Alexander III is considered by many to be a conservative reactionary due to his traditional beliefs, taught by Pobedonostev and his reversal of some of his father’s liberal reforms. It was due to the assassination attempts that Alexander II faced which can be seen to have had an effect on his son and thus led him to take a more stern and reactionary approach. Alexander III followed the traditional manifesto: ‘full faith in justice and in the strength of the autocracy’ thus highlighting his loyalty towards protecting Tsarism. Although it is true that Alexander III undid a vast number of his father’s reforms, especially concerning the civil rights of the Russian people, in order to repress opposition; he also succeeded in making a vast number of economic reforms which proved beneficial to Russia. Perhaps the biggest legacy left by Alexander II was his emancipation of the serfs in 1861, he had realised that modernisation was incompatible with serfdom and thus endeavoured to liberalise the serfs.
Who was the greater ruler: Alexander II or Alexander III In establishing which was the greater ruler out of Alexander II or Alexander III it is first important to consider the aims and successes of each one. Whilst many would say Alexander III’s stablisation of Russia through strict reform was necessary, it can be argued that on the grander scale the modernisation of Russia was a far more important end goal, and one that would solve many of the inherent problems such as famine and low production, unlike Alexander III’s staunch Conservatism. Although Alexander III’s programmes of Russification can be seen as important in creating a sense of national identity, it is nonetheless necessary to remember that this on the whole created more of a sense of disunity, as is the case with many of his anti-modernising reforms. Repressing of the national identities of groups such as the Ukrainians and Poles only strengthened the revolutionary resolve and anti-Russian fervour, and the entire concept seemed only to have the short-term goal in mind. However the major issue with Alexander III lies not with his policies themselves but more with the ideology that lay behind them.
The reason why the League of Nations was idealistic was because Britain and France would be forced to accept Germany’s induction. Britain and France would be the last countries to come to Germany’s aid after the war and now Wilson was asking them, in a way, to simply forgive and forget. Actions such as these have caused historians to debate whether the TOV was killed because Wilson was a man too ahead of his time, and his Fourteen Points were to idealistic for the other World Powers to accept, or it was Wilson himself that prevented the Treaty from being truly effective in preventing future wars because of his unwillingness to yield to even a single compromise. Wilson was indeed a visionary idealist, made evident by his assumption that nations had the ability to simply get along after the war. He saw the best in men, mostly due to his inexperience with foreign affairs and the fact that he was a progressive.
Lenin’s real opinion of Stalin was highly negative. He was so concerned about Stalin becoming leader that he made a plea in his testament to do anything to stop this. ‘I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead.’ As well as his view to not see him as leader, Lenin described Stalin as ‘rude’, but more importantly, favored Trotsky to be his successor in the testament, stating that he was ‘most capable’ individual to lead Russia. If it wasn’t for Stalin using his role as secretary of state to keep this document hidden, these opinions of Lenin would have influenced the public hugely, as his death alone attracted millions of people to pay their respects. Stalin not only stopped a negative opinion of him costing leadership, but he completely turned that opinion upside down, persuading the public that he was very close to the much loved Lenin.
To what extent did Alexander III measures create a stronger Russia? When Alexander III came into power as tsar Russia was in crisis after Alexander II was assassinated by the people will. Alexander III faced a hard job of keeping control of Russia and keeping supreme political power, this meant reform for Russia. Although he was reforming Russia like many Russians wanted to, he was actually moving backwards and launched Russia on the return to conservatism and brought an end to further political reform.Alexander III brought in new reforms to strengthen Russia after the tsar was assassinated because of Russia bad state, these reforms effected the political, financial and nearly every aspect of Russian society. One of the most radical and important changes the tsar first made was russification , this meant that in 1885 the official language was changed to Russia and was taught in all school and no other language was allowed to be used in school .
Explain why Alexander II emancipated the Serfs (10 Marks) Tsar Alexander II was a conservative who believed it was his divine right to rule Russia. This autocratic rule was described as tyrannical by many who visited Russia, especially so when it came to how the Serfs were treated, who were eventually emancipated in 1861. Alexander II’s conservative rule created causes over time, which led to the emancipation of the Serfs. This therefore makes Alexander II’s conservatism a major cause of the emancipation. As well as this, the conservatism may have caused a ‘domino effect’ of sorts, which in turn, could have led to the foundations of all of the other causes that led up to emancipation.
They may also argue that he had a better perspective of the “valley of death” than Lucan and Cardigan. Lord Raglan could see the Russians patiently waiting in the north valley ready to make their attack; this means that he should have had a better strategy to attack giving clear orders instead of just demanding they attack the guns. Finally historians may argue that rivalry between positions of authority (Lucan and Nolan were brothers-in-laws who hated each other making no attempt to cover it up) led to the blundering disaster. Raglan should have been aware of the rivalry between the two brothers in-laws and sorted out the situation which would have led to better co-operation. In contrast to the above, there is evidence which implies that there are others at fault other than Lord Raglan.
These, along with the demolition of the army in 1905 and the massacre of Bloody Sunday, portraying the Tsar’s incompetence, would be perfectly viable reasons for a revolution to take place. Also, the actions of the public would also assume that the Tsar was threatened. City-wide strikes, destruction of property and seizure of land which occurred may not have troubled the Tsar, but the fact that the government’s Minister of Interior, Plehve, was assassinated surely struck fear into the heart of the Tsar. Plehve was somewhat responsible for the failure of Russia in the war with Japan, and this was showing that if the government did something wrong they would get punished for it. I think clear evidence that shows that the Tsar was worried was the concessions that he subsequently made.
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.
Some may say that Henry was largely successful in achieving his aims with his biggest success being the battle of the spurs in 1513. Henry VIII want to be seen as a different king to his father who had a bad reputation for being aware of his money and not engaging in many wars which the nobilities did not like. He started by giving away the crowns land and gave many titles to the nobilities to prove that he would be different to his father. Catherine of Aragon, who had married Henry’s brother Arthur was still kept in England after Arthur had died. Henry had immediately married her after all the delays that his father had caused.