Why did Alexander II emancipate the Serfs?

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  • Why did Alexander II emancipate the Serfs?
    • Loss of the Crimean War / to improve the army
      • Under-resourced: 2 soldiers for every 1 gun
      • 2/3 soldiers died before getting to the front line
      • Used Serf conscripts who had no training or experience in fighting and warfare
    • To modernize Russia
      • 22000 km of railway was built between 1861 and 1878, because the Serfs were allowed to move from the land in order to gain work elsewhere.  This helped communication and industrialisation in Russia
      • There were considerable increases in the production of oil and coal because of investment from the Nobel Brothers
    • As a result of growing internal pressure
      • There had been 350 separate serf uprisings between 1845-1855, and wanted to reform now and not risk anything more serious
      • Pressure from resources as the population doubled in the first half of the 19th century
    • To modernize agriculture
      • Grain prices falling in Europe, which lead to Russia's national debt to get up to 54 million roubles
      • 82% of population serfs living in poverty


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