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  1. I.                   Imperial Russia
    • a.      Russia’s defeat in Crimean War from Brits and French showed deficiencies behind mask of absolute power and showed even to conservatives  that Russia was falling behind
    • b.      Tsar Alexander II, who came to power during war, focused on overhaul of Russian system
  2. Serfdom
    •                                                               i.      Serfdom= biggest problem
    • 1.      The continuting subjugation of peasants to land and their landlords was failing
    • a.      Reduced to antiquated methods of production based on serf labor, Russian landowners were pressed and couldn’t compete with foreign agriculture
    • b.      The Serfs, (backbone of Russian infantry) were uneducated and inexperienced with machines and weapons
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Peasant dissatisfactionà revolts that disrupted order
  3. Abolition of Serfdom
    •                                                               i.      March 3, 1861: Alex issued emancipation edict
    • 1.      Peasants could own property, marry whoever, and bring suits in court
    • a.      Still limited as government gave land to the peasants through purchanse from landowners, who kept the best land
    • b.      Russian peasants had little amounts of good land to support selvesà worsened with increase in population
  4. Not completely free
    • 1.      Not completely free as, although state compensated landowners for land given to peasants, they peasants had to repay state in long tern installments
    • a.      To ensure payment was made, peasants were subjected to authority of their mir, or village commune, which was collectively responsible for the land payments to the government
  5. Village commune
    •                                                               i.      In reality, the village commune, not the individual peasants, owned the land the peasants bought
    • 1.      Since village communes ewre responsible for payments, they didn’t want peasants to leave land
    •                                                             ii.      Emancipationà not free, landowning peasantry, but unhappy, land-starved peasants
  6. Other reforms
    •                                                               i.      Alexander II attempted other reforms
    • 1.      System of zemstvos, or local assemblies, that provided a moderate degree of self-government
    • a.      Reps to this were elected from noble landowners, townspeople, and peasants= property- based on system of voting gave advantage to nobles
  7. Zemstvos
    • a.      Zemstvos were given limited power to give public service, like education
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      They could levy taxes to pay for services, but efforts disrupted by bureaucrats, who feared any hint of self-government
    • 1.      Hope of liberal nobles and other social reformers that the zemstvos would expand into a national pariliament= unfulfilled
  8. Legal Reforms
    1.      Legal reforms of 1864, which created regular system of local and provincial courts and a judicial code that accepted the principle of equality before the law, were successful
  9. Autocratic tsar
    •                                                               i.      Autocratic tsar unable to control forces he unleashed by his reforms
    • 1.      Reformers wanted fast change; conservatives opposed tsar’s attempts to undermine the basic institutions of Russian society
    • By 1870, Russia had increased numbers of reform movements
  10. Alexander Herzen
    One of most popular stemmed from writing of Alexander Herzen, a Russian exile in London, whose slogan “Land and Freedom” epitomized his belief that the Russian peasant must be the chief instrument in social reform
  11. Alexander Herzen belief
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Believed that the peasant village commune could serve as an independent, self-governing body that would form the basis of a new Russia
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Russian students and intellectuals who followed his ideas formed movement called populism whose aim was for a new society through revolutionary acts of peasants
    • 1.      Peansants lack of interestà populists use violence to overthrow tsaris autocracy
  12. Vera Zasulich
    • 1.      Daughter of poor noble who used violence to overthrow repression of tsarist regime
    • a.      Clerk before joining Land and Freedom, an underground populist organization advocating radical reform
    • 2.      1878: she shot and wounded the governor-general of Saint Petersburg and acquitted by a caring jury
  13. Zasulich's success
    •                                                               i.      Encouraged by Zasulich’s success, other radicals, called People’s Will, assassinated Alexander II in 1881
    • 1.      His son, Alexander III, turned against reform and used traditional means of repression
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2013-03-16 12:55:07
HON 122

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