Alexander II

  • Created by: LucyLaa
  • Created on: 30-06-17 17:06
Why was serfdom a problem?
A II wanted to modernise Russia but the serfs did not add to economy (subsistence farming). Also, it was morally wrong.
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Who were the Westernisers?
People who wanted to modernise Russia
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Who were the Slavophiles?
People who believed that Orthodox Slavs to Western Europeans
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When was the Crimean War?
1853 – 6
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What were the main long-term origins of the Crimean War?
Eastern Question (the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and there was a question of who would rule the Mediterranean; Russian warships were banned from the Dardanelles and Bosphorus.
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What were the main short-term origins of the Crimean War?
Nicholas I wanted to retain 'superior rights' in the Holy Land, which was disputed by France and rejected by the Turks - he wanted to preserve Russia's status whilst also being cautious due to Russia's economic and social infrastructure.
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What was the human cost of the Crimean War?
450,000 Russian deaths out of the 700,000 thought to have died.
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What did the Treaty of Paris state?
Russia had to give up its duty to protect Christian subjects in the Ottoman Empire; handed over part of Russia to Moldavia; remove all naval fortifications along the Black Sea coastline
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Why were the terms of the Treaty of Paris particularly harsh?
Other European countries were afraid of the "Great Russian Bear".
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Why was the Treaty of Paris humiliating?
It highlighted Russia's military failures due to the amount of concessions demanded; logistically important naval fortifications were lost
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What was the major failure of the Russian army?
Industry and communications were inadequate (MODERNISATION!!!)
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Why was the Emancipation of the Serfs important for modernisation?
Serfdom underpinned the Russian hierarchy of autocracy
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When was the Emancipation of the Serfs edict passed?
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Why was Alexander II better suited to Tsarism?
He was given a broad education, travelled extensively and had practice of state affair control in his father's absence.
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What did the Russian peasantry represent to Russia?
The Russian identity
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Why was Serfdom failing the peasantry, nobility and state?
It could not match rate of required productivity with the rapid population growth; nobility income was decreasing, putting them in death; failed to encourage innovation; not enough food.
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In 1861, who were serfs locally controlled by?
The village mir, the family and the nobility
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How successful was the Emancipation?
Mainy a failure - moral aim achieved, but it was unfair and differed across the country. Also resulted in famine, destruction of the nobility, growing opposition (resulting in Alexander's assassination).
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How many revolts required military intervention during reforms?
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What was the Populist movement?
A group of intelligentsia (Narodniks) led by Lavrov, who organised the 'Going to the People' campaign. (v.unsuccessful)
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What two groups were formed from Land and Liberty (1876)?
The Black Reparition (peaceful) and The People's Will (violent)
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Why did the nobility fail to survive?
They couldn't compete in a competitive society, and relied on serfs for agriculture, and later on rent and land prices. They had more debt on top of existing loans.
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Why was the fall of nobility bad for Tsarism?
Could not get rid of radical groups and could not fund agricultural or industrial innovation.
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Why was the Emancipation successful in the Black Soil regions?
Although the ex-serfs had to pay high land costs, they increased profits by modernising methods of farming.
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Was the distribution of land fair?
No - often allocated poor, overpriced land
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How long did peasants have to pay redemption payments?
49 years (made worse by rural poll tax)
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Why couldn't peasants travel for work in industry etc. ?
They had to answer to the mir
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Why did subsistence farming limit agriculture?
There was no incentive to produce surplus or invest in land
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How were old ideas perpetuated?
The mir; ex-serfs didn't have the same rights as ordinary Russians; limited by poverty
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Name 3 of Alexander II's legal reforms
Fairer courts; Justices of Peace dealt with minor cases; Judges appointed by Tsar for specific lengths of time; Introduction of jury trials; JP's elected by zemstvo for 3 years
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How successful were Alexander II's legal reforms?
One of the biggest successes - massively improved in comparison to previously corrupt and injust system. There were negatives (e.g. judges weren't elected, Vera Zasulich case illustrated how the jury was a platform for radicalism)
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Name 3 of Alexander II's military reforms
Conscription reduced from 25 to 16 years; Milyutin appointed as Minister of War; Regional command were set up in 4 areas (decentralise admin); Extreme corporal punishment ended; Junker schools were set up; Meritocracy; Universal Military Service
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How successful were Alexander II's military reforms?
Very successful (success against France) - improved moral code, encouraged University study (reduced conscription), and Junker Schools were open to all. However, nobility and Traditionalists felt it undermined their positions and rights.
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What happened after the 1887 assassination attempt?
Russia became much more repressive, with heavier censorship and use of the secret police.
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Name 3 of Alexander II's local government reforms?
Zemstva were put in place to organise primary education, healthcare, transportation and local manufacturing.
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How successful were the zemstva?
Effective - prevented uprising from existing government who were angry about the loss of their serfs; weakened noblility's power; evaluated local needs, not national; peasants and nobles were elected. But, 74% seats were noble, and relied on tax.
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Name 3 of Alexander II's education reforms
Private schools; Zemstva controlled primary education; University Regulations of 1863 allowed freedom of expression; Improved gymnasia and realschule curricula; Education of women
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Who were the two Ministers of Education?
Golvonin and Dmitri Tolstoy
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How successful were Alexander II's education reforms?
Hugely successful - number of primary schools nearly tripled; education more accessible; better quality of teaching; scholarships available BUT education wasn't free; bred radicalism; Tolstoy restricted access to Universities
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Name 3 of Alexander II's censorship reforms
Glasnost; Press laws allowed freer publishing; Universities were more autonomous; Preliminary censorship mostly abolished; Government periodicals
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How successful were Alexander II's censorship reforms?
Not successful for Tsarism - provided a lot more freedom of ideas, and people began to understand the problems of Russia. However, it was not completely reformed (still strict by modern British standards), caused more radicalism and did not last long
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Name 3 of Alexander II's economic reforms
Dramatic increase in railways; Attempt to improve metallurgy and manufacture; Improved accountancy system; Tax farming abolished; Tried to maintain stability of rouble
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Who was the Minister of Finance?
Mikhail von Reutern
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How successful were Alexander II's economic reforms?
Partly - successful in providing foundations for further reform and made a lot of progress in banking and railways, but not enough in terms of manufacture and was limited by (political?) modernisation
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Who assassinated Alexander II in 1881?
Nardnya Voya (People's Will)
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Card 2


Who were the Westernisers?


People who wanted to modernise Russia

Card 3


Who were the Slavophiles?


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Card 4


When was the Crimean War?


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Card 5


What were the main long-term origins of the Crimean War?


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