Alexander Ii Opposition Essay

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History – Alexander II #3 Revision Notes
Opposition, Conclusion
Lucas Fox 11OA

The Opposition to Alexander II consisted on two divisions; the Moderates, and the Extremists. The Moderates included: * Alexander Herzen – who believed that socialism should be based on village commune, he believed that with patience the peasants could be educated. “to the people.” * Pisarev – who believed the peasants were not ready to rebel and needed a group of educated elite “vanguard” to lead them. He believed in nihilism and in no authority and for everything to be questioned… * Lavrov – who also believed that the peasants should be educated so that they can free themselves (eventually). * “Populists” (1874-1875) – 3000 students went
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Moderates: Herzen, Pisarev, Lavrov
Herzen (in exile)
Believed that educated people should go “to the people,” and believed the commune was the basis for a Russian socialist development. His journal “the Bell” (published in London but smuggled into Russia) made it clear that he was against violence and preferred a patient way of educating the masses (peasants). The students who went to the countryside and were arrested were betrayed to the police by the peasants (were still blindly loyal to the Tsar!) The peasants barely understood what was being said – too low class, no education.
Pisarev believed that an elite group of intellectuals should provide leadership for the peasants, and thought peasants were too premature too lead any revolution. He rejected revolution since he believed it was impossible at the moment. He suggested people to examine the moral and material bases of society first. He believed in nihilism.
He believed that the peasants should be educated so that they themselves could eventually be liberated. HE favored propaganda but opposed revolutionary anarchism. Extremists: Bakunin, Chernyshevki
Mikhail Bakunin (in exile)
Was the founder of Anarchism and preached violence and destruction as a way of achieving change. He was the inspiration for younger radical revolutionaries. Born in the Russian aristocracy, served in the army and became interested in philosophy in 1835, he was increasingly

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