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Alexander Ii

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Alexander II. the Rucian emperor assassinated last week, was the eldest son ol the Czar Nicholas and nephew of the Czar Alexander I. Ue was born April 29, 1818, and hum of the house of Roiuanoff, whicb tbr noarly :;ot) years has had undiiputed possession of the Kussian tlirone. He received in eliildhood the niostcareful training, and early showed a gentle and forbeariui (üspositlon, which nianifested Uaelf in soine episodes of his career as czar, lie becanie fully acquainted with Russia by traveling all over the empire, and aftcrward visited the courts of Geruiany, England and Italy. Oo April 28, 1841, he niarried Maria, daughter of the grand duke of Hesse Darmstadt. It is said that this was a lovo match, but his notorious intídelities as a busband to bis patiënt, loving and tender escort make the blackest kind of a stainuponhischaracterasaman. Alexander early began the study of governuient and diplomacy, und for several wonths in 1846, durin the absence of bis imperial father, exercised all the vast nowers of the latter. On the death of Nieholas he succeeded to the throne, Marofa i', 1855. The position of Russia WU then a most crilical one. It was engaged, single handed, in a struggle with England, France, ïurkey and Sardinia, wih Austria as a passive eneniy. But Alexander oontinued the war whicu he had oherited. with vigor thoueh not with sncOO8S. Sebastopol feil in September, 1855, and, during the winter which followed, negotiatinns wcre begun which resultad in ¦ truaty of place, signed Marcii .o, 1H56; aii.l mi September 7, [356, he wa formally crowiieil at Moaêow. Sinoa then he has steadii'y oarried out the foreign policy of QOaqaJMt and aKgraudizement which has cliara -terizcd the Ronianoff dynasly fVom Peter the (reat down. Wbili' doiog all thi-i. however, uui ftiw) um üuuKïiïi1" ttnuviiutï me conditi'ii' uf hú peci'le, and laeked raiher the -¦"ary oooilge and deciion of charaeter taan the vwil, U esubüah a ooastiiiuionaJ rutnit. Úniet the advice ol' ma 'S'1 ¦- n Melikoff and the venerable Prince ( i tschakoff, he made many elian tor ig'ne better in the routine of governuient. lie reorganized the aruiy and dissolved the greater part of the military colonias. He gave at least decent teachers toeducational iMaUishments in place of the incompetent and superannuated officers who had previouily filled those positions. Uu in.slituted measures against official corruption, sought lo develop the natinalconimerciul marine, aonujled the impediinenuwhichpreveuted Kassiaof from visiting foreign lands, recalled some exiles from Siberia, though he sent more there; and put an end to at least the worst phases of Kusman scrfdom. The emancipation of the eerf was decreed Maren 8, 1361, and was carried out within the following two years. Th. tc was a taint of insanity in tb. later Romaooffa, which manifested itself strongIy m Paul, and to a leas extent in Alexander I, and the last yoars of Alexander II were clouded with a mental ailment which has been suspected to umount at times to positive insaniiy. Of his family it may be said that the empress, whqm he so foully wronged by his marital infidelities, died in her bed wil hout attendants (so farasknown), June 30, L880. Ilis heir, Alexander, was born in 11"), and married the üanish princess i)aKmar, sister of the princess of Wales, in 1860. üisdaughter is the duchess of Kdinburg, having married the second son oí Queen ictoria. A younger son is the Brand duke Alexis, who visited this country in 1871-2.


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