How well did Alexander III deal with the problems that he faced?
Unlike his father, Alexander III did manage to survive his reign relatively unscathed, which indicates that he dealt with his problems well, at least in the short term. Alexander III inherited a country fraught with economic difficulties, violent extremists and social tensions. His priority was to maintain his autocratic power and restore the power and influence of the nobility – his most trusted support base. Although he achieved some success, especially with his economic reform, he failed to deal with the key issues facing the Russian people, causing long term tensions that would result in revolution. One of Alexander’s main problems he faced was the threat of the violent extremists who called themselves “The People’s Will”. These were the people who killed his father, so he felt that in order to crush the rebellion amongst them the only way to deal with them was to find the leaders and hang them. Another thing he did to try and control their potentially violent followers, was to introduce a statute of state and security in 1881. This statute increased the force of the Okhrana to try and curb violent rebels; gave the government control of the courts, which meant that they acted outside of the legal system and had no need for a jury; any judges and magistrates that were sympathetic to reform were removed and replace with more conservative ones; and thousands were exiled to Siberia. Although these policies appeared to have the rebels under control, all it did was repress them so much that they were forced to go underground and hold secret meetings because at this point they had no other means of expressing which just led to pent-up anger creating a boiling point that would eventually be reached and cause a revolution. On the other hand, it did solve the problem of the revolutionaries temporarily as there wasn’t an assassination attempt again until 1887, which Alexander survived. Overall, his...
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