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

Why did Alexander II introduce a program of reforms at the beginning of the 1860s? To what extent were his reforms successful?

Extracts from this document...


Shanti Naidoo-Pagé Grade 11. History: Essay 1. Why did Alexander II introduce a program of reforms at the beginning of the 1860s? To what extent were his reforms successful? Alexander II was pronounced King during a major crisis in Russia: the Crimean War -where his father, Nicolas I of Russia, died. His ascension to the throne in 1855 led to him playing a key role in the formation of a new Russia. Having been educated from an early age, he was now in a position to implement his vision of rebuilding Russia’s honour and power as it once was. Through a series of reformation programs, he intended to amend Russia’s modernisation and redirect his empire’s development trajectory. One can follow the influencing factors of these sudden decisions, the manner in which they were enforced to finally conclude on the effects they incurred. Foremost, it is essential to know that the main cause of Alexander’s decision to enforce reforms was decided after the Crimean War. He realized that Russia was not a major military power and that Russia’s serfdom economy could not compete with western coutries’ industrialization (Like France or England). ...read more.


They also divided the land accordingly to the ones in greatest need. The Zemstvos were also emplaced; they were local councils with power to provide schools, medical service and routes to the main cities. These members were first elected in 1864 and only the wealthy could elect them. On another side, education was becoming more present in lives of local peasants. Indeed, schools were now available for everyone. Illiteracy decreased and more people (especially nobles that sold their lands to move to the city to work) studied in superior schooling. Colleges and Universities sprang up and Alexander encouraged them to read texts from all over the world (i.e. Marx, Tolstoy?), thus creating this new generation newly aware of what was happening in the world. In link with education were the military reforms that were emplaced. They arose from the building developments of technology, the emancipation of the serfs and the quality of education of soldiers. Indeed, Russian armies reduced in size, going from more than a million and three hundred thousand men to under seven hundred and fifty thousand men. During 1862 to 1864, fifteen military education districts were spread out. ...read more.


Alexander?s goal to get back the honour and respect of Russia succeeded but not like he wanted, not with imperialism, not with him on top of everyone. The visionary Alexander II was confronted with a decaying Russian social fabric, and stagnation of the economy when he acceded to the throne. The fatal commitment of a leader, blinded by prideful ambition for an ideal; a Russia honoured and inevitably awed upon. Industrialism, commerce, great military power and overall recognition around the world were the markings of his leadership. But other unexpected consequences happened. Reforms stimulated liberal reformers with a thirst for political change. Alexander desired knowledge for his people at their own expense, and in this displayed the characteristic moral flaw of such types. Flaw in the approach of nation building, which led Alexander II to the logical path of modernization, yet implemented in a way which could only have unstable and unequal outcomes. Was this reckless planning or a necessary phase in Russia?s history? In any case, the repercussions were felt through the Russian revolution and certainly are directly linked with the following Global conflict ? links which one could expose. ________________ [1] Announcement to Nobles from Moscow after he signed the peace treaty for the Crimean war in 1856. ...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. To what extent did Alexander II's reforms cause more problems than they solved?

    Also, the peasants had to pay for the transferred land via redemption payments to the state for 49 years, but overall they lost 20-40% as 'cut-offs'. The state gave lords 80% of value lost land in interest bearing bonds, and collected repayment from the Mir.

  2. The policies of Alexander II and III of Russia

    The radical changes made modelled the system on the English format, juries were introduced, as were Justices of the Peace, trails were opened to the public,25 in effect, creating a modern Russian legal system26. (Apendices2) Several major reforms were made to the education system by Alexander II.

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

    In 1882, Kakhanov Commission set up to consider reform of administration at Volost and village levels (abolished in 1885). He also proposed to reconvene a zemsky sobor, and Assembly of the Land. Zemstva continued to carry out improvement in the village.

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

    3. There had been some relaxation during Alexander II?s liberal phase, allowed Jews who paid over 1000 rubles in tax each year, university graduates, and skilled craftsmen to settle anywhere. Reversed after 1863 Polish revolt. 4. Some blamed Jews for the revolt and anti-Semitic literature appeared (some was even government financed).

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

    Even though many times they were oversimplified generalizations, there was still some truth in it. Alexander II eventually decided to abolish serfdom. There were many reasons that persuaded Alexander to do so. First there were simply moral reasons. Since the times of Nicholas I, who described serfdom as ?an evil

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Schlaim: "In this war, as in most wars, the stronger side ultimately prevailed." In addition, although the Israelis had few heavy weapons and no artillery or planes, they received a large shipment of weapons from Czechoslovakia at a crucial stage in the war.

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

    They were now tied to their lifelong debt to the government and landlord which is no real change from before; it only had the appearance of liberty. It did, however, mean that the peasant population were able to move around thus Russia being able to become a more industrial nation.

  2. To what extent can Alexander II be called a liberator

    In addition to, subsistence farming made peasants more vulnerably to famine. In my opinion this reform was not successful, how can we call Alexander II a liberator? If the legislation did not liberate peasants from excessive external obligations and neither he fixed up all their restrictions as social or economic.

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