Emperor of Russia (1881–94). Following the assassination of his father Alexander II he rejected all plans of liberal reform, suppressing Russian nihilists and Populists, extending the powers of nominated landed proprietors over the peasantry, and strengthening the role of landowners in local government. Autocratic in attitude, he was, however, genuinely interested in the principles of administration and his reign saw the abolition of the poll tax, the creation of a Peasant Land Bank, and tentative moves towards legalization of trade unions. Alexander's concept of naradnost (belief in the Russian people) led to the Russian language being imposed as the single language of education throughout the empire. Although he resented the loss of the Russian Balkans imposed by the Congress of Berlin, he nevertheless continued to support Bismarck's League of the Three Emperors, the Dreikaiserbund, until 1890, when the aggressive attitudes of the new German emperor William II led to its replacement by an alliance with France.
Subjects: World History.