Essay on How Much Russia Changed from 1856-1894

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How Much Russia Changed from 1856-1894

During the years of 1856 and 1894, Russia changed immensely in its policies and general state. It went from being an ageing superpower into a country with internal problems and an ambience of civilian unrest.

Alexander II realised the need to modernise Russia in order to prolong their status as a superpower. This stemmed from their defeat in the Crimean war. To modernise and industrialise Russia, a free workforce was needed and this could only be made available if people were freed from the land. This meant that Alexander II would need to somehow release the serfs from their owner’s land. Another reason for emancipation was made clear in a quote from
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However, not all of Russia’s problems were solved and indeed some of the reforms created new problems. But generally, Russia changed a great deal during Alexander II’s reign and the majority of change was constructive.

Alexander III was faced with a number of dilemmas when he came to power. The assassination of his father had a huge impact on him. He believed that all attempts at reform were futile and so followed a policy of counter-reform. His repressive measures became known as “the Reaction”. Some examples include Russification, where national minority influence was limited and the Statue of State Security, where judges, magistrates and officials sympathetic to liberal ideology were removed. During Alexander III’s reign, opposition grew tremendously. This was generally due to Alexander III’s repression, political stagnation and because if they did nothing, there would be no alternative to autocracy.

In conclusion, Russia did not make a great deal of progress during Alexander III’s reign. Alexander III dealt with Russia’s problems by using suppression. But this caused more opposition to the tsar as it drove more support towards the violent revolutionary groups. In addition, some historians have said that Alexander III’s policy of suppression stopped Russia’s progression and as such, Russia regressed in terms of positive
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