Explain Why Alexander Ii Introduced Further Reforms After the Emancipation Edict of 1861

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Explain why Alexander II introduced further reforms after the emancipation edict of 1861 Emancipation opened many opportunities for further reforms and forced a change in the structure of the Russian society. Serfdom was abolished and the nobility could no longer control them which led to light being shed on other problems in society such as the law, industry and also the military. The most important reason for the introduction of further reforms is that they were a reasonable response to the emancipation of the serfs, but only in short term. The emancipation act gave the serfs power to control their own lives instead of being dictated by people of a higher status, such as the nobility. For this, rural councils known as the Zemstvas were set up in 1864 which offered the serfs a representative government; but they were mostly dominated by the nobility and professionals and many of them resented their loss of power over the serfs. To tend to these demands, local government reforms were put in place which were largely made up of nobility and made to give former serf owners a sense of local authority to make up for their loss of control over the serfs. Further judicial reforms were also put in place to help peasants arrange property rights and contracts, even more so now as they were able to own their own land. The emancipation of the serfs and reduction of labour services contributed to the growth of a money-based economy which had been a long term goal for the Tsar. The second reason to why further reforms were introduced was to modernise Russia’s overall economy and industry in order to catch up with the already modernised Western countries. Economically, more banks were opened to tend to the growth of the country’s money based side of the economy, which in turn offered subsidies to entrepreneurs to encourage enterprise and the growth of
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