• 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 succeed reforming Russian life and institutions?

    Although the serfs were given freedom from noble interference and control of their lives the Mir, or peasant commune, tended to replace the gentry in terms of controlling the lives of peasants. Furthermore, the serfs were freed from feudal dues and payments, however these were replaced by higher tax burdens,

  2. To what extent did Skanderbegs diplomatic and military skills prevent the Ottomans from taking ...

    Finally, Skanderbeg was able to receive the support from many other Christian Armies when Skanderbeg converted back to Christianity from Islam.7 The fact that Skanderbeg converted back to Christianity after having followed the Muslim religion while he was fighting for the Ottomans demonstrates Skanderbeg's diplomatic abilities since he then received

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

    that needed to be addressed?, intellectuals believed that this ?slavery? bondage was morally wrong and inhumane and not to the standards of modern society. Serfdom also slowed the economy of the whole country as it was preventing the economic development by restricting free labor and entrepreneurship.

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

    Widespread emergence of national liberation movements in the 1860s. The government hoped it could end them by taking a firm line. 3. Succeeded among young nations but among the Finns, Poles, Lithuanians, Armenians, and Muslims on the Middle Volga this only strengthened revolutionary independence movements. 4. Non-Russians played a disproportionate part in revolutionary activity.

  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. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Alexander IIs reforms.

    Alexander made a few political reforms in his time of power, most of which were successful. For example his 1884 introduction to the judicial system which was a ?rule of law?, giving many things including equality before the law, trial by jury and public reporting of trials.

  1. The advantages the USA had in the beginning meant that they were always going ...

    also had hundreds of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, more rockets and was investing more money on the military than the USSR did (20 billion more, as Russia invested 25% of their GDP which is 127.5 billion compared to the 10% that USA invested, which is 145 billion)*2.

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

    There was an over loss of land and because of that they had to rent additional lands at higher prices. The volosts did not have full citizen rights. The Mir tended to replace the nobility, controlling the independence and lives of the peasants.

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