Alexander II Emancipate The Serfs Analysis

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Why did Alexander II emancipate the serfs?

Alexander II, the Tsar of Russia from 1855-1881, formally emancipated, or set free, the serfs in the Emancipation Reform of 1861 despite that it was only applied to privately owned serfs and was a measured three stage process beginning with personal freedom. Ultimately, Alexander II emancipated the serfs as it held back Russia’s economy from progressing and improving. However, the combination of various military, social and political factors also contributed to the decision of Alexander II to emancipate the serfs.

There were many military-related reasons which would incentivise the emancipation of serfs, especially following the Crimean War which led people to believe that reform was necessary. During
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The intelligentsia is a social class of people who looked to play a role in influencing the culture and politics of a society, in this case, Russia. By emancipating the serfs, the Tsar would appease the intelligentsia as they had tried to pressure the Tsar to reform and bring change, as they had argued to liberalise and try to get the Tsar to bring equality to the people. The intelligentsia did not have many numbers yet they posed notable resistance to the autocracy, challenging it and the Tsar. By appeasing them in this way, they might become less of an opposition, so the autocracy would not have to worry about them as much. By freeing the serfs, Russia could secure her position as a great power in Europe following her defeat in the Crimean War. The emancipation of serfs would seem, to the other western powers, that the Tsar is doing good for his people and abolishing a morally incorrect system. At the same time it would help maintain the autocracy in Russia following the social unrest and growing economic problems which could be fixed by the emancipation. Additionally, serfdom was not entirely different to the feudalism which had been present in many areas of pre-modern Europe, although long abolished. The fact that Russia still had serfdom when other western countries had long moved on past feudalism showed Russia’s backwardness …show more content…
However, it would have also improved and strengthened Russia’s military, restored social stability in Russia and reduced political opposition and brought Russia’s political level up to that of western

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