Alexander the Second

By Cassidy Penkivech, Flynn Horwich, Anya Robertson

Alexander the Second's Backstory

Alexander the Second was born on April 17, 1818. He was the son of Nicholas the First and Alexandra Feodorovna. He had a very educated childhood. He learned to speak Russian, German, French, English, and Polish as well. Alexander also learned about military arts, finance, and diplomacy. When he was younger, he visited 30 different provinces including Siberia in the year 1837. No czar had ever visited Siberia before in Russian History. Alexander had many military jobs and government jobs. When his father was away, Alexander was usually given the duties of a czar. While he was on a trip in Germany, he met Maria Alexandrova, a princess, and ended up marrying her in 1841. Alexander and Maria had eight children, two of which died at a young age. As he got older he became a member of the imperial councils. He also supervised the operation and efficiency of military schools. When his father was not available, Alexander presided over State Council meetings. No one could have predicted the circumstances under which Alexander would become the czar of Russia. During the Crimean War, his father died and not long after Alexander was crowned czar. He became the czar on February 13, 1855. He would go on to make great reforms to Russia.

The Emancipation of the Serfs

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One of Alexander II’s major accomplishments during his reign as Czar was that he ended serfdom in Russia. Unlike American slaves, serfs weren’t seen as property. Because they lived on the landowner’s land, they were bound to that. The relationship between serf and landowner was solely based on land.
The feudal system in Europe was similar to serfdom. However, when the feudal system was removed from Europe, serfdom remained in Russia. This caused many problems in Russia because they were socially and economically behind other countries. The people of Russia began blaming all of Russia’s problems on serfdom. When Russia lost the Crimean War, Alexander II knew that in order to make reforms to Russia, serfdom had to be ended.

Other Reforms to Russia