Alexander Ii Essay

1211 WordsJun 26, 20115 Pages
When Alexander the second came to power in 1855, he inherited many of the problems that augmented from his previous predecessor, Nicholas the first. This led the tsar to undertake a series of great reforms, which gave him the charming title of "Liberator". However his motives were that he feared that peasant unrest could lead to revolution. The most significant reform was the emancipation of the serfs. This sought to update the structure of the current serf system and in turn reverse the fortunes of the failing nobility. As the peasants made up 80% of Russia it thought to be wise to improve their situation and as a result this would strengthen Russia as a whole. However, the results of the emancipation of the serfs did not match its propose. Peasants ended up with around 1/5 less land than before as they now had to pay for it. They now had to pay direct taxes and land was never really theirs to privately own. The nobles felt disgruntled at having to give up 1/3 of their land. Alexander II marked the opening of a period of reform in Russian politics and social issues, in which such reforms were to have implications for the future of Russia. “Existing order of serfdom cannot remain unchanged. It is better to abolish it from above than to wait for the time when it will begin to abolish itself from below.” This speech was given by Alexander to the nobility of Moscow in April 1856 and was to be the introduction of arguably the grandest social reform of the19th century in Russia. Alexander did not relish this choice but knew that serfdom was at the root of Russia’s economic. The Emancipation of Serfs was introduced five years after the speech and ultimately granted the serfs their personal freedom and the land which they had previously worked for a period of two years. This transformation removed a social system which had been place since the middle ages . However

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