To what extent did Alexander III undermine the reforming policies of his father?

May 8th, 2015
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There is no doubt that Alexander III was one of the most fascinating figures of modern European history. He ruled as Tsar of Russia for less than 15 years, yet he changed the country more than many of his predecessors. Traditionally it is assumed that he was a reactionary, unlike the reformer his father, Alexander II, had been.

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To what extent did Alexander III undermine the reforming policies of his father?There is no doubt that Alexander III was one of the most fascinating figures of modern European history. He ruled as Tsar of Russia for less than 15 years, yet he changed the country more than many of his predecessors. Traditionally it is assumed that he was a reactionary, unlike the reformer his father, Alexander II, had been. However, as so often the case, this interpretation of Alexander IIIs rule is not so undisputed. There is much reason to believe that despite some different policies, ultimately both men wanted to reach the same goals. Alexander III unquestionably did undermine the reforming policies of his father, but the underlying reasons for this are not so obvious.The reign of Alexander II which began with bright promise, and changed to dreary stagnation, ended in tragedy. The Tsar-liberator was a victim of the unsolved conflict between social reform and the dogma of political autocracy. This is a quote taken from Seton Watson, a famous historian, which perfectly sums up Alex IIs (as he preferred to be called) reign. Alex came to power in 1855, as a 37 year old man. He had received a ve

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