Alex II, Emancipation and Reforms



Alexander II -

Born 29th April 1818

Ruled from 2 March 1855 - 13 March 1881

The Emancipation Edict - 1861

  • Granted freedom to serfs with an allotment of land

  • Landowners received government compensation

  • Free serfs had to pay “redemption payments”

  • Had to remain in their peasant communes - mir

  • Volosts supervised the mirs

Results of the Emancipation Edict

  • Kulaks - well-off serfs

  • Could buy extra land - to produce surplus grain for export

  • Others sold up their allocation or obtained a passport to leave

  • Many peasants felt cheated - land allocations rarely fair

  • Loss of former benefits, restrictions on travel, burden of redemption payments

  • Landowners hated their loss of influence

Military Reforms

  • Conscription made compulsory for all nobles from age of 21 - length of service reduced to 15 years from 25 years

  • Punishments were


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