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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)


Explore this Section:

The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825): A Summary of Russian History
Russia Symbol Introduction
Russia Symbol In the Spirit of His Grandmother
Russia Symbol A Law-based State
Russia Symbol The Napoleonic Wars
The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825): A Summary of World History

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.




Catherine the Great had convoked the Legislative Commission in 1767 to draft a code of fundamental laws, but the outbreak of war with Turkey in 1768 prevented the completion of the task. To fulfill the aim of his grandmother, Alexander encouraged plans to write a constitution for Russia so that the country would enjoy the rule of law. The talented statesman Mikhail Speranskii (1722–1839) designed local legislatures that culminated in a State Duma, an advisory body to the ruler, who would retain his absolute or unlimited power; nonetheless, this was viewed as a transition to a constitutional or limited monarchy. Other measures hoped to rationalize the court system and the ministries, establish a civil service based on education, and create a single law code for the country. These reforms to a large part imitated the innovations that Napoleon Bonaparte had introduced into his French realm in the first decade of the 19th century. Consequently, once Napoleon’s army threatened Russia, the reforms were seen as tainted and were shelved.

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