How successful was Alexander II in dealing with opposition to his regime?

Topics: Russian Empire, Government, Alexander II of Russia Pages: 2 (722 words) Published: December 6, 2014
How successful was Alexander II in dealing with opposition to his regime? Judging by the fact that Alexander was assassinated in 1881 by People’s Will, one would assume that he failed – completely- to overcome opposition to his regime, however he ruled for over 25 years and managed to keep his opposition under control during that time using several different methods and measures which will be discussed in this essay. The first measure he took shortly after he came to power was to emancipate the serfs in order to modernise Russia and finally bring social stability after years of chaos and fighting to keep up with the West. The Emancipation Edict was passed in 1861 but was better known as the “Great Disappointment” due to the fact that state serfs had to wait until 1866 to be freed, and as a result of the redemption tax serfs had to pay back to their former owners for the loss of labour and as payment for the allotments they received at emancipation. The serfs also could not keep the land they had worked - day and night – on and ended up getting bad quality land most of the time as their former owners kept the fertile, good quality land, and this unfair distribution of land led to even more hostility and disappointment. Mirs were set up to provide uniformity and stability. They were responsible for the allocation of land and they had special village courts, which ensured that the peasants remained separate and denied the full equality of other citizens, despite supposedly being “free”. In order to maintain stability in a time of major social change, a further period of reform followed. There was a creation of a new local government – the zemstva –which were the district and provincial councils. Dumas were also set up as urban counterparts, representing ordinary people for the first time, sparking a great hope for social development. There was also judicial reform. In 1864, a trial by jury and public trials were introduced, making corruption in law a thing of the...
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