The reign of Alexander III 1881-1894

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  • The reign of Alexander III 1881-1894
    • What problems did he face?
      • Weak economy
        • Industry and agriculture backward
      • Weak and underdeveloped army
      • National morale low
        • Humiliating Crimean War
      • Difficult empire to rule over
        • Different regions/ languages
      • He lacked political skills; knowledge; experience
      • People want more reforms
        • Laws; rights; economy; democracy; education
      • Dangerous ideas entering Russia
        • E.g. Marxism; Socialism; Anarchism
      • Opposition groups growing
    • The Reaction
      • Sacked reforming ministers
      • The Statute of State Security law was passed
        • Political opponents arrested and trialled without a jury
        • Offenders exiled to Siberia
      • Foreign books and newspapers censored to keep out foreign ideas
      • Press freedoms restricted
      • Relied on Pobedonostev whose slogan was Autocracy, Orthadoxy, Nationality
        • 1889: Land Captains introduced to help rule Russia - placed restrictions on people's political involvement
        • Rights and privileges of Russian Orthadox Church placed above others
      • Primary schools came under church control
      • Russification - in 1885 Russia became the official language
      • Anti-Semitism common in Russia
        • Jews lost their rights
        • Pogroms carried out against Jewish communities which led to radical group the 'Bund'
      • Uni fees raised
      • Okhrana became powerful and feared
    • Political and social change
      • Nikolai Bunge Finance Minister 1881-87
        • Reduced tax burden on peasants
        • Formed Peasant Land Bank but it was too small to be effective
      • Ivan Vyshnegradsky Finance Minister 1831-95
        • Offered financial incentives for peasants to migrate to SIberia which took pressure off the demand for land
        • Financed economic development from foreign loans
        • Protected domestic industries with high tariffs
        • 1891: famine killed 2million


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