The state-political development of the country in the 80-es - the first half of the 90-es of XIX century.
Emperor Alexander III (1891-1894) was the second son of Alexander II and became his successor only at the age of 20, after the death of the Cesarevitch Nikolay Alexandrovich in 1865. Since that moment he takes part in meetings of the State Council and Committee of Ministers, he presides in the Special committee on gathering and distribution of means to starving men. Alexander Alexandrovich, who was initially trained for military career, studies the course necessary to become a monarch.
Even supporters of Alexander III considered him a person of " below average mind, below average abilities and below secondary education". However, the absence of talents and legerity was compensated by his natural common sense, intuition, experience and keen responsibility.
The tsar's assassination in May 1, 1881 first caused panic and confusion in the ruling circles. Alexander III appointed a regent in case of his death (his brother Vladimir). But neither revolution, nor anti-governmental actions followed that event. Alexander's III first steps on the throne were extremely cautious. The new autocrat waited and accessed alignment of forces in the high spheres of the government.
By the middle of March 1881 the police detained all participants of the murder of Alexander II. Their trial showed the turn of the public opinion from the liberal illusions to requirements of "strong hand" and rigid police measures. In April 3, 1881 five member of the "Narodnaya Volya" (A.I.Zhelyabov, S.L.Perovskaya, N.I.Kibalchich, T.M.Mikhailov, N.I. Rysakov) were hanged publicly.
Their execution became the first obvious symptom of the turn of the policy to keeping of autocracy.
Soon after the execution Alexander III in his letter to his brother Vladimir formulated his political credo "I shall never allow restrictions of autocracy which I find necessary and useful for Russia".
In April 29, 1881 a tsar's manifest made by K.P.Pobedonostsev was published. The manifest buried all the hopes of liberals for constitutional changes of the political system. It contained the intention "to strengthen and protect" the autocracy by all means 'against any efforts".
The basic directions of the activity of the new government were "eradication of sedition" and calming of the public. A special role in strengthening and protection was delegated to the Department of police, which activity got unprecedented scope after appointment of V.K.Pleve (1881-1884) and then I.P.Durnovo as heads.
On the 14th of August, 1881 Alexander III ratified "Regulation of measures to safeguarding of the state and public order".
The number of gendarmes increased considerably. Branches of the Criminal Investigation Department were founded everywhere for protection of public safety and order with spies, counterspies and provokers.
The strengthening of the punitive policy towards the revolutionary movement was accompanied by measures to calm down the peasant masses and weaken tension in the Russian society. The government took measures to consolidation and strengthening of the autocratic monarchy, and the elaboration of the policy against previous reforms began.
The concept of a new political course finally developed in the middle of the 80-es and declared firmness of autocracy, inadmissibility of any political reorganization, centralization of power and restriction of rights of local self-government, "full inviolability" of rights of nobility.
Alexander's III national policy was defined by literally understood orthodox patriotism and aspiration to merge all citizens of the Russian Empire in a kind of united nation. The ardently religious emperor and his nearest circle aspired to strengthen autocracy by means of militant great-power nationalism, forced russification and consolidation of orthodoxy.
The great-power nationalism was especially brightly showed in Poland and Finland. In the latter the turn of the national policy took place at the end of the 80-es - the beginning of 90-es; independence of mail service was abolished; Russian coin became obligatory. The Senate was reorganized (in 1892) in order to weaken its political influence.
In Poland the forced russification of the system education was going on, and teaching of all subjects was in the Russian language, the Polish bank was closed in 1885. The activity of the administration was directed to the transformation of Poland into Privislensky territory.
The process of russification in the Baltic region got a great scope through Orthodoxy. In total during the reign of Alexander III only 37 thousand people passed from the Lutheranism to Orthodoxy.
The national culture of Ukrainians and Byelorussians was discriminated, their languages were forbidden; Uniate Church was persecuted.
The process of baptism of pagans and Mahomethans in the Volga region, Central Asia and Siberia was accompanied by abuse and humiliation. In Alexander's III reign more than 8,5 thousand Moslems and more than 50 thousand pagans were inverted to Orthodoxy.
On Caucasus the Armenian Church was persecuted, and attempts of russification of Georgia were undertaken.
The policy of persecution and restriction was carried out against Jews. It was forbidden for Jews to get any property in countryside. In 1891-1892 special laws limited residing Jews in Moscow and Moscow province, about 20 thousand persons were moved.