Compare and contrast Alexander II and Alexander III

1148 words 5 pages
Compare and contrast Alexander II and Alexander III
Although they were father and son, the reigns of Alexander II and Alexander III took off in completely different directions. Alexander II was committed to his empire by vowing to reform Russia, making it more in line with nineteenth-century western society. His son, on the other hand, was the unprepared tsar, whose actions were literally reactions to his father’s unexpected assassination. Consequently, Alexander II went down in history as much more productive in the field of domestic policy; in dealing with revolutionaries; and in his foreign policy than his son Alex III would ever be.
1855 was a tough time for Alexander II to take the throne. Russia was in the middle of a costly war
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People that approved of such actions formed an organization named the People’s Will. Those who opposed terror called themselves the Black Partition. Alexander II did little to suppress these groups, however, and eventually fell victim to members of the People’s Will, bleeding to his death on March 13, 1881.
Because of the way his father was killed, Alexander III was very cautious when it came to revolutionaries. He made it very clear to his government that he wanted to rid Russia of everyone associated with revolutionary views. Alexander abandoned the plans his father had of creating a constitution, and believed that only absolute autocracy could fight the revolution. Subsequently, repressing the revolutionaries became a recurring theme for Alexander III’s reign.
The Treaty of Paris, which signified the ending of the Crimean War, was Alexander II’s first important foreign-policy act. The result of the treaty was unfortunate because Russia lost important territories, and the Black Sea became neutral territory. This was a huge blow to Russian influence in that region. Russia then tried to turn things around, with the help of France. Alexander II met with Napoleon III multiple times to coordinate agreements. However, in 1863, the French emperor gave moral and diplomatic support to the Polish insurrection, which soured Franco-Russian relations. With the diplomatic assistance of Otto von Bismarck, war with France and Britain was avoided.

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