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

How far do you agree that Alexander II brought successful reform to Russia?

Extracts from this document...


"His achievement was substantial...Alexander II had implemented a series of reforms unparalled in their scope and impact" How far do you agree that Alexander II brought successful reform to Russia? In 1855, Alexander II took over the Russian throne following the death of his Father. As a new Tsar he faced many problems. There was low morale in the Army as he took over the throne just after the humiliating Crimean War, where many serfs were conscripted to fight, which caused unrest. The low morale was also present as the serfs were from different ethnic groups and were poorly educated so success was a rarity for the army. He also faced the difficulties of the unfair system of ruling, making Russia a hard country to govern. Inevitably, the vast size of Russia didn't help with the ruling by the Tsar as all the power was centralised and contained a huge amount of different religions which all had their own opinions. The slow growth of Russia's industry also affected Alexander's state as Tsar. There was civil unrest from unemployment, harsh winters and famine. But the most difficult problem that Alexander II faced was the social state of Russian people. As the serfs were led by nobility, a clear contrast in class was shown, thus affecting the morale and way people lived and behaved in towns and villages. ...read more.


which was probably the worst error of the lack of censorship. Alexander was also able to reform the industry in Russia, which overall was mainly successful. He was able to expand the workforce from 860,000 to 1,320,000 by 1887, which resulted in new industries and methods being able to be set up. For instance the increase in coal production, textile industries and most importantly the development of the Naphtha Extraction Company in 1879. Main Industrial cities were also established. This helped put Russia on the ladder of industry to catch up with the powerful Western Europe Industries and also increase the capital in Russia therefore making it a more stable country. The negative outcomes were to happen later rather than in Alexander's reign, for instance: inflation in Alexander III's Reign. Alexander II also tried to reform the Education system in Russia and the Army. Education was reformed to prevent barriers between people as many serfs could not write or read. The government also wanted the schools to be regulated. To increase the amount of people educated more public schools were built and established. Grammar schools were introduced for higher-class families. A national curriculum was also introduced. The successes of this were reform were that many people learnt to read and write and the possibility of university was increased to all social class members. The successes though also led to failures as many more people went abroad to go to university and with this brought back dangerous ideas, which led to opposition and revolts. ...read more.


After censorship had been made less severe many books and newspapers issued new ideas to people, which caused them to revolt after seeing another side to the Tsar. Revolts were also caused by the bad harvests, when there was low morale due to the lack of food and increase risk of disease. In conclusion, I agree with the view of Seton-Watson and E. Crankshaw who both believe that Alexander II had a successful start to his reign but then led to his own downfall, as he left 'no stamp on the age'. Even though he attempted many reforms, none of them were entirely successful, as he reformed censorship by giving writers and editors the 'freedom of expression' but then he restricted the reform by banning several books and forbidding certain topics for discussion. Therefore not actually changing anything on censorship and so didn't leave his stamp. Another example of Alexander not leaving his stamp is the fact the after the liberation of the serfs they still remained attached to the Mir to pay off their redemption taxes and once again he didn't actually change anything because the peasants were still under the control of a higher person. Also the example of military reform; conscription was introduced in the army to replace forced recruitment. I feel that Alexander II was not successful in bringing about successful reform in Russia as he didn't actually change anything just adapted the structure of rule that was already standing. Russian History -Alexander II 1855-1881 Stacey Griffin 13HF Page 1 of 4 ...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 British History: Monarchy & Politics 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 British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    ' Did Alexander II deserve the title Tsar Liberator

    5 star(s)

    He made plans to set up a General Commission which would include representatives from the Zemstva. This would not be a parliament but would be a 'consultative voice' when the Czar required it.

  2. How far do you agree with Elton's interpretation of the roles of Somerset and ...

    Therefore, Elton was correct in pointing out the very positive achievements of Northumberland's reign. He played an important role in halting the financial and religious problems, which were created by Henry and exacerbated by Somerset. This was not a point that Elton expressly put forward, however I think this was a significant part of Northumberland's role, which should be emphasised.

  1. Does Alexander II deserve the title of 'Tsar liberator'?

    Hugh Seton-Watson explains that, ?Alexander said the task of reform was his alone.?[2] As such it is evident that on coming to power, Alexander had had placed upon him a colossal responsibility to undertake the task of reorganising improving Russia, both domestically and in reclaiming their position on the world

  2. Henry II (1154 - 1189) is generally seen as the main catalyst in the ...

    13 More importantly Henry II was responsible for establishing jury trails, which would put an end to the old Germanic trials by ordeal or battle. 14 Furthermore it can be augured that Henry II 'empowered a new social class of government clerks which stabilized procedure, so that the government could

  1. Reasons for Reform - Russia, Alexander II.

    The Details of Emancipation Alexander insisted on three principles in the emancipation process: * The serfs must be freed with land to prevent them becoming a propertyless mass * The operation must be peaceful * The serfs must be guaranteed full personal freedom Key Provisions of Emancipation Land Personal Mir (Village Commune)

  2. Heaven to Hell

    Many hopeful doctors surrounded his bed, all wearing overalls and masks talking amongst themselves on what condition he was and could be in, if they did certain procedures but it was at this point James' parents rushed in to see their son for the first time since he took off in the helicopter nearly half a day ago.

  1. Compare the reform measures of Czars Alexander II and Nicholas II with respect to ...

    The motives of introducing land reforms were suppressing social bitterness and increasing support of Czarist system, so that Nicholas II could maintain his autocratic rule. As to reforms concerning the local government, Alexander II in 1864 and 1870 set up zemstva, which is the local elected council, and Duma respectively.

  2. How Successful Were the Reforms of Alexander II?

    They believed that Peter had destroyed this sacred merger, and they wanted to see it re-established. The Westernizers wanted Russia to be run more like the Western countries such as Germany and France. One of the major reforms that Alexander focused on to improve the army was the abolishment of serfdom.

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