The start of the Edexcel AS Unit 1 course is 1881; this is a significant date because it is the point at which Alexander II died in a terrorist bomb attack. This was witnessed by his son, the future Alexander III. Alexander III was a man who had grown up thinking that he was only second in line for the throne behind his brother, but then been promoted in the line of succession after his brother succumbed to disease in 1865. Alexander III resented deeply his father both for his lifestyle and his policies, which he thought were to blame for the terrorist attack. Alexander III became a very conservative and reactionary (anti-reformist) tsar. The increased repression, limiting of social mobility and education and increased powers of the courts and police can be seen as a direct link to the problems which would lead to the revolutions of 1905 and later 1917.
The following revision notes cover the key policies of Alexander III during his reign: