History of Russia

History of Russia - Alexander II and the Era of the Great...

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Alexander II and the Era of the Great Reforms, 1855-1870 (Evtuhov; pp 406-22) - Alexander, who was 36 when he took over, was groomed well by his father Nicholas as well as by his tutor, Vasily Zhukovsky (romantic poet) and Mikhail Speranksy (lawmaker) - The groundwork for emancipation was laid out by Catherine II’s Free Economic Society , Alexander I’s Law of Free Cultivators (1803) , and Nicholas’ law on obligated peasants (1842). - Alexander’s first address was given in Moscow in March 1856 . It was on the possibility of abolishing serfdom, however this was a more vague goal at the time. - The moral indictment of serfdom reached its pinnacle in the 1840s when Ivan Turgenev’s, “A Hunter’s Sketches” produced a furor with its observation that peasants were people, too . This followed with large debates echoing Turgenev’s views especially after the Treaty of Paris in 1856. - Alexander’s speech was followed by the creation of a Secret Committee on Peasant Affairs (Jan 1857)
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History of Russia - Alexander II and the Era of the Great...

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