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How Far Did Russia Change between 1856 and 1894

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How Far Did Russia Change between 1856 and 1994? During the years of 1856 and 1894, Russia changed immensely in its policies and general state. It went from being an ageing superpower into a country with internal problems and an ambience of civilian unrest. Alexander II realised the need to modernise Russia in order to prolong their status as a superpower. This stemmed from their defeat in the Crimean war. To modernise and industrialise Russia, a free workforce was needed and this could only be made available if people were freed from the land. This meant that Alexander II would need to somehow release the serfs from their owner's land. Another reason for emancipation was made clear in a quote from Alexander II in March 1856: "It is better to abolish serfdom from above than to await the time when it will begin to abolish itself from below". ...read more.


In conclusion, Russia made a great deal of progress during Alexander II's reign as they began to lay the foundations for creating a new, more powerful Russia. However, not all of Russia's problems were solved and indeed some of the reforms created new problems. But generally, Russia changed a great deal during Alexander II's reign and the majority of change was constructive. Alexander III was faced with a number of dilemmas when he came to power. The assassination of his father had a huge impact on him. He believed that all attempts at reform were futile and so followed a policy of counter-reform. His repressive measures became known as "the Reaction". Some examples include Russification, where national minority influence was limited and the Statue of State Security, where judges, magistrates and officials sympathetic to liberal ideology were removed. ...read more.


Both Alexander II and Alexander III decided to change Russia in a bid to prolong autocracy. Despite the reform and counter-reform taking place in Russia, some aspects of life stayed the same. Generally in Russia, there was some kind of repression occurring. Although the Duma was meant to represent the people of Russia, the tsar still had the power to simply over rule any decisions. Also, the average peasant life was not much better than pre emancipation as they were crippled by redemption payments. In conclusion, Russia changed immensely between 1856 and 1894. When recognised as being an ageing superpower by Alexander II it was inevitable that some sort of change would take place in Russia in the hope of modernisation. We can see that the changes were mostly political and economical. During Alexander III's reign we can see that the changes were suppressive although it ultimately led to further change in the form of revolution in the future. ADAM KHANCHE ...read more.

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