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Alexander I As Tsar Of Russia Notes

815 words - 3 pages

Alexander I1801 – 1825Alexander I was the grandson of Catherine the Great. She intended to have Alexander succeed her reign however Alexander’s father took the throne as Paul I. In late 1801, a group of powerful nobles assassinated him (strangled) resulting in Alexander Itaking the throne.The ChallengeWhen Alexander I began Tsar, Russia was facing serious problems.1)Serfs & their horrible living conditions.2)The large social gap between the extremely wealthy nobles and the impoverished peasants.3)The nobles clung to their wealth (even using military force) and the lower classes had no influence. No strong middle class to press for reforms.4)Econimically, the nation was backwards with limited infrastructure and industry.5)Increasing fear of war with the rising power of the French under Napoleon Bonaparte.There were many expectations placed on Alexander I to solve these problems.He was young, handsome, talented and idealistic.Early Attempts at ReformReforms – changes in the fundamental structures of society.Alexander was eager to bring about the reforms his nation urgently needed.Alexander formed a Private Committee of four young aristocrats as advisors.Their purpose was to “frame good laws which are the source of wellbeing for the Nation.”Improvements in government administration and public education (new schools, teacher colleges & universities).Did not address the most urgent issue: the abolition of serfdom.Small improvements such as banning the sale of serfs, sending disobedient serfs to Siberia & limiting the number of strokes given by the knout.These achievements were very small considering how great the problem was.He lacked the energy and courage to fight the nobles.Gave up on serfdom because of the powerful opposition to reforms.Focused on Russia’s foreign policy.Early Foreign PolicyEurope in 1801 was in great political and social turmoil.French Revolution – widespread war with its neighbours (Russia involved).Napoleon Bonaparte was rapidly increasing France’s power.1805 – Russia joined Britain, Austria and Sweden in the “Third Coalition” to control Napoleons dominating intent.Russia faced France in battle in Austerlitz and Friedland, however lost.Big losses forced Alexander to make peace with France in the Treaty of TilsitThe treaty stated that Russia was to turn against Britain and support Napoleon’s Continental System – a scheme designed to ruin Britain’s economy by restricting the purchase of British goods.Relations with FranceAlexander was criticized in Russia for his alliance with France.Russia’s economy depended heavily on British imports, so Alexander continued to let British imports arrive in American ships.Alexander had no intention of...

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