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The policies of Alexander II and III of Russia

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Introduction

Historical Investigation Imperial Russia (1855-1894) Compare and contrast the policies of Alexander II (1855-81) and Alexander III (1881-94) Of Russia. Candidate Number: Total Word Count: Painting by Ivan Kramskoi, c. 1886 Konstantin Makovsky., c. 1881 Alexander III (1845-1894) Alexander II (1818-81) Table of Contents Part A - Plan of Investigation...............................................................3 Part B - Summary of Evidence............................................................. Part C - Evaluation of Sources............................................................ Part D - Analysis ........................................................................ Part E - Conclusion........................................................................ Part F - Bibliography........................................................................ Appendix.................................................................................... Historical Investigation Part A: Plan of Investigation: What are the differences and similarities between the policies of Alexander II (1855-81) and Alexander III (1881-94) of Russia? It can be said that the policies of Alexander II and Alexander III were very different, but together, they created the atmosphere in which Nicholas II struggled to survive and eventually be overthrown during the Russian Revolution of 1917, signalling the end of Tsarism. The following will investigated: 1. Economic Policies Alexander II and III 2. Consequences Alexander II and III 3. Political Policies Alexander II and III 4. Consequences Alexander II and III 5. Social Policies Alexander II and III 6. Consequences Alexander II and III This investigation will use a variety of academic journals and textbooks to outline the differences and similarities between these two rulers of Russia Part B: Summary of Evidence Part B: Summary of Evidence 1. Economic Policies and Consequences a. Emancipation of serfs (Alexander II) created mass movement to cites: huge workforce for industrialisation 1, also allowed revolution economic policy(Apendices1). Consequence is steady increase industrial growth. ...read more.

Middle

There can be little doubt that that the aims of Alexander II and Alexander III's economic policies closely resemble each other, although their methods may appear very different. The emancipation of serfs by Alexander II appeared to be extremely liberal; however it allowed for industrialisation to begin. The sudden lack of employment drove many millions of former serfs into the cities seeking work14, creating a vast working class who would become the backbone of Alexander II's economic policy of industrialisation.15 The consequence of the ensuing utilisation of the vast urban peasantry was a gradual but steady increase in industrial growth16. The economic policy of Alexander III closely resembles his father's, his goal is to industrialise Russia, however his methods are somewhat different. Sergei Witte was appointed Finance Minister by Alexander III in 189317 and his policy was to become the driving force of industrialisation in Russia through into the twentieth century.18 The aim of the 'Witte System', as it became known, was to use railways to stimulate exploitation of Russia's colossal natural resources reserves19 thereby encouraging foreign investment, and intensification of heavy industry.20 Focus on railway construction also encouraged foreign investment in heavy industry, in particular coal mining and locomotives manufacture.21The intensification of heavy industry provided an economic basis for the expansion of light industry, in particular agriculture.22 Overall, the 'Witte System' was very effective, at one point, industrial growth was eight percent, the largest of any nation at that time.23 In general, the economic policies of Alexander II and Alexander III were very similar; they shared the desire for industrialisation. ...read more.

Conclusion

in 188040. Secondary education also was reformed, the classist rules of his predecessors were removed, allowing anyone who could pass the entrance exam into the school,41 teaching methods were modernised42. The educational policy of Alexander III however, is viewed by many historians as reactionary43. The schools would return to the Classical system, the classist system of Nicolas I. The autonomy of universities was also re-established By Alexander II. Philosophy and law lectures started again, Rector became elected figurer, overall a huge increase in the freedom of the intellectual class44. Censorship was also relaxed, publishing was encouraged45. Alexander III's higher education polices were very similar to his secondary education policies, he sought to reverse the effects of his father's reforms. He stripped universities of all autonomy. Student organisations shut down, the law and philosophy faculties were severely censored46. As a result, students and teachers became angry about harsh, draconian measures. The evidence is overwhelming that the policies of Alexander II and Alexander III differed greatly on education and censorship. Part E: Conclusion The policies of Alexander II and Alexander III of Russia were very different, especially socially; however there were some major similarities in the gaols of their policies, especially economically. They both aimed to strengthen the autocratic rule, each through totally opposed methods, one through apparently liberal reforms, the other through brutal suppression of newly acquired freedoms. Overall, this investigation has made it clear that the policies of Alexander II and Alexander III were very similar in their aims, although the method of execution of these aims varies these two Tsars. ...read more.

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