How well did Alexander III deal with the problems that he faced?

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How well did Alexander III deal with the problems that he faced?
Unlike his father, Alexander III did manage to survive his reign relatively unscathed, which
indicates that he dealt with his problems well, at least in the short term. Alexander III
inherited a country fraught with economic difficulties, violent extremists and social tensions.
His priority was to maintain his autocratic power and restore the power and influence of the
nobility ­ his most trusted support base. Although he achieved some success, especially
with his economic reform, he failed to deal with the key issues facing the Russian people,
causing long term tensions that would result in revolution.
One of Alexander's main problems he faced was the threat of the violent extremists who
called themselves "The People's Will". These were the people who killed his father, so he felt
that in order to crush the rebellion amongst them the only way to deal with them was to
find the leaders and hang them. Another thing he did to try and control their potentially
violent followers, was to introduce a statute of state and security in 1881. This statute
increased the force of the Okhrana to try and curb violent rebels; gave the government
control of the courts, which meant that they acted outside of the legal system and had no
need for a jury; any judges and magistrates that were sympathetic to reform were removed
and replace with more conservative ones; and thousands were exiled to Siberia. Although
these policies appeared to have the rebels under control, all it did was repress them so
much that they were forced to go underground and hold secret meetings because at this
point they had no other means of expressing which just led to pent-up anger creating a
boiling point that would eventually be reached and cause a revolution. On the other hand, it
did solve the problem of the revolutionaries temporarily as there wasn't an assassination
attempt again until 1887, which Alexander survived. Overall, his policy of harsh reaction had
limited success as it did not win the hearts and minds of the Russian people and seemed
only to drive the opposition underground.
Another problem Alexander faced was the moderate liberal reformers. These were people
whose appetites were whetted under Alexander II and wanted greater power and
responsibility for the Zemstva. In order to try and keep the liberal reformers under control,
Alexander III ordered censorship of the press to be tightened in 1882. This meant that any
newspapers displaying liberal ideas were shut down and foreign books and newspapers were
also censored. Primary and secondary education was limited with all primary schools being
put under the control of the church, and the Minister of Education, I.V Delyanov, introduced
a statute which increased university fees, restricting the number of students able to go
which led to 79% of the population becoming illiterate. This affected Russia's ability to
industrialise because there was no middle class to get it started. Alexander also replaced
liberal ministers with conservative ones and introduced land captains. Land captains had
more power than the Zemstva because they were appointed by the Tsar's ministers as
opposed to the people. This stopped people having a controlled place to discuss problems,

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These repressive policies did not end the moderate liberal
reformers, in fact it made them more determined and continued to work underground.
Additionally Alexander faced the problem of disloyal nations that were part of Russia's
Empire, and so began the task of `Russification'. These minority groups, such as Poland and
the Baltic lands, which were disloyal to the tsar and wanted independence from Russia were
treated with contempt and were made to go through the process of Russification.…read more

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Alexander III took over from his father in 1881 but they were still far behind the other
Great Powers.
Overall, Alexander III did not deal with his problems efficiently because although they were
resolved in the short term, the solutions would not be as effective a few years down the
line as they were at the beginning.…read more



very good resource with indepth info on an obscure topic. however, you tend to repeat yourself quite a lot.

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