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How successful were Alexander II reforms in modernising Russia before his death in 1881?

(24 marks
!he emanci"ation legislation ushered in a whole range of further reforms# !hese changes affected the rights of both the "easants and the nobles that brought an end to man$ of Russia%s "roblems and hel"ed to modernise it# Howe&er' it also brought with it its own "roblems# (ne of the biggest reforms was within the militar$# !his came as a "riorit$ to Russia e&er since the$ had suffered the disastrous defeat of the )rimean war# It showed that a change to traditional "ractices was in des"erate need# *manci"ation had also remo&ed the means of conscri"ting serfs# +mitri ,il$utin (the minister of war until 1881 sought to com"letel$ reorganise the armed forces b$ creating a smaller' but more both efficient and "rofessional arm$# !he length of ser&ice was reduced from 2- $ears to 1- $ears# )onscri"tion was made com"ulsor$ for all classes' e&en nobles# !he militar$ colonies (where the conscri"ted were forced to li&e were abandoned# ,odern wea"onr$ was introduced. iron/clad steamshi"s were built and strategic railwa$s constructed to im"ro&e the trans"ort of troo"s and "ro&isions# Another reform was for the 0udicial s$stem# !his had alread$ been in reform since when 1icholas I was !sar' meaning it was a work in "rogress# *manci"ation howe&er re2uired that the current work done needed to be further done to gi&e new laws relating to the serfs new found rights as before the serfs had little# !he$ were also alwa$s "resumed guilt$ in the e$es of the law if the$ were accused of a crime and had a small chance of obtaining 0ustice# !he "rinci"le of e2ualit$ before the law was established3 this meant there was one court for all classes as o""ose to se"arate courts for se"arate classes# 4roceedings were to be o"en to the "ublic# !he accused "erson could see a 0udge and could defend themsel&es with counsel# 5udges were gi&en better training and "a$ so less chance of briber$ and an abuse of the 0udicial s$stem# Another reform was for education# !he abolishment of serfdom increased the need for basic literac$ and numerac$ for "easants who now needed to know how to manage their "ri&ate businesses and holdings# !here was alread$ no or little education in Russia which needed to change if it wanted to catch u" with the de&elo"ment of the west# 4rimar$ and secondar$ education was extended throughout the countr$# At secondar$ le&el a new 6modern schools% were established' these were for those who did not want to recei&e the 6traditional% education offered at the 6g$mna7ii%# 8tudents could also "rogress to uni&ersit$ from both# 8chools were declared 6o"en to all%' meaning that an$bod$ could attend and recei&e education regardless of class and sex which meant that women could now attend# Another reform was for the econom$# Alexander wanted to win international res"ect and to restore Russian "restige# 9ut for this he needed change to the econom$3 a huge boost was needed to "ro&ide funds for his militar$ and for other areas of Russian state and societ$# !he treasur$ was reformed establishing a new s$stem for budgets and for collecting taxes# Auditing the accounts of go&ernment de"artments was "ut in "lace# !ax farming was abolished which allowed for those to bu$ the right to collect certain taxes# It was encouraged for foreign in&estors to take an in&estment to Russia with a guarantee for annual di&idend# :ower tariffs and liberal trade "olicies were introduced# 8u""orting the de&elo"ment of the cotton industr$ was encouraged' along with the mining in the +onets coalfield# !here were man$ "ositi&es to these reforms# In the militar$ the arm$ had become better trained# !he hea&$ go&ernment ex"enditure once used for su""orting a massi&e arm$ of serfs was reduced meaning it could be "ut into the econom$ to hel" su""ort it# !he now raging (com"ared to how it was economic de&elo"ment hel"ed the arm$ to introduce its modern

wea"onr$ of shi"s and the &ast construction of railwa$s hel"ed to trans"ort e&er$thing# :iterac$ began to im"ro&e as a result to reforms in education# *ducation also ga&e 0udges better training and a better econom$ meant that the$ could be "aid better' this meant Russia%s 0udicial s$stem was much fairer and less corru"t and hel"ed establish a rule of law# ,ilitar$ courts re&iewed and changed the militar$ code' gi&ing a new code of conduct# 8erfs being gi&en e2ual rights ga&e them the o""ortunit$ to ha&e their own li&es and businesses that would again hel" to su""ort the new econom$# !he serf%s abilit$ to ha&e these li&es was im"ro&ed b$ their chance for education and e&en go onto uni&ersit$3 uni&ersit$ allowed for "easants the chance to become an officer in the arm$' a "osition alwa$s com"osed of nobles# !he econom$ had a link to e&er$thing in Russia' so the im"ro&ement of this im"ro&ed Russia as a whole# Howe&er there were still negati&es to these reforms and "arts of it that remained unchanged# !he militar$ remained in essence a "easant conscri"ted arm$# *&en with "easants being able to become officers the class still largel$ remained of aristocrats# ;hile o"en courts were a much fairer wa$ of o"erating through the law' it ga&e the chance for articulate law$ers to criticise go&ernment regime which undermined go&ernment control# ;ith all the economic de&elo"ment Russia was still behind com"ared with the rest of *uro"e# 5ews and other inferior races were treated badl$# !he reforms of Russia were b$ no means a definite success# Howe&er it was certainl$ not a failure# +es"ite the arm$%s conscri"tion still being too long and "easants not being able to ad&ance in ranks' it was still largel$ im"ro&ed and was a much better arm$ because of it# !he 0udicial s$stem ga&e "easants "re&iousl$ unknown freedoms in their rights to s"eech and "ros"erit$' law$ers being critical of their regime came with the new freedoms of Russia# !he reforms of education ga&e e&er$one the right to it and ga&e "easants the chance to succeed in careers "re&iousl$ im"ossible with it# 8o in m$ o"inion' o&erall it was a success# ;hen it comes to fixing "roblems o&er an entire countr$ (es"eciall$ one the si7ed of Russia there are going to be "roblems and nothing will be fixed with the click of a finger# Alexander II did well to fix a shallow and broken countr$ with what he had# (!his 8A scored 21<24

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