The Reign of Alexander II

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  • Born: 17th April 1818, Moscow
  • Was educated and military experienced
  • Became Tzar in 1855
  • At the time Russia was in Crimean War which ended in 1856 due to Treaty of Paris
  • War made Alex realise Russia was no longer great military power
  • Serfdom economy couldn't compete with industrialised nations e.g. Britain
  • Alex considered the end of Serfdom
  • Nobility objected but Alex said: 'Better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait for time it abolishes itself from below'
  • 1861: Emancipation Manifesto proposed 17 legislation acts to free serfs
    • This allowed serfs to buy land
  • 49 Annual sums (Redemption Payments) were paid by peasants
  • 1864: Districts set up Zemstvo which were local councils with the power to provide roads, schools and medical services
  • The right to elect members was restricted to the wealthy
  • Alex introduced: improved municipal government (1870) and Universal military training (1874)
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  • Expansion of industry and railways was encouraged
  • Reforms didn't satify liberals or radicalists
  • Agriculteral reforms were disappointing as took peasants over 20 years to gain land
  • 1876: Reformers formed 'Land and Liberty'
  • 14th April 1879: Alexander Soloview tried to kill Alexander II but failed
  • Six military governor generals were hired imposing censorship system
  • Radical books were banned and reformers were arrested
  • October 1879: Land and Liberty split into People's Will and other fraction
  • The People's Will would call off terror campaign if granted constitution for free elections and end to censorship
  • 25th February 1880: Alex considers it and released political prisoners
  • Loris Melikof (Minister of the Interior) had to devise the constitution
  • Russia Police established special section: Okhrana
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  • January 1881: Melikof's ideas were shown
  • Expansion of powers of Zemstvo allowing it to send delegates to national assembly
  • It would also have power to initiate legislation: Alexander worried this would be too much power
  • The People's Will became angry
  • 1st March 1881: Alexander was assassinated by the People's Will
  • They threw a bomb at him which he was travelling to the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg
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Vanessa Parkes


This is good. do you have any other tsarist russia notes??

also do you have possible questions for mondays exam?

Van Der Lubbe


Nice one!

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