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

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Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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