Alexander II

The most important reform of Alexander II was the abolishment of the serfdom in 1861. According to the decree dated February 19, 1861peasants were granted personal freedom. Afterwards came military and judicial reforms. Railway construction rapidly developed contributing to the development of industries and trade. Due to Alexander’s efforts the long Caucasus war was finally over; Russian influence spread over Middle Asia which resulted in annexation of Turkestan, Kokand and Khiva. The territory of Russia under Alexander II used to be the world’s largest. It stretched from Finland to the Caucasus, from Kazakhstan to Middle Asia, from Poland to Alaska inclusively. Alexander II was nicknamed “tsar liberator” for his serious efforts in the field of foreign and interior politics. However, the radical youth considered the prospects of the reforms insufficient. Some revolutionaries-terrorists decided to alter the government structure by way of assassinations.

They commenced the tsar hunt. After a number of unsuccessful attempts a group on conspirators killed Alexander II with a bomb on March 1, 1881.