How successful was Alexander II in overcoming opposition to his regime?
In 1861 Russia was a backward state, other countries in Europe had undergone the industrial revolution but Russia was still an agricultural country with a large lower class of serfs. Alexander II made the decision to emancipate the serfs in 1861 mainly due to a fear of revolt but also as a cause of liberal pressure and in the interest of economic growth. Throughout this decision and decisions to make other reforms different political groups opposed Alexander II. In the first instance from left wing revolutionary groups who were against the autocratic state and desired a democratic state. The different revolutionary groups used different methods of proposing their beliefs, some used violence. Alexander II was in some ways successful when overcoming opposition to this group as his appointment of Shuvalov saw that revolutionaries were tried in military courts. However a revolutionary group eventually assassinated Alexander in 1881, making his attempts to overcome opposition unsuccessful. Other forms of opposition were the liberals who wished for reforms to be made, but for the state to remain under the ruler ship of the Tsar. They wanted a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy. Alexander II created opposition to his regime from this group when he introduced counter reforms, turning liberals to revolutionary ideas and methods.
Alexander II was mostly unsuccessful when aiming to overcome opposition to his regime. One of the first examples of this was when he made reforms concerning the university statute of 1863, which encouraged revolutionary activity. The universities were now allowed to self-rule, which meant more modern subjects, which encouraged liberal ideas. The relaxation of censorship in 1863 accentuated this, as students were able to openly discuss radical ideas the following was published in a journal by a group of student revolutionaries called Young Russia,...
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