Was Tsar Alexander Ii Worthy Of The Title ‘Tsar Li

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Was Tsar Alexander II worthy of the title ‘Tsar Liberator’? When Alexander II came to power in 1855, he inherited many of the issues left behind by his father Nicholas I. Alexander II believed that a more liberal rule than his father had established was necessary. He therefore undertook a series of reforms, which lead to him being given the title of ‘Liberator’, history however shows he was not prepared for the implications of change and showed weaknesses when dealing with it. Alexander II found himself with a Monarchy, which had not kept up with other major European powers. Industrial progress was slow and there was growing rural discontent and poor communications. The economy was very dependent on agriculture, however crop yields were low and peasants were trapped in a system of serfdom. The Crimean War had emphasised the weaknesses of the Russian Serf army, who suffered from poor transport and technology. In 1856 Alexander II began a debate by asking the Moscow nobles for their views on emancipation. When this failed to produce support Alexander II began in 1859 to use reforming ministers, such as Miliukin and Samarin to plan changes. The emancipation act, which was signed in 1861, can be seen as a huge personal achievement; however the Tsar Liberator did not wish to introduce real economic freedom to the peasants, nor for them to receive equality before the law. The nobles remained the privileged class and indeed their share of wealth increased. Emancipation can therefore be seen a traditional rather than a drastic change to Russian society. In 1864 the creation of the first elected governments, Zemstvos happened. However the major principles were respect for property and wealth. The wealthiest and titled had more voting power and greater representation. Zemstvos were there to make improvements, not to discuss matters in the wider sense. Therefore
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