How and why did Alexander II become more reactionary before 1881?

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  • Created on: 28-09-17 13:30
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  • How and why did Alexander II become more reactionary before 1881?
    • Education
      • Tolstoy was employed to control education to stop spread of Western ideals. Orthodox.
      • Zemstva's power reduced. Church pushed to a prominent position
      • 1871 - only gymnazii (traditional) could go to university. Focus on Maths and Latin, Rather than Science, Lit and History
      • 1873, Minister of Internal Affairs banned certain topics from discussion, no extra cirricular
    • The reason for reaction
      • 1866, assassination attempted by noble Russian student.
      • Nobles and Church insisted reforms had gone too far
        • Russia needed to be purged of foreign influences
    • The police and the law courts
      • Shuvalov worked to step up activity of third section, to root out subversion.
        • Could be called back from Switzerland.
      • Pahlen made example of those accused of political agitation
      • Show trial of 193 backfired, as juries were sympathetic so 153 were acquitted, others had light punishments
        • 1878 - political crimes moved to military
          • Cases could be heard in secret
    • Attitude to ethnic minorities
      • Rebellion in Poland in 1863 had to be clamped down by military in 1864
      • 1866 Unofficial policy of Russification to Poles, Finns and Jews - removal of culture for less rebellion
      • Led to growth of discontented intellectuals
    • Attempts to reduce revolutionary action
      • 1877-8 Russian-Turkish War. 1879-80 Famine. More attempts on Tsar's life
      • Tsar hired General Loris Melikov to stop activity
        • Suggested release of political prisoners, lowering censorship, removing third section
        • 1880 Commission for extension of government
          • zemstva, town government and nobility would have a say in state decrees
          • Assassinated same day as signed, was prepared to accept


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