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Section 1: Reform and Reaction 1855-1881
Chapter 1: Alexander II
Motives for reform
Impact of the Crimean war
Suffered two disastrous defeats against Britain, France, Turkey and Piedmont-Sardinia at Balaclava in Oct
1854 and at Inkerman in Nov 1854
Sebastopol (great naval base) had fallen to enemies = shock and…

Page 2

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Removal of serfdom was essential to introduce modern methods into agriculture
o no incentive for peasants to develop land when landowners could just take profits
o Noticed that in areas where peasants were able to engage in paid work or, as in Siberia, where free
peasant labour was the norm,…

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· Nicholas I considered serfdom to be `evil palpable to all' ­ convened 10 secret committees to discuss the
matter but there had been little change
· Law of Obligated peasants 1842 ­ allowed landlords to negotiate fixed agreements on land-holding and
obligations in a contract but also freed the…

Page 4

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Some peasants fell into debt and had to sell out to the kulaks who
became a new source of resentment whilst the landless became
labourers and were forced to seek work for wage
Personal serfs received no land and became dependent on wages too
Industrial development failed to keep pace…

Page 5

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· Reforms allowed talented, educated, charismatic priests to get promotions to key positions in the church
o Little was done to address the initial concern about clerical poverty or the suitability of rural priests
to do their job
· Alexander II relaxes restrictions on Catholicism, the language and overt…

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Less expensive Remained a peasant conscript army and the problems of
supply and leadership were not fully resolved
Literacy within the army improved ­ mass army education
campaigns 1870s-90s. although substantial amount could
not benefit from the training on offer
War with Turkey took far longer to win that expected,…

Page 7

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The cotton industry expanded and mining grew in the Remained comparatively weak
Donets coalfield
Some improvements in agriculture Public could not scrutinise the budget and there was no
reform of the tax system
66% of Gov. revenue went on the repayment of debts
and the rouble was subject to huge…

Page 8

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o Relaxed censorship
o Removal of salt tax
o Abolition of the Third Section ­ replaced by Okhrana
Produced Loris-Melikov Constitution ­ proposed that elected representatives from the nobility, zemstvas
and dumas and should discuss some state decrees
o Al III signed the report on March 13th 1881 and called…

Page 9

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1862 students published `Young Russia' in which they argued revolution was the only way forward
Class struggles ­ between proletariat and bourgeoisie
Communist society ultimately ­ everyone is equal
Largely irrelevant to largely rural state with little proletariat and bourgeoisie
Limited number and underground
The Populists
Aimed to…

Page 10

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Section 2: Political Reaction: social and economic change 1881-1904
Chapter 3: The Russian Economy 1881-1904
Alexander II
In response to defeat in Crimea
o Development of railway building programme and a limited spread of factories
By 1881 Russia's economic development was still far behind that off the west
There was…


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