Essay on Tsar Alexander III's Reign

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Tsar Alexander III's Reign The reign of Tsar Alexander II was one that demonstrated a great change in action, attitude and policy to that of his father, Tsar Alexander II, 'The Tsar Liberator.' Historians have long labelled Tsar Alexander II as a Liberal, reforming ruler and his son as a reactionary, oppressive heir to his legacy. Hingley argues that his thirteen years of reign were spent '...systematically destroying all of his father's work. The choice facing Tsar Alexander III when he ascended to the throne was a difficult one. There were two routes that he could follow: to continue the tentative steps that his father had made into reform or to back track into Conservatism in an attempt to…show more content…
It is interesting, as Hingley comments, that the reign of Tsar Alexander III was ' keeping with the tendency for stern, uncomplicated Romanov Tsars to alternate with those of gentler and more elusive temperament.' This illustrates well the situation in Russia at the accession of Tsar Alexander III, and the atmosphere throughout the majority of his reign, that it was almost diametrically opposed to that of his father's This was his reaction to the assassination of his father. Where the Nihilists had attempted to bring a more democratic and liberal governing to Russia in the assassination they had inadvertently brought into rule a Tsar whose approach from the outset of his reign could have not have been more different. Not only this, but the actions of the 'People's Will' had hardened Tsar Alexander III's resolve that any attempts at reform were dangerous and could only affect the stability of the monarchy. He had seen the proof for himself, that the introduction of reform could only entertain criticism and opposition to the Tsarist regime. Thus detrimentally affecting the future of the autocratic government. Hingley argues that ' It is an irony of history that the nihilist assassins of the Catherine Quay should have given their lives to substitute the slaughtered Tsar-Liberator for this
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