(biography, photos, videos) Aleksandr II
Alexander II: biography
Some monarchs have honored the history of the epithet «liberator». Alexander Nikolaevich Romanov deserve this honor. And Alexander II called the Tsar-reformer, because he managed to break the deadlock over many of the old problems of the state, which was threatened with riots and uprisings.
The future Emperor was born in April 1818 in Moscow. The boy was born on a holiday in a Bright Wednesday in the Kremlin, in the Bishop’s house of the Chudov monastery. Here the festive evening gathered the entire Imperial family arrived for a meeting of Easter. In honor of the birth of the boy in Moscow the silence broke gun salute volley in 201.
Moscow Archbishop Augustine dubbed baby Alexander Romanov may 5 at the Church of the Chudov monastery.
His parents at the time of his son’s birth were Great princes. But when I grew up the heir was 7 years old, his mother Alexandra and father Nicholas became the Imperial couple.
The future Emperor Alexander II received an excellent education at home. His chief mentor is responsible not only for training, but also education, was Vasily Zhukovsky. Sacred history and the Law of God taught himself Archpriest Gerasim Pavsky. Academician Collins taught the boy the tricks of arithmetic, and Karl Merger gave the basics of military Affairs.
No less famous teachers was Alexander Nikolaevich and legislation, statistics, Finance and foreign policy. The boy grew very clever and quickly assimilated the teaching of science. But at a young age, like many of his peers, was amorous and romantic. For example, during a visit to London, he fell in love with the young British Queen Victoria.
Interestingly, a few decades it has become for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, the most hated European ruler.
The reign and reforms of Alexander II
When Alexander Romanov came of age, his father introduced him to the main state institutions. In 1834 the crown Prince entered the Senate next year – the composition of the Holy Synod, and in 1841 and 1842-the first Romanov became a member of the State Council and the Committee of Ministers.
In the mid-1830s, the heir made a big study tour around the country and visited 29 provinces. In the late 30’s visited in Europe. And he very successfully passed military service in 1844 he became a General. He was entrusted with the guards infantry.
The crown Prince leads the military-educational institutions and chairs in the Secret committees on the peasant case 1846 and 1848. It is well delve into the problems of the villagers and understands that change and reform is long overdue.
Fell the Crimean war of 1853-56 years becomes a serious test for the future of the Emperor on his maturity and courage. After the announcement in St. Petersburg province of the martial law Alexander assumes command of all troops in the capital.
Alexander II, enlisting in 1855 to the throne, inherited a difficult legacy. His father for 30 years had failed to solve any of the many acute and long-term issues of the state. Besides the difficult situation of the country worsened by the defeat in the Crimean war. The Treasury was empty.
Had to act decisively and quickly. Foreign policy of Alexander II was to use diplomacy to break the tight blockade, somknuvshegosya around Russia. The first step was the signing of the Paris Treaty, in the spring of 1856. Conditions taken by Russia is not very profitable, but the weakened state could not impose its will. Most importantly, managed to stop England, who wanted to continue the war until complete defeat and dismemberment of Russia.
That same spring, Alexander II visited Berlin, where he met with king Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Friedrich had the Emperor’s relatives maternal uncle. It was able to sign a secret «dual Union». With the political blockade of Russia was finished.
Domestic policy of Alexander II was no less successful. In the country the long-awaited thaw.» In the late summer of 1856, on the occasion of the coronation of king pardoned the Decembrists, petrashevists, participants of the Polish uprising. And another 3 years suspended conscription and eliminated the military settlements.
It’s time for the solution of the peasant question. Emperor Alexander II decided to abolish serfdom, this ugly relic that stood in the way of progress. The Emperor has chosen «Baltic option» of landless liberation of the peasants. In 1858, the king gave his consent to a reform program, was developed by liberals and public figures. Under the reforms, peasants were given the right to redeem vested their land in the property.
The great reforms of Alexander II was truly revolutionary at the time. He supported provincial regulation of 1864 and city regulations 1870. Was enacted the Judicial statutes of 1864, and adopted by military reforms 1860-70-ies. There have been reforms in public education. Finally was cancelled shameful for a country that is developing corporal punishment.
Alexander II confidently continued the traditional line of Imperial policy. In the first years of reign, he won the victory in the Caucasian war. Successfully moved into Central Asia, annexing to the territory a large part of Turkestan. In the years 1877-78 the king decided on war with Turkey. And he managed to fill the coffers, having increased the total income of 1867 by 3%. Managed to do it by selling Alaska to the United States.
But in the last years of the reign of Alexander II reforms stalled. Their continuation was sluggish and inconsistent. All the major reformers, the Emperor dismissed. At the end of the reign of the king introduced in Russia limited public representation in the Council of State.
Some historians believe that the reign of Alexander II, with all its pros, little huge minus: the king pursued a «germanophile policy,» which did not meet the interests of the state. The monarch was in awe of the Prussian king – his uncle, and strongly contributed to the creation of a single militaristic Germany.
Contemporary king, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers Pyotr Valuev, in his diaries wrote about a strong breakdown of the Emperor in the last years of his life. Romanov was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, had a tired and annoyed look. «Crowned polurethane» – such a disappointing epithet given Valuev the Emperor, exactly explained his condition. «In an era where you need power, — he wrote — obviously, it is impossible to count».
However, in the first years of the reign of Alexander II had done to the Russian state a lot. And the epithets «the Liberator» and «Reformer» he really deserved.
The Emperor was a man fond of. On account of his many novels. In his youth he had an affair with the maid of honor Borodinoj, that parents urgently married. Then another novel, and again with the maid of honor Maria troubetzkoy. And lady Olga Kalinovskaya connection was so strong that even the crown Prince made a decision for marriage with her to abdicate. But the parents insisted on the rupture of these relations and of marriage Maximiliane Hessian.
However, the marriage of Maria Alexandrovna, nee Princess Maximiliano-Wilhelmina-Augusta-Sofia-Maria Hesse-Darmstadt, was happy. In it were born 8 children, 6 of whom were sons.
The Emperor Alexander II for his TB patient wife laid the favourite summer residence of the last Russian tsars – Livadia, buying land together with the estate and vineyards, the daughters of count Leo Potocki.
Maria died in may 1880. She left a note in which were the words of gratitude to my wife for happy life together.
But the monarch was not a faithful husband. Personal life of Alexander II was a cause for gossip of the yard constantly. Some concubines of the Emperor gave birth to illegitimate children.
Firmly seize the Emperor heart of a managed 18-year-old lady-in-waiting Ekaterina Dolgorukova. The Emperor married longtime sweetheart in the same year, when his wife died. It was a morganatic marriage, that is made with a person not of Royal descent. Children from this Union, and there were four of them could not become heirs to the throne. It is noteworthy that all the children born at that time, when Alexander II was still married to his first wife.
After the king married Dolgoruky, the children obtained legal status and the title of Prince.
The murder of Alexander II
During the reign of Alexander II attempted several times. The first attempt happened after the suppression of the Polish uprising in 1866. It was done in Russia by Dmitry Karakozov. The second in the following year. This time in Paris. To kill the king tried, a Polish immigrant Anton Berezovsky.
A new attempt was made in early April 1879 in St. Petersburg. In August of the same year, the Executive Committee of «Narodnaya Volya» has sentenced Alexander II to death. Then the people had the intention to blow up the train of the Emperor, but mistakenly blew up.
A new attempt was even more bloody: in the Winter Palace after the explosion killed several people. By happy coincidence, the Emperor entered the room later.
For the protection of the Emperor was established the Supreme administrative Commission. But she saved the lives of Romanov. In March 1881 under the feet of Alexander II, Narodnaya Volya Ignatius Grinevitsky was thrown a bomb. From the received wounds the king died.
It is noteworthy that the attack occurred in the day when the Emperor decided to give the course a truly revolutionary constitutional project of M. T. Loris-Melikov, after which Russia had to go the way of the Constitution.