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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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A Proposal for Constitutional Monarchy, 1809
University Education

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.




In 1809, at the request of Alexander I, Mikhail Speranskii (1772–1839), the unofficial prime minister, proposed a constitution that would have involved the tsar’s sharing some power with a national legislature as well as providing for district, provincial, and town self-government. Fears on the part of the conservative gentry, plus the tsar's own reluctance to share his power, resulted in Alexander’s failing to implement the proposal, which would have set Russia on a democratic course. Although the tsar created an advisory body, the Council of State, which Speranskii had also recommended, he lost influence at court to conservatives, especially after the invasion of Russia by Napoleon, whose governmental structure Speranskii had emulated.

In the course of the 19th century, several attempts were made to provide a constitution for Russia and to set limitations on the absolute monarch. However, the Russian rulers would not agree to this devolution of power, even though every other European state had moved in the direction of limited, or constitutional, monarchies.