Alexander II Overview
Began in the middle of the Crimean War, was known as the Tsar liberator for his social reforms, assassinated by a terrorist group which led to increased repression by Alexander’s son and successor Alexander III.
The Crimean War 1853-1856
-Reign started with the Crimean War, which were the Russian vs British, French and Turkish forces. Russia had initial successes.
-However it revealed Russia’s domestic incompetence with over 500,000 deaths due to lack of modern weaponry, supplies and poorly trained armed forces.
-After the Crimean War, Alexander stimulated reforms with the help of Dmitrii Milyutin which reduced service to 15years, modernised training and banned conscription which allowed them to fair better in other conflicts.
-The failure of the Crimean War allowed Alexander to address Russia’s internal struggles.
Russo-Turkish War 1877-1878
-Initially faced difficulties but advanced, there armed forces were still in a period of transition due to reforms but they navy were successful in destroying the Turkish fleet.
-It restored Russian prestige, and allowed Russia to oversee the Balkans asserting their independence.
-Suffered losses of around 200,000 lives as well as the collapse of the rouble.
-Whilst the Russo-Turkish War showed the benefits of the reforms, Russia was still behind the rest of Europe and unstable.
Situation in 1855
-Russia had outdated systems, heavy taxations and low income from trading prices on grain.
-Serfdom restricted agriculture and therefore economic growth due to lack of productivity.
-Workforce expanded form 860,000-1.32million in 1887
-Coal production increased, new industrial areas in the Ukraine and Urals.
-The Nobel Brothers exploited oil reserves in Baku allowing the…