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

How successful were the reforms carried out by Alexander II in the second half of the 19th Century?

Extracts from this document...


How successful were the reforms carried out by Alexander II in the second half of the 19th Century? Alexander II carried out many measures in order to achieve a more powerful Russia and to also prevent the threat of a revolution. He formulated many reforms to accomplish this. For example, the fundamental reform: the emancipation of the Serfs, the law, the establishment of local governments, improvements in education and censorship and the military reform. Furthermore, in my opinion, the most important reform: the economic policy. Personally, each of these reforms was successful to an extent. However, each one of the reforms had disadvantages. Alexander II wanted to abolish Serfdom in order to modernise agriculture and to give the peasants an incentive to produce more. Through this method he hoped not just to gain the support of the majority of the population, but an increased food supply was needed in order for Russia to expand her industrial base and therefore overall become a more economically powerful country. This reform was successful to an extent, the Act created a class of landless peasants who moved to urban areas in search of employment in factories or mines. It began a social and economic revolution that was boost to Russia's economic strength. ...read more.


This reform had limited success because the zemstva presidents were appointed rather than elected and therefore this undermined their authority and made the new government seem unimportant and therefore the people would not take notice of their commands. However, the zemstva was successful, because it was able to operate successfully under the economic budgets they had been allowed. Many improvements were made in the provision of local services, particularly education. Leading on from my last statement, the zemstva had great success within the education reform. The standard of teaching in elementary education had been generally poor and the zemstva successfully improved the standards through administrating local primary schools through school boards. For example, there was a large increase in the number of primary schools from 8, 000 in 1856 to over 23, 000 in 1880. Furthermore, the secondary education was modernised and the number of students increased to around 800, 000 in the first decade of Alexander's reign, which indicates a successful improvement in the system. However, the further developments to liberalise the whole system of education and censorship in Russia were made impossible by the assassination attempts made on the Tsar in the later part of his reign. ...read more.


However, the reform did have some success, because the currency was stabilised when Witte conformed to the western practice in the 1890s and placed Russia on the Gold Standard. Furthermore, railway construction, financed through an increasing number of credit institution was a key element in the economic policy. The growth of railways helped to link the grain producing areas with towns, cities and ports, therefore contributing to the promotion of exports. In my opinion, this would build up the economy, which would make Russia a richer and therefore more powerful country. I have considered the reforms of Alexander II and I have well thought-out the amount of their success. In my opinion, the reforms were nothing more than 'half hearted' concessions and I believe that they had limited success; they were only significant on a small scale. Furthermore, I believe the reforms were an attempt to perpetuate the existing political system and in this way the reforms failed to create popular support for the Tsarist regime. On the other hand, the reforms were successful because they were a radical comparison to the previous Russian experience, but it did not go far enough to sustain the Tsarist regime, because in my opinion, the majority of the population desired a democracy, which the Tsar did not want to give and therefore he was fighting a losing battle. Alicia Fleming 12B History Mr Chapman Russian ...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. How Successful Were the Reforms of Alexander II?

    Russia became divided into two groups. The Slavophiles and the Westernizers. Each group and had different views on how Russia should be reformed. The Slavophiles believed that under a different leader, (Peter), Russia had fallen into a state of disarray. They wished to "re-establish the ancient union between government and people...upon the lasting foundation of truly basic principles."

  2. How successful was the Reform Act in rectifying defects in the political system?

    The Duke of Wellington's government resigned and was replaced by a Whig administration, headed by Lord Grey, which pledged to introduce parliamentary reform. Lord Grey wanted to pass the Reform Act as growing external pressures, such as those from the Peterloo Massacre, Days of May, Swing Riots and the emergence

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

    the nobility in order to make sure the Czar was still in control. But it no doubt provided greats representation to the people and they have a chance of taking part in public affairs. Nicholas II introduced the Duma in the October Manifesto in 1905.

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

    operate effectively in the king's absence and would subsequently prove sufficiently tenacious to survive the reign of incompetent kings'.15 Dane'16 suggests Henry's desire to dwell on continent meant that the need to 'govern Britain directly, consolidate his authority while defending his dominions', meant Henry II would have been extremely anxious

  1. 'The issue of Home Rule was the most important factor for the divisions and ...

    The Whigs rejected Gladstone's motions for Home Rule as it 'would greatly lessen English responsibility' (Source B) and this was a big blunder for the liberal party as it was the start of a division of agreement. Whilst Gladstone was determined to make a dramatic change for Ireland, the rejection

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

    It was also an effort to reduce peasant revolts and to reform the army after the Crimean War. The main successes of the reform was that it was a big step forwards for the Romanovs and some peasants gained large amounts of land in Siberia which equalled out the class levels slightly.

  1. Growth of Democracy in 19th Centuary Britain.

    The Whigs held the rest of the working class in low regard and did not want to give into the demands of the working class, yet still wanted to enact a reform that would prevent a result similar to that of the bloodshed of the French Revolution.

  2. How successful were Peels social and economic reforms between 1841 and 1846?

    Social reforms had also become a key part of Peel?s success and became ingrained in his legacy to the working-classes. The Factory Act of 1844 reduced the working hours of children in factories and improved the safety of conditions of in factories, and the Mines Act 2 years earlier sought

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