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To What Extent Was Alexander Ii a Reformist Tsar?

  • Date Submitted: 03/08/2015 07:42 AM
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To what extent was Alexander II a reformist Tsar?
Alexander II was ruler of Russia from 1855 until 1881, and was called the ‘Tsar Liberator’ or ‘Reformist Tsar’. A reformist is a leader who introduces many or drastic changes, its extent measured on its affectivity and number of recipients. Alexander II did introduce many reforms-much more than the previous autocracy before him, but whether these reforms actually made change depended on their extent, who they affected and the effectiveness or result. The Tsar introduced reforms including the creation of the Zemstva, emancipation of the serfs and reforms in education, church, army and judiciary.
Alexander could be considered to a large extent a reformist tsar, as he introduced a reform which had been wanted, anticipated and effectual by/to most of the population.   One of the largest social problems facing Russia at the time of Alexander’s entrance was serfdom, with eighty per-cent of the overall Russian population being either serfs or state peasants. Serfdom’s agriculture affected the whole of Russia- food shortages and famine-and the surfs were starting to become restless with their situation-controlled by the landowners.   In 1861 Alexander freed the surfs, which was a very large reform considering it affected over half of the population, and was a positive response-to an extent- of the populations concerns. This shows Nicholas II as a reformist Tsar as he imposed a large reform with great cause and effect, and in addition, it suggested him to be a liberal tsar. Another important reform Alexander made enforcing the label of reformist tsar was the introduction of the Zemstva. This was introduced in 1864 in rural areas, in order to give the people an elective government- the first in Russian history. This was extended to cities and towns in 1870, and gave power to the people for the first time. This reform shows Alexander to be a reformist Tsar, as it was -for the first time- power given to anyone but the Tsar. It...

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