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Alexander I of Russia: biography
Emperor Alexander I Pavlovich, who is sometimes erroneously referred to as Tsar Alexander I, who ascended the throne in 1801 and ruled for almost a quarter of a century. Russia under Alexander I led the successful war against Turkey, Persia and Sweden, and later became embroiled in the war of 1812 when the country was attacked by Napoleon. During the reign of Alexander I, expanded the territory due to the annexation of Eastern Georgia, Finland, Bessarabia and part of Poland. For all introduced by Alexander I conversion he was called Alexander the Blessed.
Biography of Alexander I first had to become outstanding. Not only that, he was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and his wife Maria Feodorovna, and grandmother Catherine II doted on their grandson. She gave the boy a resounding name in honor of Alexander Nevsky and Alexander the great, in the hope that Alexander will make history at the example of the legendary namesakes. It should be noted that the name of the Romanovs was not typical, and only after the reign of Alexander I, firmly entrenched in family imenoslov.
The personality of Alexander I was formed under the tireless supervision of Catherine the great. The fact that the first Empress was considered the son of Paul I is unable to take the throne and wanted to crown the grandson of the «over the head» of his father. Grandma tried to help the boy with his parents almost never spoke, however, Paul had influence on the son and he inherited from him a love for military science. The young heir grew affectionate, intelligent, easily assimilate new knowledge, but it was a very lazy and proud, why Alexander I was never able to learn how to focus on laborious and time-consuming work.
Contemporaries of Alexander I noted that he has a very quick mind, incredible insight, and easily enjoys new things. But since his childhood years actively influence the two opposite natures, the grandmother, the father, the child was forced to learn to like absolutely everything, and that was the main characteristic of Alexander I. Even Napoleon called him an «actor» in a good sense, as Alexander Pushkin wrote about the Emperor Alexander «in the person and life of harlequin».
Being fond of military Affairs, the future Emperor Alexander I passed in active service in the Gatchina troops, who personally shaped his father. The result of the service was the deafness of the left ear, but that didn’t stop Paul I to produce son Colonel guard when he was only 19 years old. A year later the son of the ruler was the military Governor of St. Petersburg and was the head of Semenovsky guards regiment, then Alexander I briefly presided over a military Parliament, after which began to sit in the Senate.
The Reign Of Alexander I
To the throne Emperor Alexander I ascended immediately after the violent death of his father. A number of facts confirms that he was aware of the plans of the conspirators to overthrow of Paul I, though perhaps not suspected of regicide. The new head of the Russian Empire announced the «apoplexy», besting his father, and just a few minutes after death. In September, 1801 Alexander I was crowned.
The first decrees of Alexander I showed that he intends to eradicate in the state judicial tyranny and to introduce a strict law. Today it seems incredible, but simply the fundamental laws in Russia at that time still almost was not. Together with his closest associates, the Emperor formed a secret Committee, which discussed all the plans for state transformation. This community is called the Committee of public safety, and is also known under the name of Alexander I. a Social movement
Reform Of Alexander I
Immediately after coming to power of Alexander I, the transformation became visible to the naked eye. His reign is divided into two parts: first, reform of Alexander I took up all his time and thoughts, but after 1815, the Emperor is disappointed in them and starts a reactionary movement, that is, on the contrary, holds people in a Vice. One of the most important reforms was the creation of a «privy Council», which later transformed into the Council of State in several departments. The next step is the creation of ministries. If in the past decisions on any matters are taken by majority of votes, now for every sector, a separate Minister, who regularly reported to the head of state.
The reforms of Alexander I touched on the peasant question, at least on paper. The Emperor thought about the abolition of serfdom, but wanted to do it gradually, and to define the steps of this slow release could not. In the end, the decrees of Alexander I of «free cultivators» and a ban on the sale of peasants without land on which they live, was a drop in the ocean. But more substantial reforms of Alexander began in the field of education. There was a clear gradation of educational institutions by level educational programs: the parish and district schools, provincial schools and high schools, universities. Through the activities of Alexander I in St. Petersburg resumed the Academy of Sciences, created the famous Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, and founded five new universities.
But the naive plans of the Emperor for the rapid transformation of the country faced with the opposition of the nobility. Quickly implement his reforms, he could not for fear of a Palace coup, plus he held the attention of Alexander 1 war. Therefore, despite the good intentions and commitment to reform, the Emperor was not able to realize all your desires in life. In fact, except for educational and government reforms, interest is only the Constitution of Poland, which the companions of the ruler was considered as a prototype for the future Constitution of the Russian Empire. But the rotation of the internal policy of Alexander I to the reaction buried all hopes of the liberal nobility.
The Policy Of Alexander I
The starting point to change opinions about the need for reform was the war with Napoleon. The Emperor realized that in those conditions that he wanted to create, the quick mobilization of the army impossible. Therefore the Emperor Alexander 1 policy shifts with liberal ideas in the interests of national security. Developed a new reform, which was the most caught: military transformation.
With the help of the Minister of war created the draft of an entirely new type of life – military settlement, which was a new condition. Without special burdening of the budget of the country was supposed to contain and equip a standing army numbering at the level of wartime. The growth of such military districts continued throughout the reign of Alexander I. moreover, they remained under the successor of Nicholas I, and was abolished only by the Emperor Alexander II.
The War Of Alexander I
In fact, foreign policy of Alexander I was reduced to a series of constant wars by which the country has increased significantly. After the war with Persia to Alexander I of Russia gained military control of the Caspian sea, as well as expanded ownership due to the accession of Georgia. After the Russian-Turkish war for the possession of the Empire joined Bessarabia and all of the States of Transcaucasia, and after a conflict with Sweden – Finland. In addition, Alexander I fought with England, Austria and started the Caucasian war, which ended in his lifetime.
The chief military opponent of Russia under the Emperor Alexander I, was France. The first armed conflict occurred in 1805, which, despite periodic peace agreements, constantly kindled again. Finally, inspired by their fantastic victories, Napoleon Bonaparte sent troops to the territory of Russia. The Patriotic war of 1812. After the victory, Alexander I formed an Alliance with England, Prussia and Austria and made several overseas trips, during which defeated Napoleon’s army and forced him to abdicate. After that, Russia withdrew more and the Kingdom of Poland.
Patriotic war of 1812
When the French army was on the territory of the Russian Empire, Alexander I declared the commander in chief himself and forbade to conduct peace talks until such time as at least one enemy soldier remained on Russian soil. But the numerical advantage of Napoleon’s army was so great that Russian troops were constantly retreating inland. Soon, the Emperor agrees that his presence prevents military commanders, and goes to Saint Petersburg. Becomes commander-in-chief Mikhail Kutuzov, who was highly respected by soldiers and officers, but most importantly, this man has already shown himself to be an excellent strategist.
And in the Patriotic war of 1812 Kutuzov again showed his keen mind for military tactics. He outlined the decisive battle near the village of Borodino and placed the army so successfully that on both flanks covered natural terrain, and in the centre the commander in chief has placed the artillery. The fight was desperate and bloody, with huge losses on both sides. The battle of Borodino is considered a historical paradox: both the army announced his victory in battle.
To keep his troops in readiness, Mikhail Kutuzov decided to leave Moscow. The result was the burning of the former capital and classes of her French, but Napoleon’s victory in this case was the Banquet. To feed his army, he was forced to go to Kaluga, where should be assembled by Kutuzov and not let the enemy on. Moreover, effective strikes were the invaders guerrilla groups. Deprived of food and ready for a Russian winter, the French began to retreat. The final battle at the river Berezina was a final point in the defeat, Alexander I issued a Manifesto on the victorious end of the Patriotic war.
In his youth Alexander was very friendly with the sister of Catherine Pavlovna. Some sources even hinted at a closer relationship than just brotherly and sisterly. But the speculation is unlikely, since Catherine was younger than 11 years, and at the age of 16 Alexander I’s personal life is already tied up with his wife. He married a German woman, Maria Luisa August, which after the adoption of Orthodoxy became Elizabeth Alexeyevna. They had two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, but both died at one year of age, so the heir to the throne were not the children of Alexander I and his younger brother Nicholas I.
Due to the fact that his wife could not give him a son, the Emperor’s relationship with his wife grew cold. He almost did not hide their romantic relationships on the side. First, Alexander I, almost 15 years old lived with Maria Naryshkina, the wife of the chief huntsman count of Dmitry Naryshkin, who in the eyes of all the courtiers called «model cuckold». Mary gave birth to six children, the paternity of five of them decided to attribute to Alexander. However, most of these children died in childhood. Also Alexander I was having an affair with the daughter of a Royal banker Sophie Velho and Sophia Vsevolozhskaya, who bore him an illegal son, Nicholas, Lukas, General and war hero.
In 1812, Alexander I was interested in reading the Bible, although this religion was, in principle, indifferent. But, as best friend of Alexander Golitsyn, did not suit the framework of only one Orthodoxy. The Emperor was in correspondence with Protestant Ministers, studied mysticism, and the different sects of the Christian faith and sought to unite all religions in the name of «universal truth». Russia under Alexander I was tolerant as never before. The official Church was revolted by this turn and the beginning of secret backroom struggle against the adherents of the Emperor, including Golitsyn. The victory remained with the Church that did not want to lose power over the people.
The Death Of Alexander I
Died the Emperor Alexander I at the beginning of December 1825, in Taganrog, during another trip, which I loved. The official cause of death of Alexander I named fever and inflammation of the brain. The sudden death of the ruler caused a wave of rumors spurred on by the fact that shortly before the Emperor Alexander drew up a Manifesto in which the right of succession to the throne passed on to his younger brother Nicholas.
The people began to say that the Emperor faked his own death and became a hermit Feodor Kuzmich. This legend was very popular during the life of this truly existing elders, and in the XIX century was further argument. The fact that it was possible to compare the handwriting of Alexander I and Fyodor Kuzmich, who were almost identical. Moreover, to date, geneticists, there is a real project compared the DNA of the two men, but while this examination was not conducted.