Alexander I


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Emperor of Russia (1801–25). The son of Paul I (in whose murder he may indirectly have assisted), he set out to reform Russia and correct many of the injustices of the preceding reign. His private committee (Neglasny Komitet) introduced plans for public education, but his reliance on the nobility made it impossible for him to abolish serfdom. At first a supporter of the coalition against Napoleon, his defeats by the latter at the Battle of Austerlitz (1805) and at Friedland (1807) resulted in the Treaties of Tilsit (1807) with France and in his support of the Continental System against the British. His wars with Persia (1804–13) and Turkey (1806–12) brought territorial gains, including the acquisition of Georgia. His armies helped to defeat Napoleon's grande armée at Leipzig, after its retreat from Moscow (1812). In an effort to uphold Christian morality in Europe he formed a Holy Alliance of European monarchs. He supported Metternich in suppressing liberal and national movements, and gave no help to the Greeks during their rebellion against the Ottoman Turks, although they were Orthodox Christians like himself. He was reported to have become a hermit.

Subjects: World History.

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