How Successful Was Alexander Ii’s Emancipation of the Serfs? Essay

852 WordsOct 6, 20134 Pages
How Successful was Alexander II’s emancipation of the Serfs? In 1861, the Russian Tsar Alexander II emancipated the Serfs. He felt that this change was necessary to lead Russia to become one of the major powers and remove Russia’s tag of being a very backward country. Overall, the Emancipation of the serfs was to a very large extent not successful, however there were some improvements in Russian society, most notably economically and morally. One of the key reasons Alexander II emancipated the Serfs was due to the fact that he wanted to improve the economy, which was struggling. He did manage to improve the economy in some ways; however the significant problems in the national economy caused by the Emancipation, meant that any positives were not felt to an extent at which they should have been. Firstly, there was a decline in labour services, which contributed to the growth of a money based economy and encouraged enterprise, stimulating growth of railways, banking, industry and cities. There was also an increase in production of grain, which meant that Russia’s exports were increasing pumping money into the economy. However this increase in exports was limited and did not increase at a significant extent, due to the fact that agriculture was still very backward. However, there were significant negatives which meant that the positives were subdued so some extent. Firstly, nobility priced land too high, sometimes 90% above market value, which meant that there was no real increase in consumer demand. Also, industry was not growing at fast enough rates to keep up with vast number of serfs moving into towns and cities. However, although economic growth was not significant, it was steady and did grow at a rate of 4.6% between 1860 and 1900. The emancipation of the serfs was of limited success because of the fact that Emancipation only improved the life of Serfs to
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