Alexander I of Russia

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Alexander I of Russia (Russian: Александр I Павлович, Aleksandr I Pavlovich) (23 December [O.S. 12 December] 1777 – 1 December [O.S. 19 November] 1825), also known as Alexander the Blessed (Russian: Александр Благословенный, Aleksandr Blagoslovennyi) served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Prince of Finland and Lithuania.

He was born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, and Maria Feodorovna, daughter of the Duke of Württemberg. Alexander was the eldest of four brothers. He succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered, and ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars. In the first half of his reign Alexander tried to introduce liberal reforms, while in the second half he turned to a much more arbitrary manner of conduct, which led to the revoking of many early reforms. In foreign policy Alexander gained certain successes, mainly by winning several military campaigns. In particular under his rule Russia acquired Finland and part of Poland. His sudden death in Taganrog, under allegedly suspicious circumstances, caused the spread of the rumors that Alexander in fact did not die in 1825, but chose to "disappear" and to live the rest of his life in anonymity.

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