How Successfully did Alexander III supress opposition?
Despite what we learn of the slow-witted, brash and aggressive young man that the Tsarovich Alexander III was, it seems that in suppressing his opposition in Russia his strong-minded and definitive attitude worked to his advantage. He made his first major statement when he executed the five members of the people’s will responsible for the assassination of his father, publicly hanging them as a warning to others of his policy with regards to those committing treason. Even from a young age Alexander had strongly opposed the opinions of his father, joining the ‘party of action’ in the debate concerning war with Turkey when Alexander II was all in favour of keeping the peace. This attitude he emulated with his counter-reforms where he made it very clear that Russia would remain firmly an autocracy, and that advisors were simply there only to advise. The ministers in favour of his father’s governmental reforms were made to resign which, alongside his counter-reforms, made very clear to all his intentions to take Russia back to a firmly Tsar-run state. Alexander had a hard-line attitude to those who opposed him, and relied on not allowing those with similar plans of opposing him to meet together. Students were banned from joining student groups, activists were forced into exile- By 1894, around 5,400 people had been exiled or sentenced to hard labour-and in 1894 an evangelical religious sect called Stundism was declared “especially dangerous” and its prayer meetings were banned. (This was part of Alexander’s plan to ‘Russify’ Russia, i.e. heavily discriminating against minorities such as Jews living in Russia.) The 1889 act said that crimes against state officials were to be heard in a special court without a jury; this undermined trial by jury and made it easier for political opponents to be dealt with in private and not leaving anything to chance with the opinions of others. Alexander also used his secret...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document