Alexander III bequeathed Russia a revolution. How far do you agree with this statement?

Authors Avatar by anyacagnettagooglemailcom (student)

Alexander III bequeathed Russia a revolution. How far do you agree with this statement?

Alexander III bequeathed Russia a revolution but there are a few factors that could suggest revolution was inevitable. It could be said that the rumbling of revolution in Russia had been gathering strength underneath the calm surface for some time; and Alexander III's reactionary repressions were all that was needed to push them over the edge.

It was through Alexander III's desire to maintain dominant Autocratic rule that he crushed the shoots of liberalism that had just started to grow. Unlike Alexander III, his father was known as the 'Tsar Liberator' and had brought in many reforms which changed the overall balance of society in the Empire. However, through the assassination of his father, Alexander III abhorred the thought of losing complete control and supremacy. Any reforms to Russia would almost definitely lead to the decline in power of Russia's autocracy. Any reduction in the power of Russia's autocracy might also impact the power of Russia's monarchy. One of his main priorities was to make sure that Autocracy never weakened. He made it very clear he did not approve of his father's reforms and as soon as he became Tsar he went on a process of reversing and undoing the progress set in motion by his father.

Alexander III made several changes to the government structure and his ministers; and this pushed Russia closer to revolution. Firstly, he appointed Konstantin Pobedonostsev as his chief minister and Procurator, who was a man of great power and influence. Pobedonostsev hated anything which went against Russia's Autocratic government. Only five weeks after the assassination of Alexander II, Alexander III's Manifesto was issued. The document summed up Alexander's counter reform policies. This was an extreme act of repression and contrasted greatly with the reforms of Alexander II.  The new government was immediately determined to destroy the People's Will organisation and stamp out any other government opponents. One way in which dominating, repressive control was brought in was through the establishment of The Statute of State Security. This was issued by the new Interior Minister in August 1881. This statute included the return of government controlled courts and the establishment of the Okhrana (the secret police). They had extensive powers of: surveillance, arrest, and the ability to repress and restrict. Increasingly, the people felt the effect of censorship with many newspapers; journals; and foreign literature being 'muzzled'. The Intelligentsia (who were well educated and wanted modernisation) were becoming a worry to Alexander III and the government; because they had the ability to influence the proletariat (working class) in cities. The statute was extremely important to stop the Intelligentsia from spreading anti-Autocratic views; although this repression only had the effect of pushing them ‘under-ground’.

Join now!

Alexander III further increased political tensions when he tried to unify Russia through Russification, thereby pushing Russia further toward revolution. Russification was not new to Russia but it was the intensity of Alexander's policy that made it different after 1881. This was a series of laws passed with the intention of bringing cohesion to all the different people groups, thereby eradicating signs of non-Russian nationality. Alexander III wanted to rid Russia of western ideas that he believed had weakened the nation. This caused great public outrage as entire people groups had laws passed against them and their way of life. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay