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 Alexander I Romanov

Born:   11 December 1777
Deceased:   01 December 1825

Emperor of Russia


Alexander I of Russia was the Emperor and Autocrat of All-Russia (from 12 (24) March, 1801), the elder son of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna.

Alexander I Pavlovich was born on December, 12th (23) 1777 in Saint Petersburg. In 1801 after the death of his father Paul I (1796 1801), who was killed in the last "palace revolution", Alexander was enthroned. He opened the third century of the Romanovs ruling by aiming at liberal changes in the countrys life. He implemented moderately liberal reforms, developed by the Private Committee and M.M. Speransky. In 1802 eight ministries, new executive authorities, were founded, which contributed to the state centralization and strengthening. In the foreign policy Alexander I manoeuvred between Great Britain and France. In 1805-1807 he participated in Antifrench coalitions, but in 1807-1812 temporarily got closer with France.

Alexander I appeared to be a successful military leader: he won the wars with Turkey (1806-1812), Persia (18041813) and Sweden (1808-1809). Under his reign territories of East Georgia (1801), Finland (1809), Bessarabia (1812), and the former duchy of Warsaw (1815) were annexed to Russia. In the course of Patriotic War of 1812 he decided to give up Moscow to the French invaders led by Napoleon. Napoleon occupied Moscow but fire, starvation and winter frosts forced him to retreat and flee from Russia leaving his army behind. Thus, Russia became the first country that stopped a gigantic advance of the French emperor. After Patriotic War of 1812 Alexander I headed the Antifrench coalition of European nations in 1813-1814. He was one of the heads of the Viennese Congress of 1814-1815 and organizers of the Holy Alliance.

In the later years of his rule Alexander I turned to reaction and even repressive measures. The latter provoked the unsuccessful open revolt of noble young officers, later named Decembrists, in December 1825.

In the last years of his life the Emperor often spoke about his intention to abdicate and hermit; thus, after his unexpected death of typhoid fever in Taganrog (on November, 19th (on December, 1st) 1825) there appeared a legend about the elder Feodor Kuzmich. According to this legend, the person who suddenly died and was buried in Taganrog was not Alexander but his double, whereas the tsar lived a long time more as a hermit in Siberia and died in Tomsk in 1864.

Tags: Russian history Alexander I The Romanov Family   

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