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

Analyse the reason for, and the nature of, opposition to tsardom in Russia between 1855 and 1894.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐BEATRICE FERRO Analyse the reason for, and the nature of, opposition to tsardom in Russia between 1855 and 1894. The period between 1855 and 1894 covered the reigns of Alexander II and his son, Alexander III. Both of these Tsars were opposed because of their autocratic nature of tsarist rule and the backward state of Russia, both economically and politically. Alexander II realised the danger to Tsardom and did introduce many reforms, most known for emancipating the serfs, to try and stem opposition, but he failed to introduce a national duma. Alexander III, shocked by his father's assassination, followed a policy of repression. The oppositions varied, they included political activists, revolutionaries, peasants and workers. Many of the nobles as well opposed various policies, especially the emancipation. Educational reforms also led to a series of riots and opposition to individual policies. Alexander II could be considered as reactionary as his son, they both pursued similar aims: strengthening Russia and improving its international position while maintaining autocracy. Alexander III did follow some of his father's reforms but the economic progress during the 1880's and 1890's were crucial steps towards modernization. Alexander II could be seen as a reformer, a ?Liberator?, whilst his son, a conservative reactionary. There were many different reasons for why there was so much opposition towards tsardom. First of all, the nationalities: an example is the Polish revolt of 1863. ...read more.


However, this had little success, the peasants either did not accept, or did not understand, the revolutionary message being sent to them. In despair, some turned to terrorism, as they thought it was the only way in achieving their aims. In 1897, a group called ?People's Will? was founded with the intention of murdering members of the major powers, the ruling class. This group had no more than 400 members and was responsible for tha assassination of Alexander II in 1881. However, this act of violence did not strenght the movement, but instead, weakened the movement. The importance of this group was not the ideas, but the method it was using. Its concept of using peasants to start a revolt seemed unrealistic. The peasantry were highly distrustful as they very conservative, religious and illiterate. This movement although gave an example to all the revolutionaries of the late nineteenth century, they were influenced and if not inspired, by them challenging Tsardom. The nobility also had a reason for opposing tsardom; this included the Emancipation of the serfs. They wouldn't accept their loss of a third of their land; though they were compensated for this, much of it went off to pay debts. Nobles were also against the fact that they had now also lost their great social influence and prestige. Their financial and social status depended on the serfs and therefore opposed the idea of losing their wealth in favour of the peasants. ...read more.


These opposition groups were although significant as they encouraged opposition against the Tsar for later revolutionaries. They also managed to make the later oppositions question themselves about how effective the revolutions were, and if not how they should improve. Such as: if the peasants were ready for a revolt, if political violence should be used againsts the state and who should be leading the revolution. Clearly, such considerations had an impact on Lenin and the Bolsheviks. The nature of the oppositions were secretive, which meant that the revolutionary oppositions could not mobilise peasant discontent which was the greatest threat to stability. There was a lack of political tradition in Russia which meant that the opposition's thinking tended to be utiopian in character rather that following the realities of how a state should be governed. There was no clear or united groups in the oppositions, but instead very different, and often conflicting, thoughts of ?what is to be done?. The conservative interests were too strong, even if the nobility were angry with Alexander II and III, they still weren't going to support the revolutionaries against him. The people might have been successful in killing Alexander II in 1881, but this surely did not lead to a greater reform or revolution. Instead, it strengthened the ways to put down opposition, as it was seen in the harsh treatment against the revolutionaries during the reighn of Alexander III. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. The policies of Alexander II and III of Russia

    intention, the task of ruling, with faith in the strength and truth of autocratic power. We are summoned to reaffirm that Power and preserve it for the benefit of the people from any encroachment.' This excerpt has been taken from Alexander III's 'Manifesto of Unshakeable Autocracy'.

  2. Compare and Contract the policies of Alexander II and Alexander III in Russia?

    and coal tripled whilst oil produced 30 times more than ever before. Rapid industrialisation leads to dreadful living and working conditions: prisons for illegal striking, overcrowded dormitories, and there was a decline in wages in 1890s, long working hours, drunkenness, and harsh factory discipline.

  1. Was the Russian Revolution due more to tsars inadequacy as a ruler of the ...

    Nicholas II believed his wife's words that all will be fine if the Duma (elected legislative body) didn't take action the riots. The inaction of the Duma stopped nothing. Demonstrations continued on. Even the police force didn't take action against the demonstrators.

  2. What was the nature of opposition to Hitler and why did it achieve so ...

    Opposition from the young Germans did not end with this rising but during the war years they established anti-social and anti-establishment movements such as the "Edelweiss Pirates" that developed socio-political activities so unacceptable to the Nazis that they received the death penulty.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Bribery of witnesses 3. Lower social rank meant it was harder to achieve justice Solution 1. Evidence to be considered in the open and a defensive council allowed, public tribunals, press coverage of cases. 2. Trial by jury for criminal cases and the accused had the right to appeal.

  2. To what extent did the reforms of Alexander II achieve his aims

    Even though Russia didn?t manage to keep pace with the West in terms of producing weaponry and failed in the wars against Japan in 1904-05 and Germany in WWI, Milyutin?s reforms can be considered as a success.

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Alexander II of Russia's reforms.

    But a printed book can still be distributed. However, some books managed to get published like Chernyshevski?s What is to be Done? which encouraged its readers to: ?Come out of your godforsaken underworld, my friends, come up. It is not so difficult.? The ease up on censorship meant that texts like this were able to get published thus weakening Alexander II?s government.

  2. Which of indoctrination and repression proved most effective for consolidating Hitler's power (1933-1939)?

    He knew the psychological advantage of having the law at his side. Thus what he was planning to do was ?to make illegal become legal?[10]. The Reichstag fire played a big role in the consolidation of Hitler?s power. Repression: Use of law Reichstag fire: On 27 February 1933, before the

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