• 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 which faced him on his succession?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Kitty McCargo-Walklate How effectively did Alexander II cope with the problems which faced him on his succession? Alexander II came to the throne in 1855, following Russia?s defeat in the Crimean war. The effects of this left Russia devastated. The war highlighted the ?backwardness? of Russia?s society and subsequent inability of the army and economy. Alexander had no sympathy for radical or liberal ideas, but he recognised that some improvements were necessary to preserve his autocratic system of government. One of the major problems that faced Alexander II upon his succession was the issue of Serfdom. Serfs were peasants that were bound to their landlord. They were forced to work on land and were given little in return. They were also restricted in their freedom, which was very limiting on their social life. Following Alexander?s rise to the throne there was an increase in moral speculation of serfdom and its immorality. This was proving harmful to Russia?s international reputation. Another major issue regarding serfdom was their conscription to the Russian army which was ...Finally serfdom was argued to be economic stagnation as it prevented the enterprise of the masses. ...read more.


The Crimean War revealed the weakness and corruption of leadership within the Russian army. Prior to the reforms the duty of military service fell exclusively on the lower class and peasants. The ranks were conscripted from Serfs for 15 years compulsory service. This caused many social and moral dilemmas. Women were left widowed as it was almost certain their husbands would not return, however if they did they were not compensated with a pension or land. This meant the army was extremely disorganised and lacked in moral. It was obvious that reform was needed in order for Russia to attain a successful army which would leader to a strengthening in internal and international control. In 1864 there was reorganisation of conscription. However; it was not until 1874 when major reform began to take place. This started with conscription being extended to all Russians over the age of 21. With the exception of those in education, conscription was partially exempted. To ensure equality names were drawn out of an annual ballot. ...read more.


The judicial reforms began in 1864 but did not make significant impact until the following year with the introduction of new regional courts. However from then the process to reform was slow. This was mainly due to aspects out of Alexander?s reach, such as the lack of trained judges. the high government influence over judicial roles as they controlled their promotional prospects. The judicial reforms were seen as one of the most successful reforms under Alexander II. Although there were slight imperfections to the new system the overall effectiveness in which Alexander dealt with judiciary was considerably good. He lowered corruption, made contributions to the modernisation process as a whole and helped to promote a society based on the rule of law. To conclude, following Alexander II succession to the throne there were a substantial amount of deeply rooted problems within Russia. He was able to examine the countries defects which were highlighted by the Crimean war and begin implementing an extensive programme of reforms. However; the extent to which he successfully reformed was restricted by his his firm conservative and traditional view of his duty which included his refusal to surrender his autocratic powers. ...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 Were the Reforms of Alexander II Intended to Preserve and Strengthen ...

    These reforms were very impressive from Alexander and suggested that the Tsar was prepared to give up more power in a bid to modernise Russia. However, Alexander's focus was still on holding on tight to complete power in Russia. There were many aspects of the reforms of local government that prevented the Russia people from questioning the Tsar's power.

  1. How well does Alexander II deserve his reputation as The Tsar Liberator(TM)?

    period of reaction in the late 1860s; perhaps Alexander had a change of heart, his fluctuating personality commented on here by Kropotkin: "He could be charming in his behaviour, and the next moment display sheer brutality". Perhaps as Oxley asserts "he had only seen reforms as limited measures, necessary to

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

    Gladstone was also aware of his status, and was therefore more willing to compromise. This clearly enabled Parnell to effectively challenge the Act of Union, as he truly had the ability to command change. Parnell used the Land League to place immense pressure upon Gladstone through the use of 'boycotts'.

  1. How Successfully in the period 1870 to 1914 did the ruling elites of Germany ...

    Reich and the relative stagnation of its social norms and political institutions". Industrialisation did not usually involve social mobility, but a "stratification of existing structures" as S. Lee notes. For instance, the working classes increased in number and strengthened their identity, but this simply aggravated the suspicion of the social elites.

  2. Trotsky - Succession, Revolutionary Success, Civil War Hero, Death, Failure and End

    and therefore they more were willing to support the Bolsheviks, despite the fact that given the condition of industry Lenin could not give 'both land to the peasants and bread to the towns'39. Lynch believes that the reasons for the final victory of the Reds in the Civil War are

  1. How successful were the attempts by Alexander II to reform Russia?

    More importantly defence counsels were allowed and legal flogging was curtailed. These reforms were accepted by the public and were successfully applied. Once again, this policy can be linked to Alexander's reforms concerning the serfs. This new justice system allowed the poorer members of society to be given sympathetic hearings.

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

    This came alongside the policy of Russification which forced the Russian on language onto those of foreign nationality and made the principle of Russian nationality fundamental to life within the country. The Okhrana were dedicated to enforcing religious, racial and national orthodoxy as well as restricting various parts of the population i.e.

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