what problems did the leaders of russia face
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What problems did the leaders of Russia face?

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What problems did the leaders of Russia face?. What problems would each ruler face?. Alexander II 1855-1881. Problems: Russia at war (Crimea) Serfdom Rural discontent Poor communications Poor level of industrialisation & agriculture, heavily dependent on foreign businesses and knowledge

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alexander ii 1855 1881
Alexander II 1855-1881
  • Problems:
    • Russia at war (Crimea)
    • Serfdom
    • Rural discontent
    • Poor communications
    • Poor level of industrialisation & agriculture, heavily dependent on foreign businesses and knowledge
    • No warm water port
    • Nationalities within Russia
  • Advantages:
    • Had expected to become Tsar, member of Romanov dynasty
    • Open to possibility of change “well intentioned, but weak as water”
    • Strong personality and education
alexander iii 1881 1894
Alexander III 1881-1894
  • Problems:
    • Became Tsar in unexpected circumstances- assassination of Alexander II (by terrorist group People’s Will)
    • Organised opposition beginning to emerge
    • His own beliefs (very traditional) clashed with beliefs of those who had done well under his father
    • Russia had been at war with Turkey, 1877-8
    • Had to deal with land ownership issues that resulted from the emancipation of the serfs
  • Advantages:
    • Prepared for rule
    • Firm belief in the system of government that he embodied
    • Strong personality
nicholas ii 1894 1917
Nicholas II 1894-1917
  • Problems:
    • Urbanisation
    • Radical opposition (SDs)
    • Increase in foreign contact means growth of liberalism
    • Nationalism
    • Weak personality
    • War with Japan
    • First World War
  • Advantages:
    • Expected to be Tsar
    • Strong belief in government system he embodied
provisional government 1917
Provisional Government 1917
  • Problems:
    • Had not expected to be in power
    • Came to power during a disastrous war
    • No idea how to govern
    • No legitimacy, hence no authority
    • Unelected, unrepresentative
    • Programme of reform unrealistic for circumstances
  • Advantages:
    • Arguably more popular than previous ruler
    • Open to ideas of change
lenin 1917 1922
Lenin 1917-1922
  • Problems:
    • Russia at war (still)
    • Had made extravagant promises (“Peace, Bread, Land”)
    • Needs to consolidate power
    • Method of gaining power somewhat questionable
  • Advantages:
    • Prepared to rule
    • Clear vision of what he wanted to achieve
stalin 1924 1956
Stalin 1924-1956
  • Problems:
    • Faced power struggle before assuming leadership
    • Russia weak due to war
    • Alternative leader(s) clearly available, e.g., Trotsky
    • Communism required an industrial nation, which Russia was not
  • Advantages:
    • Lenin had established basics of communist state
    • Ruthless
khrushchev 1956 1964
Khrushchev 1956-1964
  • Problems:
    • Legacy of Stalin
    • Poor living standards: doesn’t want social unrest
    • Cold War
    • Excesses of Stalinism
    • State machinery weakened by purges
    • Reforms desperately necessary
  • Advantages:
    • Position of Soviet leader massively feared
    • Background in agriculture and industry

“Which ruler faced the most substantial problems at the start of their reign?”

How to answer this question…..


Alexander II faced serious problems at the start of his reign because of the Crimean War. This was because the war was costly and led to the deaths of many men. The war was unpopular with the Russia populace.

  • Alexander III came to power because his father was assassinated by a terrorist group in 1881. This meant that Alexander III was thrown into power. Alexander II was also faced with the troubles of the war with Turkey
  • Nicholas II came to power through the death of his father who had died from Kidney failure. Nicholas II did not have the personality or attributes of a Tsar
this module is all about themes
This module is all about themes….
  • It is important to write thematically, not chronologically.
  • So think about what themes and what links can be made for each ruler?