened along with conscription being compulsory for all above the age of 21, reducing the class prejudice that had littered the army previously. Peasants were also able to rise up the ranks, of the army providing more incentive, this did, however, create tensions within the army as nobility resented the prospect of peasants having the opportunity to be above them. The army size was also reduced, so that the members could become more specialised and professional, this saved government spending as previously 45% of money was spent on the army. The conscripts did, however, had to remain on standby, and could be mobilised in case they were suddenly required. The advances that the army had made were demonstrated through their victory over Turkey in 1877. This victory took longer than expected, although the army was improved and modern weaponry had increased, the weapons were still nowhere near as effective as of modern armies around the world. So when assessing how successful Alexander was when coping with this problem, he was successful to an extent but many of the previous problems still blighted the army. One theory for the lack of technology was as well as economic struggles? the lack of education and tightly controlled censorship, suppressed ...read more.


Alexander came to power, in a time were the slaughting defeat in the Crimea, meant that he had no choice but to deal with the problems his nation faced, as he form of coping through the introduction of reforms. Although he attempted to amend his nations difficulties, if completely perfected this would actually destroy him and his autocratic rule. Alexander, therefore was forced to take a duality approach to the reforms, were his liberalism was slashed after the attempted assignation of him in 1866. This meant that on his death, assassinated by the liberal terrorists, he was leaving a Russia with many of the same problems, although there had been some advances, Alexander was his own worst enemy. As if he reformed, he opened the door to liberalism and eventually the wish for a parliament and out booting of him, yet if he did not reform his nation would be left floundering in the western powers wake as an ever backward nation. This is the reason that he reforms were not effective in dealing with the problems, so did not cope well, as the reforms themselves had two contrasting ambitions and often took too long to implement. ...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. How successful was Alexander II in transforming Russian Society

    Despite the huge impact of Alexander II's reforms, they did not all transform society, especially as he withdrew several in years to come. Emancipation did not stop any discontent from the lower classes, as following the Ukase, there were 647 riots in 4 months.

  2. To what extent was Hitlers rise to power due to Economic Problems?

    when he began to write Mein Kampf, his ideas in there are what shaped Germany for the next several years. The economic crisis led people to believe his ideas, such as uniting Germany and blaming the Jewish people for the financial hardships. Ian Kershaw's Hubris is a broadly functionalist biography.

  1. How Effectively Did Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders Advance Their Cause 1801-1921 ?

    For instance Pearse believed that death was "a glorious enterprise and a noble sacrifice," 6 whilst Connelly was a Marxist. Even constitutional leaders showed weaknesses at times. For instance Redmond showed an over willingness to compromise, such as his agreeing in principal to the exclusion of Ulster in 1914 and 1916.

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

    villages and the Duma in towns, he granted a certain level of autonomy to local government. The Zemstva and Duma had control over various aspects of Russian life in their area, their control spanned from polices on health, land management, education, economic growth, roads and utilities.

  1. How well equipped was Tsar Nicholas II to deal with the problems that faced ...

    He could either concede to the opposition groups, or he could repress the opposition to try and diminish their threat to him. He was well placed to do either of these options, and both would probably have reduced the threat to him from opposition groups.

  2. Why, and with what success did Alexander II embark on a series of reforms?

    It united the working class and gave them hope for a better quality of life. The purpose of the chartist movement is argued by historians, was it a social, economic or political cause? Firstly we have to address the core of Chartism, the people's charter.

  1. How effectively did Irish Catholic and Nationalist leaders advance their cause in the years ...

    The failure over the Clontarf meeting began the downward spiral for O'Connell, his rejection of physical force left him with very few options. His arrest in 1844 broke his movement. Overall O'Connell had been effective in advancing his cause initially.

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

    This growing discontent coincided with the emergence of an intelligentsia from the middle class. The intelligentsia were starting to become more organised forming early groups such as the Nihilists and then Populists. These groups were beginning to actively show their discontent at the limited reforms Alexander II had introduced would

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