Russia in Chapter 14

Cailin Wood, Colin Thomas, Kara Anderson


  • Abolition of Serfdom: Tsar Alexander II wanted the freedom of the serfs, but it took 5 years for any laws to be enacted. After the abolition the serfs had personal freedoms, however, they still had to pay landlords over the course of 49 years for allotments of land that were often not enough to support their families.
  • Revolutionaries: The Russian people were upset with the tsar regime and the limited turnout of Alexander II's reforms. The name of this movement was populism. The revolutionaries wanted to live life as peasants. One of the most radical of these societies was called Land and Freedom. The peasants were opposed to the revolutionaries joining their lifestyle and turned them in to the courts.
  • Assasinations: The courts gave the young men and women light punishments, but Tsar Alexander wanted heavier punishments for the more dedicated revolutionaries. In response, the young people involved in the revolution adopted a policy of terrorism. Vera Zasulich, a young revolutionary woman, attempted to assassinate the governbor of St. Petersburg. These events became the catalyst that caused a group called The People's Will to split off from the Land and Freedom society. Of this group, 4 men and 2 women would later assainate the Tsar, Alexander II. The perpetrators were sentenced to death.

Battle Results

After the Crimean war the Russians were seen as a weaker in the eyes of the rest of Europe. The lack of control within their own country afterwards only proved the point, even more, that Russia was not a European superpower, anymore.



Alexander III came into power after Tsar Alexander II's death. He favored central bureaucracy and strengthened secret police, as well as sanctioning censorship of the press. Alexander III's reign as Tsar of Russia confirmed what evils the revolutionaries saw in autocratic governments. His lineage and the autocracy would not survive past his son Nicholas II in the 20th century.

Quiz Time!

  1. Alexander II abolished ____________ in Russia.
  2. ___________ were/was executed for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II.
  3. What was the name of the party that the assassin(s) were involved in?


Colin- It's good that Russia abolished serfdom, however they didn't completely free the serfs until 1906.

Cailin- I think that Alexander didn't really do much wrong, other than the Crimean war, but the revolutionaries saw him as a growing tyrant because he freed their serfs and preferred heavier penalties

Kara- I think that is was good on Alexander II's part to abolish serfdom to at least keep up with the rest of Europe. However, I think that the rest of his reforms causing unrest in his own country and Poland caused him to be seen as a bad leader when he was disliked and later assassinated.