Journal 13 1 . Describe the general course of Russia ‘s modernization from 1860 to 1930
While Europe had been involved in the modernization that was taking hold of the West , Russia remained undecided on the method that modernization should take in Russia . By the 1850s , Russia was interested in holding its large area of several ethnicities together as one country and viewed nationalism with skepticism . After the Crimean War , which served Russia its first major defeat in 150 years , Alexander II decided that he needed to address some problems , specifically the [banner_entry_middle]
lack of transport and the developing peasant revolt
He decided to free the serfs in 1861 and give them about half the land they worked . Of course they had to pay for their land and cooperate with the others who also owned their land . In reality , this change did quiet the rebellion but it did not create more modern means of agriculture . Next he decided to establish a Zemstsov , a type of self-government to implement changes in education , sanitation and agriculture . While this was a set forward , the Zemstsov had less power than it needed because it was still completely subordinate to the nobility
The next leap in modernization came with the development of the railroads . From 1860 to 1880 , the country increased its railroad networks fifteen times the number the miles it previously had . As a result , suburban communities were established to supplement the railroad which began employing people as factory workers . This strengthened the military and allowed for more expansion . The railroads could also carry ideas along with people and supplies . More and more people could be exposed to the views in Moscow and St . Petersburg
The assassination of Alexander II and the ascension of Alexander III stopped these developments cold . Alexander III did not continue these reforms and seemed to favor nationalism . His minister of finance Sergey Witte tried to modernize Russia through the business community . Under Nicholas II , he attempted to create a market system that began with a push from the government . However , this was not successful because 1 the people did not support it , seeing it as anti-government , 2 ) it did not solve the immediate needs of poverty and 3 ) it did not promote the growth of the military that was an ongoing goal of the Russian leadership
Because this type of modernization was a failure , the same problems that existed fifty years earlier remained for the leaders of Russia The middle and upper classes wanted to modernize politics the factory workers and peasants wanted freedom from poverty and disease . The different ethnic groups , particularly the Poles and the Ukrainians wanted nationalist autonomy . All this culminated in a revolution which created the first of several parliaments called the Duma Unfortunately , the tsars were never comfortable giving the Duma any real power . Most were ineffectual . The Third Duma did establish literacy goals by educating Russian children . As time wore on , the hit and miss effectiveness of the Duma along with other problems divided the… [banner_entry_footer]
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