Alexander I of Russia was born December 23, 1777 and died December 1, 1825. He served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and Ruler of Poland from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Grand Duke of Finland. Soon after his birth on December 23, 1777, Alexander was taken from his father, Paul I of Russia, by his grandmother, Catherine the Great, who greatly disliked Paul and did not want him to have any influence on the education of Alex. Both sides tried to use Alexander for their own purposes and he was therefore torn emotionally between his grandmother and his father. This taught Alexander very early on how to manipulate those who loved him, and he became a natural chameleon, changing his views and personality depending on whom he was with at the time. Nurtured in the free-thinking atmosphere of the court of Catherine, he had followed the principles of Rousseau's gospel of humanity from his Swiss tutor, Frédéric-César de La Harpe, and the traditions of Russian autocracy from his military governor, Nikolay Saltykov. Young Alexander sympathized with French and Polish revolutionaries, however, his father seemed to have taught him to combine a theoretical love of mankind with a practical contempt for men. These contradictory tendencies remained with him through life and are observed in his dualism in domestic and military policy. On October 9, 1793 when Alexander was still 15 years old, he married 14 year old Louise of Baden. Meanwhile, the death of Catherine in November 1796 before she could appoint Alexander as her successor, brought his father, Paul I, to the throne. Paul's attempts at reform were met with hostility and many of his closest advisers as well as Alexander were against his proposed changes. Paul I was murdered in March, 1801 and Alexander I took over. The codification of the laws initiated in 1801 was never carried out during his reign and nothing was done to improve the intolerable...
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