1.1.06 Nature of Gov- Reform


Tsars and reform

  • All russian rlers used reforms as a means of controlling behaviour of Population
  • Tsars used political, economic and social policies to appease oppsition
  • A2 Emancipation of Serfs act 1861, hoped less peasant riots
  • N2 allowed the Dumas in 1905 to quieten the Liberals clamouring for con. reform
  • PG also passed liberal reforms such as dismantling of the Okhrana in order to create more stability
  • This approach did not work, russian people demanded more freedoms, however many they were given
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Communists and reform

  • Used to deal with opponents in more direct way, contrasting to that of Tsars
  • War Communism, Collectivisation, + FYPs crushed opposition and were successfully implemented using the repressive measures


Tsarist reforms ofter led to more opposition and were less direct, whereas Communist reforms were more direct and crushed opposition effectively

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Economic + agricultural reform

  • Alexander II railway construction as was Witte as Finance minister under A3, during his 'Great Spurt'.
  • Nationalisation through Supreme Economic Council (Gosplan), War communism, NEP and FYPs, all exerted and centralised control over the lies of the people.

Agricultural reform:

  • Emancipation of Serfs 1861 A2, Stolypin's (PM 1906-1911) 'Wager on the Strong' under N2's rule (expansion of Peasant Land Bank of 1883) allowing peasants to leave the Mir, and by 1914 around 2 million peasants had left the commune (but actually made things worse as then supplying the urban populations with food became a larger problem)
  • A3 introduced the Land Captains in 1889 to monitor peasant activity
  • 1917 Decree on Land by Lenin abolished private ownership of Land
  • Stalin's Collectivisation and NK's Virgin Lands Campaign 1953
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Political + social reform

Social reforms:

  • Most attempted to expand educational provision at all levels
  • Less concern over health provision and housing
  • NK did manage to double the housing stock

Political reforms:

  • Dumas 1864+ Zemstvas 1870, Emancipation 1861, national Duma 1905, failed constituent assembly

Impact of reform

Peasants generally abused or neglected, and were worst hit by famines eg 1891 famine, 1932-33 Holodomor Ukraine famine 6 million deaths, and all workers were exploited by Russian leaders, even the communists, despite the fact that in theory workers were highly valued by the Bolsheviks. There was a shortening of hours from 1917 and introduction of a workers insurance + bonus systems but overall still treated v badly.

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