Alexander3 inherited the Russian Empire in the moment when there was urge for changes. His legacy from his father was the inception of newly introduced liberal movements. Even though Alexander was reactionary, it was mainly because he did not want to follow his fathers footsteps who was assassinated by nihilist group “Peoples Will”, he couldn’t stop spread of so called “Westerners” and radicals. It was crucial for Alexander to preserve his power as an autocrat, which meant that there were no room for opposition that could jeopardise his reign. But at that point he could still hold his control over Russia and opposition was too weak and divided to challenge the Tsar, at that time Empire ...view middle of the document...
Any opposition and other political views were direct threat to the Church officials, which made them to support Tsars repressions. As well as majority of Aristocracy shared Tsars policies because they existed only due to the existing monarchy, that’s why they supported Tsars fear and hatred of opposition and believed that it was the main problem of Russia.
Westerners wanted to reform autocracy , giving the elective parliament to share political power with the Tsar. Russia was on its way to modernise passing the stage of industrialisation, which meant that it would stand on the same position as Austo-Hungary and Germany. The emancipation of the serfs and creation of zemstvas gave a hope that Russia is modernising. Also educational reforms made a new class called “intelligencia” who shared western liberal views. As well as there were extremist groups that felt the only way for Russia to change was eradication of the monarch, they did not have clear aim what to do after. Alexander understood that and he launched strong repressions to preserve stability of monarchy, he believed that they were main threat and problem of Russia. Together with Pobedonoscev he produced Manifesto that declared Tsars absolute rule.
The other problem that faced Tsar was extremist “Peoples will”, so the way that Alexander replied to that is creating with the government Stature of State Security. There were special government courts to deal with the political rivals. Their power gave them a possibility to arrest the political enemies without a trial and execute them or exile them to Siberia. Thousands were repressed and mainly they did maintain political stability and destroyed “Peoples Will”. Even though the aim was achieved and the main threat facing the Tsar did not exist anymore, they stayed until the end of monarchy in 1917.
Tsar felt that there was the rapid spread of radical and liberal movements and it created another problem for him in his view. So he took the control of the press, its freedom was restricted. Fourteen major newspapers were banned from 1882-9 for displaying liberal ideas. Okhrana the secret police that Tsar created to do the practical job in preserving the stability also censored all foreign material that Russia imported. They made sure that such political ideologies as democracy and parliamentary government did not reach citizens mind.
Even though Alexander thought that he destroyed extremist “Peoples Will” there was a strong underground movement existing still. They made attempts on assassinating the Tsar again. It was another challenge from opposition which Tsar took care of by having them arrested and executed by Okhrana.
Pobedonoscev also saw that zemstvas could be a threat to autocracy. So they took control of that elected body by having Land Captains who were appointed by the Interior Minister himself. They made sure that the local laws did not create another problem that Alexander needed to face. Doctors and teachers could not run...