Military Review

Alexander III: Master of All Russia

34
Alexander III: Master of All Russia



The emperor, who put an equal sign between his fate and the fate of the country, in 13 years turned Russia into one of the strongest powers of the world
Emperor Alexander III, who assumed the throne of 14 (2 old style) in March 1881, got a very difficult legacy. From infancy he prepared for a military career, after the death of his elder brother Nikolay, he had to change his whole life in order to prepare for the ascension to the throne. Since childhood, Alexander Alexandrovich, who suffered because of a lack of parental love, which mainly went to his elder and younger brothers, in the last years of his inheritance, he was forced to die down every day from fear for the life of the parent. Finally, he received the royal crown not from the hands of the aged and gradually retiring emperor, but from the hands of a mortally wounded father, whose lives were torn off by people who so monstrously tried to build a "kingdom of freedom."

Is it any wonder that the most consistent course of the thirteen-year rule of Alexander III was a decisive turn from liberal ideas introduced from outside to traditional Russian values. According to many contemporaries, in the penultimate emperor the spirit of his grandfather, Nicholas I, seemed to be embodied. The motto “Orthodoxy. Autocracy. Nationality "was perceived by Alexander as a guide to action. Perhaps, the fact that Nicholas I, as eyewitnesses said, had a genuine affection for the second grandson and made considerable efforts to provide him with the education that he considered right played a role in this. And I didn’t lose it: it was up to the grandson, who unexpectedly became the Tsarevich first, and then the Emperor, and had the honor of turning Russia into one of the most powerful world powers in a short time.

Nicholas I and Alexander III are related not only to the direct connection between the grandfather and the grandson, but in many respects the circumstances of their accession to the throne. For Nicholas, the reign began with an uprising on the Senate Square, and for Alexander, with the killing of his father by the People. Both of them had to start with investigating the actions of people whose actions seemed impossible, unthinkable, inhuman - and, alas, they demanded the same harsh reaction.

That is why the era of the reign of Alexander III, which in traditional Russian historiography is called the era of counter-reforms, was only partly so. Yes, the emperor deliberately went to the abolition of many innovations of his father, seeing in them not so much the improvement of life in the country, as an excuse to weaken the security of the population, starting from the top and ending with the lower classes. It must be remembered that the terrorist revolutionaries, arguing about the national welfare and calling for the death of "tyrants", did not consider at all victims of the deaths from the number of Sweet or bystanders to be the victims. They simply did not notice them, believing that such “incidental damage” was not only admissible, but also so only the inhuman essence of autocracy would appear more clearly.


Alexander III with his wife Maria Fedorovna. Photo: wreporter.com


And in this autocracy in the person of Alexander III the essence was very humane. Passed a serious school of life during the years of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877 – 1878, having seen the peasant problems during the management of the Special Committee for the collection and distribution of benefits to the starving during the crop failure 1868 of the year, the crown prince Alexander perceived the whole of Russia as a single farm, whose success was equally depends on the autocrat, and from the last peasant.

“What can we say about him, who alone ruled the fate of a huge country that stood at a crossroads? - writes in his introductory article to the collection "Alexander III. Statesmen through the eyes of contemporaries" doctor historical Sci., Chief Researcher, St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences Valentina Chernukha. - Undoubtedly, both the character of the country and the peculiarity of the time demanded from the new tsar not only the qualities of a statesman, but an outstanding figure who knows how to balance the desired and the possible, the necessary and achievable, see near and long-term goals, choose people for their implementation, in accordance with the tasks and not with personal sympathy. As a person, he was undoubtedly a bright character, a whole person, a bearer of firm principles and beliefs. In a private setting, he had many sincere friends, for almost all or many of his human qualities evoked sympathy. His appearance - a huge, clear-eyed man with a direct and firm gaze - corresponded as accurately as possible to his direct and open character, which was therefore easily guessed. His personality clearly dominated him over the statesman and was clearly manifested in the Tsar's policy, through which his character shines through. "

“They (Nicholas I and Alexander III. - Note. Author.) Had a general psychology - the owner of a large estate, solely responsible for everything, - continues Valentine Chernuha. - In this sense of ownership there were, of course, positive aspects. First, Alexander III was a hard worker, he literally pulled the state cart, delving into all foreign and domestic affairs. He was always overwhelmed with urgent and major affairs, and therefore he did not like secular entertainments: balls, receptions, which he was supposed to attend, and strove to, imperceptibly, leave. Secondly, the emperor was thrifty in a businesslike manner. The story of his darn-rewound pants that the servant had repaired him is well known. Foreign Minister Nikolai Girs was shocked when he saw a big patch on the king’s breeches. But Sergei Witte, the Minister of Finance, wrote in his reign about his sovereign, “I said that he was a good master; Emperor Alexander III was a good master not because of self-interest, but because of a sense of duty. I’m not only to the royal family, but also to the dignitaries I never met that sense of respect for the state ruble, for the state penny that Emperor Alexander III possessed. He kept every penny of the Russian people, the Russian state ashore, as the best owner could not take care of it ”.”

Of course, it was simply impossible to imagine such a master, as Alexander III was, how he gives the farm to the management of people who absolutely look at the value of each employee in this farm! Therefore, the motto of official populism was much closer to Aleksandr Aleksandrovich than the slogans of the narodnik-terrorists. Therefore, he patronized the Orthodox Church, seeing in it not “opium for the people”, not an institution that provided unquestioning obedience of the people to the monarch, as often happened in Europe, but a mentor and comforter of Russia.


Alexander III on deck. Photo: civilization-history.ru

Here, in this economic attitude towards Russia, which Alexander demonstrated firmly and consistently throughout his reign, his desire to make her as strong and independent as possible is rooted. And for this, he needed not only “two faithful ally - the army and the navy” (they, with him, it must be admitted, turned into a real formidable force with which all of Europe was considered), but also a powerful economy. To raise it, Alexander Alexandrovich did a lot. Perhaps he can be called the first ideologist of import substitution: by introducing protective duties on many technological goods and technologies themselves and at the same time supporting Russian industrialists, he achieved that during his reign the country's own metallurgical and heavy industry grew. This made it possible not only to re-equip the army and the navy at the expense of its own capabilities, but also to extend the railway network 10 000 versts: the idea of ​​a strong transport connection of the center with the outskirts was one of the most important for the emperor. And there was something to connect: it was under Alexander III that the territory of the Russian Empire grew by 429, 895 km2, mainly due to Central Asia and the Far East. And it was possible to do this almost without a single shot - few kings, emperors, chancellors and presidents of that era could boast the same achievement! But the reason that the king sought his goals at such a price was simple: Alexander categorically did not want to pay for the expansion of the country in the lives of its inhabitants.

Finally, like any zealous owner, Alexander III with all his might contributed not only to the work of his subjects, but also to their education. By putting into action a very tough university charter, which the liberal-minded contemporaries called “suffocating,” he actually achieved above all that students and professors finally focused their efforts on education, and not on political discussions and the implementation of dubious ideas. At the same time, the “strangler of free university thought” founded the first university in Siberia - Tomsk, which quickly became a major scientific and educational center. He also ensured that the number of the lowest educational institutions in the country — parochial schools — grew eight times in 13 years, and the number of students enrolled in them: from 105 000 people to almost a million boys and girls!

Most of the laws were aimed at achieving a single goal. And this goal was more than worthy: to do everything so that free interpreters of the idea of ​​political freedoms would not let Russia go around the world, slowly but surely returning to its former greatness. Alas, the emperor-peacemaker was given too little time to lay a really strong foundation for the security of the country. Perhaps the most accurate thing about the role that Alexander III played in both Russian and world history, a week after his death, the famous historian Vasily Klyuchevsky said: “13 years passed by the reign of Emperor Alexander III, and the hurried hand of death was in a hurry to close his eyes, the wider and more astonished were Europe’s eyes opening up to the world significance of this short reign ... Science would give Emperor Alexander III a fitting place not only in the history of Russia and all of Europe, but also in Russian historiography, he would say that he had won those where the victories are most difficult to gain, the prejudice of the peoples conquered and thus contributed to their rapprochement, subjugated the public conscience in the name of peace and truth, increased the amount of good in the moral circulation of humanity, encouraged and elevated the Russian historical thought, Russian national self-consciousness, and did all this so quietly and silently, that only now, when he was no longer there, did Europe understand what it was for her. ”
Author:
Originator:
http://rusplt.ru/society/aleksandr-iii-hozyain-vseya-rusi-22093.html
34 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Kaiten
    Kaiten 20 March 2016 06: 48
    +10
    Not everyone liked the order created by Alexander the 3rd. He was often criticized for tightening the screws. His weak-minded son could not keep the track on which Russia was moving. But what is characteristic is that often they find a lot of similarities between the Stalinist order and the orders of Alexander the 3rd, despite the difference in political systems. It may well be that for Stalin, whose childhood was in the reign of Alexander the 3rd, this tsar served as a certain ideal in building social relations.
    1. bober1982
      bober1982 20 March 2016 07: 50
      +10
      Alexander III did not create any orders, all the more strange to compare him with Stalin.
      The reign of the emperor began with the "Manifesto on the inviolability of autocracy" (for some reason, there is not a word about this in the article), and this is the main merit of the tsar - the country returned to the path of economic development, a blow was struck at terrorist organizations, order was established, a reasonable foreign policy was pursued ...
      1. The comment was deleted.
    2. venaya
      venaya 20 March 2016 08: 08
      +6
      Quote: Kaiten
      Not everyone liked the order created by Alexander the 3rd. He was often criticized for tightening nuts.

      Indeed, such a successful construction of the economic greatness of the Russian Empire (he did not wage wars) could not leave alone the main external economic competitors, which caused the collapse of the tsar’s train with the subsequent sudden death of the greatest emperor. It is not surprising that his real follower, and perhaps even his student Stalin, was able to take into account the main reasons for the success of Emperor Alexander III. It is quite possible that the true cause of death of both great people of our state is ultimately the same, that is, the tremendous successes of the economic construction of our country, and this, unfortunately, is already becoming logical.
    3. aleco
      aleco 20 March 2016 08: 31
      +1
      I agree with you!
    4. avt
      avt 20 March 2016 09: 26
      +6
      Quote: Kaiten
      . It may well be that for Stalin, whose childhood was in the reign of Alexander the 3rd, this tsar served as a certain ideal in building social relations.

      Rather, Stalin, by education, is a product of a system led by Alexander III, but how he actually took advantage of the incomplete higher education (obtained by the way by financing the life of a scout / traveler Przhevalsky), he already showed his own life.
      1. edge
        edge 23 March 2016 09: 19
        +1
        Quote: avt
        Rather, Stalin, by education, is a product of a system led by Alexander III

        a little distracted from the topic; for some reason, STALIN became a fiend of evil (he turned the Bosko to the newly arrived Zionists in the Soviet government, even though using Peter's methods he pulled the country out of economic stagnation into the industrial future, flared Hitler to the level of an old footcloth and created the groundwork (at least a century) ahead, and at the same time, Nikolashka, the bloody, drowning RUSSIA in blood in 1905, stupidly ruined the Russo-Japanese, who threw the country and the army into the 1st World War (I remind you, he himself abdicated) was suddenly recognized as a saint and churchmen sing praises to him .. ... It seems that the plans of the Greek Catholics and Germans started under Vladimir and continued under Peter only in the middle of implementation and are waiting for us (there is still a lot of joy and fun ....)
    5. iouris
      iouris 20 March 2016 15: 41
      +1
      I think it is clear who you mainly mean by "not all". These are their problems. These "far from all" were not kept in the empire by force.
      The established procedure ensured the consistent development of capitalism in Russia and the external conditions for the progressive development of the country. For this he was killed.
  2. yuriy55
    yuriy55 20 March 2016 07: 08
    +15
    Undoubtedly, Alexander III entered the history of Russia as a worthy statesman. His one decision to build the Trans-Siberian Railway is epoch-making. And without a phrase:
    "Russia has no friends. They are afraid of our vastness. We have only two reliable friends: the Russian army and the Russian fleet!", - not a single forum is bypassed ...
    1. Nehist
      Nehist 20 March 2016 08: 08
      +17
      Alexander III's credo "Russia - for Russians and in Russian." Another of the little-known facts is the celebration of the Day of the Railwayman in Russia was established by personal order of Alexander III in 1886.
    2. nnz226
      nnz226 20 March 2016 23: 00
      +8
      Even Alexander III went down in history as a sovereign spitting from a high bell tower on the so-called "world community" and even more so "civilized countries". Phrase: "Europe will wait for the Russian emperor to fish!" should be on a par with the phrase about friends of Russia. Do not look into the mouth of any American-European husk, but send them to hell! Another example: the Cossacks in Central Asia covered a caravan of smugglers carrying weapons and all kinds of nasty things to some of the local khans or emirs. As it turned out, the caravan included two "Aglitsk intelligence officers". The Asians from the caravan were hanged by the Cossacks from the trees (and rightly so!), And the "pale-faced" ones were whipped with whips and kicked back to India. They complained to their superiors and Queen Victoria ("an empire over which the sun does not set") sent an angry telegram to the tsar demanding punishment for the Cossacks who "dared" (!!!) to flog the "civilized gentlemen". In response, the tsar sent a telegram to the Cossack centurion: "They acted correctly! Congratulations to the colonel! If they had hanged (the British) they would have been a general!" This is how it is necessary to talk to the European trash, and not to breed polites!
  3. Andrei946
    Andrei946 20 March 2016 08: 56
    +2
    It is strange why the so-called decree on cook children was not commented on in the article, which limited access to higher education for children of the 3rd estate.
    1. Rivares
      Rivares 20 March 2016 12: 49
      +4
      Well, bring, complete. For example, I'm interested.
  4. engineer
    engineer 20 March 2016 10: 01
    +5
    An exceptional sovereign. The only one who managed to put Russia at the head of Europe without wars and deprivations of the people. Without the sanctions of Peter, not a single mouse in Europe could rustle. Acted on the principle: you need great shocks, and I need a great Russia. Unfortunately, his son could not become a worthy successor to his father's affairs.
  5. V.ic
    V.ic 20 March 2016 10: 35
    +11
    In St. Petersburg, by some miracle, the equestrian monuments of the grandson and grandfather were preserved.
  6. samarin1969
    samarin1969 20 March 2016 10: 39
    +4
    "... not like the current tribe" (no irony)
  7. populist
    populist 20 March 2016 10: 55
    +7
    "Russia has only two reliable allies - its army and its navy."
    Not once cited this statement of Alexander III on the forums.
    Russophobes from it is rooting and flattening.
  8. ALEA IACTA EST
    ALEA IACTA EST 20 March 2016 12: 25
    +1
    The era of rapid progress and reaction, greatness and emerging problems.
  9. 97110
    97110 20 March 2016 13: 24
    +5
    due to Central Asia and the Far East. And they managed to do it practically without a single shot
    Thank God, this is the first time I have seen a laudatory publication about the Head of the Russian State. Plus, with gratitude on behalf of the service. Before that, they usually found out the truth about those who left the post, and they glorified Alexander III only with notes about patches on their boots - I had not yet met about pants. However, at the expense of "without a single shot." The author is not familiar with the work of Alexander III's contemporary, V.V. Vereshchagin. Who did he write about his Central Asian cycle? "Let them come in", "Come in", "Surrounded - persecute", "Forgotten" - who is this about? "Apotheosis of War" written in memory of the Great Mogul? Or were there other reasons that gave Vasily Vasilyevich a brush? So our beloved brazen Saxons would give Russia these square versts of Central Asia and the Far East. Without a single shot ... On the contrary, we broke the resistance of the robber states supported by the United Kingdom, in the shortest possible time and with minimal losses.
    1. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 20 March 2016 17: 00
      +8
      He was at the Repin exhibition.
      There, Alexander III is really represented by a real Russian sovereign. The power of the Empire behind him is felt. One of the most underrated kings of Russia.
      The leaders of the Russian state, as a rule, worked for his good.
    2. Vladislav 73
      Vladislav 73 20 March 2016 22: 01
      +5
      Quote: 97110
      However, at the expense of "without a single shot." The author is not familiar with the work of Alexander III's contemporary, V.V. Vereshchagin.

      The author, unlike you, is familiar with history. Yes, and the biography of V.V. Vereshchagin, I think, is known to him. Firstly, the entry of Turkestan into the Republic of Ingushetia with active actions was under Alexander 2, in the period 1865-1881. Alexander 3, diplomats were already working on the delimitation of spheres of influence (for example, in the Pamirs, the borders of Afghanistan, etc.) Secondly, V.V. Vereshchagin was a contemporary of both Alexander 2 and Alexander 3, and Nicholas 2 (1842-1904). -1867 in Turkestan at the invitation of Governor-General Kaufman. During the siege of Samarkand on June 1869-2, 8.06.1868 by Bukhara troops, he took an active part in the defense, for which he was awarded the Order of St. George 4th class. The artist paints the famous "Turkestan Series" in Munich in 1871-1874 Well, where is Alexander 3? request You need to know history, however what
      1. 97110
        97110 21 March 2016 12: 42
        0
        Quote: Vladislav 73
        You need to know history, however

        Fair. Let me be ashamed?
        1. Vladislav 73
          Vladislav 73 21 March 2016 20: 37
          0
          Quote: 97110
          Let me be ashamed?

          No need for sarcasm ... request Maybe I’m somewhat categorical, but no less categorical, and here is this statement:
          Quote: 97110
          . The author is not familiar with the work of a contemporary of Alexander III, Vereshchagin V.V. About whom did he write his Central Asian cycle?

          what requestIt kind of moved me ... repeat
  10. engineer
    engineer 20 March 2016 18: 09
    +2
    And notice, he has a saber on his belt, not a saber. The checker is worn with a reverse bend and does not have a guard, like a Japanese katana it allows you to strike without a backswing. Simultaneously with removal from the scabbard. Although the liberals of past centuries mocked this sculpture. And the emperor is not the one and the horse ...
  11. Rastas
    Rastas 20 March 2016 20: 34
    +3
    K. I. Chukovsky: "The autocratic" lover of the people "most clearly revealed his true feelings for the people when it came to public education, schools for the masses. He considered the craving of his beloved" common people "for culture a dangerous crime that must be suppressed in When the peasant Ananyina, brought to trial in a revolutionary case, mentioned that she dreamed of sending her son to a gymnasium, Alexander III wrote indignantly: "This is awful! Man, but he also climbs into the gymnasium!" When the Tobolsk governor, not without regret, brought in his report to the royal information that there are few literate people in the province, the tsar wrote in the margins: "And, thank God!"
  12. Former battalion commander
    Former battalion commander 20 March 2016 23: 09
    +1
    Amazing For 13 years he has done so much ... And the current one ... Only the collapse barely barely stopped ... And that is not a fact, given the price of oil ...
  13. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 21 March 2016 00: 20
    +2
    I consider Alexander III one of the greatest sovereigns in our history.

    I consider his phrase "Russia for Russians and in Russian" to be excellent and has not lost its relevance for 130 years.

    And although I respect our current President, I do not think that he is right, saying that "Those who say that Russia is for the Russians are either provocateurs or provocateurs." For Alexander III clearly does not fall into either of the above two categories.
  14. Just BB
    Just BB 21 March 2016 05: 12
    0
    Quote: Andrei946
    It is strange why the so-called decree on cook children was not commented on in the article, which limited access to higher education for children of the 3rd estate.


    So I did not forbid, but limited!
    So that, having received an education, at least in Russian without errors (even if there is a spelling check in Word) they could write hi smile
  15. Francois de Vivre
    Francois de Vivre 21 March 2016 09: 20
    +1
    The best king was.
  16. Arjuna
    Arjuna 21 March 2016 11: 36
    0
    As one of his contemporaries used to say: “Yes, there were people in our time!
    When the spring first thunder ...
    Not that the current tribe.
    In the blue sea fog ...
  17. Pomeranian
    Pomeranian 21 March 2016 17: 11
    +1
    The article is good, informative. From the reign of Alexander III, I have a double impression: the introduction of restrictions on the duration of the working day, the prohibition of child labor and the decree "On cook's children."
    1. iouris
      iouris 21 March 2016 21: 13
      +1
      You and I cannot have an impression of the reign of Alexander III. Historians, or rather historical schools, can give historical assessments to the heads of state. We, the poor, are left either to "choose with our hearts" or to defend an artisanal theoretical point of view. There were no ideal kings, but it is necessary to compare the scale of the personality. No one will call this sovereign a petty person. But the king is a man and nothing human is alien to him. Let me remind you that there was a hunt for Alexander III. After another assassination attempt, disguised as a man-made disaster, he held the roof of the crushed car for too long until members of the royal family got out of it. This story resulted in severe kidney disease. After the death of Alexander III, the liberal foreign press wrote: "Finally, the tsar died of natural causes - from drunkenness."
  18. THE_SEAL
    THE_SEAL 29 March 2016 17: 29
    0
    Of course, Alexander III is the greatest personality at the helm of the Russian state, who managed with his firm hand to calmly direct the country to greatness.
  19. Idiot
    Idiot April 2 2016 13: 44
    0
    The emperor was informed: on the square, in the district town of N, a certain peasant Trishka, being drunk, "scolded the sovereign and shouted that ... he was lying on him." Trishka was captured by policemen and placed in jail until the highest decision on his future fate was made. The chief of the gendarmes insists on extremely severe punishment, up to life hard labor, or the death penalty, as he sees possible intrigues of the People's Will, "whose deeds and aspirations are known to His Imperial Majesty." Alexander the Third, having carefully studied the materials of the investigation, issued a resolution: "Let go. Tell him that I also laid on him ... th."
  20. Rurik
    Rurik 12 October 2016 18: 45
    0
    Quote: hert
    Quote: avt
    Rather, Stalin, by education, is a product of a system led by Alexander III

    a little distracted from the topic; for some reason, STALIN became a fiend of evil (he turned the Bosko to the newly arrived Zionists in the Soviet government, even though using Peter's methods he pulled the country out of economic stagnation into the industrial future, flared Hitler to the level of an old footcloth and created the groundwork (at least a century) ahead, and at the same time, Nikolashka, the bloody, drowning RUSSIA in blood in 1905, stupidly ruined the Russo-Japanese, who threw the country and the army into the 1st World War (I remind you, he himself abdicated) was suddenly recognized as a saint and churchmen sing praises to him .. ... It seems that the plans of the Greek Catholics and Germans started under Vladimir and continued under Peter only in the middle of implementation and are waiting for us (there is still a lot of joy and fun ....)
  21. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 23 December 2016 16: 45
    +1
    Honestly, it’s hard to even say something on this issue. Alexander III is unequivocally one of the greatest rulers of the Russian State, and ... he is probably one of the most underrated by the masses of Emperors.
    I can only say one thing - if Nicholas II would have possessed the talents of Alexander III, there would be extremely many chances that we would live in the monarchical Russian Empire today