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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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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.




Russians Visit the South Pacific
  Russians Visit the South Pacific
NYPL, General Research Division


Russians Visit a South Pacific “Paradise”
  Russians Visit a South Pacific “Paradise”
NYPL, Rare Books Division

Alexander I ascended the throne in 1801 after the assassination of his tyrannical father, Paul I (r. 1796–1801), and promised to rule in the more enlightened spirit of his grandmother, Catherine the Great (r. 1762–96). Educated in the ideals of the Enlightenment by her and by his philosophe friends, he rescinded the hated decrees of his father and boldly embarked on a grand scheme of reform that included allowing the voluntary emancipation of serfs (by 1860, 384 noble masters had freed 115,743 peasants). The most lasting measure was the construction of a state educational system, free and open to all (generally excepting serfs): in his reign, five new universities were founded with academic autonomy; forty-two secondary schools came into being along with elementary schools in the empire’s various administrative districts; and the “ladder” principle underlay the system, meaning that completion of one level allowed progress to the next. His reign also saw expeditions to explore the Pacific and to circumnavigate the globe that brought back ethnographic information on the diverse peoples encountered.

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