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ALEXANDER II: GOALS To improve the tarnished image that Russia received as a result of its defeat in the Crimean War To correct the internal problems which.

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Presentation on theme: "ALEXANDER II: GOALS To improve the tarnished image that Russia received as a result of its defeat in the Crimean War To correct the internal problems which."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALEXANDER II: GOALS To improve the tarnished image that Russia received as a result of its defeat in the Crimean War To correct the internal problems which had contributed to this defeat

2 IMPROVING RUSSIA’S IMAGE Took advantage of Franco-Prussian War to void provisions of Treaty of Paris that restricted Russian activities in Black Sea region Won Russo-Turkish War of –Gained control of Bulgaria (temporarily) Established control of Caucasus and Central Asia Won territorial concessions from China

3 IMPROVING INTERNAL STATUS QUO Not motivated by liberal principles –Simply realized that certain changes had to be made to domestic status quo if Russia was to remain a great power Primary issue was serfdom –Few nobles could afford serfs –New laborers required for changing economy –1500 peasant rebellions between –Uneducated, docile serfs had fought poorly in Crimean War –Educated Russian objected to serfdom on moral grounds

4 THE GREAT EMANCIPATION March 3, 1861: Alexander signs imperial order freeing 40 million serfs –Nobles gave up ½ of the land they formerly controlled Compensated by govt. –Land given to serfs to work as their own Legal title held by village assemblies Each serf family had to accept allotment, assume tax liability, and make annual “redemption” payments for 49 years to cover cost of compensating landlords

5 WEAKNESSES Terms not generous enough to improve their lives –Redemption payments were high –Each family only received an average of six or seven acres –Little surplus income to buy more land Edict did not provide crucial resources (such as timber and pasture lands and water rights) Did legally abolish serfdom but left peasants with inadequate amount of land and huge financial burden of increased taxes and redemption payments –Many peasants felt betrayed

6 ZEMSTVOS Provincial and district assemblies –1864 –Administer local affairs –Representatives chosen by a complicated electoral system Peasants received significant representation but nobles dominated –Met once a year and selected committees that met regularly all year –Responsibilities limited to local finances, public health, road maintenance, and education Improved conditions and gave people some experience with representative government

7 OTHER REFORMS Legal reforms –Administration of justice made separate branch of government –Jury trials introduced –Freedom of speech granted to lawyers –Equal treatment before law guaranteed Military reforms –Conscription expanded to include all Russians –Term of service lowered from 25 to 6 years –Reserve force created

8 REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT Revolutionary movement had developed into several distinct branches –Remained upper- class movement centered in universities of Moscow and St. Petersburg –Never a mass movement

9 RUSSIAN INTELLIGENTSIA (I) Slavophils –Nationalists who sought a return to the Russian state as it was before Peter the Great –Ideal was an isolated nation based on the peasant commune, a purified Orthodox Church, and an autocracy free from all bureaucratic interference Westerners –Advocated a secular, rational approach to development Based on increase use of Western technology, thought, and social structures Inspiration was Peter the Great

10 RUSSIAN INTELLIGENTSIA (II) Petrashevtsi –Leader was Mikhail Petrashevsky –Followed teachings of Charles Fourier –Spread socialist literature and opposed Nicholas I –Some members arrested and executed Fedor Dostoevsky

11 SOURCES OF POPULISM I Narodnichestvo Influenced by Alexander Herzen –Westerner and moderate revolutionary –Embraced socialism but adapted it to Russian conditions Socialism would spring from a peasant revolution and would be based on traditional socialistic tendencies of the peasant commune –Published Kolokol (“The Bell”) from Paris Found eager audience among educated Russians

12 SOURCES OF POPULISM II More radical than Herzen Called for a violent revolution that would abolish the state and church and establish a society in which no class would dominate Envisioned political authority being held by self-governing communes—no state Spent most of adult life in exile –Participated in Revolutions of 1848 –Leader of anarchist wing of the First International Mikhail Bakunin

13 SOURCES OF POPULISM III Wrote What Is To Be Done? –Outlined vision of Russia under socialist system Postulated existence of “new man”—an elite corps of intellectuals who would strive to improve conditions –Argued that Russia could skip capitalist phase and go directly to socialism –Exhorted followers to violently pull down existing system Inspired future revolutionaries, especially Lenin Nicholas Chernyshevsky

14 “GO TO THE PEOPLE” MOVEMENT Thousands of university students go into countryside to work with peasants –1873 –Inspired by Herzen’s notion of “natural socialism” of peasants –Purpose was to awaken peasants to their socialist potential and inspire them to revolution Students did not receive warm welcome –Beat up and chased away by frightened peasants –Government also arrested many participants

15 AFTERSHOCKS Failure of “Go to People” convinced many that a revolutionary elite should act for the people, not necessarily with the people Land and Freedom (Zemlya i Volya) –Founded in 1876 –Dedicated to overthrow of government by any means necessary, ending private land ownership, redistribution of land to peasants, and self-determination for national minorities –Vera Zasulich tried to kill governor of St. Petersburg Jury refused to convict her even though she made no attempt to deny her crime

16 PEOPLE’S WILL (NARODNAYA VOLYA) Land and Freedom splits into two groups by 1879 –One group wanted to prepare people for revolution through propaganda and education –Other group dedicated to immediate reign of terror that would destroy tsarist regime People’s Will Kills Alexander II on March 1, 1881 with hand grenade

17 ALEXANDER III Tsar from Determined to re-establish law and order and reassert complete authority of the autocracy Determined to crush all revolutionary activity –Strengthened powers of secret police –Banned all student associations –Further restricted university curriculums –Established government bank to make loans to nobles –Restricted access of lower classes to educational institutions –Forced non-Orthodox subjects to convert to Orthodox Christianity

18 POGROMS Alexander was an intense nationalist and anti-semite Discriminated against national minorities –Suppressed their local culture, language and religion Organized pogroms against Jews –Organized against Jews who lived in cities –Resulted in many deaths and massive property destruction –Forced Jews to live in “Pale of Settlement” (Ukraine) –Restricted number of Jews admitted to schools –Over one million Jews fled Russia as a result


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