Name: Andiswa Mlambo
Unique number: 844868
Assignment : 04
The reform of Alexander11 [1855-1881] were meaningless and left tsarist Russia unchanged ; do you agree? Give reasons for your answer. I agree that the reform of Alexander11 [1855-1881] were meaningless and left tsarist Russia unchanged. The disastrous state of affairs left by Nicholas I meant that change had to come to Russia. His son, Alexander II was responsible for introducing major changes to the social system and other important aspects of life in Russia. Because of this, the reign of Alexander II was one of the most important periods in Russian history. Many historians believe that if Alexander II had been prepared to grant moderate political concessions, along with his social, legal and military reforms, Russia might have gradually become a constitutional monarchy. But although Alexander did tackle the urgent problem of serfdom, his reforms did not go far enough and he too was determined to hang on to his autocratic power. After the defeat in the Crimean War many Russians now realised that Russia's only hope for military survival lay with modernisation. This would mean industrialisation to supply the military, improvements to communications and the introduction of a railway system. Financial reforms were introduced to meet the needs of the government not of the private sector. In 1860 Alexander II established the State Bank to provide credit for industrial development to supply the needs of the military. However, historian David Christian says that the government was 'hostile' to other forms of industrialisation. Although there had been some financial reforms and industrialisation had started, by 1894 Russia was still largely the same agricultural nation it had been at the start of the century. Emancipation had done little to relieve the distress of the peasantry who were now tied to the land by debt rather than by obligation. There were no moves...
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