Alexander III Research Paper

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To what extent can Alexander III’s reign be described as reactionary? (30) Alexander III came to power in 1884 after the assassination of his father Alexander II (the Tsar Liberator); Alex III was considered by many to be unfit to become Tsar, he had trained in the military and even his own family said he was uneducated. He was not expecting to become Tsar however when his brother died suddenly in 1865 Alex III became heir. He had told his father before his death that he would reverse all of his liberal reforms. During his reign Alex III aimed to improve Russia’s international standing, promote Russification and suppress any political opposition. This overall suggests that for the most part the reign of Alexander III was reactionary. Alex III’s…show more content…
In fact he exported so much of the country’s grain that there was a widespread famine that killed 2 million people in 1891. This does not necessarily suggest that the economic policies were reactionary; on the contrary it shows they were aimed at trying to generate income through foreign trade, however it does shows complete disregard for the peasants, Alex III was more interested in feeding his royal purse than his peasants. Alex III’s economic policy was attempting to strengthen Russia’s economy which it did but also alienated the peasants and made the Tsar…show more content…
This suggests that local governments were supportive of the peasantry and organized successful community efforts. It also shows that the reign of Alexander III was not reactionary, even though the government had caused the famine in the first place there were genuine efforts to try and rectify the situation. There was also an attempted introduction of the “Assembly of the Land” which was to be elected by all classes; this shows the government wasn’t completely against the idea of giving more power to the people, allowing them to elect their own representatives. However many of these proposed ideas were overturned and officials such as Land Captains meant that the local governments had lost a lot of power that they had gained under Alex II. Alex III also changed the system of law, e.g. he set up special courts for political criminals, and this can clearly be seen as reactionary since he is using the system of justice to remove challenges to his authority. It is not so different from the system used by his father who allowed some political cases to be tried outside of the existing system by the Tsar. Even though this is reactionary; it may not have been a negative change; in order to maintain his power at the time it was necessary for the Tsar to remove threats to his authority and therefore these special courts allowed the

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