How far do you agree that Alexander III’s reign deserves the title “The reaction”?
The term “reaction” refers to the idea of opposition to the ideals of reform; it refers to the idea of a backwards change, usually a change towards more traditional views and in the case of Alexander III it can be argued to whether his reign was completely reactionary or reformist or to whether only some parts where. When Alexander III took the position of Tsar from his father in 1881; his father Alexander II had started to reform the country of Russia both politically and socially through policies such as the Zemstva Reform in 1864 and the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 but this during Alexander III’s reign this all began to change, which is why his reign is famously known as “The reaction”. When Alexander first became Tsar in 1881 he announced that he wanted autocracy to be upheld and that any proposal of a constitutional government would be rejected; Alexander III appeared to be asserting his power of the country to stabilise it after the assignation of his father. Alexander III made it clear that he was to reverse his father’s reforms; he reversed the zemstva reform which had enabled Russia to have their first elective government, he decreased the power they held in 1890 by placing them under the disciplinary control of the ministry of the interior whilst also decreasing the peasant representation in the court. The 1890 Zemstva Act showed Alexander III as a reactionary by reducing the power people had and upholding the idea of autocracy. Alexander III also undermined the idea of his father’s emancipation by introducing Land Captains in 1889; the Land Captains were appointed by the Ministry of the Interior, had the power to override the Zemstva and had control of the peasantry. The Land Captains had introduced nobility into the peasantry and the peasants resented this as they were prevented from developing a self-government; the local self-government also had increased...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document