Alexander II: Monologue

I’ve seen it happen in my own eyes.  It’s not very easy to run a country.  Especially a huge empire when everyone is against your ideas and decisions.
When I became a tsar, “Sevastopol, Crimea fell from bad to worse.  In fact, Russia lost its naval rights in the Black Sea” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  It was bad timing and somehow hard for Russia to gain its great reputation again.  I thought the only way was to continue the actions from my predecessors.

Image result for crimea and russia alexander ii

(Source: https://lts.brandeis.edu/research/archives-speccoll/exhibits/crimeanwar/CzarTwo.html)

Therefore,”I decided to privilege the educated elements or upper class in order to influence them” (Lowe).  Unfortunately, it did not turn out the way I expected it to be.  What can I do?  The only answer is to change the country and its policies.

Thinking about the situation for a couple of days, I finally had a great idea! I decided to develop some reforms.  However, reforms were not easy to think of either.  For example, “State reform required the emancipation of the serfs” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  The serfs might not agree with the decision.
On the bright side, “the reforms also meant that the system of estates had in part to be dismantled and could only be in a limited way be an instrument of policy towards the minorities” (Lowe).  The minorities will continue to appreciate the country and as a result, Russia can gain a good reputation in diversity.

When Poles heard about the reforms, they were delighted.  They were looking forward to proving their ethnic background.  As a result, “Reforms in Warsaw led to rising expectations.  In 1856, the reforms began with the emancipation decree issued on February 19,1861” (Encyclopedia of Russia).

Image result for alexander ii emancipation of serfs
(Source: http://www.newhistorian.com/alexander-ii-emancipates-serfs/3122/)

I also made a decision to create political reforms. As a result, I”developed a new local government reform, called zemstvo, along with reforms in court, education, censorship law and military law” (Lowe).  However, the reforms did not work.  “There was a revolt in Poland.  The Polish demanded more freedom in 1863.  I was scared at that moment and believed that a rebellion would happen.  Therefore, I increased the power of the Third Section, which was a secret police” (Encyclopedia of Russia).    I still do not understand why Poles would disagree with my action.  Perhaps, they were still feeling oppressed due to the censorship laws.

To my horror, “A group of students at Russian universities created a group called ‘Land and Liberty’ in order to riot against my decisions.  During this time, I had issues with my family.  I can never forget the day when Karazakov tried to assassinate me” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  I was almost shot but luckily, I survived.

I still do not understand why people judged me for my mistakes.  One event I do remember clearly is The Battle for Shipka, when Russia won some territory.  I decided to put a concentration on warfare by “declaring a war on the Ottoman Empire in 1877. I wanted to liberate Orthodox subjects from Muslim oppression” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  To me, diversity in race and religion was pretty important.  Therefore, I had a desire to “strengthen Russian influence in the area and respond to the rise of Pan-Slavism, an ideology espousing unity among Slavic People.  On the other hand, empires such as Austria-Hungary and Great Britain were pressuring me to reconsider terms of peace.   Surprisingly, the plan worked out. I worked with those countries during this battle. On July 19, 1877, Russian troops were able to secure a path from Bulgaria to Istanbul after a tiring fight.  On August 8th, the troops prepared for a defense and captured Plevna and Kars” (Kolesnikova).  We liberated many cities for our ally.  In “March 1878, we signed the Treaty of San Stefano and liberated Erzerum,” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  “It surprised me since we were able to gain territory in the Caucasus” (Kolesnikova).  I also remember how “I developed a special relation with Montenegro” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  The war was a great success as the Russian Empire played it’s part for the world.

I wish people could have also appreciated  the fact that I did not assimilate any minority religions in Russia.  For example, “I allowed some Jews to live in the Baltic States, Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus. I also abolished the Cantonist System, which was the implement of schools for Jews to study and work for the military” (CIE).  I tried my best to cause peace between religions.

Little did I know, people in the Russian Empire did not seem to agree with me.  I remember how a new “Land and Liberty group emerged, demanding me to give all land to the peasants.  Instead of being a whole group, the group split to two categories: the Black Repartition and the People’s Will.  The Black Repartition focused on the land question.  While, the People’s Will focused on establishing a new political system” (Encyclopedia of Russia).  I am just shocked by the corruption that happened throughout this time period.  Maybe, I should change the political system.  I will work on that in the future.

Now, I have to go.  I am sorry to say that it is all I have to write for today.  I need to discuss how I can cease this problem now: develop a new constitution and try to establish a national assembly.

 

 

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