Alexander Ii and Alexander Iii

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The Accomplishments and Failures of the 19th Century Tsars The nineteenth century was filled with a variety of tsars. There are two that deserve a great amount of focus: Alexander II and Alexander III. Alexander II hoped to change and resolve Russia and their social and economic problems. His son, Alexander III, was more conservative and wished to undo everything his father did. Alexander II ascended the throne at the age of thirty-seven. He was tsar of Russia from 1855-1881. Alexander II was referred to as the “Tsar Liberator.” One of the major accomplishments of Alexander II is that he was able to emancipate the serfs. Alexander II singed the emancipation manifesto on March 3, 1861. At his coronation he stated that it is better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait until it would abolish itself from below. (Riasanovsky 366) Prior to the emancipation there had been many peasant uprisings in the attempt to gain freedom. According to the official record, Vasilii Semevsky had counted 550 peasant uprisings in the 19th century prior to the emancipation of the serfs. (Riasanovsky 365) It is speculated that this number is very inaccurate and it is more likely that there were 1,467. Inna Ignatovich gave this break down, “281 peasant rebellions, that is, 19 percent of the total, in the period form 1801-1825; 712 rebellions, 49 percent, from 1826-1854; and 474 uprisings, or 32 percent, in the six years and two months of Alexander II’s reign before the abolition of serfdom.” (Riasanovsky 365) Clearly there were many uprisings going on, which more than likely could have influenced his strong decision to liberate the serfs. During this time there were many exoduses of the serfs towards Caucasus because the serfs believed the rumors of freedom available there. There was the more obvious moral attributes displayed in his decision as well. Many political parties, such as…...

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