Domestic Policy Interpretations - How Liberal was Alexander II's Gov? Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Domestic Policy Interpretations - How Liberal was Alexander II's Gov? Deck (30)
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1

What were the positives/liberal aspects of the passing of the Emancipation edict?

Introduced Grand Duke Constantine into Emancipation committee, who was forceful and quick tempered, to speed things up

Nazimov Rescript - gave serfs land (but had to buy)

When 1858 peasant unrest in Lithuania prompted criticism that peasants needed more land, handed over final stages of emancipation to an Editorial Commission (of which Reformers dominated, led by Milyutin)

Granted individual freedom and minimum civil rights to 20 million people, a huge liberating measure despite imperfections

2

What were the negatives/not liberal aspects of the passing of the Emancipation edict?

Initially, Orlov led committee into Emancipation - strongly conservative President of the Council of the State, committee made little progress and wasted sessions

Nazimov Rescript - landowners of Lithuania couldn't free serfs without land but serfs had to buy land

Response to criticism over Emancipation was to tighten censorship laws

Milyutin dismissed from being Chairman of Commission for Zemstvo Local gov Reform in 1861 for too liberal - shows Alexander II and his govt. not very liberal in truth

3

Overall, did the the passing of the Emancipation edict prove Alexander II to be ‘liberal’?

While it cannot be ignored the Emancipation edict did grant individual freedom to 20 million people, the policy was more due to a desire to modernise + industrialise Russia rather than a desire to make policy more ‘liberal’.

Demonstrated by the limitations to the policy and the dismissal of Milyutin

4

What were the postives/liberal aspects of Alexander II's administrative reforms between 1961-65?

Gave limited powers to approve local community projects e.g roads, prisons, public health, etc.

Local initiative in place of administrative control

Became more critical of regime as more concerned with local issues

5

What were the negatives/not liberal aspects of Alexander II's administrative reforms between 1961-65?

Other areas of local govt., e.g levy state and local taxes, remained with Tsar-appointed governors

Did not lead to liberal hope for national assembly as Alex held on to autocratic power

Zemstva dominated by nobility and spread slowly

Provincial governors could reverse decisions

6

What were the reasons for Alexander II's administrative reforms between 1861-65?

What was implimented?

To abolish the gentry's legal control.

Created system of rural local councils--, the Zemstva. Elected by 3 electoral colleges (nobles, townspeople, peasants)

7

Overall, were Alexander II's administrative reforms liberal?

Created the building blocks to reduce administrative control, but in practice very limited power and dominated by nobility pushing own agenda, so not very liberal

8

Why did Alexander II impliment judicial reforms?

To reform chaotic, arbitrary, secret, and cruel judicial system

9

What were the positives/liberal elements of Alexander II's judicial reforms?

Set up reforming committee of officials from Ministry of Judges

1864 gave approval to proposals including equality before law

Judges to be better trained and elected

Separation of judicial and administrative powers

Trial by jury and open trials

Less savage punishments

Promoted climate based on rule of law, court of justices of the peace very valuable

10

What were the negatives/not liberal elements of Alexander II's judicial reforms?

Shortage of trained lawyers in early years

Still influenced by govt who controlled promotions

Bureaucracy continued to intervene so trial by jury not always upheld

Volost courts for peasantry kept them out of judicial system

Revolutionaries continued to be harrassed by secret police of the Third Section

11

Overall, did Alexander II's judicial reforms prove him to be liberal or not?

Reforms much more liberal and fair than past, but imperfections meant not always upheld

e.g continuing power of bureaucracy and other groups kept outside the system (peasants)

12

Why did Alexander II reform the military?

Reform necessary after defeat in Crimean War and changes in conscription after abolition of serfdom, to remove abuses evident in Crimean campaign

13

What were the positives/liberal elements of Alexander II's military reforms?

1875 Milyutin approved:

  • More modern weapons
  • More training for officer corps
  • Could raise ranks on merit
  • Admin improved
  • System of enlistment changed so no serf-based conscription, to make a more professional, smaller, less expensive army
  • Incentives to encourage educated recruits increased literacy

Peacetime cheaper due to reduction of numbers

14

What were the negatives/non liberal elements of Alexander II's military reforms?

People could still be represented by substitutes

Officers mainly aristocratic

Still based on peasant conscripts

High levels of illiteracy so training ineffective

Only defeated Turkey after months of fighting 1877-8, defeated by Japan 1904-5, and Germany 1914-17

Problems of supply, provisioning, and leadership remained

15

Overall, were Alexander II's military reforms liberal or not?

Did become more liberal, esp. conscripts, but wars show still ineffective and not that modernised, issues remained

16

Why did Alexander II need to reform education?

What was changed?

Needed to improve, as responsibility moved from Church to Zemstva in 1864, and to extend popular education

High levels of illiteracy

17

What were the positives/liberal aspects of Alexander II's educational reforms?

Schools opened to all classes

More primary schools opened and secondary schools grew

Included women 1864

Curriculum extended

Universities given greater independence 1863 (but short-lived)

All taught divinity, history, Russian language and literature, geography, and maths

University numbers grew from 3600 to 10,000

18

What were the negatives/non liberal aspects of Alexander II's educational reforms?

Gov retained right to veto university appointments and ban student organisations

1861 many universities closed and students prosecuted for criticising regime

Revolutionary disturbances in 1870s led to re-introduction of state supervision of universities

19

Overall, were Alexander II's educational reforms liberal?

Whilst education more open to all, no freedom to criticise the system

20

Why did Alexander II reform censorship?

What changes were implimented?

Wanted to reorganise and relax

Moved to Ministry of Interior in 1862

21

What were the positives/liberal aspects of Alexander II's censorship reforms?

Prepublication codes reduced in 1863

Press allowed to discuss gov policy in 1865

Foreign publications allowed into Russia (subject to political approval)

Editors given more freedom over what could publish

Encouraged growth in number of books and political journalism (books published from 1020 in 1855 to 10,691 in 1894)

Public opinion more educated, especially as judicial reforms led to more openness in conduct of trials

22

What were the negatives/not liberal aspects of Alexander II's censorship reforms?

Survival of separate military and ecclesiastical censorship meant publishers still uncertain

The regime retained control over what was written and read

The growth in criticism led to counter-reaction in 1870s and tight censorship returned

23

Overall, were Alexander II's censorship reforms liberal?

More liberal for a while but limited as censorship returned to preserve autocratic system

24

Why did Alexander II impliment financial + economic reforms?

To improve the auditing of accounts and collection of revenue, so encouraged foreign trade and banking, planned railway network

25

What were the positives/liberal aspects of Alexander II's financial + economic reforms?

Government guarantee of annual dividend of railway network attracted foreign investors and amount of track and traffic grew

Boosted fuel, metallurgy, and engineering industries, as well as grain producers

26

What were the negatives/non liberal aspects of Alexander II's financial + economic reforms?

No real tax reform

Russia’s currency not stabilised

Third of government expenditure was to repay old debts

Few railway lines proved profitable

27

Overall, was Alexander II's financial + economic reform liberal?

No real reform so not very liberal

28

What evidence suggests that Alexander II was more liberal in his running of government after 1865?

Tolstoy increased amount of teacher training colleges and provision of education

Loris-Melikov’s liberal ideas before Alexander II’s assassination

  • Abolished Third Section and transferred its functions to the police
  • Proposed plan for limited involvement of elected people in legislation based on an administrative and financial commission composed of appointed experts (national assembly)

29

What evidence suggests that Alexander II was not more liberal in his running of government after 1865?

Close liberal members of family lost influence e.g Grand Duke Constantine + Grand Duchess Helen

Rejected reformist demands for elected general assembly

Interest in reform declined after attempt on his life and increasingly exhausted from criticism

Appointed conservative Count Peter Shuvalov to Chief of Police and Third Section, showing the conservative element in thinking

Conservative minister Tolstoy in education

  • Blamed university education on spread of revolutionary ideas - subjects that encouraged independent thought, e.g history, science, modern languages, Russian, replaced by Maths, Latin, Greek, Church history
  • 1871 division made between schools that meant you could go to university (gimnaziya) and ‘real schools’ which went onto higher technical institutions

30

Overall, Was Alexander II liberal in his running of government after 1865?

Became much more reactionary after problems in personal life, e.g death of eldest son from tuberculosis.

Though did appear to be becoming more liberal before his assassination (Loris-Melikov + National Assembly)