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How successful was Tsar Alexander 2nd in Solving the problems facing Russia During his reign?

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Introduction

How successful was Tsar Alexander 2nd in Solving the problems facing Russia During his reign? Alexander 2nd succeeded his father, Nicholas 1st, to the Russian throne in 1855, at the age of 36. There was a great amount of unrest in Russia at this time, mainly because of the defeat of the Crimean War, and so it was clear that major changes had to be made in order to recover. The Crimean War showed the weaknesses in the Russian Army, with its lack of equipment and supplies, over worked soldiers and inadequate officers. There was only 1 musket for every 2 soldiers, and only 4% of the Russian troops equipped with the newest long- range riffles, which was an amazingly small amount compared to the French 33% and the British troops at 50%. The soldiers that fought for Russia were mostly Serfs, this was because they were easier to control, able to pay them less for their work, contributed to over 80% of the population and most of all in the eyes of the Nobles their lives were worth less than their own. ...read more.

Middle

The workers were often paid in clothes or food, instead of money, and many had to result in living on the factory floors, because they could not afford to stay anywhere else. The conditions in which they suffered could not be opposed, because strikes were prohibited, and there were often heavy fines if employee's work was not up to a certain standard. There was not much done to improve farming, and so there remained a low agricultural output. Because of these unsuccessful, or none existent, improvements to the economy, there still was still an absence of middle class, leaving only the nobles and the peasants, which seemed to divide the country enormously. The problem with communication was largely improved, by the construction of many railway tracks and trains. The overall mileage was increased from 660 at the beginning of his reign, to 14,000 by the end. These new railways not only allowed people in Russia to travel more easily, but also allowed goods to, which meant that more trade could take place. This new trade dramatically boosted the Russian economy, by the capital from Western countries, which now found it easy to get into to Russia. ...read more.

Conclusion

His actions did not succeed in the long term, mainly because he was such a firm believer in Autocratic ruling, and so did not want to give up a threaten his power in any way. After Alexander 2nd died in 1881, it is clear to see that not much really changed. The Duma, which was the government set up, was abolished, and so there was still no middle class. The peasants were still in a great sense of unrest, because although they were technically given their freedom, they were still controlled and tied to the land by the landowners. Because of all this, the industries, both urban and rural, did not improve, and so there was still a very backwards economy, which even the construction of new railways could not fix. In conclusion it is clear to see that Tsar Alexander 2nd did confront and try and mend the problems facing Russia, but as there was great unrest in Russia, the problems had to be dealt with quickly. There for he was successful in the short term, but although it was a stepping- stone in the right direction, it was not so successful in the long term. ...read more.

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