Alexander II Reforms

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  • Created on: 04-12-18 10:38

Alexander II Reforms

1861 Abolition of Serfdom- 


The clear need for change was the Crimean War. Russia couldnt industrialise while it had a backward social structure


Serfs were freed from their landlords and became free peasants. Peasants took on 49 years of debt and most lost land. Nobles became less powerful. More refroms were needed. 

Assessment Success?

Created long term problems. Living conditions of many Russians got worse as they were left with extremely high debt and less land than before. However, it was the first step towards modernising Russia and it did create a class of landless peasants who could move to the newly emerging factories in the cities. 

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1862 Financial Reform

Reasons for reform-

Boost the economy and promote industrialisation

Impact of reform-

Tsar had to explain how he spent his money. Forced him to spend more on improving Russias industry, agriculture etc. 

Assessment Success?

Pro- Public budget encouraged investment. 

More willing to invest into Russia. 

Con- Failed to stabalise currency

1/3 of expenses were consumed in debt

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1863 Education and censorship reforms

Reasons for reform

Advance the country. Inforce a modern economy spreading ideas to the general public

Impacts of the reform

Increase in the number of schools. Universities were more independant. Primary Schools went from 8k to 38k in over 20 years. Number of children increased to over 1,000,000.

Assessment Success?

Increased radical figures

After 1886 reassurted government control

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1864 Local Government Reform

Reasons for Reform-

Government system was shambles

Impacts of Reform

There was a system of elected local councils. Elected bodies. Zemstva were to be elected bodies. Votes would be arranged in a way that the Nobility would dominate. Zemstva's duty was to provide aid at difficult times

Assessment Success?

Powers of the Zemstva remained limited.

Tsar could overule any decisions.

Nobles still had main control.

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Judicial Reform and treatment of minorities

Reasons for reform-

As a result of abolition

Impacts of reform-

Set up commitee and durists to investigate the legal reform Trial by Jury was introduced. Full publicities in tribunerals.

Assessment Success?

Quite successful as it ended the ridiculas situation of where trails could last up to 2-3 decades.

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1862-74 Military Reform

Reasons for Reform-

Loss of Crimean War (1853-56) despite having the largest army in the world and spending 40% of Government money on the military.

Impacts of Reform-

Constription extended to all members of society (in theory). 2-3 million soldiers were educated in the 1870's-80's and literacy increased.

Assessment Success?

Privilege still existed in the army and nobles bought their way out of conscription. Although Russia beat Turkey in 1877 it took longer than expected. 

The peasants generally approved of the reforms and the cost of the army was reduced. 

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