Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Alexander II and Alexander III
Alexander II and his successor and son, Alexander III, inherited Russia in different states and degrees of turmoil. Due to these pressures, both were required to make alterations to the systems in place, such as that of politics and economics. However the natures of their crisis were different and therefore the subsequent modifications varied and were, in many cases, controversial.
Alexander II came to power in 1855 and had to deal with the humiliation Russia suffered from her loss in the Crimean War. Due to the lacking standards within all categories, the Czar made a series of reforms in order to better inner stability and international position. However these reforms led to a rise of revolutionary thought and Alexander III took over his fathers throne after his assassination in 1881. The looming revolts led the new Czar to counter his father’s reforms in order to maintain his position as an autocrat and continuously support modernization.
It is of vital importance to understand that despite the differences between Alexander II and Alexander III reigns, both gave the upmost importance to the perseverance of the autocracy within Russia. Neither wanted to sacrifice or share power. Alexander II introduced a system consisting of dumas and zemstvas; however these were rural and urban authorities that possessed no effective political power. Their objection was to improve educational systems, road works, public health and local economy. All political power for both Czars was held in that of the Czar, the Imperial Council and the Cabinet of Ministers. The Czar appointed all members and thus no social class had political representation. This caused unease within the lower classes and led to revolts, concluded by the assassination of Alexander I. When Alexander II succeeded, he declared a number of counter-reforms as a response to riots. Though their intentions were the same, to...
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