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Alexander II Historians

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John Grenville - emancipation of the serfs
Nothing more than a cruel joke
Hugh Seton Watson - reforms: success/failure
Tried to reach the best between two worlds but failed as he tried to reach an unreal compromise between autocracy and modern reforms
Richard Pipes - emancipation
'After 1861 the economic situation of the Russian peasantry deteriorated and in 1900 he was by and large worse off than he had been in 1800'
Sam Olofsson - reason for modernisation
His need to modernise came from his need to establish autocratic rule.
W Bruce Lincoln - extent of reform
By the end of Alexander II's rule the state and the autocracy was in no way changed, the tsar still had total power.
A J Rieber - purpose of reforms
Alexander was motivated solely by military reasons and the desire to strengthen the state through a strong modernised army
More interested in the maintenance of the autocracy than actual reforms.
Larissa Zakharova - principals
Alexander was an autocratic in both his principals and his actions
G Stevenson - political change
'nothing Alexander did alter was intended to alter the fundamental political fact of a god created autocracy'
H Seton Watson - legal reforms
The courtroom was the one place in Russia where real freedom of speech prevailed.
H Seton Watson - reforms
Tsardom never reformed unless there was a pressure from a war.
Westwood - success
Despite imperfections the emancipation program was an enormous step forward and no Russian ruler brought so much relief to so many
Tim Chapman - emancipation
'The single most important law or decree issued by any Tsar in nineteenth century Russia'
David Saunders - personality
Personal weaknesses - little understanding or control over his own reforms and the laws
Crankshaw - emancipation/maintenance of the regime
'The emancipation had to be he knew it but he did not like it'
David Christian - emancipation
"Emancipation was a success at achieving its immediate objectives" peasant disturbances were reduced and serfdom was abolished without provoking an immediate rebellion
A J Rieber - zemstvo
It was designed with the interest of nobility at heart.
Richard Pipes - emancipation
'Too cautious, too little, too late'
David Saunders - education
Education reforms grew student radicalism and teaching lectures appeared to be serving not only academic and economic purposes but also the promotion of political instability
David Saunders - emancipation
'A severe critic of the statutes of 1862
Might respond to the questions why did Alexander the II free the serfs by saying he failed to do so?'