After the Crimean war, alexander saw that Russia clearly needed to be reformed. Alexander II was open to the ideas such as of emancipation and social renewal. There are some historians that agree that he was a tsar liberator due to the reforms he made and some that disagree due to him not having the characteristics and attitude that previous rulers had, another reason why certain historians disagree with this is that although alexander made reforms, how successful were they. Also the term “tsar liberator” doesn’t really make sense due to the fact the tsar was an autocracy which meant the people of Russia had to do what they said and “liberator” is the direct opposite of this as it comes from the word liberate meaning to be free.
There is some evidence that shows alexander II was a tsar liberator. Alexander reformed many things about Russia. This was a response the Russia's backwardness that was exposed by the Crimean War of the 1850s. The major change that alexander wanted to make was the emancipation of the serfs. The serfs were bonded labourers that were privately owned by land owners, they had virtually no rights and could be traded and sold. Russia was the only country that still used serfism and alexander knew if he wanted to modernise Russia then he would need to get abolish serfism. This benefitted the serfs allowing them to own land, marrying without interference, using law courts and setting up their own businesses. Also freed peasants were granted ownership of their houses and the plot of land they had worked on.
Alexander also made other reforms in education, military, legal and local government. The reforms he made in education were that poor students did not have to pay fees, universities could govern themselves. Also more variety was given in education were students were offered the gymnazii, which was for those who did not want to be educated traditionally. In the military new weapons were introduced to soldiers and each had their own gun. Also railways were built to help transport soldiers and resources as this was a problem during the Crimean war were soldiers were left stranded with nothing. Another reform for the military is that military colleges were set up to help provide better training for soldiers. The legal reforms that were made were that judges were given better training. Previously local legal issues had been handled by the landlord in his position of owner of the serfs, while the formal legal system was characterized by secrecy and corruption. With no lawyers or juries in courts, and presumed guilty until proven innocent, the poor had little chance of securing justice. In 1864 Alexander introduced a modern Western-style system that aimed to be an independent judiciary that was "equal for all our subjects". This included the introduction of juries, judges to be well-paid to avoid bribery and courts open to the public. This was arguably one of the more progressive reforms. Alexander saw the need for changes in the governmental system reforms made in the local government were the set-up of zemstva. The zemstva were an elected council. The zemstva were to make improvements to public services like roads, they also were to administer poor relief in times of hardship.
However there is evidence to suggest that alexander II was not a tsar liberator. Although the emancipation of the serfs sounded like it did a great deal of good for the serfs it actually didn’t