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The Great Reforms of the 1860s marked the broadest attempt at social and economic renovation to occur in Russia between the death of Peter the Great in 1725 and the Revolution of 1905. In just more than a decade, imperial reform acts freed Russia's serfs, restructured her courts, established institutions of local self-government in parts of the empire, altered the constraints that censorship imposed on the press, and transformed Russia's vast serf armed forces into a citizen army in which men from all classes bore equal responsibility for military service.
This invaluable study explains why the legislation assumed the shape that it did and estimates what the Great Reforms ultimately accomplished. The Great Reforms offered readers a vital starting point from which to evaluate the prospects for glasnost', perestroika, and reform in the Gorbachev era.
Table of Contents
1 Autocracy, Bureaucracy, and Reform
2 The Impact of Defeat
3 Beginning Russia's Renovation
4 The Great Reform Era
5 Testing the Great Reforms
6 At the Turn of the Century