Opposition until 1881


Tsar Alexander II (1855-1881)- Alexander the Liberator

Opposition to Alexander II saw a possibility for further reform and were willing to use extremist tactics in order to achieve their ends. Opposition ranged from: 

  • Mildly behaved Zemstva, containing many of the Liberal minded intelligensia.
  • Student Radicals
  • Small businessmen
  • Prosperous peasants
  • Kulaks, who had obtained their freedom, were more resentful of the remaining restrictions

Due to relaxed censorship, opposition to the Tsar could be reported more freely. This resulted in a restriction of publications once more in the late 1870s, further creating another source of discontent.

The Intelligensia

  • Despite being a relatively small group of people (1.1% of nobility), the influence of the Intelligensia grew in the 1870s. The development of the law courts, as a result of reform, produced a crop of trained lawyers who were ready to question autocratic practises.
  • Additionally, the development of


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