New ideas were discouraged and traditional methods were reenforced.
As the population grew, the problem of rural poverty grew worse.
The economic situation of the large landowners was not in danger even though they had to give up formal title to half of their lands.
Alexander's reform measures were better conceived.
Intellectuals were given more freedom, and travel to the west became easier, and controls over the universities were loosened.
Jews were allowed to travel out of the Pale of Settlement in European Russia, and in the general economic upswing of the time, a number of them made fortunes like those of the Rothschilds of central and western Europe.
The legal system was completely overhauled in the most widely admired and lasting of the reforms.
The reform was a result of freeing the serfs, since the government now takes over justice in the countryside.
Important steps were taken in the direction of liberal ideals, by respecting the individual rights of all subjects and avoiding the arbitrariness of tsarist officialdom.
Those appearing in court were considered equal before the law, trials were to be held in public, and defendants had the right to be represented by a trained lawyer.
All observers agreed that a significant change had been introduced in terms of the rule of law as experienced by most Russian subjects.
Representative institutions are considered the hardest nut to crack in Russia.
Alexander created a system of elected district assembly with the responsibility of administering local issues such as roads, public health, and education.
Alexander was against the creation of a nationwide representative body similar to the parliaments of the west.
He came to doubt the wisdom of this flurry of reforms, and gave a more respectful hearing to his advisers who were worried that a Pandora's box had been opened.
Alexander narrowly escaped assassi nation in 1866, again in 1873, and then again in 1880, only to be killed by a bomb.
Liberalism seemed to be especially disruptive and violent in Russia.
As part of his program of sponsoring modern ideas, Napoleon III looked to a Europe of nation-states, initially offering an encouragement to Cavour and Bismarck that he came to regret.
His internal policy had ambiguous aspects.
The June Days left the revolution in France in a state of limbo.
In the spring of 1848 it became clear that popular support for a social republic was not shared by the propertied.
The assembly that drafted the new constitution decided that a strong executive power was needed.
The assembly sponsored elections for a president based on universal manhood suffrage.
The results shocked the left and were seen as a sign of a new mood.
Lamartine, the Romantic poet considered the spokesman of the opening days of the revolution, received a laughable 18,000 votes.
Ledru-Rollin, the leading socialist candidate, won 370,000.
The fact that Louis Napoleon Bonaparte received more votes than all the other candidates combined was a real shock.
Unsophisticated voters, who had not voted before, were linked to what the first Napoleon had come to symbolize by name recognition.
He saved the revolution by establishing order.
In the early 19th century, that legend tended to blur the memory of Napoleon's harsh rule and other misadventures.
Louis Napoleon was not associated with the revolutionary left or the extreme right, but he was still favorable to business interests and presented himself as a friend of the common people.
The way in which he made his statements cut across many of the hard lines drawn in French political life by this time has led some scholars to see a Proto-Fascist aspect to Bonapartism.
Louis Napoleon has been described as a progenitor of modern mass politicians.
The portrait suggests nobility and an association with Emperor Napoleon I, whereas Napoleon III was often cruelly caricatured by his peers, most famously by Karl Marx.
A new legislative assembly based on universal speach manhood took over in May of 1849.
Its political complexion was mostly right-wing.
The French monarchists were divided between those who wanted the Bourbons to return and those who wanted the Orleanists to return.
Louis Napoleon, who had the approval of this conservative majority, quickly moved to suppress the small socialist group in the assembly and to restrict the freedom of the press.
He curbed civil liberty to make it harder for the poor to vote.
He gained approval from traditional Catholics by sending French troops to crush the Roman Republic and by putting schools under the Catholic clergy.
On the anniversary of Napoleon I's famous victory at Austerlitz, Louis Napoleon was able to install himself as dictator in a violent coup d'etat.
In December, Napoleon's police and military killed 150 opponents and arrested 150,000 others in street fighting.
Voters reelected Louis Napoleon by a majority of 7.5 million in favor of 650,000 against, two weeks after universal suffrage had been restored.
Napoleon would have won a strong majority even if the elections were free.
He assumed the name Napoleon III within a year.
France by 1852 was less liberal than it had been under Louis Philippe, or even under Charles X, because of the constitutionalist aspect of liberalism that stipulated a legislative body to check the power of the executive.