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Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


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Czartoryski's Account of the Events Surrounding the Assassination of Paul, 1801
Alexander I’s Speech to the Polish Parliament in Warsaw, March 15, 1818

Russia's Globalization:
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Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
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In his brief reign, from 1796 to 1801, Paul I, son of Catherine the Great, managed to alienate the elite because of his tyrannical and capricious style of rule. Considering themselves patriots, a group of high officials assassinated him in his chambers.

They [the conspirators] entered the Emperor's bedroom … and at last discovered the unfortunate Paul hiding behind the folds of the curtain. They dragged him out in his shirt more dead than alive; the terror he had inspired was now repaid to him with usury. Fear had paralysed his senses and had deprived him of speech; his whole body shivered. He was placed on a chair before a desk.... "Sire," said the General [Bennigsen], "you are my prisoner, and have ceased to reign; you will now at once write and sign a deed of abdication in favour of the Grand-Duke Alexander." Paul was still unable to speak, and a pen was put in his hand. Trembling and almost unconscious, he was about to obey when more cries were heard. General Bennigsen then left the room…. He had only just gone out the door when a terrible scene began. The unfortunate Paul remained alone with men who were maddened by a furious hatred of him, owing to the numerous acts of persecution and injustice they had suffered at his hands, and it appears that several of them had decided to assassinate him…. [They] now saw in Paul nothing but a monster, a tyrant, an implacable enemy…. One of the conspirators took off his official scarf and tied it round the Emperor's throat. Paul struggled [and] set free one of his hands and thrust it between the scarf and his throat, crying out for air…. But the conspirators seized the hand with which he was striving to prolong his life, and furiously tugged at both ends of the scarf. The unhappy Emperor had already breathed his last, and yet they tightened the knot and dragged along the dead body, striking it with their hands and feet.

Memoirs of Prince Adam Czartoryski and His Correspondence with Alexander I. Edited by Adam Gielgud. London, 1888. Vol. 1. From: Basil Dmytryshyn, ed. Imperial Russia: A Source Book, 1700–1917. Gulf Breeze, Fla.: Academic International Press, 1999.
Reprinted courtesy of Academic International Press