As reform angered the right, conservatism angered the left and there was no way to move around this issue. The peasantry that became a popular target for revolutionaries seeking followers, in reality, was always loyal to the Tsar. They were still a traditional people, running the populist Mikhail Romas out of a rural area for attempting to introduce his beliefs on the people. The Russian Orthodox Church fed people Tsarist propaganda and the army was always a looming threat should anyone step too far out of line.
Petersburg could boast that it commanded the largest army in Europe in numberspoor roads, antiquated weapons, and low morale prohibited the effective use of that awesome potential power.
The defeat proved to the autocracy in charge that Russia had fallen dangerously behind its Western neighbors, making it vulnerable to future attack and invasion.
Why had Russia lost? Looking to Western models and contrasting Russian society to, say, French or Prussian society, one element remained outstanding: Whether out of genuine progressive beliefs or merely a need for an effective conscript army when the next war developed, Alexander II initiated a period of reform in Russia with the February 19, Emancipation of the serfs.
This "emancipation", however, was barely related to what the peasants themselves were expecting. While the page statute did give them "the status of free rural inhabitants," peasants were still subject to considerable taxes and a passport system to restrict movement throughout the country.
In addition, the land settlement was equally as unfulfilling. Not only did freedom from land obligations only come up for termination inbut also those so-called "temporary obligations" could continue until both the peasants and their local landlords came to a mutually agreeable settlement.
When and if that moment ever came, the peasants would receive a small portion of the land through government- financed redemption payments to the landlord--a sum the former serfs would have to repay over a forty-nine year period. Nevertheless, for autocratic Russia under the Romanov dynasty, this was unprecedented reform.
They can be divided into the following categories: Since vast numbers of new citizens, i. These assemblies, with separate seats for peasants, townspeople, and private landowners, were responsible for maintaining the local infrastructure and industrial development.
Through taxation of all classes, the zemstvo built bridges, roads, hospitals, and prisons and provided essential services such as healthcare and poverty relief. At the call of the Elementary School Statute ofa litany of elementary schools sprang up across the country, though funding was remanded to the local government, to overcome the massive illiteracy that plagued the former serfs.
The University Statute reorganized colleges and universities into effective self-governing corporations, with considerable freedom for both faculty and students. The Judiciary Statute of overhauled the Russian court system based on these liberal principles--equality of all before the law, an independent judiciary, jury trial by propertied peers, public legal proceedings, and the establishment of an educated legal profession.
The Universal Military Training Act of established all-class conscription and called for technological improvement, elite reorganization, and new military schools.
Teased by these halfhearted reforms from above, dissatisfied peasants, intellectuals, professionals, and even some liberal gentry sought greater freedom through recourse to violent revolutionary movements to overthrow the Tsarist government.
Widely labeled as populist movements whose aims focused on giving all Russian land back to the peasants, these groups used clandestine terrorism in the late s to kill Alexander II, finally succeeding on March 1, An era of modest reform in Russia was over. However, even a cursory examination of these reforms makes it apparent that these changes were too little, too late.
Worse yet, the reforms stimulated liberal reformers--mostly professionals, intellectuals, and students--who urged greater reforms and faster reforms, something the regime refused to give.
Ironically, by introducing some reforms, the very limited nature of them ignited radical opposition within the Russian population that would boil over into outright revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century.
It is with this argument that some historians point to the Crimean War as the beginning of the road to the Russian Revolution.Essay about What problems did Alexander II face in and how far was he successful in solving them? In , when Alexander II, son of Nicholas I, came to power as Tsar of Russia he .
Nicholas II, the last Russian Emperor, was the eldest son of Alexander III and was born in He ascended the throne after the death of his father in , and was crowned on 14 May He ascended the throne after the death of his father in , and was crowned on 14 May Alexander II was no radical and did not agree with many of the changes that took place during his reign.
But he did not see any other way to solve the country’s problems and restore the Russian Empire to the ranks of the great powers. Difficulties inherited by Alexander II in included the Crimean war, which revealed Russian military weaknesses, an outdated and autocratic tsardom and nobility, archaic institutions, serfdom and a backward economy.
The Emancipation Reform of in Russia (Russian: Крестьянская реформа года, translit. Krestyanskaya reforma goda - "peasants' reform of ") was the first and most important of liberal reforms passed during the reign () of Emperor Alexander II of Russia.
In , when Alexander II, son of Nicholas I, came to power as Tsar of Russia he was faced by many problems. Russia, being the backwards place it was needed reform. The gap between the noble class and the peasant class was enormous and causing problems.