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"Alexander III bequeathed Nicholas II a revolution" (Trotsky) Discuss

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Introduction

"Alexander III bequeathed Nicholas II a revolution" (Trotsky) Discuss Nicholas II had to deal with a Revolution but there is discussion over what caused and who contributed to this long awaited change. The Revolution itself took place in 1917 and some historians believe that it was years of oppression and poor conditions for the lower classes that finally drove them to vent their frustration through violence. The Revolution can be traced back to Alexander II (1858-1881) and much evidence suggests that Alexander's reforms were a major contributing factor to the 1905 revolution," by inevitable increasing the numbers of educated and potentially Critical" (Kemp). Alexander II theory for the reformation of Russia was good but his actions at the end of his reign as Tsar showed how he feared that he had made too many changes. Alexander II gave the Russian people a glimpse of freedom, in reforms such as the emancipation, zemstvo, judicial reforms, military, censorship and potentially the most critical educational reforms. It was in Alexander's reign that the sign of an opposition started to appear, the terrorist group land of liberty were very much against the limitations to the reforms, wanting complete autonomy; as Mc manners suggests, " By dabbling in freedom the autocracy had demonstrated its own obsolescence without being able to adapt itself to the new age." ...read more.

Middle

The restrictions among the judicial system, with judges security of tenure and the elected "justices of peace" being abolished; only emphasized the inequality and more importantly resentment towards it. This anger amongst the middle class escalated as more Russian institutions were repressed. Censorship was tightened into a rigid system, with "harmful" publications being eliminated and all papers being censored the day before publication. Educational restrictions were also enforced, with universities losing the ability to rule their own affairs and there becoming a great emphasis on religion and preventing the working class from exceeding the social environment in which they belong. Overall these repressions appeared to work by bringing stability, but opposing groups were starting to rise against authority which was not a secure basis for Tsarists long term survival. However many historians suggest that this rising tide of opposition was not created solely through hostility by the repressions, but it was Alexander economic reforms coupled with the repression that fuelled the opposing social forces. Under Alexander III the economy developed dramatically with an average growth rate of 8 per cent per annum at the end of the century and railways grew which connected Russia to the Far East. ...read more.

Conclusion

His main offence was himself, the fact that he was not suited for the position of tsar. However, many occurrences, such as Bloody Sunday, the damaging influence of Rasputin, his absence during the war and his ignorance of the current peasant situation at the time, could have been avoided, hence preventing the inevitable decline of the Romanov Empire. However, although the fate of the Romanov Dynasty did slip through the hands of Nicholas II, the modernizing reforms set by Alexander II, which were later removed by Alexander III, set up difficulties for Nicholas II, which also contributed to the fall of the Romanov Empire. Further the social forces developing through Alexander II and Alexander III reigns, reached an all time high during Nicholas II reign with revolutionaries presenting Leninism as a the way forward to the new liberalised urban poor, which ultimately was the most detrimental factor in instigating the 1917 revolution. Moreover, although these revolutionary groups had been brewing during Alexander III reign, he managed to suppress them effectively; it was under Nicholas II that their ideas strengthened due to their frustration towards the Tsars regime. Ultimately, Alexander III did create major problems for but Nicholas II but it was Nicholas II that concluded the tsar dynasty. ...read more.

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