How Far Does Alexander Ii Deserve the Title "Tsar Liberator"

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How far does Alexander II deserve the Title “Tsar Liberator”? Prior to the reign of Alexander II, his father, Nicholas I ruled Russia under repressive and old fashioned policies. Alexander felt there was a lot of change needed to help boost the Russian economy. Russia’s economy was largely based around agriculture which was seen as backward for the time. One of Alexander’s reforms was to boom industries to start competing with the west who had more developed technology and whose economies were much more stable. Alexander introduced many reforms such as emancipating the serfs and introduced more modern policies in areas such as education and the legal system. Alexander II does deserve the title “Tsar Liberator” to a certain extent. One of the major steps to liberating Russia which Alexander bravely took was the choice to issue an emancipation manifesto in February of 1861 in which he would allow serfs to be freed and given more rights. These rights included; the chance to own land, marry, trade, were given a quarter of old land free and the option to build their own businesses. Previous to this manifesto serfs had little to no freedom as they were legally owned by land owners. This would have been seen as normal and necessary for Russian society. The step of emancipating serfdom would have been seen as radical and going against the Slavophile ways of life. This shows that Alexander was ready to liberate Russia because even though it was risky, it helped to start the liberalisation process because it enabled ex-serfs to work in factories which would help boost the economy, let the gentry to earn their own money and would help advances in industry which in turn help Russia to compete with the western world. However the aftermath of this manifesto was a lot more negative than first appears. Although Alexander helped to abolish Serfdom there were a lot of negatives
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