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

How far were the domestic reforms of Alexander II mere window dressing by a Tsar whose main intention was to prevent more radical change?

Extracts from this document...


How far were the domestic reforms of Alexander II mere "window dressing by a Tsar whose main intention was to prevent more radical change"? By Will Spratley During Alexander II's time on the throne he introduced many reforms that changed the face of Russia. Some historians argue that the Tsar wanted to prevent more drastic change and protect the autocracy, for example the main reform that the Tsar is remembered for, is the emancipation of the surfs. This can be seen as the single greatest liberating measure in the history of Europe and it also gave motivation to further reforms. However Alexander made a speech saying; "It is better to abolish serfdom from above then to wait for the time when it begins to abolish itself from below" this speech starts to question ...read more.


However the peasants were then forced to the make redemption payments to the Obshchina (community/village) over 49 years. In fact the peasants ended up with around 1/5 less land than before, due to the fact that they now had to pay for it. This showed that the Tsar did not create the reform solely for his people; he created it to help his economy and to prevent any radical change that may have been caused by an economic ruin. However some people argue that this was not his main intension in all reforms. For example they feel that the Military reforms were beneficial for the country, as it would help Russia defend itself. The Tsar divided the empire into different military districts each able to make its mobilisation more efficient. ...read more.


However I feel that it is unfair to completely dismiss emancipation as some see it not as a reform that focused the Tsar's sole desire to prevent any drastic change but as a reform that was designed to give freedom to a class that had before been denied any form of independence, to me this shows that not all reforms were designed by the Tsar to prevent drastic change. In conclusion I feel that Alexander II's main intension in all of the reforms was to prevent more drastic change in Russia, as I feel that each of the reforms that he created have and underlying feeling that each was designed so that the autocracy benefited from it in some way, or so that there wouldn't be anything that could lead to any radical change like an revolution of some kind. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 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 AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. To What Extent Were the Reforms of Alexander II Intended to Preserve and Strengthen ...

    It was when this freedom was granted that the serfs could begin to pay back their landowners for their land. This was made especially hard, as the burden of taxation on serfs wasn't eased which meant that many redemption payments from serfs could not be made.

  2. How well does Alexander II deserve his reputation as The Tsar Liberator(TM)?

    The fact that less than six years elapsed between his accession to the throne and his reforms has made it easy for some historians to paint a glowing picture of the tragic hero struggling against adversary to bring relief to his people; yet the historian Stephenson testifies Alexander's sympathy for

  1. How far did the reforms during the period 1826-39 contribute to the eventual fall ...

    As Cunningham notes, 'years later a British general watched with his own eyes as the Sultan supervised workmen striking the Janissary bonnets off gravestones in a Pera burial-ground'.xviii Goodwin substantiating Cunningham's argument states: 'Janissary headstones, topped by the cocky turban of the order, were knocked over'.xix Claims of acts of

  2. Does Alexander II deserve his historical reputation?

    The introduction of the zemstvo was only one of the reforms put forward by Alexander II. After 'freeing' the serfs and introducing a new local government, Alexander II proceeded to reform the education, military and legal systems. Before the reforms, the judicial system was chaotic.

  1. Florence Nightingale is well known for her radical innovations in nursing care.

    She was able to administer her hospital on business principles. Miss Nightingale's first achievement was her book-keeping and bringing the accounts to order, her pages of notes revealed her organizational mind absorbing every administrative detail [3]. This was important for the recognition of the importance of figures and the collection

  2. Rasputin had such an influence over the Tsar and Tsaritsa because the Tsarevich suffered ...

    B1 was taken from text books, therefore it is reliable information given. B2 is a photograph of leading Bolshevik, therefore it is reliable and can't be changed. B3 is information about Mensheviks and Bolsheviks taken from a textbook. This is factual information only, therefore is reliable.

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