Alexander II

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Military reforms 1874-75

Why? The emancipation had stopped conscription. The Crimean War highlighted inefficiencies. 

What did this achieve? Army service could not be a criminal punishment. Conscription became compulsary for all. Modern weapons and railways were introduced.

What were the limitations? The Army would be smaller and ex-Serfs did not recieve any training.

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Local Government reforms 1864-70

Why? There needed to be another group in charge of local affairs after emancipation.

What did this achieve? A system of elected councils was introduced. Land owners had new roles. Better relief was administered in times of hardship. There was a chance for locals to debate and criticise.

What were the limitations? Elections were made so that nobles dominated. They had no control over taxes. They were only given control of things which the government thought were unimportant.

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Judicial reforms 1864

Why? Laws needed changing concerning property after Emancipation. Landowners needed protection for the newly free population.

What did this achieve? Equality of law. Defence councils could be hired for accused people. Judges were better trained and paid to avoid bribery. They were independant of political control. Juries were introduced. There was freedom of press with the law.

What were the limitations? Jury system could undermine government control. Trial by jury was not extended throughout the whole of Russia. Status still mattered. Military courts were excluded from these changes. 

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Education reforms 1863-64

Why? Russia needed to keep up with the West. Emancipation increased the need for literacy and numeracy skills so the peasants could handle their own affairs.

What did this achieve? Universities could govern themselves (1863). Education to secondary school was extended throughout Russia. Schools were open to all despite class and gender.

What were the limitations? Primary curriculum was limited. Secondary schools remained dominated by the upper classes. Increased university attendance meant more radical and independant thinkers.

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Censorship reforms 1858-70

What did they achieve? Foreign publications could be sold in Russia. From 1865, newspapers could comment on government policies.

What were the limitations? There was still military and church censorship. Critical writing caused a clampdown after 1870.

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Economic reforms 1860-78

Why? Alexander wanted military prestige that could only be gained from boosting the conomy so that funds were available for investment (money was borrowed from the French).

What did this achieve? The treasury was reformed. Tax farming was abolished. There were subsidies to improve and increase the railways.

What were the limitations? The economy remained weak. 66% of government revenue came from taxation.

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Church reforms 1867-69

What did this achieve? Talented and educated priests could be promoted. Restrictions of minorities were lessened.

What were the limitations? There was no concern for clerical poverty. Restrictions were reintroduced for Poles and Jews.

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