• 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...

Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    This is of course, going to appeal to the people who are concerned that World War I has taken their food and men and peasants who have no places to live since serfdom was banned. E. Conclusion The fact that radical groups had no influence on the Russian Revolution is false.

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

    Policies were pursued which reflected growth of national liberation movements and the fear of further Polish revolts. Anti Semitism increased with restrictions on where Jews could live and what jobs they could hold. Pogroms (killings of the Jews) became more frequent with the government actively encouraging murderers.

  1. 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.

  2. The Backdrop for the Emancipation of the Serfs under Alexander II, 1861

    in the countryside (containing 96% of the population); a task previously subsidized by landlords. The power of these Zemstvos extended to vitalities such as the maintenance of roads, schools, healthcare, welfare and streetlamps, contributing to the goal of a more developed Russia through an uncorrupt and elected local leadership.

  1. The policies of Alexander II and III of Russia

    10 f. Land Captains introduced, counteracted powers of zemstovs, could overrule decisions11 Part C: Evaluation of Sources Source 1: Excerpt of 'Manifesto Unshakeable Autocracy' of12 Alexander III, April 29,1881 'But in the midst of Our great grief, the voice of God orders Us courageously to undertake, in deference to Divine

  2. 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.

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

    It was one of the few places, where a person could freely express his opinion. For that reason, the courts helped the regime by making it more aware of the popular feeling of the people. However it should be noted that cases that had something to do with politics were

  2. In what ways, and with what success, did Alex II attempt to modernise Russia ...

    It stated that Serfs could freely marry who they pleased and they could also own their own business. This policy provided immediate success due to more freedom being granted, however, in the long run, the Serf population were not familiar with possessing so much power.

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