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What Problems Did Alexander Ii Face In 1855 And How Far Was He Successful In Solving Them?

1169 words - 5 pages

In 1855, when Alexander II, son of Nicholas I, came to power as Tsar of Russia he was faced by many problems. Russia, being the backwards place it was needed reform. The gap between the noble class and the peasant class was enormous and causing problems. The serfs were being treated horribly; the legal system and educational system were in desperate need of changes. There were also governmental issues that needed to be addressed. Russia could use as much reform as possible; Alexander II saw these needs and made every effort to fulfill them in the name of fatherland.In 1859, there were more than 40 million peasants enslaved to either private landowners or the state, others served as servants ...view middle of the document...

After the liberation of the serfs, Alexander II continued to make many further reforms. The most urgent reform facing the Tsar after the emancipation act was the reform of the legal system. After concluding peace in the Crimean war, Alexander had made it his first promise in the manifesto of March 19 1856 to reform the legal system. He set up a commission in late 1861 to transform the system. On October 10, 1862 the principles of this reform were made public, and in November 1864 the changes were put into practice. The results were nothing short of a complete transformation of the Russian legal system. Tribunals were made public, jury's were adopted for most criminal cases, Judges more respected, the procedure in the courts was simplified and defendants were given the right to a lawyer in their defence.Abolishing serfdom led to a problem in rural areas. Whereas when the nobles had authority over the serfs, they served as an authoritative group, now with the serfs free of the nobles, there was need for rural policing. As the serfs got a taste of freedom, they naturally wanted more. To quell any uprisings Alexander introduced, under the ministry of the interior, rural policing. These policing groups were successful in suppressing peasant uprisings after their emancipation and were the first step to developing the somewhat self-governing bodies called zemstvos.Zemtvos were introduced at both district and provincial levels. The national council claimed that these groups were set up in order to allow people of all classes to participate in making decisions on local affairs. However, this did not deem altogether true. People of all classes could participate in all of the meetings but when it came to voting, the votes were weighted according to how much money and land a particular person had. This was considered redemption, for the freeing of the nobles' serfs. Even though the zemtvos were taking orders from a variety of different ministries, they managed to successfully reform the health and education systems in rural areas. From the time the first zemstvos were introduced in 1855, approximately 1000 new elementary schools were built each year and the condition of hospitals were...

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